December 31, 2013

A New Year

Today is New Years Eve. I actually started working on this post well before Christmas, because I've been thinking heavily about what our new year will bring to both me & my family as well as the things that I want to accomplish. My list isn't actually very long & I suck at keeping any sort of resolution so I am avoiding that this year all together.

In reality, it's more of a reflection of where I want to be & what I want to do. Plans for what kind of person I want to be, things I want to improve on personally, and things I want to leave behind. I took 2013 pretty seriously in some personal goals -- some I achieved, some I failed -- but I want to do the same in 2014. Like I said, not as much of a list as just a general sense of feeling like I accomplished something or became a better person when this coming year ends.

Obviously, a new baby for our family will start the year off with a bang. As I am typing this, he is moving & shifting inside me, and I already find myself growing nostalgic for those moments. This is it. No more babies for us. Ending the year pregnant & hopefully starting the new year with a little one in our arms again. So there's that. I don't need to discuss the magnitude that this holds over our heads and hearts. This is, without a doubt, the largest change that will come my way this coming year, and while I am excited about what will happen, I'm also completely terrified of the same thing. I know we will make the best of it.

I also want to grow a thicker skin. I have a tendency to care too much what other people think about me. It's a HORRIBLE self-esteem issue that I have always carried with me, but this year (finally, at 33 years old!) I'm working on letting it go. I've made some cuts this past year of those who were not supportive in any aspect of my life, or who were just there, getting glimpses of what was happening without truly caring. It's frustrating to spend so much time worrying about the well-being of others when they don't share the same sentiment, and I am tired of getting my feelings hurt because those that I was reaching out to were instead being just plain awful in return. And you know what? Getting rid of them feels good. A weight off my shoulders. Knowing that there is only good in my life now is a great feeling, and I'm happy to carry that into 2014.

Along with that, I'm working to surround myself with more positive people. I can only handle the Debbie Downer attitudes for so long. I've met some wonderful people this second half of the year and built some great relationships. I need positivity and happiness in my life, especially with all the changes coming our way. I want to surround myself with good, not negative. It doesn't mean I care any less about what is happening in close friends lives, and lord knows we all have our bad days, but as someone who is working to be a more positive person overall, I need to surround myself with the same. Most of the people cut from my life this past year were some of the most negative people I have ever met, who seemed unable to find the good in their lives, even though everybody else could see it. People who couldn't appreciate even the smallest GOOD thing happening to them. 

Aside from personal feelings & such (I know, I know), we have a very big move happening this year. I haven't mentioned where yet because I don't want to jinx it, but I have mentioned it in small doses here or there in other places. It's big. Huge. Monumental. A move that is going to provide our family with adventures that most people only dream of. As soon as thing are a little more official (hopefully in the next week or two), I will be shouting it from the rooftops, but there is so much excitement in our family about the opportunities that will be provided to us in our new location. All I can say is that the trade off for not going to Georgia has been very, very good. I cannot WAIT to share all the new adventures that we will be taking part of. I promise you won't want to miss it.

Allllll of that aside, personal feelings and positivity and all the zen feelings in the world, there are of course other things I want to focus on.  More drawing. More photography. Better myself at both. More time with me and my husband alone, without kids in tow. Decluttering of our house and living a more minimalist lifestyle. Better financial budgeting for our family. More time for MYSELF so that I don't lose who I am and what I want to do. And overall, being HAPPIER with the choices that I have made in my life.

There definitely isn't a manual on how to achieve all of these, but lord knows I'm going to try my hardest. All in all, I just want to be a better, happier person who surrounds herself with happier people, who challenge me, push me, love life and appreciate the things that have been given and provided for them. Less negativity. More awesomness.

Happy New Year, friends!

December 30, 2013

38 + 4

The home stretch. That is where we are at. As of today, we are at 38 weeks, 4 days.

Truth be told, I'm nervous & slightly terrified. Excited, yes, but also just a whole bundle of nerves. Braxton Hicks contractions have been regular and pretty frequent, and things seem to progressing on their own which never really  happened with Lucas. So I know this is going to be difference. I HOPE it's different. But with that comes that unknowing.

I'm officially ready for this sweet baby to come. I am uncomfortable in pretty much all positions, not really sleeping, peeing 10 times a night and generally just ready to get this show on the road. I don't know how much more preparing we can do (although I keep finding things) and when the time comes, it's going to be a frantic dash regardless.  Unless I go two weeks late, which good lord, I hope is not the case.

My mental state has gotten a little chaotic. Essentially, all I do is clean. If one thing is out of place, I freak out. I don't want to come home to a messy house, already being behind on household chores, so I've gotten a little crazy about being organized. I wouldn't call it nesting ... just a general sense of crazy. I can admit that!

With all of that said, I don't really have much more to report. We just wait, and every day wonder if today will be the day that this sweet baby comes. Friends are lined up & on standby. Bags are packed. Hospital registration is taken care of. It's just a matter of time.

