It's hard to believe that just two years ago my sweet little Petunia came into our lives. She was such an easy going baby and preferred to be snuggled up to mama all of the time. Now she is two and is full of energy. She is my little comedian, with an exceptional vocabulary. I love watching her grow and learn everyday, the bond that she has with her sister, and how she "nuggles" daddy every night in bed. I am so very thankful for this sweet baby.
Today we celebrated her birthday. I wanted to keep it simple with just our family and close friends. I have a tendency to over due it with birthdays, so this time I challenged myself to keep my budget under $50. That is right I threw a party for UNDER $50. I'll explain below how I did it.
Water bottle labels! I made these from scrap book paper that I already had.
Confetti made by Two Little Monsters Shop! I loved it so much that I saved it.
Pin Wheels made by Two Little Monsters Shop! I stuffed plastic bags into the vase, then topped it with air drying clay. This held the pin wheels in.
Another AMAZING cake by my sister in-law Tracey. Tracecakes are taste wonderful too!
Banner made my Two Little Monsters Shop! My favorite part of the decor.
Gift boxes by Two Little Monsters Shop.
More pin wheels!
I bought three of these butterfly hangers at the dollar tree.
Ballerina dipping into the veggie tray. This was her 8th outfit of the day. The bathing suit came on shortly after.
The whole thing put together. Very simple and quaint. Just the way I wanted it.
Her older cousins brought balloons!
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By this point she was freezing!
An awkward belly shot of the mama.
She was NOT impressed with the happy birthday singing.
Mr. Daddy <3
My sweet Ballerina.
So here is how I did it. I started the party planning with a trade with another WAHM. I traded her a sling and got the pin wheels, confetti, girt boxes, and banner. I had the sling already made and shipped it for about $3.
I then began to scavenge my house to see what I already had. I found a bolt of sheer fabric that became my table cloth. I have been hoarding this fabric for years and have never used it. I believe I paid $4 for the fabric.
I used vases and dishes from previous parties. I also covered the water bottles with scrap book paper that I have had for years.
All of the plates/flat wear/napkins/rest of the decor came from the dollar tree. It cost me a total of $16.
My awesome sister in-law made the cake. The food cost me about $18. Inside the favor boxes were bubbles and water balloons that bought with the decor from the dollar tree. Also, each box had a flower/butterfly cookie cutter (I hateeee candy goodie bags). The cookie cutters cost $8 in total.
I pulled it off! I threw a party for $49! Also, it is not pictured but for her birthday (which is tomorrow) I bought her an American Girl Bitty Baby crib. This crib was in perfect condition and I bought it for a DOLLAR at a yard sale. So for Petunia's birthday we spent a total of $50. I am pretty proud of myself!
Our friend "D" modeling for us!
Our friend "A" looking great!
I am in a WAHM group where shops can post their products and people can post "ISO." A mother posted that she was in search of a car seat cover in a certain pattern. I and several others responded to the poster, asking her to reconsider, since car seat covers are not safe. (Unless the manufacturer makes them.)
The original poster didn't realize that these were not safe and left it at that. That is until another poster got her panties in a bunch, claiming that we were attacking and judging her.
I am becoming more and more aware of our lack of car seat safety knowledge. In fact, more often then not, car seats are not installed or being used correctly. When people point out that the seat is being misused, we are accused of "judging" them. We are asked to mind our own business and told to let the parents make the choice for their child. The thing is though, car seat safety is not a parenting style. Unlike other issues in parenting, it is not a grey issue. Actually, it is pretty black and white. Either your child is safe, or she is not.
Car seat safety is not about who is better then who. You child can be safe in an expensive seat, or a cheap seat from walmart. It is all about how you use it. If you are unknowingly, or knowingly ignoring safety instructions and recommendations, then you are putting your child in severe danger. I am tired of seeing facebook pictures of kids in unsafe car seat situations. Whether it is an after market product, winter coat, twisted straps, or a child who should be rear facing, parents need to be diligent in making sure that their child is the absolute safest.
And before you say it, just because our parents didn't have the seats we have now, or your older children were fine, does not make it ok. Remember, we used to think smoking during pregnancy was harmless. Think of all the children who could still be living today if they had been properly secured in a seat.
In short, their are plenty of parenting issues that are "to each their own," car seat safety is not one of them.
In the next few weeks I am going to doing a series on car seat safety. Next week we will be talking about rear facing.
It's an alien!
Just kidding. (Although, look at it...) Today we had our anatomy scan! Where they check on baby and make sure everything looks good. Everything went smoothly, even the little people sat during the scan (which is very very rare.) Squish's little heart was strong, and this baby would NOT sit still! In fact, at one point she went to take a picture of its leg and it quickly pulled it away from the tech! It was so cute, and quite funny. I was holding back the tears as the little people pointed to the baby and watched in awe.
We told the tech that we do want to know the gender. Mr. Daddy and I are NOT the kind of people who can wait. She asked us if we wanted a boy this time. While we are just so blessed to be having our third, a boy would be nice. I did tell her that we have EVERYTHING for a girl (clothing wise). A few minutes later I thought I saw something on the screen, but it is so hard to tell! Then she said...
"You wont be able to use hand me downs this time."
I looked at Mr. Daddy who seemed a little shocked. She then pointed out what was undeniably a
That's right our girls will now have a little "brod-her" to pick on!
I am just so full of joy, I can't contain it. The little people are very excited, and Mr. Daddy is ecstatic!
After the scan we went to eat and then did a bit of shopping. We got some great deals at Kohls and Gap. I can not tell you how fun it was to shop for a little boy! Now I just need a place to store his stuff... (or you know a new house.)
So no bump picture this week (again). But I hope you enjoy the ultrasound pictures! Next week I will post a picture of my new hair cut/color!
The myth- Car seats can be placed on top of a grocery cart.
We've all seen it. In fact their is a good chance that when you walk into a shopping center that this is what you will see. What you may not realize is that car seats do not belong on top of grocery carts.
Why? Infant car seats are made to click into a base that stays in the car. It just happens to be that most car seats will the click into the shopping cart. Here is the deal, just because it clicks, does not mean that it is safe or will stay!
In 2011 a three month old infant died after falling off the cart in his car seat. (See story here
.) It is simply the fact that an infant car seat is to heavy to be sitting on top of a cart. Carts were not designed to hold weight on the top, rather to hold weight in the bottom of the basket. Having a seat on top of the cart greatly increases the chances of it tipping. Need more proof read this open letter
from a mom who recently experienced the horror of her child falling to the ground
This video is an example of a car seat falling from a shopping cart. What if that was your baby inside?
If you read your car seat instruction manual (which I highly recommend you do), it will more than likely inform you to not place the car seat on top of a shopping cart. I am aware that some car seats in the past have come with clips to fasten the car seat to the top of the shopping cart. However, this will not protect the cart from tipping, It is still top heavy, creating that risk.
The AAP also recommends to never place a car seat on top of a shopping cart. Read what they had to say here
So what do you do with baby? The car seat can be placed safely inside of the cart, as seen below. Make sure that the seat does not rock, and do not stack things around the baby. Another great option is to wear your baby in a proper carrier. (Please no crotch danglers!)
This myth has been proven to be FALSE.
One week! I have ONE week until we go for our ultrasound. It is the same feeling as when you are a little kid and are waiting for Christmas. This week is going to go by soooooooo slow.
I also had the realization that I am almost halfway through this pregnancy and have not prepared in any way shape or form for this little one. Being a third baby we really don't need that much. Although if it is a boy, I will need to stock up on clothes. I do need to make/buy a newborn stash of cloth diapers, since we will be CDing from the beginning, instead of 7 weeks this time. If this squish is a boy I may need to sell some of my girl CD's to pick up some boy ones! I am thankful that I wont be putting so much money into it! Yay for cloth diapers. I will be making a Mei Tai for myself and one for Mr. Daddy, the same goes with Ring Slings. Other than that we are going to be buying THREE new car seats. I have been eyeing the Diono Radians
for quite some time. They say that we will be able to fit all three of them safely in out back seat. These seats have a 10 year lifespan and go up to 100lbs! Meaning that Ballerina will be sitting in it on her first day of high school. ;) (Ok I kid... I didn't receive the nick name "car seat nazi" for nothing.)
Or course when Baby Squish gets here two of them will be rear facing!
Other than that baby is pretty much set. Especially if it is a girl! We are really not "gear" kind of people, at least not any more. We have a swing, bouncy seat, and two boppy pillows. We wont need much more than that. Baby will breast feed like the last two, and sleep with us for the the first year. Our home is very small, I can not fit a lot of excess stuff in here. Since we will be here for probably another year baby will not have a nursery. Really though, to me it is unnecessary for us, since we bed share from the beginning.
I simply did not get to a bump picture this week. Instead here is a picture of Ballerina at her first recital.
When I had my first daughter I knew I wanted a natural birth. At the time I was working at a pregnancy center and was literally able to research pregnancy and birth everyday. With the support of my coworkers I made the choice to chose a midwife and have a natural delivery.
However, in all my research delayed cord clamping never came up. My midwife never spoke of it, nor did the hospital nurses. All the books I read never had anything about it (that I remember!) It wasn't until my second pregnancy and spending time on a popular baby forum that the subject came up. I admit that I didn't do as much research as I should have. I wanted to do it because it was the "crunchy" thing to do. During an appointment I asked my Midwife to do it and she agreed. The problem is, I didn't bring a birth plan with me and we didn't discuss it the day of. I have no idea if we delayed the cord or not. Mr. Daddy is not useful at all. We do remember waiting a bit to actually cut the cord. It breaks my heart not knowing if we gave our sweet Petunia the best or not. This baby I will make sure that the cord is not clamped until it stops pulsating. Lesson learned, always bring a birth plan! Even if you know your provided well.
What is it?
In a typical American birth a clamp is automatically put on the baby's umbilical cord after birth. It has been done this way for the past 50 years or so to "help control" the third stage of labor (afterbirth). While it is unclear how this process started, it can be assumed that it started as America moved into its birth intervention happy self.
Delayed cord clamping is the process of waiting until the cord stops pulsating before it is clamped and cut. It can range from 1 to 10 minutes. Their is no set time, it depends on the birth. The cord turns white and becomes flat when it is finished.
While you are waiting to clamp the cord, blood is flowing from the placenta to baby. Giving baby important iron and blood that will help in the long run. Iron can prevent anemia. It will create red blood cells and help build muscle. It will also deliver oxygen, which will help build brain cells. Low iron can cause anemia and risk of cognitive, motor, and behavioral defects.
It is rumored that delayed cord clamping can put baby at a higher risk for jaundice. However, this is currently being disproved.
"The idea that delayed clamping causes jaundice has gained disproportionate support with the publishing of the 2008 systematic (Cochrane) review by McDonald and Middleton. This review reported a significantly higher rate of jaundice requiring phototherapy in infants that received delayed cord clamping. However this result was only found with the inclusion of one of the review author’s unpublished thesis, which does not report a predefined level of bilirubin for treatment, masking of paediatricians and has not been peer reviewed (Hutchon, 2012; Mercer et al, 2012).
A 2007 systematic review by Hassan and Hutton, including only published trials, found no difference in rates of clinical jaundice or jaundice requiring treatment (Mercer et al, 2012).
Additionally, a recent large RCT by Andersson and colleagues found there were fewer babies requiring phototherapy with delayed clamping (Andersson, Hellström-Westas, Andersson & Domellöf, 2011). "
I will say that Ballerina was very jaundice and Lady Petunia was not. Clearly I am just one case, but to me it is worth what ever risk may be there.
Did you delay cord clamping? Will this change your mind?
Got questions? We want to hear from you!
This week has been BUSY. No rest for the weary, and our weekend will be just as busy. This morning was my monthly midwife visit. So far I have met two of the three midwives and like all of them. It is still a bit of a adjustment, since my last MW knew me so well. The visit was pretty uneventful, other then her telling me that I need to take it easy and rest more. I explained to her that I have been having head aches for the past three weeks, she thinks it is stress and me over doing it. (Apparently she pays attention when my kids are jumping on the chairs while I am talking to her.)
Seriously, taking it "easy", especially at dinner time is virtually impossible. I run all day with the kids, make dinner, clean the house, home school, do the yard work, ect. Plus after they are in bed is when I start working! Mr. Daddy is out 2/3 times a week, plus we have youth group on Fridays. Our weekends are jammed packed, it just seems like we are always on the go. The MW advised that I take Skull Cap before bed. I bought some on Amazon tonight so we'll see how that works.
In other news I have been officially diagnosis with gestational diabetes (again). I knew from about 12 weeks that this diagnosis was coming. I have had to adjust my diet, and go on a medication. For now though it is under control. I should be adding some of my GD friendly meals and diet plans soon!
TWO weeks from today is our "big" ultrasound. Hopefully Baby Squish will cooperate and we'll know if we have a brother or a sister!! Squee! This is always one of my favorite moments in pregnancy.
I also made my first baby purchase today. I bought a neutral little bouncy seat. Our original one is purple, we'll put it in a yard sale this year, regardless of what we have.
This is literally the BEST bump picture I could come up with this week. Mr. Daddy wasn't able to take one, and my usual photographer, Ballerina, refused to help me today. At least I can always count on Lady Petunia for a photo bomb.
This weekend was Mr. Daddy's birthday! We had a fun packed weekend, complete with a yummy TraceyCake!
This cake was made by scratch by my sister in-law. It tasted pretty amazing.
This week marks 16 weeks of this pregnancy. In another month I will be halfway done with this pregnancy. Pregnancy is a strange mix of time speeding by, and slowing down all at the same time. I think "how can I be 16 weeks already?" one minute. The next minute it's "wow only 16 weeks, I have a long way to go."
I keep forgetting that I am indeed pregnant (that is until I look down), lately I have been pushing it. Then I have days like today when my head is pounding and I have zero energy. With two kids, a husband, a business, and ministry I literally can not afford to stop. I am making sure that I have mommy breaks. They usually involve coffee...okay they always involve coffee. Not to mention my new found obsession with candy crush :)
It's your sister, neighbor, cousin, friend.
Maybe it's you
It's that dreaded day every month where she hopes for that miracle. She prays and pleads. Weeps and yells. It's another month gone by feeling like a failure. That maybe she did something wrong, or maybe they didn't try hard enough.
She is asked when it will be her turn. Maybe she should try eating this certain food, or doing this work out.
The doctors could be wrong.
Why not adopt?
She watches others joy. The joy of motherhood. Loving someone unconditionally. It is what she yearns for, it is what she is desperate for.
She has Infertility.
not fertile or productive <infertile
incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy <infertile
We hear the word often. Do we really know what it is? How can we wrap our arms around our sisters, support and loving them during this time?
The truth is, someone you know and love may be struggling. 1 and 8 couples are affected by infertility. 2
Infertility can be caused by many different things. Unless she volunteers the information, you don't need to know what her (or his) diagnoses is. If she wants to share, she will. If not, love her, pray for her, be there.
Yes she does have options. Those options take time. IUI, IVF, Adoption, Surrogacy, she is aware of them.
However, all of those things take time. They take emotion. They take money. She doesn't need you to tell her of the options, she needs you to support
her through them. Unsure of what to say? Learn infertility etiquette here
We need to create an environment where she feels safe, loved and understood.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Let's join together to raise awareness for infertility. It is painful, it is emotional, it is worthy or our attention.
Let's join together to love our sister. Listen to her, be there for her, pray for her. Remind her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12 (ES
Check out www.Resolve.org
for more information and resources. www.tiltthepen.wordpress.com
is the blog of my friend Molly. She shares her journey through infertility. Let's join her in supporting those who are struggling. 1: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infertile2: http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html
This has been an interesting week. I had what I thought was an eye infection and it turned out to be a reaction to my contact solution! This left me behind on my sewing and shipping. Turns out that you need your eyes to sew and drive.
Of course I think everyone is burdened by this weeks tragedy. It's these times and moments when you question whether bringing more children into this world is a good idea. Or how on earth can I protect my babies from the evil of this world?
The truth is, as much as I try, I can never protect my kids from everything. While I watch what the eat, how they speak, what they see, where they are I can never fully protect them. Sometimes when thinking about it anxiety takes over. I start thinking crazy thoughts about building sustainable compound and never letting them leave. But that is not reality. Reality is this world is broken. We can either let the brokenness of this world eat away at us, or we can chose to give our fears to the only one who can fix it.
I can't control what others do. But I can teach my children to love their neighbors as themselves. It is my life goal, my calling, to raise my children to be disciples of Jesus. We must teach them that while evil seems to overwhelm, death has already been defeated.
Pray. Pray for the city of Boston. Pray for our nation. Pray for our world. Teach your children right vs. wrong.
15 week bump!