Those Last Firsts

When J and I got married we knew we wanted to start trying for a baby right away. We wanted a family but we weren’t sure how many children we wanted yet. I was pretty set on having a large family while J was set on just two or three. I think it’s evident who won that battle!

I was excited about first seeing those red lines pop up on that first positive pregnancy test. And hear our baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Feel the soft kicks and nudges in the second trimester, and the harder more pronounced movements in the third. Holding that sweet baby for the first time and taking in every smell, yawn and adorable face she made…. so on and so forth. What I didn’t anticipate was how I would feel experiencing our last firsts.

Baby Bear will be our last baby, with that comes a lot of last firsts. The last time I would tear up seeing those red lines pop up on the first test I took. The last time I would hear his heartbeat for the first time. The last time I would feel his first kicks and nudges. The last time I would have a pronounced bump for the first time. I didn’t realize how excited and how devastated all of those things would make me feel. Bear is going to be the last baby I hold for the first time, the last baby I smell and touch and kiss for the first time. He will be the last baby I see smile for the first time, hear giggle for the first time, crawl and walk and talk for the first time.

There will continue to be firsts, some that I have yet to experience. But in this period of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to the pregnancy first, and soon after the new baby firsts, then the toddler firsts. I’m not sure where life is going to lead us, or what crazy adventures we’ll have as these babies grow and mature… all I know is that I will always look back and treasure all of the firsts from these stages.

Something I’ve learned after having several babies is that you become so busy with the mundane day to day, the cooking and the cleaning, the kissing boo-boos and reading board books that you don’t realize how fast the time goes by. You don’t realize how quickly those firsts will fly by and you learn to appreciate them just a bit more. So mommas, take a moment to treasure those moments, even if you have to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce those magical moments.

Baby #4 – 24 Weeks Update

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How far along? 24 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 2lbs as far as I know


Maternity clothes? Yep. With some LLR thrown in as well.

Stretch marks? Same old ones I’ve had since Boogie!

Sleep: I had been sleeping well, and while I do sleep I’ve been having some CRAZY dreams so I’m not sleeping restfully.

Best moment this week: Finally feeling Baby Bear move a lot more, and J actually got to feel him once too! This took much longer this pregnancy despite having an anterior placenta every single pregnancy.

Movement: See above 😉

Food cravings: Tacos – from a very specific authentic Mexican taco truck in town. LOL!

Gender: Boy

Labor signs: None.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On, they fit perfectly as of right now. 

What I miss: Not being so emotional. It’s so intense once I get to the middle of the second trimester. 

What am I looking forward too: Holding this sweet boy.

Weekly Wisdom: Stay gazelle intense! (We are doing the Dave Ramsey baby steps lol)

Milestones: Baby Bear is the size of an ear of corn.

How to Survive the Start of the New School Year – Home School Edition

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias

5 Tips for Mom for the New School Year

It’s no secret that we are homeschooling our children, it’s also no secret that we just found out that I’m expecting our fourth child! Needless to say, both of these are exhausting on top of the every day “mom tasks”. We just started our school year, Boogie is starting Kindergarten and Bubby is starting Pre-Kindergarten.

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Starting a new school year is intimidating and exciting all at the same time. You have a huge weight on your shoulders to offer an education to your children and the sense of excitement from you and your children about the upcoming school year brings so much joy! So here are 5 tips on how I survive the beginning of the new school year!

  1. Prepare ahead of time. I like to put together about 2-3 weeks of lessons to get us started, then I can see what works for us and what doesn’t. It also allows us time to be flexible and I can move things around until we find the right fit.
  2. Don’t rush into it, you may not like the curriculum or topics you originally chose. So take your time going over the materials with your children and have fun with it!
  3. Don’t limit yourself to schooling inside! Go to the library, the park, the zoo, the museum, or even your own backyard! One of the best things about homeschooling is the immense flexibility you have to school wherever you wish!
  4. Find a support system. Whether this be your family, friends, or even a home school group. While we haven’t joined a local co-op in our new city yet, I have connected with a group of local home school families on Facebook. Having that place to vent, swap ideas, and plan meet ups is so very helpful.
  5. Start every day with a good protein filled breakfast. I discovered Special K protein shakes and bars, pair these with a good fruit and you are set to start your day. Special K helps fortify you for what’s ahead!

 

I knew I needed to find something to fill my queasy tummy in the mornings and that would also sustain me through our morning chores and then our 2 hour school day. (This is a huge plus in my book for homeschooling!) Even though I’m 16 weeks pregnant, I am still suffering through “morning” sickness, it’s a plague that will not relinquish it’s hold! If I can get a good protein into my system I’m usually good to go, but most end up making me feel more sick.

I was excited for the opportunity to try some of the protein bars and shakes that Kellogg’s® Special K® offer, so I headed over to our local Kroger grocery store to hunt some down. You can find Special K products all over the store, if you head to the breakfast cereal aisle you can find granola bars, brownies and cereals. You can head to the breakfast freezer section to find crustless quiche and healthy breakfast sandwiches. However, I headed to the pharmacy department, you can find the protein shakes and protein bars in the aisle with protein powders, shakes and other miscellaneous items meant for enhancing your health. Special K products were easy to spot with their bright colors and brand labels.

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There are many flavors to choose from, I’m a chocolate girl so I chose a box of Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Meal Bars and a case of Rich Chocolate Protein Shakes. I would have loved to try the Chocolate Mocha flavor (because what’s better than chocolate AND coffee flavors?) but they were out of that particular flavor.

