In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Newborn Pictures and Learning to Love My Postpartum Self

Blogging is a hobby that I very much enjoy, but since I became a mother, my blog often gets neglected.  I still get on here and post a few things every once in awhile, but these days most of my posts are about my kids and are no longer DIY related. 

Three weeks ago, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world!  And so this afternoon, while my husband has the twins at a birthday party and I am sitting in a unusually quiet house, I thought I'd sit down and attempt to get a blog post up.  I was going to share Charlotte Adalynn's birth story on my blog, just as I shared my twin birth story.  I still plan on doing that, but for today, I thought I'd get back into the swing of things with an easy post, which is why I'm blogging about Baby Girl's newborn pictures.


Overall, Charlotte has been a really good baby.  She sleeps much more than my twins did, on average 20-22 hours a day!  This is why I was surprised and a little frustrated (at the situation and nothing else) that she was awake and fussy for the majority of the time we had her pictures scheduled.

Even with a fussy baby ~ and two toddlers who refused to sit still unless you gave them a cookie or put a TV show on for them ~ Kingfish Photography still managed to get some beautiful pictures of our newest addition to the family.  Dave has always taken great photos for our family.  Be sure to look them up on Facebook if you are local to Indiana.


Here's the thing with newborn pictures.  Yes, I want to get them taken within two weeks of birth while the baby is still squishy-cute, teeny-tiny, and extremely sleepy....but boy oh boy do I not look forward to getting any pictures  with me and the baby when I am two weeks postpartum!

I remember feeling this way when I had the twins too, and I would say that most moms feel the same way!  I mean for heaven's sake, I just birthed a child...or two, depending on which birth I'm referring too. 

While some women do pregnancy and postpartum beautifully, I do not!  I gained 60 pounds with my twins and 38 pounds with this baby!  That does not come off in two weeks time, so pictures are the last thing I want to be in.  And this time around, I only lost three pounds from the day I went into the hospital to the day I came home from the hospital!  How does that even happen?  I birthed a six pound baby and a placenta!  I'll tell you how...POSTPARTUM SWELLING!  I had it crazy-bad with the twins.  My legs looked like tree trunks for weeks.  And with this baby, I surprisingly also had quite a bit of postpartum swelling even though I never swelled in this pregnancy.

I say all of that to say that while I hate the way my body looks in pictures with my newborns, simply because I'm still 20-30 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight at two weeks postpartum, I still TREASURE these pictures with my newborn babies.  They are special, and I don't regret getting them taken.  In fact, I'd kick myself if I didn't get them taken.  Pictures are special to me.  They are what triggers my memories, and I want to remember these years of having little ones at my feet and in my arms needing their Mama, because one day, they won't need me anymore.  One day they will be grown. 

So for now, I treasure the moments and I treasure the pictures, even if I don't love the way I look in them. While I may want to crop out my belly fat here and there, the reality is that this is ME.....this is my NOW....these are the MOMENTS I live for....the SEASON of life I will miss more than anything when it is over.  Saggy belly, tired eyes, wide hips, unwashed hair and a temperament that is easily frustrated and hormonal ~ this is my postpartum self, beautiful in its own way.  The reality is that I'd rather look like my postpartum self with a baby in my arms, than to have my pre pregnancy body  back and never know the gift that is motherhood through child birth.  Thank you Jesus for this gift.  May I never take it for granted.
All pictures were taken by Kingfish photography and may not be used or copied without permission.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Letters to our Baby Girl

Somehow I have let three months go by without writing to you.  I feel like you are going to look at how often I wrote your brothers when they were in the womb, and then see the three letters that I managed to write you, and somehow think you weren't as special.  I assure you, nothing could be farther from the truth!  The difference is that when I had your brothers, I had a full time job, but I was not a full time mom!  BIG DIFFERENCE!  I'm lucky to get 20-30 minutes to myself during their nap time, just because your brothers have never synchronized their sleep patterns (which is really annoying by the way).  By the time they go to bed, my brain is too fried to sit down and write.
Much has happened in the last three months.  For one, day to day life has made this pregnancy fly by.  It feels like we found out your gender then we traded in my car for a mom-van, went on vacation, started consignment season, celebrated our wedding anniversary and the boys' second birthday, celebrated Easter, attempted potty training, started gardening season, and prepared things for our home study visit....all of this while preparing for your arrival. 

Speaking of preparing for your arrival, you have finally been given a name ~ Charlotte Adalynn.  Yes, I gave your dad his way and let him have the name Charlotte!  He was thrilled!  It would not have been my first choice, so if you grow up hating it, you can blame him.  I still get to use the name Adalynn as the middle name, so it was somewhat of a compromise.  Ada, after your Dad's grandma, and Lynn, after my mom.  While your name wasn't a name I would have chosen, it has grown on me, and now I think it is very beautiful.

We've also been preparing for your arrival by getting your room ready.  It has been SLOW getting it done, but I'm very pleased with the outcome.  It's just as I envisioned, whimsical and charming, and perfect for a growing little girl!   I've also been filling your closet with clothes from garage sales and consignment sales.  I love shopping for a girl!  It's too much fun!

So far this pregnancy has gone smoothly. I'm just now starting to get uncomfortable, but after carrying your brothers for 37 weeks, this pregnancy has been a breeze.  Truthfully, in my opinion, a singleton pregnancy and a multiple pregnancy do not even compare, as far as discomfort goes!  As of today, I am 2 cm dilated and counting down the days till we get to meet you.  Less than a month to go, depending on how fast you want to come.

While we are very excited to meet you, I'm finding your arrival to be bitter-sweet.  For one, I know how tired I am, and at times how difficult things are for me just being pregnant while taking care of twin two year olds.  I know that when you come, my tiredness will turn to pure exhaustion, and life is only going to get harder, not easier.  I love your brothers to pieces, but they are little balls of energy! I am fully expecting them to be more work than taking care of you as a newborn.  The difference is that I will be sleep deprived with a newborn, in addition to having two rambunctious two year old boys running around.  Secondly, as much as I have never LOVED the being pregnant part of pregnancy, this is the last pregnancy that your dad and I are planning.  It's a little bitter-sweet to know the movement in my womb that I am currently feeling may be my last.....or that you will be the last newborn we have in our home.....or that I'll be packing up my maternity clothes for good.... or that the baby clothes and equipment can be sold once you outgrow them.  I do feel complete with you being our last pregnancy, whereas with your brothers I only felt content, not complete.  But there is just something about it becoming a reality, that is a little sad. 

Even with that little bit of sadness, your arrival will bring much more joy!  Yes, I will be exhausted when you come, but the idea of having another addition to our family in just a few days or weeks is beyond exciting!  I can't wait to hold you, to feel you skin to skin, to hear you tiny cry, to see your smile, to look into your eyes, to nurse you until you fall asleep.  There is something very special about carrying a baby in your womb, and I do not take that for granted, as there was time when I was not sure that was God's plan for me.  But there is something even more special when you hold that baby for the first time and are flooded with emotions of pure love!  It's the best feeling!  So until then, Charlotte Adalynn, continue to grow inside of me and become healthy and strong.  I love you very much and look forward to meeting you very soon.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Letters to our Baby Girl

     Hello there baby girl!  That's right, I said baby girl!  We found out a few weeks ago, our precious little miracle is a baby girl.  I confess, there were a few happy tears streaming down my face when I heard the news.  Not that I wouldn't have been happy if you were a boy.....BUT I was definitely envisioning pink when I thought about your arrival.

     I assure you, plenty of pink is already being purchased.  I'm shopping garage sale sites for girl clothes and am just beginning to get a few things for your room.  It's very exciting preparing for your arrival, although I confess I was much faster getting things ready for your brothers when I was pregnant with them.  I feel as though I'm moving at a snail-pace this time around, in comparison to my first pregnancy.

     As far as the pregnancy goes, it's still not super enjoyable, but I suppose pregnancy isn't supposed to be.  There are some women who make pregnancy look so easy.  Someday you'll know what I'm talking about.  These are the few blessed women who never get sick or struggle with crazy hormones, and of course they don't get fat!  They just have these tiny cute baby bumps and can fit back into pre-pregnancy clothes a week after giving birth.  I assure you, I am not one of these women.  I really thought that this pregnancy might be more enjoyable with just one baby ~ and for the most part it has been more enjoyable, as carrying twins for 37 weeks was no walk in the park!  Even still, things like sickness, fatigue and weight gain (all over weight-gain even though you are barely one pound right now) are all just a part of the pregnancy I suppose.  Truthfully though, I have no real complaints and am just happy to experience pregnancy, as a vowed a long time ago that I would never take it for granted. 

      I'll end this letter by saying that you area still nameless.  The good news is that there are more girl names that your dad and I both like than there are boy names.  The bad news is that we are both pretty adamant on which girl name we want to call you.  For some reason, your father is obsessed with the name Charlotte and has been ever since I can remember.  I do not dislike the name Charlotte, but I don't love it either.  I also worry it may be
one of those names that is popular right now, but may not be a name you will love forever.  If your dad had his way, you would be called Charlotte Rose.  I assure you this will not be your name, as I feel like adding the middle name Rose to an older name like Charlotte makes it a bit too 1900's for my personal taste.  I want to name you Adalynn, after your great grandma Ada and your grandmother's middle name Lynn.  Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time convincing your father of this.  So for now, we are torn between Charlotte Noelle or Adalynn Kate.  If I want the name Adalynn at all, I may have to go with Charlotte Adalynn, however I'm not loving that combination at the moment.  Other names that we love are Lillee Grace, after your grandmother's middle name Lee, but we are reserving that name for a little girl we believe God will give us in the future through adoption. I also love the names Emelia, Annaliese, Evelyn, Emmalynn and Lydia, but these are not top contenders at the moment.  Your father likes the names Olivia, Emma and Camilla, but I've scratched those off the list for now, especially since he's dead-set on naming you Charlotte.  So for now nameless baby girl, know that you are loved, and we are excited about adding a little girl to our family.  Maybe next time I write you, you will officially have a name.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Letters to Our Miracle Baby

