Friday, October 21, 2016


To my little firecracker:

Two years ago today you arrived on the scene quickly and without much drama. You are constantly cracking us up with the things you do and say. At two years old, you know what you want and you have no qualms with glaring / throwing generally unpleasant looks towards whomever or whatever has displeased you. You are independent, strong willed, and sassy.

You are also tender and gentle. You almost always have a baby doll with you and are drawn to basically any animal--bug or otherwise. If you notice someone is upset you show them much empathy and concern.

Your brother is still one of your favorite people. You think he is hilarious and you are always mimicking his antics. That's not to say you don't like to keep him in check--one of your favorite past times is putting a toy or your foot on his seat when we are driving because you know it makes him batty.

I am so excited to see you in your role as a big sister. I have no doubt that you will be gentle, loving and sweet to your new brother or sister in the same ways you are gentle, loving and sweet to your big brother.

Our lives are better for having you in them. We are so blessed to be your parents. We can't wait to see how you use your gumption and empathetic attributes as you grow. Never lose your spark, Baby Girl. We love you beyond comprehension. Happy second birthday.

Mom & Dad

Thursday, October 20, 2016

i'm ready, i am

Well, it took much longer this time around... but I am finally more done with being pregnant than I am anxious about becoming a family of five.

That's not to say I'm not anxious, because I am still freaking out. But the multiple bathroom trips, the slight roll to the right to throw myself to the left in order to get out of bed in the morning, etc. have finally overstayed their welcome.

You guys. My maternity clothes don't fit anymore. I legitimately have about 3 outfits I can wear comfortably. My belly hangs out from under my shirts now because it is bigger than it has ever been in my previous pregnancies, forever placing the belly bands on display.

And oh my word, the itching. I am so itchy.

So yeah, when this baby is ready, I am too. I'm anxious about leaving the kids for a few days and for the sleeplessness. I still would like to make it to Halloween but if this kid came this weekend I would be released in time for trick or treat anyway.

Since my body doesn't generally seem to know how to go into labor on its own, I've really tried to up my physical activity the past few days in an effort to encourage it to prepare itself (I know it's premature but I need all the help I can get). I have done some squats and pelvic lifts. I have been nesting like crazy.

It took until 37.5 weeks, but yes. I'm ready when this kid is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

crafting with a toddler and preschooler

Our kids - Elden especially - are super into arts and crafts. Having a toddler who wants to do everything her big brother does somewhat complicates our crafting dynamic because of the obvious differences in listening abilities / fine motor skills. These are just some products/crafts that we've used that both kids have enjoyed and haven't been a total disaster for us:
Make Your Own Gummy Worms kit: this one obviously included a fair amount of grown up help/supervision, but there were no riots; both kids enjoyed it; and we've already gotten 3 uses out of it. I definitely recommend it!

Play-Doh Breakfast Time Set: Play-Doh is a big time favorite in our house and our kids require minimal supervision since they know the rules (we're sticklers about not mixing colors, playing with it at the kitchen table, etc). My sister got this set for the kids last Christmas and they still regularly play with it. Also, since there are enough pieces in it they can share easily without raging against one another.

Make-a-Meal Sticker Pad: My mom got this for the kids when we went to Delaware and they are still playing with it. You have a blank picture and then all the food stickers. Edith is less interested in this than Elden, but she still participates. My mom also found a make-a-face book of Halloween creatures (witches, ghosts, Frankenstein, etc.) at a local craft shop that Elden is obsessed with.  

Amos Silky Crayons: My cousin, Laura, got these for the kids and they have been a total game changer. They glide on super smoothly with minimal pressure - so Edith is able to color vibrant colors (something she can get frustrated about with regular crayons), they're thicker for small hands and they can be pushed up when the tip gets dull. Be warned that they can be messy so this is definitely a kitchen table only crayon, but if/when we run out (we've been using them regularly for months and still show no signs of needing more) we will definitely be buying them again.

Suncatcher Kits: We admittedly just attempted this for the first time on Monday, but it was a much bigger hit than I anticipated. Elden really took it seriously but didn't get frustrated - something he is prone to do if his projects don't turn out exactly how he envisions them (gets that lovely attribute from his mom). Edith was more interested than I expected and worked on hers for a solid ten minutes. I may buy a bulk case of these, but if you only want one or two, we found the Halloween ones the kids made Monday at Michael's for a buck a piece.

Create Your Own Bitty Books kit: We have admittedly not done this yet, but I am seriously considering picking this kit up for the winter months when we are going stir crazy inside. Elden's thing lately has been drawing monsters. Tens of hundreds of monsters. He specifically requests we staple his monster drawings together so he can have a monster book that he made, so I'm pretty sure he would be thrilled with an actual bound book to put his artwork in. Plus, it would be a nice keepsake for us to have and look back on when he's older. Edith would likely be less excited about this option, but since she does color a lot I'm sure she would still enjoy it.

Crayola Washable Paint: The kids LOVE painting. We like this paint because they can use it as finger paint or with a brush and it is washable. The kids request to paint at least 1-2x per week and it keeps them entertained for a while. We tape their paper down with painter's tape while they work and put the paint on disposable plates that we reuse for this purpose.

Some other honorable mentions for activities the kids enjoy doing with our help: baking/cooking (or mixing) just about anything; those little magic marker papers you can find in the Dollar Spot at Target; anything foam that involves making your own design (decorations, masks, etc.). I already created a whole Pinterest board dedicated to crafts I hope to do with the kids over maternity leave - but I am trying not to have too lofty expectations of myself during that time.

Linking up with Jenn & Jessi!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

front door refresh

When we first bought our house it was definitely move-in ready and really updated compared to others we looked at (for more money, no less!) in our price range. That being said, there are a few features of it that I've never been crazy about. One of the things I really dislike about our house is the exterior. The siding is almost a greenish beige (...or some ugly shade of beige; I can't put my finger on it), the shutters are jet black and the front door was an ugly deep red:

Obviously painting or re-siding the house would be an expensive task. At this point in time that is the lowest on my priority list. The shutters are whatever - I don't like them but I can live with them. The front door, however, was an easy enough project that I could tackle myself... at 37 weeks pregnant... on the cheap.

We landed on Behr Cool Mint and decided to buy sample sizes of it since we didn't need a quart of paint. Since we were going from dark to extremely light, we bought 2 samples at just under $5/each. We probably could have gotten away with one sample and done this project for $5, but better safe than sorry.

And you guys? I squeal like a child on Christmas every time I see my front door now:
Now that we have a light front door I'm really not feeling the shutters. I was perusing the net for inspiration and stumbled across this swatch:
I'm thinking we'll probably try to find a grey that works with the siding and door colors. This will certainly be a next year project since the weather is already cool in Ohio, so that gives me plenty of time to find the perfect shade of grey! It only took me about an hour to paint the door and for $10 I'd definitely say this is a DIY project everyone should consider!

Linking up with the Tuesday Talk party!

Monday, October 17, 2016

hello, monday

Well, I am officially "early term." I am also officially in the throes of denial - in my mind I still have a solid 2 months before Baby Turkey is born. So I spent my weekend doing what any normal in denial pregnant lady does - all the things except those that pertain to preparing for said baby.

On Friday night we decided to break in the fire pit my parents bought us for Christmas last year. We also got this really awesome make your own gummy worm kit in the mail so we made that with the kids before we went outside. Between the homemade gummy worms and the fire/s'mores/later bedtime, I'm pretty sure our kids thought we were the raddest parents alive.

Saturday morning we went to an apple orchard with my parents. The orchard itself was kind of meh, but we got a ton of apples and the kids had a great time - that's all that really matters. My parents came over after for a bit - which the kids loved. We also accidentally practiced potty training with Edith. She had asked for underwear that morning and we totally forgot to put her in a diaper before the orchard... or when we got home from the orchard. It wasn't until about 3 hours after she had initially requested the underwear when she was on a walk with my dad and Elden that I realized she was not in a diaper and had not used the bathroom for quite some time. Suffice to say, I threw a diaper in my car and booked it around our development - without shoes - trying to find them. After about three loops I realized they were probably at the playground. I was right, I bolted across a large field basically 9 months pregnant and barefoot (a sight to behold), Edith got diapered and we didn't have any accidents! All the praise hand emojis!

photo cred: my dad
photo cred: my dad
Saturday afternoon we took the kids to my parents' house so we could go shopping kid-free at Trader Joe's and have a dinner date to celebrate my birthday. We ended up going to Yard House because they had a ton of diverse vegetarian selections. It did not disappoint! The weather was absolutely gorgeous--in the mid 70s and sunny--so we ate on the patio. We had crispy Brussels sprouts and ripped potatoes as an appetizer; Jon got the angel hair pasta; I got a roasted turkey club sandwich and French onion soup; and for dessert we got the mini trio sampler. I'm pretty sure we found our new favorite date night restaurant because it's really hard finding vegetarian options at most restaurants outside the standard veggie burger and the selections here were just awesome.
On Sunday morning, Jon led worship at our church so he had to be there early for practice. We dropped him off and headed to Dunkin Donuts to pick up some treats for an impromptu early-morning play date with my friend, Sam, and her three kiddos. She provided the coffee and we got to have grown up conversation while our kids played. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't amazing. After church we had lunch and ran to Home Depot to get supplies for a little project I've been eyeing since we moved in...
more on this tomorrow...
It was definitely a productive and fun weekend and I should probably finish up the final preparations (hospital bag, car seat, etc.) for the baby... but instead I'll probably just pretend that isn't happening any time soon. 

Linking up with Johannah :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

thoughts on welcoming our third

I'll be 37 weeks this Monday. With my prior pregnancies, that would be considered 'full term' although they have recently changed the guidelines and now it's considered 'early term.'


As I sat in the OB's office with Jon yesterday, we were discussing the fact that Edith would be two in eight days. "We could have a baby in 8 days," Jon said to me in awe. "No. Don't say that," was my response.


I'm pretty sure I was mentally ready by 32 weeks with Elden and Edith. Obviously I wanted them to stay put until they would have been more 'term,' but the thought of welcoming them didn't give me any semblance of anxiety. I was excited and curious and more than ready to meet them.

It has not been the same experience with this pregnancy.

I think there are a few factors. The first is the daunting thought of being outnumbered. "You'll have to switch to zone defense" is what friends with 3+ kids have told me. I have all these insecurities that I just won't be able to devote enough attention and love to all three kids. As it is now, Elden and Edith vie for my attention and I feel like I'm doing a pretty subpar job of navigating that. Now I'll be adding a third little life to the mix and how is that fair to any of them? Then there's the sleep deprivation aspect. Labor/delivery--and even the looming recovery--don't really bother me. It's the exhaustion that freaks me out. With the other kids, Jon had gotten up with me for the middle of the night breastfeeding sessions as moral support. This time around I think I'm going to try to go it solo so he can rest and therefore tend to the bigger kids during the day so I can (hopefully) nap some of the times the baby (hopefully) naps. Except I know our kids - they will rage if they know I'm just upstairs and they aren't getting to spend time with me. And even though I haven't given it much thought, I'm sure the notion of this being my last pregnancy is factoring in. This pregnancy was overall easier than with the other two kids and the thought of never being pregnant again goes against every biological instinct I have. Despite the insistence of some of my friends that they don't think we will be done after this baby - I feel ready to close the door on my baby-having days. I was blessed to experience what I have with these pregnancies and I don't want to discount that, but the reality is I am getting older and pregnancy is not particularly kind to my body.

