Hello December and Our First Wedding Anniversary

HERE IT IS! My favorite time of the year! I cannot explain to you in words that would describe my deep adoration towards everything about December. My agenda for doing all things Christmas and winter is continuously growing. Not to mention our first wedding anniversary is in three days, our 6th year anniversary, and my birthday is in five days! All my favorite things are all coming up next week!
Also, this little dude reappeared yesterday, smiling and clearly ready to create some mayhem this year too.

It also reminds me that I have no birthday plans what so ever for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE! I think I’m having a quarter life crisis about this birthday, so I haven’t really felt like planning anything. Hubs also works all weekend. Every weekend in December – therefore I can’t really plan anything. I also can’t plan anything for our anniversary. How lovely that our anniversary falls on a Monday.

How we will be spending our first anniversary – Sending the child off to school, going to my brothers tutoring session, taking care of pets, cleaning house, getting laundry done, doing homework with the child, a fairly average everyday schedule. I was very, VERY, depressed about this at first. Our anniversary plans started out by planning out what we were originally going to do for a honeymoon, but alas those plans didn’t happen either. Then the anniversary plans kept getting smaller, and smaller, until the blunt reality that we just won’t be able to plan anything this year.

But the more I have to think about it, the more I suppose it’s fitting. We have already spent six years together. Six years of living together, taking care of our family together, living…this life…together. We haven’t had an actual get-away romantic weekend whatnot since we first started dating, and I was two months pregnant. The most we’ve done for ourselves as a couple since then was get married on our 5th anniversary. THAT was pretty darn romantic if you ask me.

We married each other to do exactly this for the rest of our lives. We chose to have the normal in and out days of life with each other. And the reason it has worked so well is because we don’t need special get-away weekends. Even though it would be wonderful to have those type of date nights, we don’t really need them. We make every day with each other special. And that sounds totally cheesy and unrealistic, but that’s just how it works for us. I don’t mean he is always bringing me a bouquet of roses and I’m cooking him steaks every night while he massages my feet. I just mean we have special moments every day, solely to remind each other how much we appreciate and love each other.

Of course there are the hard days, the days where we are just tired, or stressed out and need a break. But never a break from each other. Every day, no matter what, we always laugh, we always smile, we always joke around and pay with each other. We hug, kiss, say I love you, just enough to know we mean it. Just enough to know that every day, every moment that we chose to be together is special.

Yes, it’s going to be our first anniversary, but we don’t need all the bling and fireworks to make it special. It’s already special because we spent yet another year perfectly happy together doing the simplest of simple together. We are happy just living a normal simple life together. THAT is something special. The rest is just extra.

Happy December

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Baby Preparation List – Third Trimester Update

Third trimester update

Pregnancy Checklist

Well this is it! The home stretch! The third trimester is here! As of today, I am in my 30th week. By this time, the wee baby should be around 17 inches long, and should weigh close to or slightly more than three pounds. Roughly the size of a squash you can find in your produce store..which does not seem so wee-sized when it’s taking up all the room inside your abdomen!

I’ve decided to use this time to make a general checklist of everything I need to do/get done within the next 10 weeks, and to just update on my current goings on at 30 weeks.

Starting this list off – by this time, if you are pregnant, you should definitely have had the ultrasound that will determine the baby’s gender, if you choose to know or to wait. Waiting seems to be a trend that is growing in popularity lately, especially for first time moms I’ve noticed. We chose to know what our baby was, so I had mine done at 24 weeks. Even though waiting would be a great surprise, finding out makes buying and preparing SO much easier. Easy is always nice.

That being said, since I haven’t announced it yet….

IT’S A BOY!

And we are ecstatic! We were hoping for a boy this time, but the J-man hubs kept teasing, saying I was going to jinx it if I kept talking about wanting a boy. Of course, we would have been happy with either, but a boy would have been a new experience, and J-man hubs said he was feeling a little surrounded by too much estrogen in the house. Growing up with a sister, me, and a daughter, a boy in his life seemed well deserved.

Having knowing what it is, planning a baby shower was a lot easier. It seems to be the norm to wait generally after 30 weeks to have a baby shower, but I had mine the first weekend of November (I will share details too!)

I highly recommend having an earlier baby shower. At some point, you will be in the large, uncomfortable, don’t want to get up and move stage. Having a baby shower before then would mean being able to actually get up and interact with everyone without being tired and uncomfortable. Also, my biggest reason for having an early shower was because it still gives me several weeks to finish getting everything together and getting the remainder of the baby gear and nursery together.

We have YET to start the baby nursery at all…seriously slacking in that department. However, I would like to share the rest of my Baby To – Do list with you. Not that everything on the list needs to get done, but it does help kind of set goals for yourself for big things that need thought put into them

Day Three – Patience


I am very behind with writing these posts for my own challenge. But that is the point of a challenge, I should remind myself of that. It’s the night of the 3rd day and I can almost guarantee that it won’t be posted until tomorrow…which then mean I will have to finish this, post it, write out the day 4’s post, and then post it as well. Maybe I need a little more patience with myself before I attempt to rush this post…
Today I am supposed to be thankful for patience. While I’m sitting here, trying to write this post, going over certain moments in the day that I could apply this patience concept to, I’m also mentally making lists in my head of what I need to get done the next day while also being attacked from the inside.

I’m a week and a half away from being in my third trimester. Shocking isn’t it. I’m also late with doing a pregnancy update. It’ll happen. I just feel so scatter brained lately that it’s hard to concentrate on doing little things lately. The thing is I’m not stressed like I thought I would, I just feel busy. Overly motivated with a lack of purpose. While I know that I still have a good handful of weeks before anything needs to be done, I feel so unprepared for this baby lately. Pretty sure my family is tired of hearing my baby talk lately too.

Luckily they have patience with me.

Ah, there is the segue I was waiting for. Patience is not normally my forte. I have a temper that flicks on like a faulty switch and an attention span that of a goldfish. Maybe that’s why I have been making myself unnecessarily busy – because I just want everything that needs to be done, to be done already. Waiting for things to get done in their own time is not exactly one of my favorite things, however, it’s one of those unspoken things we are constantly trying to teach our children from the moment they figure out how to get our attention.

“Wait a minute please. Give me two seconds, okay? Let me finish this first. Hang on a moment. I’m busy right now. Can it wait? Can you wait?”

All words and demands we ask of our little ones without giving it a second thought. Have you ever had one of those moments? Those moments where what you’re doing is just slightly more important than your toddlers playdoh creation that they really want to show you. Or how about being on a phone call and your kid needs to ask their 50th question in the last half hour, do you ask the person on the phone to wait, or the child? Here is one I’m always guilty of… How about when you are in the middle of doing something, anything, and your kid just came to ask you to play. “I can’t right now, wait a minute.”

The words flow out of my mouth without even registering what I’m saying. I instantly imply that she needs patience. I am truly blessed that I have a child who is as understanding as she is, and pauses whatever it is that she asked me for, and waits. This is something I need to change. I am thankful for the patience that she has for me.

Effort – Thankfulness Day Two


Effort. The funny thing is I am going to have to put effort into this post and at this current moment, it’s not something easily done. My head is scrambled lately and in a completely different plane. I am completely not focused.

I have started my pregnancy nesting stage. I am quite amazed that nesting is actually a thing. I suppose I didn’t go into much of a nesting stage with my first because, well, I was eighteen/nineteen and was, more or less, in a state of shock the entire time. I was also still with my parents and sharing a room with the not-quite-yet Hubs, and a new baby, so there wasn’t much prep work I could have gotten done. I do remember washing all her laundry multiple times beforehand, but that might have just been from excitement too.