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

December 18, 2013

Salt Dough Ornaments

In an effort to do more things with the kiddo in the coming weeks, I snagged an idea from another friend & decided to make some salt dough ornaments for Lucas to paint. And, because one batch of dough makes more ornaments than he would have needed, we decided to invite some friends over!

Because nothing is more fun than watching toddlers try to paint, amiright? (Insert sarcasm here!)

The recipe was pretty simple:
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 (ish -- give or take) cup of water 
Combine the salt and the flour together, and add water little by little until the dough is well mixed but not sticky. If you feel like it's too sticky, or you added too much water, add a little more flour. The consistency doesn't have to be equally half & half but don't go crazy!

Then, roll it out, bust out your favorite holiday cookie cutters, and go to town! Because we are making ornaments, I used a straw to make a hole for ribbon when all was said and done. You want to bake these on a LOW temperature for a long amount of time; I cooked mine on 200 degrees for 3 1/2 hours. At three hours I pulled them out to check, and the back sides were just a tad soft in the middle so I flipped & cooked for another 30 minutes. When they were done, I put them on some cooling racks & they were perfect!

My girlfriends came over & we busted out the paints for the three little ones to have some fun with. I have to say, it was a blast. The kids enjoyed themselves & played well together after they were finished. For me, it was one of the best mornings I've had in a long time. With so many of our friends having moved away this past year, my inner circle has shrunk significantly, and with not working my adult interaction is typically limited to my husband and my husband alone. I love the guy, but sometimes you just need some time with the girls. It was nice to chat with some other moms about absolutely nothing and just enjoy the company.

And the kids truly did have a great time, which was the whole purpose of the morning! Lucas loves to finger paint, but had never used paint brushes before. As a wannabe artist, I have to say I was proud at how quick he took to it. Like a fish in water! We painted quite a few, and  may have to send one or two off to grandparents for their trees next year. But it was truly a great morning. A super easy craft that took no time at all to prepare for paired with great company -- what more can you ask for?!

December 16, 2013

Last Moments

A couple of nights ago, Lucas woke up around 1:30/2:00 in the morning with a seriously wet diaper. Well, he never fully woke up, but after about 45 minutes of random fussing, I finally went in to check on him. I reached under him to do a quick feel & he was soaked. At first I thought from sweat, because we had him some fleece footie pajamas, but nope -- wet diaper. Something that hasn't happened in over a year.

Cue quick diaper change, pajama change and some rocking in the glider to get him back to sleep. New pajamas, a blanket, his head resting on my arm & his arms tucked into all the right places, in an instant I was completely overwhelmed with just how BIG my baby had gotten. Where did the time go? As I was rocking him, I could feel new baby kicking away, awake and alert, and I thought to myself, this is all going to change so quick.

I love rocking Lucas to sleep. We don't do it so much anymore, because it's not as needed. Nor does he really want it at night before bed like he used to. Our nighttime routine has gone from rocking for a while to straight into the bedroom & into the crib, otherwise he thinks it's playtime. To say that I miss that chance to be close to him every night is a huge understatement, so while I dread the nights where wake-up's are involved, I love every moment that I get to snuggle him a little tighter than I normally would get to. My boy is a rough and tumble kind of kid, and when he is awake, it is go go go throughout most of the day. So I cherish any chance -- even at 2am -- to just sit there and hold his sleepy little body.

As we have prepared for the arrival of number two, it's becoming more important to me to spend quality time with Lucas. I have to admit, it's getting harder and harder as we near the end, as there are days where getting off the couch proves to be more difficult than you would think. We are also changing up some routines a little bit, involving dad more in things that usually I only do, so that when baby arrives, it's not a sudden change in every time (for example, I put Lucas to bed every night. It's always been our thing because of M's schedule in the past, and something we just continued. But now we alternate nights, because there will be times when I just can't do it because of the newborn). I'm planning more activities in these last weeks, and doing my best to just BE PRESENT as much as I can. I admit that it's hard, when all I want to do is sleep, but it's also important so I'm trying my best.

It's an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. Our hearts are so full with so much love, and it's incredibly hard to believe that there is room for one more in that space. Lucas changed my life in so many wonderful ways, and despite normal challenges in raising a newborn/baby/toddler, he's a truly wonderful, smart, well-behaved kid. We are proud of what he is becoming already, the strides he makes every day, and we cannot wait to see what comes in the future. M & I have been discussing quite frequently how this is all going to change & while quite honestly, nothing will really prepare us for it, we do find some peace in how sweet our child is. True, we have our bad days just like the good days, & most of this frustration just comes with being a parent and being a toddler. It's a balancing act we are constantly working on. But man, I cannot tell you enough how lucky we feel. I don't worry one bit about how Lucas will transition with a new baby in the house. We will have our moments, and our days, as we figure out a new routine, & maybe I'm a little naive for thinking that we might have an easier time than others. But he is pretty awesome, and I am loving our time together in these last weeks.

I have had this crazy urge the past few days to just get as many things done as possible, because I don't want to miss out on moments with M & Lucas, ESPECIALLY with Christmas being next week. I have been a woman on a mission to get everything in order for baby's arrival, bags packed for me & Lucas, car seat ready, bassinet good to go, and as many other random things organized around the house as possible. I'll be 37 weeks this week, and while I may be pregnant another five weeks (god I hope not), the reality is that this kid could come at any time. I'm feeling nostalgic for things that haven't even happened yet, and I want this Christmas to be one to remember. I don't want to be stressed out these last weeks with all the things that need to be done. So, I'm just doing them. My husband probably thinks I'm crazy, but when I check the last couple of boxes off  my list this week, I'll be happy to just sit back, relax & snuggle with the guys as much as possible.

December 12, 2013

36 Weeks

Thirty-six weeks, y'all!

Whoa. I don't even know where to begin. I can't believe that we are in the final stretch.

Overall, I feel pretty good. It's crazy to think back to this point with Lucas & remember how miserable I was. I was in so much pain, depressed & overall just ready to be done. This time around, aside from a brief run with some sciatica & muscle/joint issues on my left hip (THANK YOU, Chiropractor!) I feel good. I have FELT good. No pain. No massive swelling of everything (not even a little.) I'm sleeping better (although pregnancy insomnia sucks.) Overall, this has just been easier, which for that I am grateful.

One would think that since I'm not working this time around, things would have been a little more rough when it came to it all. Working was easy. Sit at a desk all day, come home, sleep. This time I'm chasing a toddler around, running errands, cleaning the house, planning play dates, and overall being much more active than I was while I was pregnant with Lucas. But maybe all the extra activity (plus the ability to go to the gym on occasion, which I couldn't do with Lucas because of the extreme pelvic pain) is what makes this all easier. Who knows.

With that said, I'm still ready to be done, although we are now in that waiting game of not really knowing when we will get this show on the road. This kid could be here next week, or it could be here six weeks from now. When all was said and done with Lucas, I was two weeks late.

This time around, I'm hoping things go a little smoother, even earlier than planned for multiple reasons. For the most part, we are ready to go. Clothes have been washed & put away through three months & things that were borrowed out to friends have all been returned. The bassinet MAY be temporarily holding some laundry that needs to be put away (I'll get there!) & some amazing real life & twitter friends gave us some amazing gifts because I didn't have a baby shower. My cousin loaded us up with some extra clothes, another cousin is sending newborn cloth diapers and the car seat is being dusted off this weekend ... all in all, I think we are ready. Or as ready as we will ever be.

Because of our move next summer, we didn't do a nursery. It didn't really make sense to decorate a room when we would just be leaving it behind, so this one sort of doesn't get his own space until we get to where we are going, but that's fine.

So there we have it. I can't wait to meet this sweet little baby.

December 3, 2013

Holiday Giveaway!

I've  mentioned before on here, but don't talk about it often -- I am a Consultant for Jamberry Nails. I LOVE the company and what it is doing for me & my family, and we have some great new products available from Jamberry that I am absolutely in love with (aside from the nail wraps). So, in the spirit of the holidays, I want to do a giveaway!

What is Jamberry?
Jamberry Nails are vinyl adhesives you can apply in your own home in fifteen minutes for less than $4 an application. Lasting up to two weeks on your fingernails and up to six weeks on your toenails, these heat activated beauties are sure to become a staple in your wardrobe. Jamberry is made in the United States (Utah!), does not test on animals, is Vegan friendly & Gluten-free and all around a GREAT product.

What else does Jamberry offer?
Jamberry also offers a line of high quality Nail Lacquer for those not necessarily loving the idea of nail wraps (I admit, I was a nail polish fanatic before Jamberry!) They are "5-FREE" which means there is not a trace of any of the following toxic chemicals in them: DBP, Formaldehyde, Toulene, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor!

Better than regular nail polish & longer lasting, these nail lacquers are perfect for the ever trendy statement nail, pesky pinky toes, or under any of our clear nail designs. Check out all the available colors here:

The Indulgence Jamberry Hand Care (which is what I am giving away!) is a 3 piece biotin infused hand care system that will help you Buff, Nourish, and Quench your way to a state of serenity, all while keeping your hands looking and feeling beautiful. It comes with an exfoliating Sugar Scrub, Moisturizing Hand Créme & a Hydrating Balm!
BONUS: Cleanse Daily Use Hand Soap included.

I have tried this product and it is FANTASTIC! What a great gift for yourself or a loved one! 

SO! What do you think?? There are a few ways to enter, all below in the rafflecopter, so do what you need to do! This is a fabulous product and I am so happy to give it to someone for the holidays! Tweets can be sent daily! The contest will run until December 11th & the product will be delivered in time for the holidays. 

Good luck!!

*NOTE* The third option should say "like my Jamberry page on Facebook" ... it says that when I edit it, but not sure why it shows up so weird on the rafflecopter. But that's what it's for!  

*NOTE #2* This giveaway is coming out of my own pocket! Jamberry is not supplying the product for me. Just so ya know. Logistics and all! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway