Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

So far my Mother's Day has been fantastic! I went to lunch with my family at a yummy seafood restaurant and got to finally eat some scallops. I have been craving them! They hit the spot. Now I'm home relaxing trying to keep up my swollen feet. The boys are outside cleaning my car, inside and out. And the girls are cleaning the kitchen. Soon we will be off to my mother-in-laws for dinner. No cooking for this Momma! :)

I am very thankful to be celebrated on Mother's Day, but I also am happy to be able to celebrate others! First, of course, is my Mom! Anyone who knows her can testify that she has been through her fair share of junk and yet, she never lost sight of being a mother! She has always been there for me... Which is saying a lot! I know I can always count on her! Not only does she continue to be a great mother to me, but she is the best Nana a kid could ask for! I'm pretty sure my kids would live with her if given a choice! :)

Also, I'm thankful for my children! Of course, without them I would not be celebrated today! They have taught me many things in life and I continue to learn from them! I strive my hardest to be the best I can for them! I have learned that you can not just want better for your children, you have to be better for them! I can only hope my example is what it should be.

And last, but not least, I am thankful for my husband. Although, today is technically a woman's day, without him I would not be a mother! Because of him I am a mother to 4, soon to be 5 children! He has made me confident in who I am as a mother on days when I feel I have failed. On days when I feel overwhelmed, he gives me the push I need to continue! Also, because of his determination and strive, I am able to be a stay at home mom. A gift that is truly priceless!

I hope you are able to enjoy today, whether you are being celebrated or are celebrating others! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pregnancy Checklist

So now that we've moved and are all settled into our new house, my nesting has kicked into overdrive! I just want to get everything done right now! I'm 32 weeks and with every braxton hicks contraction I am reminded that the end is actually near!

I have made a checklist specifically of items that need get done before baby arrives to try to help with my anxiety. I find it helps put things into perspective when I write down exactly what needs to get done, instead of just thinking "I have too much to do." Plus, I don't have to keep running things over and over in my mind. I just write it down and then I don't have to worry about forgetting.

Here's my list:
  1. Third Trimester Class - this is a class that is required through my hospital. It talks about all the logistics of what will happen when you go into labor.
  2. Childbirth class - This is completely necessary, but I would like to take a quick refresher course. I'm not going to set if this doesn't happen. I've been doing lots of reading.
  3. Dentist checkup appointment
  4. Pack hospital bag
  5. Install carseat
  6. Plan birth announcements - This way we can just upload pics & details and mail out.
  7. Get a haircut - I always get my haircut right before the baby is due. Not only do I know it will be awhile before I can make it back, but I get it cut shorter so it will be more manageable.
  8. Make list of people who need to know birth details before we make a FB announcement - This may sound silly, but it's easy to get excited and post things without thinking of the people in your life that deserve to know through a personal call or message.
  9. Finish painting the nursery - We are so excited to actually have a nursery! This is our first time being able to decorate one! We are mostly done. 
  10. Buy baby furniture
  11. Wash baby clothes - Even though we don't know the baby's gender I have a small box of neutral clothes that I have used with both of my babies that is perfect to use for the first few weeks at home & while we get the gender specific clothes ready.
  12. Sort baby clothes & wash small load - I have newborn clothes from my babies (boy & girl) that I need to sort according to age so they will be easy to pull out and use once the baby is born. Plus, I want to wash a few that could be used right away.
  13. Maternity photos - Not sure if this will happen either. We would like to, but if it doesn't happen it won't be a big deal.
  14. Have a date night - With everything going on between moving & 3 kids in baseball we have had almost no time alone, besides laying on the couch after the kids are in bed, exhausted from the day. We need to have a little time!
  15. Register with pediatrician - This will make things a lot easier once the baby is born. 
  16. Stock the house - Freezer meals, pantry foods, paper products, cleaning supplies, baby wipes & diapers, nursing supplies. The last thing I want to worry about is going shopping once the baby is here. I plan to just send my husband every week for essentials, like milk & produce. 
  17. Write shower thank-you notes - My shower is one week away! I can't wait!  
  18. Pack diaper bag - to take to hospital

This is what I have for now! If we hadn't just moved then I know that deep cleaning & organizing would be on this list, too. Thankfully I already purged & organized when we moved.

Can you think of anything that I'm missing? What is your advice for preparing for a new baby? Especially a 5th baby!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Goals & March Recap

Here is the recap of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions so far...

  1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - No progress this month.
  2. Plan and stick to a budget - Still going well. We have only used cash and should be completely debt free in 18 months! Woo Hoo
  3. Work out twice a week - This month was not so successful. My shortness of breath got worse & I almost passed out while at the gym. So I only went a few times this past month. But mostly have been doing yoga stretches a couple times a week at home. My shortness of breath was found to be because of low iron, so now that it's under control I am planning on walking.
  4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - Well, sadly there have been no designated dates or family nights. But we have all spent a lot of time together during the moving process.
  5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - While I don't always meet my goal, it has become natural to drink a lot of water. This will be a great habit once baby is born & I'm nursing.
  6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - This has become a normal part of my routine again.
  7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - We moved March 30th!! I went through our entire house & purged a ridiculous amount of stuff! I had already organized my house before we moved, so I knew where everything was going when I packed & unpacked. This house is exactly how I wanted it to be.

**Read HERE how I use checklists to break down my goals & make them more attainable!

Here is my March Goals list recap:

  • File papers at the end of the month.
  • Schedule kid’s physical.
  • Take care of gift returns – Ear buds, Shirt, Watch
  • Get college classes set. - I will be resuming classes in the Fall. I want to be able to focus on our new family & not risk lowering my GPA. 
  • Workout twice a week. - Although, I didn't make it to the gym twice a week due to my shortness of breath, I have been doing some prenatal yoga stretches.
  • Freeze one thing a week. - I did make a large batch of homemade biscuits, but that was all for this month.
  • Make one homemade item a week. - I made biscuits, granola, apple oatmeal, a few smoothies & blueberry muffins.
  • Sell things on Craigslist. - I sold a few things before our yard sale. I made about $205!!
  • Make Easter plans & shopping list. - We went to my Mom's for dinner, which was delicious and relaxing.
  • Buy Easter shopping list. - Thankfully, my mother-in-law went shopping for me. I ended up running out of time. It was such a great help!
  • Set up yard sale. - I had one failed attempt, because of rain. But then it worked out perfect! The kids, my Mom and brother & sister were a great help! We got rid of a ton of stuff and made $250!! It was such a relief to get it done!
  • Declutter & pack Greg’s nightstand.
  • Declutter & pack Greg’s dresser.
  • Fill out change of address form.
  • Notify insurance about change of address. - On the list for this week.
  • Defrost freezer. - This was a lot easier than I expected.
  • Register at Babies R Us. - This was a fun experience! A lot has changed since we've had our last baby!
  • Make all household repairs. - These all got done thanks to my husband & Dad. And because of all their work & my Mom's cleaning we are getting our FULL deposit back!
  • Clean up yard. 
  • Declutter garage. - This was easier than I thought. Every day that the weather wasn't frigid the kids came out & helped. Breaking it up into small sections made it more manageable.
  • Complete March Declutter calendar. 

**Now that my house is in order, which by the way feels amazing, I can focus on getting prepared for baby. So I have made 2 goal lists for this month. One is specifically a baby checklist. I'll post that later this week.

April Goals:

  • Schedule kid's physicals - I will get this done!
  • Returns - shirt, ear buds, watch, shirt, Target stuff
  • Clear off the Flip Camera
  • Write new cleaning schedule for our new house
  • HSA approvals for 2012
  • Clean out van & mat all weather mats
  • File papers from the month
  • Create filing system.
  • Clean up yard - pull weeds, trim bushes, plant 
  • Set up trampoline.
  • Set up swing set.
  • Stock house for baby - freezer meals, pantry items, paper products, cleaning products, baby necessities

Remember, it is hard to accomplish what you want if you are not clear on how to get there. How can you break down your goals???

Friday, March 15, 2013

20 Natural Morning Sickness Remedies

I have always heard that "every pregnancy is different". And I thought I understood that with my last two pregnancies. But boy has this pregnancy thrown me for a loop!

I have literally had just about every pregnancy symptom known.... Headaches, breaking out, sciatic pain, extreme fatigue, sleepless nights, hyper sensitive sense of smell, dry skin, varicose veins, stuffy nose, lots of braxton hicks contractions, extreme heartburn all the time, sore hips & stomach from stretching, shortness of breathe & dizziness, back pain, forgetfulness, etc.

The weirdest symptom I've had was my hearing sensitivity. Apparently, it's caused from the extra fluid & so to me it kinda mimicked having an ear infection. Noise was painful to my ears. It was quite difficult to deal with in my house as you can imagine with 4 kids all fighting to be heard, but it was also quite comical. There would be times when my kids would all be talking to me and I would just cover my ears, while shushing them. When my husband and I would watch t.v. I would make him turn it all the way down. It was literally on 1. Poor man couldn't even hear it and I thought it was still too loud.   

But by far the worst has been the morning sickness. Which, by the way, should be called all-day sickness, at least in my case! I think I tried just about every single remedy possible! Some worked. Some did not. Some helped a lot. Some I couldn't tell, but did it anyway thinking if I didn't I might feel worse.

 I have made it to my 3rd trimester and am no longer dealing with morning sickness! 
As for the other symptoms, I wish I could say the same!

So, here are some of the things I tried. I thought it could hopefully be helpful to someone!

  1. Accept it - If you're feeling like you're going to throw up, just go do it. There is no sense in delaying the inevitable. Normally, once you do it, you feel better. I promise you'll survive. 
  2. Taking Vitamin B6 - Usual dose is 10-25mg. I took 10mg with every meal. This seemed to help a lot.
  3. Rest - The less movement, the better.
  4. Nausea bracelets - These work by pressing your pressure points. These seemed to help a lot! I wore them nonstop for weeks. I was almost scared to take them off. You can buy these at any drugstore for less than $20.
  5. Sniff lemons or ginger.
  6. Eat lemons - I know it sounds crazy, but the acid helps the digestive system. I've actually grown to like the taste. Sometimes I suck on a lemon wedge after a meal.
  7. Take Digestive Enzymes - Take with each meal. This helps regulate your stomach acid and reduce heartburn. These can be for less than $10 at any vitamin shop.
  8. Sip lemonade.
  9. Sip ginger ale.
  10. Eat watermelon - I don't know why, but it was something I read somewhere. When you're desperate you'll do anything.
  11. Eat bananas or pineapple if it is cause from heartburn. - I don't know why, but these foods help.
  12. Eating salty potato chips - They have been found to help settle the stomach, especially right before or in between meals. 
  13. Eating soda crackers - It is a good idea to eat a few about 10-15 minutes before you ever get out of bed. This helped me a lot!
  14. Taking antacids.
  15. Sucking on hard candy - I liked gummy bears.
  16. Preppy Pop candy - These were good to eat before a meal or when random spells would come on. Buy at Babies R Us for a few dollars.
  17. Drink fruit juice - I would sip on apple juice. 
  18. Avoiding smells that make you sick - For me, this was bacon. Bleh!
  19. Don't feel guilty - It is easy to feel guilty, which can cause depression. It's not your fault. You're not faking it. It's not in your head. You do want to feel this way. You will eventually leave the house again. It is only for a time, not forever. 
  20. Remember the end goal and try not to complain 24/7. Stay positive.

Some pregnancies can be really difficult. Especially when you have other children. But remember that you are experiencing something so special and miraculous. You are growing a human for cryin out loud! And it is for only a time, not the rest of your life, though at times it does seem that way. It really will all be over so soon that one day you'll see another pregnant belly & wish you could do it again.

So while it may not be easy... It is definitely worth it!

What was your most difficult pregnancy symptom???