Wife, Mummy, Nurse: April 2014

30 April 2014

Hotmilk Lingerie {Review}

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

When I breastfed Charis, there were times I was tired of wearing plain, boring bras. I wanted something lacy and sexy. When I saw Hotmilk Lingerie was looking for bloggers to review their bras, I decided to jump at the chance, especially since I'd soon have another baby to breastfeed.

Today is My "Due" Date {Yarn Along}

April 30, 2014=My "due" date. For those wondering, Lil' J. is still inside me, and unless something happens today, I will NOT deliver on my "due" date. Honestly, I am fine with this. When I was pregnant with Charis, I was giving her {failed} eviction notices at least a week before my due date with her and still went 8 days past my "due" date. With this pregnancy, I have expected from the beginning that I would deliver about a week "late", which I'm secretly fine with because I'm hoping to do a few more things before Justin is born. I'm hoping next Tuesday or Wednesday, he'll be born, but God has the date of Justin's birth planned.

As much as I want to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, I do think it wise that I stay closer to home. We'll see... If I don't go, it will be the first time in 4 years that I have not gone.

28 April 2014

Currently {April 28, 2014}

Thinking about this week's menu plan. Last week, I had NO desire to go grocery shopping, but thankfully, I did not need to since we had enough groceries. On Monday morning, I plan to go early enough in the morning while Drew is still home, so he can watch Charis. Plus, I only made one freezer meal; this week, I'd like to make at least 2-3 freezer meals. We'll see how that works out.

Reading currently nothing, but I'd like to read/listen to The Book Thief, and am also looking for simple, easy ideas of books I can read after Lil' J's birth. I remember reading at least 3 books while nursing Charis her first 4-6 weeks of life. Do you have any good, simple book ideas?

Watching Pride and Prejudice. Of course, it's the one with Colin Firth, or as people who don't like that movie, "Oh, that's the 6 hour version."

Thankful for the next few days. Each day I'm pregnant means more time to spend with Charis before Lil' J is born. Yes, I'm looking forward to his birth, but I'm also treasuring my remaining time with Charis as an "only" child. Only is in quotes because even though Lil' J's not born, I'm still a mother of two, just without the juggling of everything. We've been going to the park a lot more, mainly because the weather is so gorgeous, and I want to get Vitamin D. Thankfully, I have not gotten a sunburn yet. I hope this trend continues.

Saturday morning at the park.

What I often do at the park. I'll enjoy knitting during my
free time, while I still have it.

In the afternoon/early evening.
Charis tried {but failed} to use the monkey bars.

One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of
cheesy, bacon fries, and upon seeing the picture
started craving them. But, we only had potatoes,
so I made roasted potatoes and chili, then
served them with cheese.
Led to satisfied craving.

Join me over at A Mama Collective.

24 April 2014

Ways I Have Maintained a Healthier Pregnancy with Baby #2

This pregnancy with Lil' J has been different than my pregnancy with Charis. So far at this point in my pregnancy, I have gained less than 25 lbs; when pregnant with Charis, I had gained 35+ lbs. My swelling this time is VERY minimal to non-existent. There are many contributing factors that led to a higher gain with Charis than with our son.

1. I am now eating more vegetables and fruit. I participated in the 30 Day Salad Swap with Fresh Express. The idea is you swap one meal a day with a salad; I still include healthy fats and protein with my salad, but I make an effort to eat more vegetables.

A meal where we had salad, instead of bread/pasta.
Dark meat chicken was served on the side,
along with grapes.
I worked full time, night shift as a RN in CCU when pregnant with Charis. At work, I would often get a large iced mocha and a bag of Cheetos during the night. Vegetables and fruit were seldom eaten. Then I'd go home and be so exhausted, I'd eat 2-3 bowls of cereal before crashing in bed. When I'd wake up, I'd eat another bowl of cereal since I was so tired and going into work again that night.

2. Receiving the Slow Cooker Clean Eating meal plan from eMeals once a week. The clean eating plan uses natural ingredients. Plus, it's convenient since the guess work is taken out for me. I'm given a shopping list that I just take to the store and buy the ingredients that the recipes call for. This has seriously helped me during my third trimester exhaustion, when I want to rest late afternoon instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Though I don't use every single recipe they send out during the week, I usually pick 1-2 meals from the meal plan.

"Chipotle Peach Chicken Wings"
{I substituted boneless chicken thighs for wings.}

3. Increase in walking. My goal is to take Charis to the park at least 2-3 times per week and walk. Afterwards, she enjoys playing on the playground equipment while I drink 1-2 liters of water.

Some of the benefits of walking while pregnant include:
  • Helps with a quicker, easier labor {a general rule-not a guarantee}
  • Keeps your body fit
  • Helps burn calories, which prevents excessive weight gain
  • Helps speed up postpartum recovery
  • Helps keep the digestive system moving 

4. God's goodness. I was pretty miserable during Charis's pregnancy. Looking back, a large part of it was because my eating habits were NOT good. I ate a lot of processed, pre-packaged foods, instead of making things from scratch. This pregnancy, I have been able to stay at home which has given me greater freedom to work out and cook healthy meals for my family.

I do want to add a few things: I have NOT been trying to lose weight at all. Pregnancy is not the time to worry about keeping your figure. If you're pregnant, remember a baby is growing inside you. I do not even step on the scale at home, since I have little reason to. The biggest difference with this pregnancy is I have been eating much better.

23 April 2014

Baby Sophisticate {Yarn Along}

I'm almost finished the Lil' J's Baby Sophisticate cardigan. I finished knitting the sleeves, but need to weave in the ends on the right sleeve. Today, I'm planning on making the collar.  Then I need to decide on buttons; I'm leaning towards black buttons, but I'll decide when it's finished. I'm a wee bit nervous that I won't have enough yarn to finish the project, so I'm definitely praying and hoping my worries are unfounded.

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about not being able to find The Boxcar Children? I FINALLY found it and returned it to the library last night, but now I have a HUGE fine that I need to pay this week. I have a love-hate relationship with libraries.

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

21 April 2014

What's It Like, Living Green? {Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to live green? Do you have to give 100% of yourself to be green? I have come to realize from my own life that once I started being green in one area {i.e. cloth diapers} it opened up many other avenues in which I started trying to reduce, reuse, and/or recycle {i.e. menstrual cups/mama cloth/etc.}

What's It Like, Living Green? Kids Teaching Kids by the Way They Live by Jill Ammon Vanderwood is an excellent beginner's book on reducing our footprint on this earth. It is written for kids to help bring awareness for their responsibility to the earth. There are six sections:
  1. What's it like, living green?
  2. Recycle
  3. Reduce
  4. Reuse
  5. Responsible for our earth
  6. Kids teaching kids by the way they live  
About half of the subsections are written by children or teenagers and the other half are written by adults. In each subsection, there are various ideas to help implement changes to live greener. 

At the beginning of the book there is a 10 question quiz/questionnaire to answer, but you have to wait until the end to get the answers to the responses and see how green you are-most of my answers were the "Green Choice". There is also a section titled "How Green is My Family?" Drew, Charis, and I are a "Grass Green" family {which is in the middle}. We can definitely do better, but there are some hindrances preventing us to improve, such as we don't have a place where we can compost and don't have any land allowing us to garden. 

Overall, this book is good as a beginner's guide, but if you're already living a green life, you may prefer something more in depth. If you want to win a copy for yourself, enter via Rafflecopter below.

Giveaway is over. Winner: Alyssa Y.

What areas do you try to live green in your life?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

16 April 2014

Baby Knits {Yarn Along}

On Friday night, I decided to pick up my double pointed needles and knit Baby Socks. The pattern is from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I have only borrowed this book from the library at least five times and at this rate with the fines slowly adding up, it would have been cheaper to buy the book. Sigh... It's a very simple, straight forward pattern that is easy to memorize. I would like to keep this pattern on hand to knit more socks to give as baby gifts. The yarn used was Cotton Twirl {90% Cotton/10% Nylon}; I enjoyed the colorway, but since I've knit with it before and forgot to write down the details, I forgot what the colorway is called. My biggest complaint with that yarn was it was rather splitty; I decided to make a knot in the end in case I needed to unravel the project.

After finishing the baby socks on Sunday night, I picked up the Baby Sophisticate cardigan on Monday. I have not finished it yet, but right now I'm wondering, "Why did I put this down for so long? It's such a quick, easy knit."

Yesterday, I sent off the Seaglass Scarf to my #YarnStitchSwap partner. I hope she likes it because I selfishly wanted to keep it for myself and not send it off. Sorry about chopping my head off in the photo, but I wanted to try and get a picture of the actual scarf.

On Monday night, I started reading Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John to Charis again. I started reading it to her about a year ago, but she would NOT stay still for anything. Now, she enjoys it when I read to her. We only finished the first chapter, and I imagine we'll be reading it next week as well.

What's on your needles?
What are you reading?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

15 April 2014

Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner {Review}

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 

Even with computers, tablets, and smart phones, I still prefer planners that I can write in and create lists where I can cross something out and get some satisfaction out of doing so. Recently, I have been trying to be more goal oriented because I have many projects I want to accomplish before giving birth.

