Wife, Mummy, Nurse: January 2014

27 January 2014

Currently {January 27, 2014}

Thinking about: The gifts I'm making for upcoming babies arriving. There's a baby shower February 7 at a friend's house, and I need to finish two knit gifts and sew at least one thing, if not two items. 

Reading: I just finished reading a blog post about a woman who looks down on stay at home wives/moms and thinks they have little to know value in society. I will not share the post because I refuse to give her more clicks. Right now I stay at home full time and LOVE it, though I often wish I was a better housekeeper. Ultimately I need to realize that it does not matter what the world thinks of our family; Drew and I are ALONE responsible to God for how we raise Charis and Lil' J {+ whatever children God blesses us with}.

One of my favorite Psalms is 113: 
Praise the LordPraise, O servants of the Lord, praise the LORD! ... He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! 
Listening to: Various sermons from the pastors that are candidating at our church; it's so hard to decide who would be a good fit for our church. Our pastor went to another preach at another church in December, so we've been having a lot of guest ministers.

Watching: While You Were Sleeping. LOVE this movie. It's one of my favorites with Sandra Bullock. 

Thankful for: For the kicks I feel in my belly, and that my glucose was normal for my gestational diabetes glucose test. I only had to drink that drink ONCE!! I'm just excited about this because the day I had to fast and drink that horrid drink, I had a major migraine. I took a nap and tried not to cry. It hurt to turn. I would rather check my blood sugar myself for a few weeks before meals than to go through that again.

23 January 2014

How to Look Stylish While Pregnant {Review}

This is a sponsored post.

On most days, I am seen wearing yoga pants and a long sleeve shirt, but every so often, I don't want to look frumpy and decide to dress up. How do I do this?

  • Maxi skirts: I like how I'm able to move at ease while wearing them and not feel like I might be showing too much leg. I prefer wearing a basic black skirt; this way I'm able to dress it up and where it for future pregnancies when other styles may have gone out. Another plus is that you're often able to wear them when not pregnant.
  • Cardigans or a jean jacket: I have found that it is essential to layer. Hello hot flashes. Or so it seems. I used to laugh at my mother when she had hot flashes, but now I am much more sympathetic towards her and others. 
  • Scarves: I did this during my first trimester a lot when it was not common knowledge that I was pregnant. I wanted to try to "hide" my belly. Now I do it to add more layers that can be easily taken off. I can also wear it postpartum when I'm breastfeeding.
  • Belts: They helps show your "bump" more and others realize that I am actually pregnant, as opposed to just being big.
  • Choose tops while thinking ahead: If you plan on breastfeeding think of tops the will help, such as ones that button down or tops that you can easily pull down or pull up. 

PinkBlush maternity sells stylish maternity and nursing clothes,while remaining inexpensive compared to other brands. I was sent the coral crochet neckline maternity/nursing top for review. Upon getting it, I immediately loved the drape and liked the fact that it did not cling too much. I also liked the fact that it was long and had buttons at the top for breastfeeding Lil' J once he arrives. When I first put it on, Drew said, "You look really nice."

Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the washing instructions which are to "Hand Wash Cold, Hang Dry." I think it would have been fine washing it on cold, gentle cycle, but I washed it regularly with hot water. Let's just say, it shrunk and is now too tight on me. 

Check PinkBlush out on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

What is your favorite item from PinkBlush Maternity?

I received an item from PinkBlush Maternity in exchange for this review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

22 January 2014

Cheeky Soaker {Yarn Along}

Another baby knit completed, but this time it's not for Lil' J. I knit the Cheeky Soaker for Nicole's baby boy. I was able to use almost a whole skein of stash yarn!! I need to figure out how many yards I have knit, but how do I do this without a scale? I plan on using the rest of the skein on the rainbow longies I plan on knitting for Baby #2.

I have started knitting a red and white striped baby hat to resemble Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat. It won't look exactly the same, since it's not going to be a top hat, but rather a hat that's just knit in stockinette stitch, so the edge will roll. The downside is that I'm knitting it with acrylic; I think the recipient won't want a hat that she has to hand wash, and I had trouble finding a white the color I wanted in super wash wool.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

21 January 2014

Fanny Foozle {Giveaway}

Welcome to the 'Fanny Foozle: The Four Leaf Fantuckle Festival' Book Giveaway sponsored by Fanny Foozle and hosted by The Parenting Patch. Fanny Foozle is pink and lives in the town of Flamboozle with her Foodle Dog Sam. Every day is a fantastic adventure, a folly and a big surprise. So come bounce along with Fanny Foozle in the town of Flamboozle. One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch will win one (1) copy of the 'Fanny Foozle: The Four Leaf Fantuckle Festival' book. To enter for your chance to win the 'Fanny Foozle: The Four Leaf Fantuckle Festival' Book Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck! Happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The 'Fanny Foozle: The Four Leaf Fantuckle Festival' Book Giveaway is restricted to legal residents of the United States of America. The 'Fanny Foozle: The Four Leaf Fantuckle Festival' Book Giveaway ends at midnight CST on February 4, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

20 January 2014

Currently {January 20, 2014}

Thinking about: My to do list-what needs to be done. I have two bags in the van that need to go to the thrift store. Plus, I want to pack up 15 boxes before the end of the month. I want to get our apartment down to the bare bones of what is actually needed before Lil' J arrives. I will NOT want to be packing a ton of things my first few weeks-months post partum.

Reading: Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford that I received from Booksneeze. I will be reviewing it in 1-2 weeks, so far it's good.

Listening to: Lately, Charis and I have been listening to "Go to the Ant" by Judy Rogers. It's a Children's CD with truths from Proverbs re. laziness, speaking, communication between parents and children, etc. Every time I listen to it, I'm brought back almost 20 years ago when we moved from Iowa to Pennsylvania. A friend had given my mother a cassette tape to listen to in the car, and by the end of the move, we had memorized the whole thing.

Watching: Not watching anything right now, but I'm looking forward to watching Downton Abbey and Sherlock this week!

Thankful for: The small encouragement Drew and I had; one of the schools he applied to, called him on Friday and said that his application was received, and they'd most likely get back to set up an interview on Skype first. Unfortunately, most places he's applied to, we never hear from again. :/

On Friday, I was in bed with a headache for 3-4 hours. I was thankful that Drew willingly stayed at home during that time and watched Charis-no I did not ask him to do that. When I finally emerged from our bedroom, I still had the headache, but found a mason jar filled with roses.

Linking up at A Mama Collective.

17 January 2014

The Many Uses of Prefold Diapers

One of my top five must have baby items is Prefold Diapers. When I was pregnant with Charis, one of the first things I bought were 24 infant prefolds. I had just planned on using them for cloth diapers, but what I didn't realize was that they were so versatile. Some of the ways, I have used prefolds are:

Cloth Diapers

Prefolds are one of the most economical cloth diapers available-ranging from $1.45-$8.95 {depending on the diaper}. A prefold is a rectangular shaped diaper in different sizes and thicknesses, usually with more absorbency in the middle. You fold them on babies so they're fitted. You need to use a cover with them, but we used to let my daughter go coverless at home wearing just a prefold. Once your child outgrows them, they also make excellent inserts and diaper doublers for heavy wetters.

Burp Rags

Prefolds are excellent at cleaning up spit up. They're absorbent and much better than most burp cloths sold in stores.

Car Seat Pad

My daughter is mostly potty trained, but even now, I try to keep prefolds in the car, so that I can lay it flat on her car seat in case she has an accident.

Cleaning Rags

I have not used the good prefolds I bought while pregnant, since they're still intact. Instead, I use the prefolds my MIL brought over to our apartment, which were used on my SIL and my husband. I also use the Gerber prefolds that were given to me as a baby gift {the ones with the polyester batting in the middle}.

Do you have prefolds?
If so, how do you use them?

This post contains affiliate links, and 
I received compensation for writing this post. 

Week 3 {#catchthemoment}

January 10, 2014:

On Friday morning, Drew made French toast for our family-using Alton Brown's recipe! He briefly thought about making it for breakfast on my birthday, but works Monday-Thursday and Saturday, so he decided to make breakfast on his day off.

January 11, 2014:

Smoothie for breakfast. Excuse the messy hair and table.

January 12, 2014:

I am planning on preparing some freezer meals so we can have them after Lil' J comes. I decided to test run one of the recipes-slow cooker marinara sauce. Verdict: Drew and I both like it; it's a keeper.

January 13, 2014:

Charis and I went to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store, and I bought yarn and fabric for baby gifts.

January 14, 2014:

My breakfast: a smoothie, oatmeal, and coffee.

January 15, 2014:

Big Butt Baby Pants that I'm sewing for my SIL's baby. She's due exactly two weeks before I am.

January 16, 2014:

Charis and I. She was getting her bedtime snuggles before going night-night.

SimplyStavish for the weekly #catchthemoment link up.

16 January 2014

2014 Knitting Goals {Yarn Along}

Overall, my knitting goals are fairly simple this year. I briefly thought about participating the #crochetmoodblanket that Raising Up Rubies decided to start on Instagram, except mine was going to be knit instead of crocheted, taking the high and low temperature everyday, and using the Ten Stitch Zigzag pattern. In the end, I decided not to take part because baby #2 will make his debut early May {sleepless nights, being attached to a baby that wants mama's milk, getting used to two children, etc.}, plus we will most likely move during the summer {we NEED to move}. Space is VERY limited, and I'm currently trying to purge and pack as much as I can to get us down to the bare bones of what we actually need. Taking part in a project like this might be better for the following year, but we'll see.

This year, I want to finish my UFOs {UnFinished Objects}.
1. Purple Kanoko Pants {Charis}
2. HK Pants {Charis}
3. Charis's Cowl {Charis}
4. Downton Abbey KAL Gauntlets
5. Lillie Baby Cardigan. One of my friends is due with a baby girl in March, so this would be a great baby gift for her.
6. Baby Vertebrae. Originally, I planned on giving this to my sister as a baby gift, but during my 1st trimester I had little to no interest in knitting.

I want to knit for Lil' J:
1. Tiny Pants. Finished January 8, 2014.

2. Rainbow Longies
3. Felipe
4. Baby Sophisticate.

For myself:
1. Downton Abbey Shawl KAL
2. The Lighthouse Keeper. This pattern would be great for postpartum wear.

For Charis:
1. I also want to find and knit a top down cardigan/sweater/jacket for her to wear in the fall.

Instead of buying new yarn balls, my biggest goal is to use up more stash yarn.  So far, the score is Stash yarn=0, Bought yarn=4. None of it used yet.

What are your crafting goals this year?
Join me over at Ginny's yarn along.

15 January 2014

Mama's Got a New Look {#mamasnewlook}

We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU! Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. The Blogging Mamas Network, along with co-hosts Mama's Baby Cupcakes, So Easy Being Green, and Viva Veltoro want to give the special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year!
This Event will run from January 15-29 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you achieve that new look!

I have two giveaways for this event.
1. A Pretty Mommies Skin Care Set {ARV $119}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. $25 GC to Pink Blush Maternity Entrants who have won a giveaway from PinkBlush in the past 6 months, or have hosted a giveaway in the past 6 months, are not eligible to win a gift card again. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This wonderful Grand Prize has two packages up for grabs. The first prize pack, Fashion Mama, features a whole Gel Nail Kit from Couture Gel Nail Polish, a $100 Gift Code to the online jewelry retailer The Vintage Pearl, and a crocheted Infinity Scarf in winner's choice of color from Treasured by Holly.
Our second prize pack, New Mama, features a breastfeeding camisole from Undercover Mama, a Chewbeads "Jane" necklace in winner's choice of color, winner's choice of fabric for a diapers/wipes carrying case from The Diaper Clutch, Bamboobies set of Multi Pack Pads, and winner's choice of item shown from Loving Moments by Leading Lady and their Maternity to Nursing line.

13 January 2014

Pretty Mommies Skin Care {Review}

This is a sponsored post and may contain affiliate links.

When I was pregnant with Charis, I do not recall any skin issues, but with my current pregnancy, I have noticed more acne and blotchier skin than usual. Many skin products can be too drying for my skin.  Pretty Mommies was founded by Gina Zeiger. When she was pregnant, she developed skin conditions that she had not had since high school, but when she discussed the issues with her doctor, she was advised to not seek treatment until she was finished nursing. Gina found herself determined to find a safe, effective product for pregnant women. Pretty Mommies is safe to use during pregnancy.

I received a Three-step Pretty Mommies skin care system to review. All of these steps can be used by on their own, but for a better pregnancy skin care regimen, use all three together. One of my favorite things about Pretty Mommies is the ingredients are clearly listed on the back of each step.

Step 1 Let's Be Clear: The first step in skin care is to gently wash and exfoliate the skin. This step can be used on it's own, or better yet, you use it with steps 2 and 3.

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Sodium Olivate, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil.

Step 2 Truth Be Told: Contains a high amount of antioxidants and anti-aging properties. 

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Vegetable Glycerin, Citrus Aurantium Sinensis ( Orange) Fiber, Ethyl Macadamiate, Squalane, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tricholoma Matsutake ( Mushroom) Extract, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil

Step 3 Protect & Reflect: This third step contains pure, non-nano 22.5% zinc oxide, this sunscreen gives you superior broad spectrum sun protection and reflects harmful UVA/UVB rays. This is a very important step for me, since my Irish skin is very pasty and burns easily, I aim to always where sun protection.

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22.5% (non-nanoparticle)
Other Ingredients: Spring Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride (coconut derived), Organic Camelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Stearate (coconut derived), Organic Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Fruit Oil, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Methylcellulose, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Organic Buriti (Mauritia Vinifera) Fruit Oil, Organic Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate.

I received Pretty Mommies Redefining Healthy Skin for the purpose of review. 
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

What beauty products did you use during pregnancy?

10 January 2014

Week 2 {#catchthemoment}

Week 2 is complete. Again week where I used my iPod for these photos. It's much easier to hit share on Instagram; I don't have to download pictures onto my computer, which I sometimes procrastinate about doing.

January 3, 2013:

Drew and I went on an early birthday date to see a sneak preview of Downton Abbey season 4 episode 1 at the Strathmore in Bethesda. I loved it and am looking forward to this season. I have so many questions: Is Mary going to be in a relationship with another man now that her husband is dead? I wonder if Evelyn Napier will pursue Mary. I have no reason to think this, other than the fact that I watched Season 1 again and think he should be brought back in.

January 4, 2014:

I FINALLY started baby knitting for Lil' J.

January 5, 2014:

Charis loves her red princess dress. Though in all fairness, what 3 year old girls wouldn't love it.

January 6, 2014:

Mountains of laundry. On days like Monday, where I'm tempted to complain about the mundane tasks, I remind myself to be thankful for the clothes we have and that we have a quick, ready access to laundry machines.  I should follow the FlyLady's tip: "a load a day keeps the CHAOS away."

January 7, 2014:

My daughter and I. We love each other.

January 8, 2014:

Almost finished with Lil J's shorties.

January 9, 2014:

A leftover birthday cookie and hot chocolate which was made from the mix my MIL gave us for Christmas.

08 January 2014

Tiny Pants {Yarn Along}

Even though I'm 24 weeks pregnant, I just started knitting the first thing for Lil' J last week. During my first trimester, I was so exhausted that knitting did not appeal to me, instead I wanted to sleep. When my second trimester started, it was time to think more about Christmas knitting. So I was thrilled when I cast on the Tiny Pants shorties last week. They're almost finished. I cast on 72 stitches on the waist band and increased the body by four stitches. I'm knitting it with Manos del Uruguay Maxima yarn. The aqua colorway is leftover from a pair of longies I knit last year. I bought the stratus colorway at Wolf Creek Yarns on Black Friday for 30%. They had AMAZING Black Friday sales.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

03 January 2014

Week One {#catchthemoment365}

This year, I plan to participate in "Catch the Moment 365" and link up every week to Behind the Camera and Dreaming, Nurse Loves Farmer, and Simply Stavish. So far, I have just used my iPod, but that's because my camera batteries are currently charging now, and I need to download and delete photographs before taking more.

January 1, 2014:

Everyday, I plan on writing down three things that I am thankful for. On the first, I was thankful for:
Showers/running water
My parents visit and that they took over 6 boxes that I had packed up
Peppermint tea/peppermint oil to help relieve my headache and wake me up.

January 2, 2014:

One of the gifts Charis received for Christmas was the Little Pim Discovery Set in Spanish. I opened it on the second, and we enjoyed watching it. I realized there are MANY Spanish words I don't know, but I plan to keep plugging away and learn with Charis. I believe that it's important to start language learning early, but I want to make sure it's fun. FYI, I'm sorry about the mess in the background.

02 January 2014

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! {Happy New Year!} It's hard to believe that 2013 is over. I had planned to stay up to see the ball drop, but I was so tired, I decided to go to bed and sleep next to my daughter until my husband moved her to her bed.

I have enjoyed looking back at some of my favorite posts from 2013. It's fun to see how I have grown and yet I still have so much to learn.

My 13 Favorite/Most Popular Posts from Last Year Are:

I am looking forward to this year. I'm expecting Baby #2 and am due the last day in April, but I'm assuming the baby will come early May. We found out mid December that we're having a boy. At first Charis was VERY unsure and resistant to having a brother, but now she loves the fact that she's a big sister. 

01 January 2014

Christmas 2013 Knits {Yarn Along}

Another Christmas has come and gone. Each year, I think I'll do better next year on actually completing EVERYONE's gift, but often fail. This year was no different, but it was better than last year. Here are some completed gifts I knit:

My brother received the Maize fingerless mitts.
My SIL received Misty morning mitts.

I knit a Quick Ribs hat for my FIL.

And a Pilot cap for my nephew.
{Unfortunately, I did not take a completed photograph.}

Other gifts that I have previously blogged about are, a Pilot cap for my niece,
and a My striped and slouchy hat for my mum.

Did you give or receive any handmade gifts for Christmas this year?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.