Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's a...

Alexys wanted to share that she was right, baby #3 is a.... 

Yup, Alexys & Addyson are going to have a baby sister! 

Alexys & Addyson had a ton of fun with the balloons I got for them. I was hoping to have a cute announcement with them but unfortunately, I didn't get very many good pictures. It was still worth it though! Alexys has been sick all week so it was nice to see some energy from her. "Mom! I LOVE the balloons!" "Isn't this great mom!?" "Mom, don't I need some cake to go with the balloons?" "Mom, it's my birthday!" I guess I shouldn't get her balloons too often or she'll think it's her birthday all the time! ;)   Addyson couldn't seem to hold onto her balloons so they were always looking up at them on the ceiling! 

Here are a couple more cute videos to enjoy :)  The 2nd video is more of a blooper...*silence...."what?"....* :) We went through a LOT of attempts to get a video of her saying "girl". 

I guess every last hope that I had in old wives tales is out the window!  I have learned personally that little sickness does NOT mean it's a boy ;) I guess nothing is completely official until baby is born buuut... I'm guessing that the ultrasound tech knows what she is doing & knows girl parts when she sees them, hopefully! ;) 

We are very excited to welcome little miss Natalie Marie into our family! She won't be born on Christmas day, as her name means, but we did announce her pregnancy last Christmas! We already had her name picked out but it seems to fit perfectly :) 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ultrasound Pictures

My mid-way ultrasound was done this morning. Everything is looking great! Baby's heart rate was in the 150's.  We decided to have the gender written down and save it for date night on Thursday. Baby was SO curled up, I was worried the tech wouldn't see the gender. Fortunately, 5 seconds after she turned the screen away from us, she was printing off a picture, writing it down, and sealing the envelope :) I thought I could wait 2 days to open it, no problem. I don't know what I was thinking. This is killing me!! I was secretly hoping the tech would slip or that Jayson would change his mind. Nope. Hasn't happened. And so we wait! Alexys says girl. Everyone else seems to say boy. I have no idea and I might have gray hairs by the time we find out!

I will most sure to reveal the "top secret" sometime Thursday night :) Here's some pictures of baby in the meantime! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Etsy Update

My brother & sister-in-law, Nate & Lauren, have been visiting this week from California. I also started sewing again this week. Needless to say, it's been a busy week! I quickly realized all over again what it is like to REALLY be tired!

After Christmas, my Etsy inventory was running pretty low. Being newly pregnant and busy with the holidays, the new year was a good time to take a break from sewing for a little while. Taking naps with Alexys is one of my favorite things to do and I got plenty of those in! 

As much as it was nice to have some "down" time while the girls were napping, I started getting the sewing itch back. Looking at all the cute fabrics would kill me!! Not to mention I needed something to help me feel more productive & motivated again. I don't know about everyone else, but I start to feel sluggish when I'm not working on something and taking too many naps, meanwhile watching myself get "fatter"!  After giving it some thought, I decided that now would be a good time to sew enough to restock my inventory on Etsy and give it a whirl until baby comes, to see if it could be profitable at all. I don't imagine I'll profit a lot off of it, but even if it's enough to pay for Alexys' dance class, or some of the extras, that would be worth it!  

I can't imagine after baby #3 comes that I'll ever have any free time again, so this could be my trial run, and my only run ;) 
a few of my new, fun girly prints :)

The idea sounded easy enough, just restock Etsy. Oh boy, it's a lot more work than I thought! Even though all my current products are easy enough to make, to make a bunch of everything still takes a lot of time!! Even though I have nap time, and possibly after the girls go to bed (if they go to bed on time!), it doesn't feel like enough time to get done as much as I want to. It doesn't help that I also want to make a bunch of gifts for my friends with kids and having babies AND stuff for my girls and our coming baby. SO, I'm just doing what I can a day at a time and will hopefully have enough inventory to relaunch Schweper's Stitches by April 1st! 
Prefold burp cloths-SO easy but adds SO much!

I'm restocking again on activity bags & crayon rolls. I'm also working on prefold burp cloths & minky burp cloths. Hopefully some car rolls and reusable snack bags.  I still have some children's aprons and hand warmers. Once (if) I get all that done, I will get some new ideas to work on.  Feel free to send ideas my way if you'd like :) I might not have time to start on a lot of new things, but I also want to make things that are of interest to others. 

**Sorry for the bad pictures. I promise when I am ready to post on Etsy, I will have better presentation and picture quality! :) **

Check back soon for more pictures *hopefully* and a family update! <3

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All about Baby #3

Announcing our bun in the oven!

Back in November, we found out we are expecting baby #3! Due date is July 27,2013. It seems like I've been pregnant forever, yet it is going by so much faster than my first two pregnancies. I'm so busy with my girls and have had very little sickness, so it's often easy to forget that I'm pregnant! I can't believe that in only 2 weeks we have our mid-way ultrasound & can find out the gender! 

This pregnancy is SO different than my last two. So yes, I do sort of believe the old wives tale that I am probably having a boy. With Alexys I craved skittles. With Addyson I craved white sprinkled donuts, soft serve ice cream and Mc Donald's coke. With this one, I crave everything. It's always changing though. One day all I want to eat is peanut butter bagels. Another day it's chocolate shakes. One day I craved a Milky Way, the next day Jayson bought me another and it didn't sound good anymore.  I go back and forth between salty and sweets (so that old wives tale isn't really helping much! Before my first ultrasound, I seriously wondered if I could be having twins, 1 boy & 1 girl!) Right now I love potato chips and am leaning more toward salty food, so maybe it is a boy after all ;)  But seriously, all I want to do is EAT. So even aside from the old wives tales, that also makes me think it just HAS to be a boy! 

Surprisingly, in the first 16 weeks of this pregnancy, I've only gained 3 lbs. (You would never know by looking at me) Before this pregnancy, I weighed a little less than my pre-pregnancy weight with Alexys. (yay!) Now, at 16 weeks pregnant, I am the same weight that I was before Alexys but yet my stomach is much bigger! It amazes me how different my body can be at the same weight. I don't love watching my belly grow bigger and bigger at a much faster rate with this pregnancy, but seriously, I also cannot wait until I actually look pregnant and not like I've just eaten too many donuts (even if I have..) 

16.5 weeks pregnant with baby #3
I have to laugh when I think back to my first pregnancy. I was so excited and I wanted to show so badly. At my 11 week ob appointment, I wore maternity jeans b/c I was so excited even though I clearly didn't need to yet. Now, I try sucking in so that my belly ISN'T so big and am trying to put off maternity clothes for as long as possible. Honestly though, now I just buy bigger normal clothes. Maternity clothes are not flattering, unless  you have plenty of money to spend on them (then maybe), which I definitely do not. 

Our ultrasound is on Tuesday February 26. We have decided to find out the gender. However, we are going to have the ultrasound tech write it down in a card, have it sealed up, and wait until date night that weekend to open it privately. Once we find out and share with family, I will make sure to let everyone know ;)  

So what do you think? Will we be having a boy, Enoch David? Or a girl, Natalie Marie? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Moments to Remember

Five minutes after waking up Alexys says "Hey Mom, there's a man coming over today." I ask her who and she says "Oh just a man. He's bringing me a Hello Kitty cake."

Alexys wanted me to stay in the bathroom with her while she was pooping b/c she didn't want to fall in. Suddenly she yells "Mom, there were two! It had babies!"

I was straightening my hair and she says "Mom, be careful! That's really hot. If you get an owie, you will fall backwards into the bath tub and that's going to be a bad owie."

I asked Alexys what she wanted to do today. "I want to go to the library, ride the horsie at the mall, and play with Hayla. That's all."

Alexys has been in a ballet/tap dance class for a few weeks now and she LOVES it. It is such a drastic difference from her gymnastics class. At gymnastics, she didn't usually participate and she would scream and run around a lot. At dance, it's the same 8 girls every week in the class that are the same age and she participates and is catching on quickly. Every week as she is walking out of class, she says "Mom, I want to go to dance class!" And then she talks about it ALL week. Her dancing around the house has become more ballerina like & I like that she has learned to tip toe there so she doesn't go stomping around the house :)  Now I quietly hear her saying "Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe..." 

I can't believe how grown up Alexys is but she is SO fun & I love listening to her talk and watching her imagination play out. She loves playing hide and seek, but will jump out and yell "here I am!" before you even have a chance to look for her. She loves letters and when she sees signs she yells "Look Mom, there's letters!"  She associates each letter with different objects, more than knowing what the name of each letter is. The other day she was playing with her letter blocks and found 3 I's. She was so excited, "Here's 3 ice creams, mom!" Whenever she sees an "A" she says "It's my name!" I think she can identify the beginning letter to every extended family member and all her favorite things. We're working on the letter names but in the meantime I'm enjoying this beginning stage and how cute she is :) 

The age has hit where we need to be much more careful with how we talk around Alexys and the emotions we show. She repeats things we wouldn't want her to and the wrong tone can send her into hysteria. She is very perceptive. There have been a couple times that I have cried and she talks about it for days or weeks. My phone was stolen at the post office about a month ago when Alexys was with me, and after having a bad morning already and extra pregnancy hormones, I started crying. When we got home, Jayson & Alexys went to get a new phone. The rest of the day, and sometimes still, Alexys will talk about it. "Hey Mom, remember when you lost your phone and you cried? I got you a new one! A pink one! Do you like it?" She heard me mad on the phone the other day and when Jayson got home she said "Dad, mom was crazy! She was on the phone and mad!"  It is very humbling and a good heart check when I realize the way my daughter perceives things and how they affect her. 

Addyson is our goofball. She loves to find accessories to wear and will walk around the living room smiling, knowing she is being cute! It is anything from bead necklaces, sunglasses, my old glasses, my shoes or Alexys' boots, hats that are way too big. She is almost making silly faces or noises and loves getting a big reaction. When I get her up from her naps, she usually has her face planted into the mesh of the pack & play and loves when I put my face on the other side of it to give her a kiss. She LOVES giving her wet, sloppy, open mouthed kisses and will give you a hug almost any time you ask for one. She thinks zorbets (or raspberries) are the funniest thing and loves giving them to Alexys. I try to get videos of her, but of course she stops doing whatever she is doing by the time I start recording. 

Addyson is also our climber. She climbs anything and everything. Keeping up with her is exhausting, to say the least! We are working on "no touch" and "no climbing" but there are some places (like the computer desk and kitchen table) that are taking MUCH longer to teach her not to climb. I have quickly learned not to keep any burning candles, sharp objects, important papers, or sewing stuff on the table. Her newest climbing spots are up the bunk bed ladder and up my headboard. Even when she falls, she doesn't learn! She just keeps doing it. She loves the thrill. When you tell her not to fall, her smile gets bigger and she can't contain her excitement. Fortunately, with how busy Addyson is, she also needs a lot of rest! She still takes 2 naps, the afternoon nap being 2-3 hours and a lot of nights it's hard keeping her up until bedtime b/c she's so tired. 

Alexys & Addyson have been getting along a lot better lately, since Addyson is old enough that they can play together better. But with that also comes more fights now that Addyson is also old enough to put up a fight when a toy gets taken away from her or she doesn't get her way. It can get interesting (& overwhelming!) but hopefully soon they will figure it out and I'll have less fights to break up! It's really cute to watch the girls hug & kiss throughout the day. Or to watch the girls walk together, with Alexys' hand on Addyson's back. Every once in awhile, Alexys will share one of her lambs with Addyson (It is a huge honor for Alexys to share one of her lambs!) They always want to sleep together but that just doesn't work b/c then they don't sleep! At nap time, they need to be completely separated. Now at bed time, I put them to bed at different times (which may or may not always work!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

I have a sign hanging in my kitchen that quotes the above quote. I like the quote...but honestly, I hate sticky floors. I hate messy kitchens. I hate laundry piles and dirty ovens. I am not the neatest person you'll ever meet, I'm not very good at dusting and washing the windows. But throughout the day, I am always cleaning. I do the dishes as I cook and bake. I put things away in-between everything we do. I can NOT leave the house when it is messy. I can't stand having an un-vacuumed floor.  I'm crabby when the house is messy, especially when I've already cleaned it once that day.  

I love a clean house. I feel so content when there's no mess, no clutter, and everything is in its place and candles are burning. 

The problem is, I too often focus on cleaning. I'm always doing the dishes and saying , "Just a minute Alexys, I'm almost done." I clean while the girls are eating breakfast. I clean while they're watching a movie. 

I hate cleaning. But I can't help but do it all the time. I try to let it go for half a day and focus on the girls more, but then I end up overwhelmed at the bigger mess that I have to clean up later. (Where the mess comes from with just 2 small girls & in a small place is beyond me, I can't even think about what the mess will look like in a bigger place with more kids!!)

For awhile, I really thought that it was okay for me to clean up while the girls were doing something like eating or watching a movie. But lately I have realized, they like it when I sit with them at the table. They like to just be with me and cuddle on the couch while watching a movie. They like to know that I am focusing on them and giving them my full attention. 

The other day, our house was a disaster. I mean, almost messier than it's ever been. Jayson was working and Addyson was napping and all I wanted to do was clean. Meanwhile, all Alexys wanted to do was dance. She kept asking "Mom, come dance with me? Hold my hands!" The first couple times, I said "hold on Alexys." (I was doing the dishes) She kept asking. I started thinking about it & realized that these were the moments with my daughter that I would look back on and miss. The moments when all she wanted to do was dance with me. And I realized that I did NOT want to look back on these moments with regret, knowing that I passed them by because a clean house was more important than dancing with my daughter. 

So we danced. For about an hour. Holding hands, dancing around the living room. 

Of course, she had on her princess dress. She loves wearing it. She loves twirling and watching her reflection in the TV. She let me get a couple pictures at the end :) 

I think it is important to maintain a clean house, but not at the expense of my children.  They already grow up so quickly and I don't want them to grow up thinking that a clean house was my top priority. Wanting to do children activities all day already doesn't come naturally to me, so being obsessed with cleaning doesn't help anything. I want to WANT to dance with my girls, read them books, play play-doh and color, and take them to the playground. I want to stop rushing through these things (or not doing them at all) because I'm thinking about the cleaning or other tasks that needs to be done. 

In the story of Mary & Martha in Luke 10:38-42, I am Martha. I'm so busy doing all these things, but not taking to time to stop and listen and spend time with those around me.  It is my prayer that my heart would be changed and that I can find a balance. That I can be ok with a less than clean house. That I will slow down and ENJOY my family. 

Today, I want to DANCE. 

I invite you to join me...put down whatever you are doing and dance... with your spouse, your children, with your friends, or with yourself :) The cleaning will be there tomorrow (I know, that wasn't assuring to me for awhile either, it sounded awful)...but today will pass by and your kids will grow up and you will not get these moments back. Just the memories. So let's make them beautiful! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How YOU can help Nico

Remember sweet Nico??? Our family has been praying for him for awhile now and that a family would step up to adopt him. And praise God, THEY HAVE!! The McIntee family has committed to Nico and are working SO hard to raise all the adoptions costs and get to him as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Nico is in a region that requires 4 trips and the estimate for their total costs of Nico's adoption is $54,000.God has been opening doors and moving mountains for the McIntee family, but the financial aspect is still a huge mountain standing before them.

SO,  here are some ways that YOU can help!!  <This is Kara's blog <This is their families FSP on Reece's Rainbow, both of these websites are important if you want to help, need more information, or want to stay updated :) 

1. Please PRAY. 
God has led the McIntee family to Nico and He will make a way for them to get there and raise the money. Kara's family believes that and so do I. But please pray that God would show them the way, that the process would go smoothly and quickly, that God would sustain Nico and keep him healthy and loved while he waits, that the fundraisers would be successful and that the McIntee's would stay encouraged through this long road. 

2. iPad giveaway. (click here to view)
There is an iPad giveaway going until October 31. For every $5 donated, you get an entry into their giveaway. The grand prize is a 16 gb wi-fi iPad. There is also a strider balance bike, a Baby be Blessed doll, a starbucks gift card, and a drawing by Nico's future big sister that will be given away! You can donate to their Reece's Rainbow FSP (here) or to their pay pal widget on their blog. They have access to the pay pal widget money NOW for current costs and they will have access to the FSP money when they receive travel dates. Make sure that if you donate and want to be included in the giveaway, to LEAVE A COMMENT ON KARA'S BLOG!! (Especially if you donate through Reece's Rainbow, Kara will NOT know about your donation UNLESS you tell her!) If you donate to their pay pal widget, you will get double entries!!  You also will get a free entry for sharing about the giveaway!  If you still have questions, please feel free to ask me or Kara!!

3. Amazon orders. 
A lot of us love to shop & order things online a lot, especially through Amazon. The amazing thing is that if you click on the Amazon link on the right side of Kara's blog, and THEN place your order, Kara's family will get a percentage of your purchase. How easy & awesome is that!? The only thing you have to do is visit Kara's blog, click on the Amazon link, it takes you to Amazon and you place your order like you normally would! Please note, that items ALREADY in your cart do NOT count. You need to add items to cart AFTER clicking on the link from Kara's blog. 

4. Buy coffee!!
I would say "Who doesn't love coffee?!" but unfortunately, I don't. BUT I know that I am part of a very small minority that doesn't! Click on this link here and go buy some coffee!! Proceeds from each purchase will be donated to Nico's adoption. AWESOME!! 

5. Down syndrome awareness bracelet giveaway
This beautiful bracelet has been donated & for a $10 donation, you can have a chance to win it! Once there are 20 $10 donations made, a winner will be drawn! You will need to notify Kara if you have donated and want to be included in this giveaway!!

There are SO many ways to help the McIntee family. If there isn't one that interests you, you can still just make a donation to them, pray for them, and share the giveaways to reach more people! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. 
Let's rally around the McIntee's & help bear the burden and make their load lighter.