If you are like me and are looking for a goal oriented planner, then you need to check out Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner. Some of the planner features include:

  • Spiral bound
  • Weekly mom planner
  • Goal sections: Yearly and Monthly
  • Weekly planning sections
  • Journal pages
  • 1 year unconditional money-back guarantee

My thoughts: 

What I liked:
That it's spiral bound, which allows it to lay flat and me to use it like a notebook.
The goal sections, since I'm very much a to-do list person and enjoy checking off items.
The plastic covering on the front and back, which helps keep it nice and allows me greater freedom to drink my coffee around the planner.

What I hope they add/change: 
I wish they had the date {year} on the cover of the planner; I usually save planners for a few years and like to look back on years past.
For 2015, it would be helpful if major holidays were added;
I confess to having NO idea when Easter is since it's not on the calendar.
Increase the spacing between the 30 minute slots; at times I was pressed for room.
Add a section for addresses/telephone numbers.
Add a section every week that is blank; sometimes I have not needed all the various sections the way they're organized, so I do my own thing with the calendar. But if you're Type A and everything needs to be just so, this may be more of a deal breaker for you.

Check out Tools4Wisdom on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest.

What type of planner do you use?
Have you heard of Tools4Wisdom before?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com
Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers.

14 April 2014

Currently {April 14, 2014}

Thinking about needing to go to the bathroom... Yes, that was probably TMI, but these days, it seems that all I need to do is drink water, go to the bathroom, repeat every 30 minutes.

The occasional Braxton Hicks contractions I sometimes get, usually when my bladder is full. When I was pregnant with Charis, I did not get any Braxton Hicks contractions, but with Lil' J, they started around 34-35 weeks. Thankfully, I have not had any signs of labor though. I'm one of the few women I know that does not want to give birth before her due date. Yes, people think I'm crazy, and I get annoyed at the questions, "Are you ready for the baby to come?" I answer honestly, "No." Then they act shocked, "Why? You NEED to be ready." Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Why are you asking if you have no interest in why I'm not ready and want to give me your opinion. People need to be better listeners {including me}."

Reading. I must confess I have not started reading anything new. I should probably go on to my library and see if they are any books I want to listen to. These days, I prefer to be cleaning, relaxing {while knitting and watching a television program}

Listening to Charis singing, "Let it go. Let it go." as she's twirling around and around. Yes, she has definitely seen Frozen way too many times.

Watching Call the Midwife. Last week's episode caused a flood in our apartment. I cried and cried and cried. They need to have a warning on their episodes, "Warning: Watching this show might start flooding as a result of crying."

Thankful for breezes and fans. Yesterday it was so hot, at least to this pregnant woman. Our AC is not yet on, but thankfully God sent breezes today, and a few years ago, He provided fans for us which have been on throughout the day.

A pair of cotton baby socks I knit for Lil' J.

Linking up at A Mama Collective.

11 April 2014

Baby Blue X-Small Charlie Banana {Giveaway}

I am now officially full term. My "due" date is April 30, but I expect Lil' J to be "late". In reality, I'm somewhat hoping he'll be "late" because my SIL had her baby two days ago!! That's right. The cousins will be less than a month apart. I can't wait until the two babies meet. Plus, I keep thinking of everything I need to do between now and his birth.

In the meantime, I'm cleaning {AKA nesting}. I brought in Charis's car seat from the van and washed the cover tonight. I hope to wipe it down after posting this giveaway. Tomorrow, I plan on cleaning out the van, which desperately needs to be done before putting Lil' J's car seat inside. I also stocked our freezer tonight with wonderful processed food {yes, I'm being sarcastic}. I'm not thrilled with this, but I also need to give myself grace and remind myself, "We don't eat like this all the time. You will have a newborn baby and a pre-school daughter to watch, plus Drew will go back to work almost immediately."

As a small celebration for my upcoming delivery, I am giving away a Baby blue x-small Charlie Banana diaper. Enter below via the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite newborn diaper?
Click over and enter to win a Pink Heart X-Small Charlie Banana diaper.

Pink Heart X-Small Charlie Banana Diaper {Giveaway}

My SIL had her baby two days ago!! In celebration, I will be giving away a pink heart x-small Charlie Banana diaper. If I wasn't 37+ weeks pregnant, I'd try to go visit, but I have to stay here and get ready for my baby.

Click below and enter to win a Pink Heart X-Small Charlie Banana diaper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click over and enter to win a Baby Blue X-Small Charlie Banana diaper.

09 April 2014

Seaglass Scarf {Yarn Along}

I finished the Seaglass Scarf last night, but it desperately needs to be blocked to open up everything. I think I'll be happy with it, and hope to take pictures in greater detail before mailing it later this week. If I knit this again, I will definitely cast on at least 50 more stitches. As it stands now, I'll have to make some type of closure {most likely a felted flower pin}.

