After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Oh friends, the nesting bug has hit....HARD! 

I don't want to clean my house.
I don't want to prepare food.
I don't want to tackle the fast growing mountain of laundry.
I don't want to bathe the kids.
I don't want to homeschool.

Its not that I don't want to do those things in a bad mom sort of way.  Of course I do them.  But my mind is preoccupied by the strange hormone released in the third trimester that tells your body to nest like the future of the planet depends on it.

I want to sew like crazy!
I want to organize!
I want to make things cute (hard to do when you don't want to clean).
I want to make way too many handmades for Felicity's 5th birthday that's just around the corner.....
and Kian's 3rd birthday which follows shortly after hers.
I want to make all my Christmas handmades before the baby is born!
I want to strip the diapers...
and sort baby clothes!
I want to finish sewing the baby diapers...
and the wipes...
and the quilts...
and the tiny outfits!!!!

Yes, nesting has hit me like a ton of bricks!!!  I ignored the urges for a few days.  I had too much to do.  I couldn't stop and nest.  But even then, those hormones that tell our bodies just what's important slipped into my subconscious and I'd find myself organizing my hand sewing basket, or making peg gnomes for Kian's birthday, late at night.  I just couldn't help it.  By Thursday, I fully gave in.  Zac was expected home that evening.  I called him and warned him of my hormonal shift and told him he may want to rent a movie to watch on his computer as he sat next to me while I cut wipes out of every scrap of flannel I could get my hands on.  I warned him there was laundry on the couch, and the children were grungy, and it would be nice if he could do school with them on Friday.  My sweet husband, he just laughed and asked me why I warn him and apologize.  And so, I gave in to the wonderful hormones God gives a woman who's arms will be full of newborn squishy goodness in just 11 short weeks. 

And I nested!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pregnancy Journal, 28 Weeks

One of the reasons I started blogging was because since I was a little girl, I've always journaled.  I LOVE journaling and was able to keep it going through Kian's pregnancy.  But once he was born, my journaling time melted away.  My duties as a Mama grew with a third baby, and I had a hard time finding time to sit and journal.  Then I discovered blogging, and the switch from journaling to blogging was made.  I think this is why I love blogging so much.  This IS my journal.  This is where I can record our lives.  And I can find the time to blog because I can type fast, thanks to a typing class in 9th grade.  :)  And so, here we are.
It has dawned on me a few times that I haven't recorded much on the blog about this pregnancy.  I would think, "do people really want to read that?"  But then I realized *I* want to read it.  This poor babe will already be the first to not have a log of its pregnancy written in Mama's own hand, and I certainly do not want him or her to have NO record.  So, today I'll try to catch up on my first two thirds of this pregnancy, and after today, I'll update some here and there.  From experience, I know these are magical days and once baby is here, many memories will fade away.  Already, I find myself saying, "I experienced that with one of my pregnancies.  Which one was it?" and then I have to go back in my journal to sort it out.  Sometimes they all bleed together.  So here's a little record of the first 28 weeks of this pregnancy.

* I found out I was pregnant on February 2nd, 2012.  For some reason, I suspected I was pregnant, and so I took the test early.  It looked negative so I placed the test on the window sill and went to wash my hands.  When I came back I was surprised to see it was NOT negative!  A slight pink line was appearing and getting darker with time!  How fun it was to go from content with God's plan even though I wasn't pregnant, to realizing I actually WAS pregnant.

* This has been my easiest pregnancy, hands down.  At 5 weeks, when the 24/7 sickness hit, I was ready.  I felt myself hunkering down for the long haul.  But then after week 7, the fog lifted a bit.  I was shocked.  I'm usually sick the majority of the first trimester and with Felicity, I was miserably sick all day long for at least 17 weeks.  Don't get me wrong, I still had hard days with this one, sometimes the sickness stayed for 48 hours.  And it always was underlying in the first trimester.  But it didn't rule the first 3 months of the pregnancy and for that, I'm very thankful.

* We will be seeing more of this baby than any of our other babes, in utero.  The umbilical cord only has 2 vessels, instead of the normal 3.  This should not be a problem at all, but the Drs. like to take a peek in at babes with 2 vessel cords throughout the pregnancy just to make sure the baby is not growth restricted.  At my 27 week ultrasound, baby was already 2 lbs 6 oz and right on track to being an 8 1/2 pounder like its siblings.  If my next ultrasound at 32 weeks shows equally beautiful growth, it'll be my last.  Baby is chunking up and we could even see its chubby cheeks on the ultrasound.  :)

* Also at my 20 week ultrasound, baby had a cyst on its brain.  The Dr. said that kind of cyst is seen a lot in utero and is usually gone by birth.  We were not worried at all, but thrilled when just 7 weeks later, at my 27 week ultrasound, the cyst was already gone.

* Up until 4 weeks ago, this babe was pretty chill.  I felt the baby kick pretty early on.  15 weeks I believe.  But up until 4 weeks ago, the kicks and movements were very soft and not hugely frequent.  It seems as if baby has grown muscles lately because I'm getting a LOT more movement, which I love love love!

* I normally have braxton hicks regularly and early, but with this pregnancy, they started rolling at 17 weeks.  And by rolling, I mean too many per hour for the midwives.  So I'd have to stop and lay down and chug water until they went away.  Now, at 28 weeks, I definitely get them, but not as dramatically as earlier on.  They're more of the normal ones now, which tend to come on after I'm on my feet a lot, but they don't get out of control.

* I have craved one thing and one thing alone since week 5.  Lemons!  That's it!  In the first tri, I'd often just eat a full lemon as if it were an orange.  I know that's horrible for your teeth but it really did help calm my stomach.  Now, I drink lemon water.  Preferably a full lemon in a glass of mineral water.  I've never had such a strong pregnancy craving.  I've woken up and lemon water is the first thing on my mind.  No joke.  But its a very helpful pregnancy craving.  It sure is keeping me hydrated!

* My weight gain to date is 8 pounds (sorry if that's weird to post, but I want it recorded for my personal record somewhere).

I think that brings me up to speed.  On to the fun part.  Here's a few pictures to document this sweet babe's pregnancy so far.

Pregnancy confirmation ultrasound
9ish weeks along
I could see baby's heart flickering and its little limbs wiggling away!

13 Weeks

16 Weeks

 20 weeks
Can you see its little hand near its face?  That's how its been in every ultrasound.  Hands up on its face.  So sweet!

 27 weeks
It was hard to get a good picture of baby this time because s/he was head down and face down.  But here's its face looking straight at you.  I hope baby stays in that position!

28 weeks
Third trimester and I've REALLY popped lately!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paper Crafting

I've been experimenting with paper crafting since late Winter.  Let me tell you, it sure is relaxing!  It's also easy and cheap. 

My friend had seen a "book mobile" on Etsy a while ago and shared it with me.  I took a mental note because I thought, if I could figure it out, I'd really like to make her one.  Later, when she announced she was pregnant, I knew I must get busy!  So I went to the thrift store, spent a few bucks on some old books with neat covers, good intact spines, and fun pages, and just started experimenting.  My first one didn't work out too well.  My second was a success though, so I used that method on the book I'd especially picked out for my friend.

Try number 2.
This went to my sister in law Rachael for her birthday.

 And here's try number 3, which went to my friend Kim.  The pictures are horrible, but it looks like try number 2 in person.  I just slacked on mailing it and so didn't take pictures until late one night when I MADE myself package it up so I could take it to the post office the next morning.

Some more tweaking needs to be done to my method though because try number 1, which hangs in my sewing area, kind of melted one hot day.   Well, rather, the double sided tape holding the pages together melted.  I think I'll try glue on the next one even though that will increase the time it takes to make one by a LOT, due to the drying factor.

I also whipped up my friend's baby a quick taggie, and some cloth wipes to throw in to the package.
Again, horrible midnight photos.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Around the Urban Homestead

Well, I'm a bit frustrated with our July garden.  I am SO grateful for our new deck.  But in the wake of the building process, I have pots randomly sitting around (which were on the old deck), and a half wine barrel sitting in the middle of my walkway.  Also, the walkway no longer meets the bottom of the stairs, as we extended the stairs out, and I think the A frame needs to be moved to a new place instead of being right in front of the new deck.  Once full beds are now empty as the Spring plants are done.  Lastly, it seems that things should have taken off more by now.  But I do remember feeling this way in years past and then having my kitchen overflowing with tomatoes a few weeks later.  So hopefully I just need to give it a few more weeks.  Anyways, when I look out into it, things look a bit jumbled and chaotic.  But we're in the middle of some exciting renovations so I know this is just the awkward in between stage.
 Here's a shot of our house from the street.  Awkward stage indeed!  There's the wonderful new porch, and Zac's in the process of replacing rotten or broken wood siding and trim in preparation for painting.  You can see the red splotch there on the front.  That's the color we picked.  The HOA is meeting tonight to decide on it.  Our neighbor said they'll deny it, but we're hoping they don't.  I've always wanted a barn red house with white trim. 

 Denver, King of the porch!
The stairs are much less steep than our last stairs, which is WONDERFUL.  They come out further though and I'm wondering how to incorporate them into the "landscape", and what to plant in that corner there to the right.  Its not very accessable.

 We have LOTS of Sunflowers.  Some are in full bloom, some are hanging low and drying their seeds in the sun, and there's lots of buds on the way.  I've been taking them to friends in mason jar vases.  You can't help but smile when there's something so sunny sitting on your counter!

 My friend and her search for fence inspiration, which she posted on her blog, inspired the incorporation of the hog wire on the deck.  I don't think that hog wire had been up for 24 hours before Zac had a blackberry planted against it.

 The deck isn't the only new structure in the front.  Zac took out a section of the fence and built this arbor out of branches from our backyard tree.  He just threw it together one Saturday while I napped.  Crafty guy!  This now gives me easier access to my lower beds and makes watering easier too.  There's a blackberry planted on either side of the arbor.

 The "Big Bed" is doing the best in the garden.

 We have an early pumpkin hiding amongst the zucchini and tomatoes in the Big Bed.  We didn't mean to plant pumpkins in the Big Bed, but surprises pop up here and there when you plant with children.  :)

 Our FIRST red tomato!!!

 The pumpkin patch just above the Big Bed has lots of TINY pumpkins coming on.

 I originally planted the Lower Bed with seeds.....okra, basil, beets.  When few of them took, I started transplanting volunteer tomatoes from around the garden here.  They're doing great in this very sunny spot and are now accompanied by some of Zac's peppers.

 Most of the upper garden is resting.  The peas, green beans, and lettuce that were here in the A frame are now done.

 The Sweet Pea seeds have long been harvested, and their vines have been feeding our compost for a month now.  Left in this bed are a transplanted tomato and zucchini I crammed in the corners when it was overflowing with Sweet Peas.

And the carrot bed is in about the same shape.  All the carrots that were going to do anything have been harvested.  I need to pull the rest of these for Butterfly's dinner one night.  I also think I need to harvest those random onions we planted at the wrong time last year.

I have NO idea what to start in the upper garden in the middle of our July heat.  Suggestions?  I may just load the beds up with Butterfly's fertilizer and let them rest until September when I plan to do Kale, Chard, Spinach, lettuce greens, peas and beans in preparation for the cooler months.

Linking up with
Mama Gone Green
and her July Garden link party.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I haven't blogged in 2 weeks......

......and my sister pointed it out to me.

I know, I know.

She wanted to know why and I really couldn't tell her.  I think its a mix of a few things.  One, we've been very busy as one of those weeks the kids attended VBS.  Two, my energy level is slowing down now that I'm in the third trimester.  There's so many times I just have nothing left at the end of the day.  And Three, we've just been plugging away.  Same old, same old..........and I forget to blog.  I really want to get back at it though.  In the mean time, here's a few pictures of what we've been up to over the last 2 weeks.

 Just when I think Libby has fully settled in to our family, she seems to get even more comfortable.  Zac and I are happy that it seems she's finally learned to sleep on the kids' beds, instead of ours, and we often find her snuggled up with one of the kids like this.  :)

 For the first time ever, we have hired work done on our house.  It is pretty exciting!  Karl has been building a new front deck for us for weeks, while being very patient with our kids' constant vigilance, and many questions.

 Lots of outdoor Summer play.

 Joshua and the story of Jericho has been on the Bible Table.  Here Kian is having his "Bible Guys" carry the ark of the covenant.  Then I think it turned into a car.  Well, hey, glad to see the story was sticking with him before his imagination took over.  :)

 I started another Waldorf doll, with Felicity's help.  Apparently I didn't think it was crazy enough to be working on four quilts, baby pants, and burp cloths.  Gotta add in a Waldorf doll to round out the crazy.  :)

 Zac saw a picture of an adirondack chair made out of wine barrel staves.  I woke up one Saturday morning (after sleeping in) to find him just winging it.  And it looks beautiful!