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The protein bars are delicious, it’s really like a candy bar! The inside is a crispy rice bar with peanut butter and then it’s coated in a smooth chocolate. I was so worried about feeling sick after eating one, because normally sweets are not good for my tummy in the mornings. However, after eating this I felt satisfied and ready to start the day. I still felt slightly queasy (but let’s get real, it never really goes away!) but I was able to function. I cleaned my entire kitchen this morning without getting sick!

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The shake was good as well, I like to mix mine with ice to make a more smoothie consistency. The shake is a little thick straight out of the bottle for me, but the taste is really good.

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Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to win a Kroger gift card and head over to Special K Fortify to learn more about their amazing products!

#NourishWhatsNext Special K at Kroger

Validated

I was planning on writing a fun post about our Disney vacation before I wrote any other personal posts, but I think this one needs to be written first. You may have noticed that my blog has been missing a lot of personal posts this past year, year and a half. I’ve written a few here and there, but there was so much going on in our lives that I chose to not post what I really wanted to post.

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Almost 2 years ago we started noticing that Bubby’s behavior was very unlike his older sister’s at his age. We brushed it off because they’re not the same person, they are two very different people and all kids are different! Then, as time went on it just got worse and worse. Screaming fits that would not stop, meltdowns that could last for hours, his loud outbursts, and more…. no one really believed me. No one thought anything was off, everyone said, “Oh, he’s just being a toddler! He’ll outgrow it!”

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Fast forward a bit… this past year we’ve seen more behaviors that confirmed in my mind that something was not right. Bubby was completely potty trained, but going into a public bathroom was (and still is) a nightmare. All the noises of the automatic flushers, the hand dryers…. all of that overstimulated him and he would throw himself on the floor, cover his ears and scream. He would go into these meltdowns over the smallest things at home, and there was nothing I could do to help him, I would sit in the floor and wrap my arms around him and just hold him until his tiny body relaxed into mine…. but even then it could take an hour or more for him to fully calm down. There’s a lot more than that, but if I continued listing the things that we were noticing I might not ever stop writing.

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My fears and concerns were validated this month, Bubby has a sensory processing disorder. A hypersensitivity disorder to be exact. I thought I would be more prepared for an official confirmation of this, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and I was proven right…. because let’s get real, mom’s know. They just know. Processing all of this is hard, my sweet boy struggles with things that other kids don’t. He has to work harder at coping with emotions and things around him than other kids do, and I hate that. I hate that so much.

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When you learn something is different about your child, I won’t say wrong, because there’s nothing wrong with him, your heart breaks. You can’t fix it, you can help them cope with it, but you can’t fix it. You question if you did something wrong, if there was something you could have done differently during your pregnancy or in his infant months that could have prevented this. You question God, you ask Him why He would allow your child to face a hardship like this. But I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that it’s not something that will take his life, I’m thankful that he is healthy and thriving. I’m thankful that we know now what he is going through and that there are things to help him deal with everything.

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So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve not posted very much… this is why. Please pray for us, please pray that during these next few months I can help him cope with this big move, that I can help him learn to handle everything around him and that I can show patience and understanding on the hard days.

Travel Gift Basket Ideas for Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone.#BestSummerMemories #CollectiveBias

Traveling during the summer is something most families do, kids are out for school, the weather is warm and who doesn’t love a family road trip?! My mom and I are taking my kids on a road trip to visit some of our family in Ohio, originally we planned to go next month, but with our big move coming up we had to postpone until Fall. Even so, I decided to go ahead and make my mom a travel basket for Mother’s Day. These are great for short trips, long trips, or even to take down to the lake or the beach! And what better way to fill these baskets, then with the new Coca-Cola™ “Share a Coke and a Song” labeled bottles?!

Travel Basket Ideas for Mom

I found the “Share a Coke and a Song” labeled Coca-Cola products at CVS, you can easily find them in the grocery refrigerated section (which is where I purchased mine), or usually CVS also has a small refrigerated section at the front of the store. I love that at CVS you can find all of your travel needs quickly and easily. Check out the Best Summer Ever Deals at your local CVS. Buy 2 20oz bottles of Coca-Cola products for $3! 

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For this basket, I grabbed two Coca-Cola bottles and two Diet Coke® bottles. For my mom, I filled the remainder of the basket with her favorite chocolates, gum, snacks and some wet wipes for her hands.

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For our actual trip, I’ll make a similar basket and add a homemade CD filled with some of our favorite travel music as well! My mom and I both love to listen to music on our road trips. We may not always listen to the same kinds of music, but you better believe that no matter what we are listening to, you’ll find my mom dancing and singing while she’s driving! I can remember driving to and from Ohio on trips as a kid and my mom blaring AC/DC, Shania Twain, and Michael W. Smith…. could those be ANY more different? But that’s what she likes! If you’re a music lover like my mom and myself, be sure to download the Shazaam app (available on most devices, including Apple and Android devices) and download your Coca-Cola Share a Song.

Some other ideas for your travel baskets for mom could be:

  • Gift Cards for restaurants – you have to eat a good meal at some point!
  • Gas Cards – especially with the up and down prices of gas, a little extra gas money can go a long way!
  • GPS – If your mom is anything like my mom, she is NOT good with directions, a GPS would definitely help.
  • Meds – This could include anti-nausea, motion-sickness, pain relievers, etc. Road trips are fun, but sometimes you find yourself with a headache or getting nauseous on curvy roads. This is a MUST in my opinion!
  • Satellite Radio Subscription – this is a great gift for any music lover.

What other items would you include in your travel basket for Mom? And don’t forget to Share a Coke and a Song with your mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, be sure to let them know how much you love them! They are doing the HARDEST job!

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