Finally, I think I just generally feel unprepared. With my other pregnancies we had so much to do - make Elden's nursery / move Elden to a new room and redo the nursery for Edith. Neither one of those tasks was a small commitment. With this pregnancy and the new house, we didn't have to do nearly the amount of work as we did on the old one. As for purchases, we only really had to purchase a handful of items thanks to holding onto what we had from the other kids. I guess I just don't feel like I've done enough. Notice a theme? There's a drastic amount of feeling like I am not / have not / cannot do enough, ever. This runs deeper than just with raising kids and I'm sure many women can relate to that feeling of inadequacy.

The good news? At my appointment my cervix was nice and high and firmly closed, so as of yesterday there is no sign of an impending arrival. This coupled with the fact that both of the other kids were born on their due dates strictly as a result of induction leads me to believe that I have a heck of a lot more than 8 days to snap out of my mental funk. My goals are (1) to make it to November 1 at the earliest (I really want to be there for trick or treat with the older kids) and (2) to go on my own this time. I really want to experience the excitement of "this is it! This baby is coming!" That being said, it would be nice if I delivered no later than my due date because my company shuts down from December 23 through the new year and 6 weeks of maternity leave would bring me back December 19th - which gives me enough time to establish that I am no longer on leave and can earn my full benefits pay over the holidays instead of the 50% I'll be receiving on FMLA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

current favorites

My birthday was this past weekend and I was given a few new things that I am absolutely loving so I thought I would share in case anyone was in the market for some new beauty products.

This texturizing spray is amazing. I have really fine hair - but a lot of it. It usually is very flat because it is so heavy and I have a hard time getting it to do anything worthwhile. I sprayed this in my dry hair on Sunday morning, scrunched it, and it created a gorgeous beachy wave that lasted the whole day! It also smelled great and didn't dry out my hair.

As my OB so delicately reminded me at my last appointment, I am getting older. That means I need to actually pay attention to skin care. I had wanted a face mask for a while and when I read these reviews I decided to give this one a shot. And I LOVE it! My complexion was visibly brighter after I used it. While it was on I could feel it working. I have really sensitive skin - but it's a weird combination of being too oily/too dry and it's hard to find a healthy balance - and this mask didn't irritate me at all. A little goes a long way and I can't wait to use some again. I'm planning on doing another mask this weekend.

I've seen bloggers mention this Vaseline lip therapy before and I had been wanting to try it. I typically only use regular Vaseline or Aloe Gator in the winter when my lips get inevitably horribly chapped, so the idea of a Vaseline dedicated to my lips - especially a pink one - appealed to me. It doesn't give quite the pink glow I was hoping for, but I have been using it daily nonetheless. And you can't beat the price!

It could be the pregnancy and how horribly uncomfortable I am, but I am all about that tunic/legging life right now. Zulily has a ton of tunics every day - and my parents got me the one in the picture for my birthday. I am so excited because it is very soft, loose enough that I was able to wear it to church on Sunday, and I *think* it will still look cute even when I'm not pregnant! I also own two tunics by √©loges from Zulily that I adore.

I'm not sure if it's that pesky aging thing I mentioned before or pregnancy, but my hair has definitely changed within the past year. No matter what I did, it was either super greasy just from its natural oil or it had a weird filmy buildup from the shampoos and conditioners I was using. I tried several different types of shampoo and conditioner (including more expensive/natural/sulfate-free brands) and seriously nothing helped. When I ordered some makeup from Ulta I got a free sample of this shampoo and conditioner. I tried it for about a week before I ran out and my hair was in the greatest shape it had been in for as long as I could remember! Not to mention the smell was intoxicating - the rose scent is very strong and it felt like I was showering in a rose garden each night. Unfortunately it was a bit pricier, but Jon got me a bottle of each for my birthday and I have looked forward to showering every night since. I keep an eye out on sales (right now they are on sale at Ulta for $25 for the pair) and plan on stocking up when they get cheaper and I get low.

Since I'm all about that tunic life, I couldn't help but share my favorite maternity leggings. Full panel leggings are a must for me and I love my Old Navy pairs. I admittedly also rock these when I'm not pregnant.. both in the immediate postpartum phase and even months and months after my kids are born. Love them and the price is decent, especially when there are sales.