I also cast on a baby sophisticate a month ago, but haven't picked it up in the last 1-2 weeks because I was knitting other things and had deadlines deadlines, plus I was cleaning/nesting. Hopefully, I'll pick it up again later this week. It's a quick knit, especially since I'm knitting it with bulky yarn.

I have not started reading any new books. Over a week ago, on Tuesday, I took 20+ books back to the library, but I have one book still checked out-The Boxcar Children. I can not find it, and it's beginning to annoy me. I remember putting it in a "safe" place, but don't remember where it is. We have 750-800 square feet in our apartment, and there aren't too many places a book can walk off to. I need to check a few more places before going to the library and paying for it.

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

07 April 2014

Currently {April 7, 2014}

Thinking about my to-do list. Sometimes I love to-do lists, but other times, I despise them. Right now I dislike it because there's SO MUCH TO DO before Lil' J arrives.

Reading {Read} Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato and Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland. Both by Tomie dePaola.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. "Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland." His wife was long-suffering and hard working, but an injury forced her to remain in bed. He met a leprechaun and wanted his gold, but instead made a deal to take the seed that would grow the biggest prattie {potato} in the world, which ends up growing in his backyard. The villagers chip in and help Jamie out, but they have to eat potatoes all winter which in the end they are sick of eating and offer to cook for Jamie so that he won't plant another potato. In the end, he's just as lazy, but I still think {contrary to some opinions} that this is a cute story.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland. I loved this introduction to Saint Patrick. It's a children's story of his life: his birth, kidnapping into slavery, running away, and return to Ireland as a missionary to help spread news about God. Charis's favorite part were the hounds on the ship to France; for the next 2 days, all she talked about were the dogs in the Patrick story.

Watching A Few Good Men. I actually started watching it last night with my in-laws and Drew, but at 10:30 PM this mama NEEDED to go to bed, instead of finishing the movie. This is one of my favorite movies. The one liners are great, though I wish the swearing was toned down. I plan on eventually buying the DVD, but right now, we have both a VCR and DVD player, and we have the movie on VHS. Neither Drew and I currently have the need to buy it on DVD.

Thankful for my in-laws. They were visiting this weekend to take some of our furniture and store it for us, since we are limited on space. Our storage area in the basement now has room, so I'm planning {hoping} to put boxes down there after packing them up.

Thankful that my chest freezer was defrosted tonight. I will now start making freezer meals again.

Thankful that my wedding and engagement bands still fit; at this point in my pregnancy with Charis, I was BIG and swollen.

Thankful for lemon water.

Linking up at A Mama Collective.

02 April 2014

Seaglass Scarf {Yarn Along}

On Sunday night, I cast on the seaglass scarf for an Instagram craft swap {#YarnStitchSwap} that I'm participating in. I love the look of this scarf/kerchief, especially the edges {which I have not taken a photograph of}; they look like waves coming in from the sea. I'll also need to do some major blocking after casting of because it's curling like crazy. My only concern is the scarf not being long enough to wrap around the neck; I may need to make some type of closure to remedy this.

Yesterday was gorgeous. Charis and I went to the park for an hour, and we were the only ones there. Sometimes I have no idea how she can have that much energy. Usually, I also go walking on the trails, but since we had prayer meeting, I wanted to go home and have Charis and I nap for an hour or two.

What's on your needles?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

01 April 2014

Wrapsody WrapDuO {Giveaway}

Summer is coming!! It's time to think about all those pool and beach days! The Wrapsody WrapDuO is the perfect baby carrier for those hot summer days. It's perfect to wear in the water, but it's also a nice lightweight material, so it's perfect even just for the hot weather days that lurk ahead!

Wrapsody was kind enough to donate one to a lucky winner!! The review is over on Mommy's Favorite Things blog. It's such a wonderful carrier!

Some features below:
Hypoallergenic stretchy fabric feels great on the skin and is perfect for carrying your child both in and out of the water! 
Tapered ends and narrow body make this carrier lightweight and cool. 
Fabric blocks 97.5% – 98% of the sun’s rays (UPF 45), reducing the need for sunscreen. 
Just-right stretch makes it easy to wash between you and baby or pop baby in and out without adjusting the carrier. 
Portable and packable — folds down into a quart-sized sandwich baggie.
Hi-tech sport knit wicks moisture and sweat away from the skin. 
Water use to 35 pounds; land use to 25 pounds.

Giveaway runs from 4/1-4/14 so enter now and keep coming back every day for more entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment