Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its a girl!!

Haha!  You thought I already had the baby, huh? I know, that was rotten of me, but I couldn't resist.  Nope, I'm still large and occasionally in charge. ;)  No, I found out a couple of days ago that my sister Mollie had her sonogram and we are finally going to be adding a girl to the Dyess clan of boys!  Its very exciting!  I told her I will be keeping my eyes open for very frilly, very girly things and I will enjoy every moment and purchase!  Its like a new frontier....the stores will wonder about their increased revenue, the world will go topsy turvy and pink and purple and the like will be in abundance!  Okay, maybe it won't be quite that serious, but it'll be close....hehehe.

On a seperate note,  I have been able to wash all the baby clothes in the Country Save detergent and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!  It does everything it says it does and I am really excited about it.  I haven't washed the diapers I've made or the wipes, yet.  I want to have a good load to put in, but the excitement still lingers, people!  Okay, I'll stop gushing for now.:)

I also took all of the stuffing out of my boppy and Braden and I separated the globs of polyfil and restuffed it.  I love it that he loves to help!  It looks close to new except for the slight lumpiness which will get packed down with use.  

Here's a question for anyone interested in answering:  Does anyone else have older children that find getting in and out of a newborn carseat that is sitting on the floor waiting for use tremendous fun?  My kids can't go past it without trying to make it into some kind of a toy.  They HAVE to sit in it, push it around and lean it up against stuff.  Anyway, just wondering if this is a universal occurrence.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dream, dream, dream

I had a dream the other night and I'm going to tell on myself here for a minute or two. I was at this place that I recognized in the dream as a Sam's club, though I don't know exactly where. (Of course, after I woke up, the Sam's club in my dream in no way looked anything like a real one. Know what I mean?) Anyway, out behind the club there was a park of sorts with several sets of swings, slides, various other playground equipment and covered picnic table areas. Apparently, you could reserve these areas for birthday parties and such and there were decorations up all over the entire area. I was there with a playgroup or something and our kids were playing on the swings and things and the moms were sitting at one of the end picnic tables to be out of the way. Well, up comes this lady and she says that she has reserved the entire play area and that we needed to vacate the area. I do remember in the dream that she said all of that in a nice manner. ***Right here I need to explain something about my dreams. There are many times that while I'm asleep, I realize I am in a dream and I can change my actions in the dream. I learned to do this when I was really little after someone told me about taking control of your nightmares. For me, it works and I am able to do it most of the time whatever kind of dream I am having as long as I realize its a dream.*** So, after she says that to us, here's what happened. I knew that I was in a dream at this point and what I should have done was say, "Please, excuse us for not obeying the rules, we'll leave immediately!" Yeah, I didn't say that. I was already irritated at her in the dream because I just didn't see why we couldn't just share the area and what I actually said was (in a very irritated, how-dare-you-tell-us-to-leave kind of tone), "We're not even in the way. Why can't we just sit here out of the way and let the kids play for a little bit. Its not going to hurt anything." To which, she started to get irritated and tell me that she was in the right and we were wrong... That's where I woke up. I have to admit that I was so ashamed of myself! I totally knew in the dream that it was a dream and I could make the right choice, but I intentionally responded in a truly unkind and unloving way! Yikes! That just goes to show that what is in your heart at times will even manifest itself in a dream! Anyway, I immediately told God that I was sorry for the ugliness in my heart and asked him to clean that mess right out of me! I wanted to share all this because normally I don't remember my dreams and this one was a doozy in its own way and God used it to reveal something that was lurking in my heart. Cool, huh?

Monday, January 26, 2009


We have been so blessed lately, that I just need to share.  First, were all the Christmas movies we got over the holidays.  I was wanting to get the boys some Christmas movies that were actually about Jesus and his birth and the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  Well, it kept getting closer and closer to Christmas and I ended up not having enough time to order any and just decided to wait and order some throughout the year in time for next Christmas.  Well, God totally provided because between Sam's mom (Meemaw) and my mom (Granny) we got about 8 new Christmas movies and all of them are about Jesus!  I only bought one, The Little Drummer Boy claymation one that I found on sale at Hastings for $9!  Isn't that amazing?!  

 Then, Sam's parents took Braden to meet my mom so that he could stay with her for a few days, which he LOVED! (Like I suspected, he didn't miss us at all....)  We also got to spend time with just Zekey, which we had yet to do. That was an amazing time, as well.  He's very different when he is not constantly around Braden and it was neat to be able to see and be a part of that. Because Sam's Dad (Peepaw) got the van window up, I was able to not only meet my mom half way to pick Braden up so she wouldn't have to drive so far, but I also got to go hang out at my sister's house for a couple of days and meet my newest nephew for the first time.  I also got to see my other nephew, my sister and her husband, whom I hadn't seen in over  6 mos.  Yay!  Then, while we were there she had this coat that she gave Zekey.  I had mentioned to Sam that Zekey needed a heavier coat because the one I had stored for him was in a different bag that I hadn't gotten out of the rv and I wasn't going to be able to go and get it before he was really going to need it.  Sam said instead of going to the store and just buying one, why don't we take it to God in prayer and see what He wants us to do about it.  Well, didn't He just work it out perfectly?!  How awesome is our God!!!  

