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, August 27, 2012

Felicity's Fifth Birthday Party!

We keep things simple around here for birthdays.  But there are a few special traditions that we look forward to at each birthday celebration.  1) Wearing birthday crowns, 2) a special mama made cake, 3) Felicity usually gets a new mama made dress to wear at her party, and 4) I try to have at least one mama made gift in there somewhere.

Well, obviously I couldn't make Felicity her birthday dress this year.  I told my mom I was pretty bummed about it, and she took it upon herself to stay up till 2:30 a.m. one morning, sewing Felicity her requested yellow birthday dress.  I'm not sure who felt more loved.  Me, or Felicity.
And the cake?  Well, first I was stubborn and said I could sit up in bed and decorate it if Zac baked it.  But as bed rest has gone on, I've realized I have more limitations than I thought.  Even sitting up for long periods of time is against the rules.  Besides, it was never a question to Zac.  HE was going to make her cake.  Felicity requested a pink crown cake, and Zac delivered.

As far as the Mama made gift goes, I'd been working on a twin quilt for her for months.  She's seen me working on it, as such a large gift is hard to hide.  She'd ask if it was for her, and I'd always just respond, "It's for someone very special."  After I went on bed rest, a friend of mine helped me finish it in time for Felicity's party.  More on that later, and better pictures to come once I can get out of bed.  But I think you can see from the pictures below that Felicity felt very special when she opened her quilt and it was finally and officially hers.

So, all the traditions were met this year.  Not in the same usual way, but I think, in a better way.  A way where others made sure Felicity's birthday party was just like any other year, even though things at home are very different.  A way where people put in time, love, and effort, to make sure Felicity had her special day.  A way full of love.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

32 Weeks!

Today I'm 32 weeks pregnant!  This is a weekly marker that would have gone unnoticed if I wasn't on bed rest and thankful for every week baby stays inside.  I've never worried about pre term labor before,  so the passing weeks never meant much more than a passage of time.  Now, I think we'll be excited for every week in a brand new way.

So what did week 31 in bed look like for me?

 I had a bed rest buddy in bed with me ALL day yesterday.  Poor Kian had a fever all day.  Grammy took the older two kids to the beach to play with cousins, but Kian had to stay back.  He felt so miserable, he didn't even care.  Besides, he was thrilled at the thought that he could watch movies on Daddy's computer all day long AND got to choose every single one.  We don't own a T.V. so usually, if the kids get to watch a show, its few and far between, and agreed on by all.  He thought he was in heaven (other than being pathetic from the fever).  :)
 I made 12 of these little felt tea bags for Felicity's 5th birthday tea party that's coming up.  As requested, they're done in purple and pink.  And the "tea" inside is lavender dried from our garden.  And how am I going to throw a tea party from bed?  Oh, I just have the best friends ever, and the best husband ever!  My wonderful friend Cheri is helping plan and execute Lissy's tea, and making sure she feels extra special.  And Zac is there to help in any way he can.
Speaking of wonderful friends, my other amazing friend, Elisa, knew how hard I'd been working to get Felicity's quilt done for her birthday.  By the time I went on bed rest, all that was left was binding it.  Well, I can't make binding or sew on the machine so my sweet friend did it for me!  With the binding sewn on the front, I just need to sit here and hand stitch it on to the back.   Its been a very good use of time, as I'm sure you know if you've ever done binding on a twin size quilt.
Bed rest is going well.  Its easier than I thought it would be, and all of that is because of the wonderful friends, family, and AMAZING husband I have.  However, its not as restful as I always assumed.  I have contractions every day, some clustered close enough that I've almost had to call the midwives and go back in to be monitored at the hospital a few times.  Thankfully in those times, the contractions quit just before I'd have to make the call.  I have them off and on all day, but when they start coming more frequently, my body hurts all over.  I get a restless leg feeling, but all over.  I'll get surges of tingles through my body, and before a contraction my airways and lungs will feel tight.  Those times make me anxious but I try to relax, drink lots of water, and lay flat to fight them off.  It feels like half my body is trying to go into labor, and the other half is trying to fight labor off.  It just makes me feel kind of cruddy.  Some days I'll have stints of those times, other days, I'll feel like that all day.  Very seldomly do I feel my uterus fully relax for any length of time.  But when it does, it feels glorious!  It only took a few days of being inactive for muscles to start hurting so ice packs on my knees, back, and neck are a favorite thing.  :)  All in all, I've stayed pretty positive so far.  I have 5 weeks of complete/strict bed rest total, so I'm sure there will be some frustrating moments, but I am trying my hardest to see the joy in it, which hasn't been too hard so far, and I know that's only from God.  Zac is home now, of course, and won't be going down South to work again.  That in itself is such a have him around.  Add in the fact that he's amazing and has jumped full into the role of single parenting and caring for me, with an amazing attitude....well, I just feel so blessed. 

Oh, and for my own personal record keeping, I lost a pound this week, so now I'm at 147.  How that's possible given my mass Oreo consumption is beyond me.  But I'm sure I'll pack it on now laying in bed all day.  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Play House

Zac built the kids a new play house this weekend.  The electrician that he is, he creatively put electrical spools from his job to use.  Being on bed rest, I haven't seen it, but I heard wonderful things about it from the kids so I sent my sister out to take pictures of it so I could have a look.  Here's the pictures she took.

Cool huh!?  Zac would not like me posting this because he doesn't want any attention or credit.  But I just can't resist.  I think its so cool!!!  He put it in the rabbit run which is the perfect use of space in our tiny back yard.  Now if it would just cool down so the kids had more hours in the day to be out in it without frying.  Hopefully soon!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bed Rest - Day 2


* Wonderful morning snuggles and loving on baby.

* Treasures left behind to make me smile, including a shell that makes music.

* Gatorade moochers.  "One more sip Mama?"

* A very helpful 7 year old boy who made me a cucumber sandwich for breakfast, cleared my dishes, refreshed my water, and brought me needed things, most of the time without being asked....just doing so because he saw the need.

* Laying in bed listening to my girl singing her heart out in my shower.

* Hand sewing up a storm.

* A hard emotional day, which began with a good cry.  Just had to let out a few fears.

* Moving "making a labor and delivery play list" up to the top of my nesting list so that I had lots of encouraging worship music to listen to as I lay in bed.

* A husband who brought home a new little stock pile of in bed crafting needs from his trip to town.

* Being well cared for, and feeling blessed.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

31 Weeks - Bed Rest

Yesterday Felicity and I got in the car and took off for a girls weekend!  We were so excited!  We were planning to drive a good few hours South to my friend Katie's house (whom Felicity Katherine is named for) and have a relaxing weekend of swimming, movie watching, and treat eating to our heart's content.  Lissy was so cute.  She was so excited to go and would say, "We're on the road, Mama!"  Well, it wasn't far into the trip before I was plagued by braxton hicks.  I normally get a lot, so we continued on, though I hoped they'd go away because a long drive with braxton hicks the whole way would be tiring.  A bit further into the trip, the braxton hicks felt different.  It wasn't long before I knew these were no longer braxton hicks, but contractions.  In the middle of no where, I pulled the car over and had to explain to my sweet, excited girl, that we could not go on, could not go see Katie, and must return home.  We both shared a good cry over our disappointment, and then turned the car around.  How hard it must be for such a little one to understand the severity of pre term labor and why it must cancel her special and much anticipated trip.  I felt miserable over it all.

So home I drove, as fast as I could.  We were already about 2 hours into the trip, so had another 2 hours to get home.  On the way, the contractions got worse.  Locked in my seat belt, my whole body hurt, especially my back, and I sweat bullets as my body dealt with the contractions and anxiety.

Once home I laid down and the contractions instantly went down in severity to where they were just braxton hicks again.  I laid in bed and chugged water for hours, and though they stayed just braxton hicks, they never stopped and were just a few minutes apart.  Finally, at the kids' bedtime, enough was enough.  Grammy took the kids to her house to go to bed, and off we went to the hospital.  In the car again, the contractions grew and by the time we got to the hospital, they were rolling pretty good again.  I was hooked up to the monitors where it showed I was in fact contracting, and it also showed baby was just happy as a clam in there, which was nice to know.  The nurses assumed a shot of Turbutaline would knock the contractions out.  So I got one.  The contractions slowed a bit, but kept coming.  So, I had another shot of Turbutaline.  The 2nd shot slowed them a bit more, but still didn't kick them completely out.  So then I was given an IV bag of fluids.  Finally the contractions slowed down enough for them to feel comfortable with sending me home.  Also while we were there, they performed a fetal fibronectin test, which shows if your body is releasing the hormone that tells the body to go into labor.  My test came back positive, which was not what we were hoping for.  I think we were there for 6 hours.  I was sent home at 2ish a.m. with the diagnosis of pre term labor, and orders for complete bed rest. 

So here I am, in bed.  :)  Resting?  Ummmmm.......I'm not so sure about that.  I always assumed bed rest meant it WAS restful for the woman.  Isn't that the point?  I feel like I'm laying here fighting my body.  I'm still contracting off and on so every move I make it quite deliberate.  If a position seems to keep them at bay, I lay in that position past the point of feet falling asleep, etc.  If the contractions start up, I get pretty anxious trying to find a position that helps. 

I could write more about how, in only less than a day stuck in bed, I have been so immensely blessed by the care and love of family and friends, but I'll save those wonderful tid bits for another post as I know this is a bit wordy already.  I just wanted to make sure and record this today, as it is a part of this Sweet Babe's journey to we've never experienced before, one that's not as "comfortable" as we'd had planned, but one we're quite willing to walk until this little one is in our arms safely.

And just because picture less posts are so boring, here's what day 1 of bed rest looked like for a good helping of FaceBook, Pinterest, and blog reading.  :)

Oh, and if you're the praying type, we'd certainly appreciate your prayers!  Personally, I'm praying that my body behaves so well, that I will be allowed off bed rest.  But most importantly, we're praying for whatever is safest for baby, and for baby to stay put!  :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Free Motion Quilting

Yesterday my friend came over with her fancy machine, and taught me how to free motion quilt!  I've made lots of "quilts" in my life, but never a REAL quilt.  I've never done the whole sandwich layers and binding thing.  All my quilts have soft blankets sewn on the back.  I use the turn and top stitch method to attach the blanket to the pieced front.  But for years, I've wanted to learn how to make a real quilt.  Yay for friends willing to help along the way!

First I practiced free motion quilting on scrap fabric, and once I felt brave enough, I free motion quilted these little taggies I'd made.   By the way, these taggies were stash busters, which I've been trying to do a lot of lately.  I'm LOVING the stash busting concept!

After I finished the taggies, it was time to move on to the REAL quilt.....a quilt I've been working on for WEEKS for a very special, very feisty, very amazing, very beautiful, very loved almost FIVE year old girlie.  For over 6 hours I sat at my friends machine, quilting away.  The AC had been pumping full since 10am, but of course, with the temp outside reaching 110 degrees, the house was just under 90.  And I was covered in a quilt.....for 6 hours!  This morning, I awoke to a sore back, a sore neck, sore fingers, and the joy of Lissy's completed quilt top!  Now to learn how to make my own binding and get started on that and THEN I'll show you a picture.  I'm VERY excited!

And P.S. - this very un-techy Mama cleaned up the computer today.  No more ads or weird links!............I think..........

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Apology

Well, yesterday I was looking online for homeschool stuff.  One page asked me to download their document to be able to print a page.  I usually always forget those pages and move on, but, I ignored my normal rule, downloaded the doc, and printed the page.  Well, since then I have ads on EVERY page I view.  My homepage was switched to an ad based search engine, pages such as Facebook and this blog have ads all over the screen so that I can't click on options, and now its embedding links within my blog posts.  So.....if you see words highlighted red in my post, that is NOT a link I added.  I don't know how to undo this, so I apologise.  And on that note, I don't think I'll be posting until I can get this solved.  Suggestions would be wonderful because I am NOT a very technical person at all.
Wish me luck!
Sometimes I hate technology.......................................

The Heat

Its 5:30 p.m.

I just woke from a sweaty nap.  Well, "nap" is a gracious word.  I doze off and on while listening to the kids play. 

I did as much as I could again today, which just doesn't feel like enough.  We grocery shopped in the morning when it was still cool (relative term) enough to be out and about, and we got some schooling done.  I had wanted to clean the whole house.  And do more school.  And cook.  Maybe organize a bit, and sew later.  But oh, this heat. 

The heat has sucked away my entire appetite.  All I want to eat is cucumbers and even they, and my beloved lemon water seem bland in the heat.  I try to eat greek yogurt and drink almond milk and put some cheese on my cucumber sourdough sandwiches to get protein in.  But still, I don't seem to have enough energy to push through the day and get it all done.

Other than my garden, I do not like Summer.  I do not like the heat.  But God must be teaching me perseverance because this is my third Summer in 5 years that I have been VERY pregnant through the brunt of our heat.  :)

Today, even the kids longed for Fall.  Felicity wore jeans, and the boys wore long sleeved shirts even though our AC can only keep the house just under 90 degrees with the outside heat blasting down on it.   Today, tired of planets, we learned about our sweet babe in school.  And I edited pictures in black and white because it just looks colder.  And the kids played inside all day....again...because its just too hot to be outside.  They'd fry. 

 We learned that our baby is 15 inches long now, at 30 weeks.
Honestly, that's a lot longer than I thought.
So THAT explains these strong kicks I've been getting!

We cut strips of fabric to 15 inches long and the kids went in search for other things around the house that were as long as baby.  Kian participated too (in fact he was the one who realized his legs were 15 inches long), but I didn't get pics of him b/c he was just in his underwear at the time.  Can you blame him?

Its now 6 p.m.
Its still over 100 degrees outside.
Its 87 degrees in the house, with the AC running full.
The kids are running laps through the living room and dinning room because they need some way to expel their energy.  I'm trying to be patient with the noise level, and us constantly being locked in the hot house, but at many times through the days, we all reach our limits.
Summer, is when we get cabin fever.

Tomorrow will be much of the same.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Creative Boy

I've always felt like Logan was creative and artistic.  His love for music was extremely obvious by the time he could crawl.  At Bible study one night, our friend started strumming away on his guitar and Logan's excitement could be seen all over his body.  He could hardly crawl, but he made his way across the floor to that guitar as fast as he could make his limbs move.  Lots of two year olds get trucks and tractors for their birthday.  Logan got his first guitar.  I wish we had the money to feed into his love of music.  Maybe one day.  In the meantime, I have always known his creativeness didn't stop there.  I just had a feeling.  But his patience with the creative process was lacking.  He's a busy boy.  :)  Last weekend, Zac was out puttering at his workbench again (he's been pumping out some beautiful stuff!) and Logan went out to putter along side him.  I wondered to myself when Logan would watch his Daddy and move past the helping stage and into the independent stage.  Funny to think that because just a little bit later, Logan came running inside with pride streaming out of him.  "Mom!  Can I PLEASE hang this on my wall?!  I made it MYSELF!  Daddy didn't help me.  I used his tools!"  He held above his head a little hook rack.  He had thought it up, found the scraps, used the tools and paint, and created it all himself.

And its beautiful!

Sometimes its hard to just let Logan be.  He definitely does things better at his own speed.  But usually, his speed is a little bit slower than I expect.  But when we have moments like this, when his pride is bursting out of his ears, I'm glad I've left him alone to grow into tasks at his own pace.
He was so proud.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Face It

On Friday night, after we'd put him to bed, Logan came running out of his room very anxious and excited.  He was holding in his hand his second lost tooth!

And while we're on the topic of cute faces, on Thursday afternoon, the kids had taken the cushions off the couch and were jumping and flipping on them while I cut fabric.  Apparently, Felicity was doing a flip, over rotated, and SLAMMED her poor little face into our side table, right across the bridge of her nose.  Oh did she scream!  And by the time I got to her, her nose was already purple and swollen.  And I could WATCH it swell more.  A few days later, she had two black eyes.  Black rings under her eyes, and dark red rings over her eyelids.  Not to mention a huge swollen nose with a big scab on it.  Poor thing cried when she saw herself in the mirror.  I tried to get a picture of it, but it doesn't do it justice.