This time however, we have our own home, there is an actual separate bedroom for a nursery, I have an entire house to prep for Baby G. The problem is that I am only 26 weeks, and this nesting business has gotten me in such a stir that I can’t focus on one project at a time. There is SO much to get done to prepare the spare bedroom into a nursery (right now it’s an unused storage room that’s slightly falling apart). I can’t focus on anything to do with that room until we replace the carpet, fix the bedroom door falling apart, probably from having to kick it in or shove it to open the door, get some kind of overhead lighting, and just little overall maintenance to the room… so all of my focus is elsewhere.

I have spent the last two days vacuuming the carpet in the living room SIX times, have washed and put away more laundry in one week than I normally get done in a month, mopped the kitchen once every day, cleaned and/or dusted strange corners of the house that I have never thought to clean before. I even took the time to sit and organize various compartments of Em’s toys and multiple toy boxes. I am putting more effort into just having a clean house than I ever have before.

Is this something to be thankful for? Well yes I suppose it is.

While I am technically still supposed to take it easy, and I am LARGE this far along in my pregnancy, I am thankful I still have the energy and capability to put effort into anything right now. There are days where I can do nothing but sit on the couch in a half laying – half sitting position that is the only way to keep from feeling very miserable that day. Luckily those days are few and for the last week I have been able to get up and move around the house. I am thankful I can put effort into my home responsibilities.

Even if I wasn’t uncomfortably pregnant, I am thankful I have the mobility and capability of being just being an able person. Even though doing certain tasks and work seems, at the time, tiring and potentially problematic, eventually we put effort into whatever it is we do. The more effort we put into something, the more we appreciate it. If we put a ton of effort into a project or job, we feel so much more accomplished about it, and we are proud of not only the job, but ourselves for working hard.

Em has learned the value of effort recently as well. This is the first year she is being graded and receiving marks on her papers. She has always loved to learn, and loves doing school work more than playing – or she plays school and has me make her papers to do. She has always been in the top of all her classes, has always been the brightest in her class, and has always had her mind open for learning more. She has never received a bad mark…until last month. She got a sad face on a piece of work that she scribbled through because she said she was in a hurry.

She was distraught. I assume she never knew it was possible to get bad marks because she never has before. When she received this mark, she said she wanted to fix it, that she will never scribble again. And she has held true to that promise. I have always admired how much effort she put into learning, it’s one of those proud moments that a parent can’t really describe, but I have never not been proud of this little girl. Now that she understands the importance of true effort, she always tries her best. She knows if she doesn’t try hard then her marks won’t be as good as if she had worked harder. She has learned to be proud of her own effort. Effort, hard work, determination in a struggling situation is something everyone should be thankful for, because the outcome is always great.

My husband has undeniably shown me that recently. He has been at his new job for two years and some change now, and this is the first time I have ever seen him work with such effort. He enjoys what he does, and he has gained several promotional spaces in the short amount of time he has been there because of the time and effort he has put into this job.

I am indebtedly thankful for the effort he puts into his job, regardless. Seeing how hard he works, knowing how much effort he puts into his strenuous job every single day, watching the obnoxiously long hours he works (fifteen hours yesterday in case you were wondering), I am thankful. I know he does it for us. We are the reason behind how much effort he puts in daily. When he wakes up while it’s still dark outside, and doesn’t get home until it’s dark outside again, I know he is putting in all his effort to provide the best life he can for us at home. He works hard all day long so that I can be here working hard to take care of everyone.

I am thankful for a reason to put effort into our home. I put so much of myself into taking care of our home, giving my family a clean and comfortable home to have. I put effort into making sure they are well fed every day for every meal. I put effort into keeping the home running and not falling into chaos and stress. I am proud of the jobs I do, because of how much effort I willingly put into it.

Thankfulness Day One – Warmth


Before I even begin to think of what this day’s thankful thought is, I realize this could be a little more challenging than anticipated. However, this could actually be the real “challenge” in this 30 day challenge.

Today I am supposed to be thankful for warmth. Of course, I am thankful for warmth, if I took this entirely literal, I would simply say “Thank you, Lord, for letting me be warm today” and that would be the end of this post. But what if I broke down the concept of warmth and all the ways warmth could be applied and found something to be thankful for in each use of the word.

It is November 1st, it is the middle of Fall/Autumn, the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and the air tauntingly dips into the lower end of the degree spectrum. As I’m throwing my fuzzy cardigan on and Em is putting on her jacket before we race to the bus stop, I’m thankful for having these seemingly mundane items that often get overlooked. This is the time of year you see various winter clothing collections, and I am thankful for being able to have our own clothes to keep up warm and thankful for never struggling to have a closet full of coats, jackets, and clothes year-round. As I am thankful for this, I make a mental note to go through our overabundance of coats and purge the closet of unused pieces that would be appreciated elsewhere.

As we are walking to the bus, Em’s tiny little hand fits snuggly in mine, reminding me I am thankful for the warmth of touch. I am thankful to be able to have her warm little hand to hold onto every morning, just as I am thankful she wants to hold my hand in return. Small moments like this are often disregarded, they fall into the background of everyday life, and don’t get as much appreciation as they truly deserve. This is a moment that I should remind myself to appreciate more often, mentally pausing to take in the thought, the knowledge, that I have this beautiful, healthy little girl to love. Remind myself that I created this beautiful life that I absolutely love unconditionally, who is holding on to me with a similar affection.

I am thankful for the warmth of the heart. I am thankful for being capable of loving so much that it fills me with my own sense of warmth. The love I have for my daughter, my husband, my soon-to-arrive infant, my whole little family, I am forever grateful. I am thankful to have them to love, just as I am thankful to have them love me in return. I am incredibly blessed to have the family and the life that I do.

After Em is on the bus, the sun is finally starting to come out – the time change couldn’t come soon enough. I would love to be able to wake up and warm up in the sunshine. And thus, finally, I am thankful for the sun, for light, for warmth itself. With the sun means a new day came and I am still here to see it. I am thankful for the beauty of the sun, it’s warmth, this day, and the light that was created for all of us to have.

App and Book Recommendations for Expecting Mamas

From one expecting mama to another expecting mama…


25 weeks pregnant!

I have made it to 25 weeks! So I thought I would do a little recommendation post for any fellow Preggo Moms out there 🙂

This is will be our second child and things are just completely different this time. I’m actually staying up-to-date and keeping track of my progress this time, which is great because I’ve had so many problems and worries, keeping track is wonderful source of info to reassure myself everything is right on schedule. If you are preggo I highly recommend getting development tracker. There are wonderful books to read while you are pregnant, knowledge is power. My favorite books I’ve read so far this pregnancy are

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

https://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Youre-Expecting/dp/0761187480

This is probably the most common and recommended book to read while pregnant, so it’s a no brainer, but it’s wonderful with lots of info. If you are a first time mommy, this is a great way to just feel a little more prepared for the journey to come. It has a month by month layout and summaries very clearly what to expect. If it’s there is something to be concerned about or if it’s something as simple as morning sickness, this book will cover it.

I also REALLY enjoyed a more nonconventional pregnancy book called Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy.

https://www.amazon.com/Belly-Laughs-Naked-Pregnancy-Childbirth/dp/0738210072

It was less of a factual guide as the one mentioned above and more of a realistic view of her experience. This was definitely a great freshness from the constant medical terminology of pregnancy and the never-ending facts about the miracle of pregnancy, because let’s face it, not every moment feels like it is a great miracle! When You are laying naked on a couch trying to get comfy with back pain so bad you feel nauseous and a hot flash so bad you’re radiating heat…miracle might be a stretching word. This book read so well it felt like just chatting up a fellow girlfriend about the struggles you’re going through! Big recommendation!

 

While we are on the subject of keeping track, I’ve also been loving this little app that has a week by week progression. I downloaded The Pregnancy Tracker from What to Expect onto my phone and it’s very handy way to track your progression, check day to day advice, and connect with other moms in the community. It alerts you at the start of each week, shows you your progress from baby size to baby development and even what you and your body will be going through in the week to come. It has fabulous articles about all things parenting and pregnancy and helpful hints. Did I mention how easy it is to use it! Trust me it’s great!


Also, keeping a Pregnancy Journal is a great way to keep on track with everything. You can write down where you are in comparison to where you should be. You can write down what you’re feeling, thinking, great news that week, little reminders of Drs appts, what you’re craving, and even how much the baby is moving. They have plenty fill-in-as-you-go pregnancy journals to choose from, but I personally chose to just use my bullet journal to write down practically everything I want to remember about that week. It’s nice because I also refer to my app to jot down little notes about how big the baby is that week.

 

Isolation of a SAHM

 


I’ve been a stay at home mom for 5 years. Knowing I have started this family, helping my daughter grow, taking care of those I love most in this world is probably the best and most accomplished I’ve ever felt in my life. This life gives me purpose.

It’s also made me feel the most isolated I’ve ever felt.

There are always ups and downs in life, but I’d be lying if the down times were simple to get over. Lately, the mommy blues have really gotten to me in a very hard way. The tiny human isn’t so tiny anymore, meaning she is going to kindergarten this year full time. So from 830AM to 410PM the only companion I’ve had with me, the only other interaction I’ve had for 5 years is suddenly gone during the day.

The hubs also works more than he ever has. Don’t get me wrong, he loves what he does and has gone full force into this job so much that he has basically moved up as far as possible in just under 2 years and constantly gets employee of the month…because of how much he works. I am absolutely supportive of him, and immensely proud of how well he is doing, but my gosh I wish the conversations between us weren’t always about work.

When your hubs is gone all the time, your child is in school, the only married couple in your small circle of friends, and the only mother, the human interaction is incredibly lacking. Lacking so much that I feel awful when Hubs gets home because I feel like I gush all over him as soon as he walks through the door, while he is ready for relaxing after talking and dealing with dozens of people in a day.

And with no means of transportation, lacking of a car of my own, and living in a pretty rural area with basically nothing nearby, I only leave the house once every week or two.

I don’t mean for this to sound like constant complaints. Like I said, this life is probably the best decision I personally feel I’ve ever made for myself. I love the relationship and bond between me and my daughter, I love being the person my Hubs can depend on. I love taking care of my family and giving them a house that feels like a home, giving them good wholesome meals, making sure they feel loved.

However, the lack of adult conversation, lack of human interaction, and just being cooped up all day in the same house day after day does get to me at times.

I also start to lose sight of that feeling of accomplishment. When you’re a SAHM, there isn’t really anything to reassure your achievements during the day. There are no promotions, there is no employee of the month, there are no gold stars… so while I may do 100 tasks in one day, I start to feel like I’ve actually done nothing during the day. Everything is so routine, so similar, it all blurs into one single nothing.

At times, there is no glory in being a SAHM. Yes, two loads of dishes have been done. The counters are cleaned off. Laundry is folded and put away in everyone’s dressers. Living room has been vacuumed. Toys and clutter have been picked up. The child is fed, dressed, homework done and put away, lunches made. The pets are taken care of. Wait have I taken a shower today? No, the bathrooms need to be scrubbed. Let’s tackle that first. Hubs work clothes are washed and set out for the week. Dinner is thawing and prepared for that night.

But where is the glory in all that has been done? There will always be a never-ending to-do list. There will never be a light at the end of the tunnel when you are home all the time. When you start to see it as “what still needs to be done” as opposed to “what have I done today” and you repeat the same things, every day, all day, for five years, everything starts mulling together. Everything is just expected to be done with no appreciation or achievement, because that’s just how real life is.

I do realize at times like these I need to remind myself of the real purpose in everything. The real reason I’m doing these tasks, sacrificing so much of myself, who I’m sacrificing myself for. The typical mundane things I do as a SAHM every day DO have purpose I need to remind myself to just be kinder to myself. Because even when it’s all said and done I do appreciate the life I have, I am thankful for how hard Hubs works to provide for us all, and I am wholesomely glad to provide for him at home in return.

It’s just another battle of the blues.