And of course, school.  We're still plugging away at our Solar System unit.  Schooling in the Summer has been harder than I thought.  There's been so many opportunities to go to the lake with friends, invitations to play, and of course, a full week of VBS.  But we're sticking to it whenever I have the energy.  So far, the unit study approach is working for us pretty good.  But, a lot of stuff has worked pretty good for the first 5 weeks.  So I'm not sold completely yet.  But I'm loving that its OUR schedule and we're going in OUR direction.  Its fun to plug in whatever we want, whenever we want.  Lissy's enthusiasm for school has mellowed a bit lately, and she gets a bit sleepy at the table.  Today I learned that if she has manipulatives, she perks up. 
Note to self!!! 
 We're ALL constantly learning on this journey.  I read a quote from a long time homeschooling mom that said, "If you CONSTANTLY question your approach, your curriculum, your manner of teaching, and your pace, you're a great homeschooling mom.  A good homeschooling mom will never stop questioning."
Good to know!
Guess I'm on the right track then.  Ha!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Butterflies and Space

Zac's sister was in California (home from Oregon) last week and wanted to see the kids.  So we met up in Santa Barbara and took the kids to the Museum of Natural History.  I'm REALLY trying hard to do school with them every day so that when the baby comes in October, I can take at least a month off and not have guilt issues.  The Museum was a GREAT field trip!

 We are currently doing a Solar System unit in school right now.  The museum had a tiny, but very cool planetarium.  The highlight of the planetarium was this globe hanging from the ceiling.  The children could operate the controls and turn the globe into any of the planets, the sun, or our moon.  They could see it rotate and even control how fast it rotated.  On the view of Earth, they could watch storm systems and change it to show the heat of the planet's surface in different locations.  On the screen, they could watch all the planets orbit the sun.  This was amazing because they could SEE how much faster Mercurey orbited the Sun as opposed to Uranus and the other farther out planets.  They could also watch how the Earth orbits around the Sun, but at the same time, our Moon orbits around us, and at what speeds.   It was really fun to hear the kids list off the planets from memory, and hear Logan spout off facts he'd retained. 
"Mom!  There's Jupiter's spot where the big storm is!"

 Our next unit will be on butterflies and the kids can't wait because my friend sent them one of those habitats to house the caterpillars and butterflies in, before releasing them.  Well, the museum had a HUGE butterfly exhibit to walk through.  It was so much fun!  Outside the exhibit, they showed us caterpillars making their chrysalis.  When we went inside, one was just getting ready to form its chrysalis and by the time we came out of the exhibit, the chrysalis was fully done.  I had NO idea they did that so fast.  The kids and I are looking forward to doing our butterfly unit and releasing our own butterflies.

 My butterfly loving girl even had a new Grammy made butterfly dress to wear for the trip.  She was so excited!  We were told not to touch the butterfly's wings, but Felicity SO wanted to hold a butterfly.   She ever so carefully would put her finger next to the butterfly's feet as they sat on flowers.  Most of the time they flew off, but she was determined.  Finally this buckeye crawled on her hand and sat for a while.  She was so excited!  We were given an identification chart and after I showed the kids how to use it, they excitedly did so themselves.  It was so fun to watch even Kian get just inches away from a butterfly, really getting a chance to study it, and then identify it on his chart.

Kian watching a butterfly that sat with Aunt Rachael for a bit.

 The butterflies and planetarium were hits, but the kids also LOVED all the taxidermied animals on display.  There were large halls of mamels and birds which we didn't get as much time in as we'd like.  We hope to take another trip after our butterfly unit, to see the butterflies again, and to take Daddy with us. 
They also got a private tour of a hands on bug display by the sweetest lady who took the time to let the kids handle bugs, and teach them LOTS of interesting facts about them.

And to top off our wonderful day, this sweet girl started thinking pretty deep on our 2 hour drive South.  She started asking questions about heaven and salvation and eventually decided she REALLY wanted to ask Jesus to come live in her heart.  So in the mountains above Santa Barbara, I pulled over, and she and I prayed together.

God is good!
All the time!