To our miracle baby,

I'm nearly 17 weeks pregnant with you, and even though I am often physically reminded that there is a baby growing inside of me, I'm not quite certain that the reality of this pregnancy has completely soaked in yet.  Maybe that's because you were such a surprise - a beautiful, perfect surprise ~ to your Daddy and me.  Maybe it's because this pregnancy is so different than my first.  With your brothers, I had doctor's appointments and ultrasounds every few weeks, so I was literally seeing two little lives growing inside of me throughout my entire pregnancy, giving me a very unique connection to that pregnancy.  Your brothers were also my first kids, and while that doesn't make them any more special than you, it does mean that I had more time to sit down to my computer and blog about that pregnancy, which led to the blog series "Letters to my Babies".

Being a mom to twin toddlers and being pregnant with a third baby leaves me exhausted at the end of the day.  So many times I have said to myself, "I need to sit down to my computer and write to my baby".  And yet just as many times as I've said that, I've thought, "Oh, but I am so tired, I can't possibly do anything else today."

Know this, Little One.  Know that even though I may not be writing to you as often as I did your brothers, you are equally loved, and we are just as excited to welcome you into our family.  As my bump increases and my sickness decreases, I look forward to writing to you more often.  Until then, you are loved more than you could know.  We anxiously await your arrival, for you are a beautiful reminder to us of God's grace and blessings on our lives.


Friday, December 25, 2015

We decorate our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 
I buy the  kids a new ornament each year for the tree.
I buy the kids a new pair of Christmas pajamas from Target's Black Friday Deals, and we give the kids their new jammies and ornaments before we decorate the tree.
We make chex mix and cookies to kick off the holidays and watch our first holiday cartoon, before going to bed.

Family Christmas Cards
Holiday Baking
Making Christmas Ornaments
visiting santa
going to see Christmas Lights

Something you Want
Something you Need
Something to Wear
Something to Read

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pineapple Cheese Ball

Pineapple Cheese ball from Chef in Training has become my holiday party go-to cheese ball.  I started my blog right about the same time that Chef and Training began, and I believe I discovered this recipe at one of the weekly link parties I used to join back when I was getting my blog started.  Since then, I decided to have my blog be more of a hobby, but Chef and Training has gone on to do big things in the blogging world and her recipes are all over Pinterest.  I use a lot of her recipes, so check out her site if you get a chance.

Part of why I tried this recipe is because my husband loves all of these ingredients!  Pineapple, onion, ham, cream cheese....yep, this is the perfect cheese ball for him!  Because really, cheese ball is one of those things you take to a party and usually have some leftover to take home.  If I'm going to have leftover cheese ball, I want to make sure my husband loves it enough to consume it before I get to it!

This really is a great cheeseball to take to a party, and is something I've been making every holiday season for the past few years!

12 oz. softened cream cheese
1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained
2-3 tbs. powdered sugar
2 tbs. chopped green onion
3 tbs. chopped deli ham
1 c. chopped pecans

Mix everything but the pecans together in a bowl.  Shape into a ball and top with chopped pecans.  Serve with cracker.

Mom's Bagel Dip


It's not the holidays in our family without Mom's bagel dip!  I've shared this recipe on my blog a few years ago, and thought it was worthy of sharing again.  This is an appetizer that my mom always makes for our Christmas family party.  This is definitely not a dip that I make often, as it is far from healthy.  We get it once a year at my mom's Christmas party, and then I make it once for me and my husband right around Christmas time. 

My husband came home tonight and was thrilled to see that I had made a batch for him to munch on. I have to say that you probably need to be a mayonnaise lover to enjoy this dip, as the base is mayo and sour cream.  The texture is obviously that of a mayonnaise consistency and you can't miss the mayonnaise taste in this dip.  What makes it yummy, in my opinion, is the dill.  It just brings a bright flavor that seems to pair nicely with the bagel bites. This might not be a dish everyone loves, but I don't know anyone in our family who doesn't look forward to this at our annual Christmas party.

1 1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 1/3 c. sour cream
2 tbs. dried dill
2 tbs. dried parsley
1 tsp. minced onion
4 oz. of thinly sliced deli beef or corn beef
one bag of bagels

Mix everything but the bagels together in a bowl.  It's best to let sit in fridge for several hours or overnight to let the herbs give off flavor.  Tear bagels into bite size pieces before serving.

My mom always used original Budding Beef, found in the lunch meat section of the grocery, so that's what I use too.  I can usually find it at Kroger.