Sam has also gotten days and hours off though they were on 7/12's and I can't tell you how much of a blessing and treat that has been for all of us.  God just totally knows when we need down time and its amazing to see Him work it all out!  Now, I just got told by Sam that they are officially going to 6/10's!  More of God's amazing handiwork!  I know this is long, but seriously, there's more... we also received a notice that we were going to start having lower payments on our mobile home mortgage, in addition to the cool way God has totally worked that particular situation out.  We got that mobile home when we moved from Hawaii back to East Texas.  We were completely provided for in many interesting ways.  First, we were given the gift of a place to put a mobile home for free!  Yep, my sister Jennifer's parents are so hospitable and they saw our need and didn't hesitate about offering that to us.  They had land that was already set up for a mobile home and they told us we could put one on there for as long as we needed.  How cool is that?!  Then, we went looking at mobile homes.  We decided against apartments or duplexes or anything of that sort because we would not have been able to afford it long term.  We found one that had been repossessed and it was the right price and very decent inside and out.  We ended up living in it for a year and were very happy there.  We went back out on the road and the mobile home sat for a while.  Eventually, Sam's sister Mollie needed a place to live and had bought some land and we offered her the mobile home at only a portion of the monthly payment.  Again, an opportunity for her and for us.  She was helping us to pay part of the monthly cost and we were helping her out with cheap rent.  She lived in it for a time and then it sat on her land for a while.  Then, after a time, Sam's brother and his family knew that God had a different direction for them to take and they put the house that they had built up for sale.  (God was/is doing amazing things in their lives, too, and this was just the part that merged with ours concerning our mobile home:)  They started looking at mobile homes and were gonna move out to the same piece of land that we had the mobile home on when we lived there.  (They had previously lived on it in their own mobile home for many years before they built their house and before we were blessed with the same provision.)  Well, since the market had changed so much, the mobile home costs had sky rocketed and the quality to cost was grossly out of proportion.  Anyway, what ended up happening is, they moved our mobile home on to the land, totally renovated it (There are parts that are still a work in progress.  It is very time consuming to do all that, but the stuff that has been done is downright gorgeous.  I wish they could have renovated it for us when we lived in it!;) and are buying it from us.  Only God would work all that out and have it be a blessing to three different families in the same family.  I hope that made sense.  Then there's the baby stuff.  There are things that I am trying out this time around, but pretty much I have all I need for this next little one.  We have enough neutral clothes for a newborn until we know for sure if this is a boy or girl and I have a husband who is open to and supportive of his wife's tendency to always try something new and different!

I wanted to mention here how honored I am and how very neat I find it that there are people in different countries all over the world that have read/are reading this blog.  I put that little map on here just out of curiosity and I have just been so surprised!  I hope you are being blessed and encouraged and hopefully even getting an occasional laugh or two from this blog no matter where you are!  Thanks for reading. Your interest blesses me more than you know. :D

I also wanted to keep you posted on the progress of the diapers and wipes.  The wipes have turned out just fine and dandy.  I made 22 already and have another bazillion cut out that I need to stitch around the edges.  The diapers, as previously stated, were starting out as a huge frustration due to my ignorance of how to sew a welt pocket.  Well, I did go online and found another video showing how to do the welt pocket and bam! it made sense!  So, off I went to sew the first of my welt pockets.  I did it exactly the way she showed in the video and lo and behold, it looked NOTHING like the pictures or the actual diaper that I got off of the auction!  I was pretty irritated at this point and just couldn't fathom why my pocket didn't look like it was supposed to.  Why, why, why?????!!!!!  Then, I went back to the instructions which I had read over several times, but the wording wasn't making sense to my backward brain.  Well, this time when I read over them again, I noticed that she does her pockets a little bit differently and I had missed several steps completely.  Go figure, it was there in the instructions all along!  All I had to do was follow them...and totally mess up my first diaper and watch two different videos and get very irritated that I did it wrong.....  You know, the usual!:p  So, after completely screwing up the first welt pocket, I had great success with the other two.  I also decided that even though the first diaper looks totally wrong, its still functional and I'm going to use it anyway.  I went ahead and completed it and another one and the third will be even better.  The more I make, the better they should look.  That's my hope anyway.  This was also my first time working with elastic.  The diapers have elastic in the back and around the leg areas.  That was also a learning experience.  After I sewed mine up, I checked the one that I ordered and noticed that you couldn't see any of her stitches down the elastic.   The pattern calls for you to sew a broken zig zag stitch while stretching the elastic.  That was a very difficult part for me because of the way you have to do it according to the instructions, but I did do it and you can totally see my stitches.  Well, the more I thought about it the more I came to realize that the one that I had ordered didn't have stitches down the length of the elastic.  She just anchored both ends and then hemmed it in like it would be around a waist band or the like.  The more I realized that, the more I liked that idea and now will be implementing that sewing technique instead.  So much easier!!!!  Okay, enough about my sewing adventures and trials.  Here are pics of the finished products:

These are the wipes made out of the flannel we intended to use for Christmas pajama pants.
This is my first attempt at the diaper.
This would be the welt pocket wanna be...
This is the diaper in its folded state.
This is the diaper that I bought off of ebay so that I would have a tangible example to go by.

Notice the correctly done welt pocket.  Yeah, big difference!

Here is attempt #2 after the confusion and frustration went away and revelation dawned...
Notice the welt pocket in all of its correctness?  Woo-hoo!  Success!!  I also was successful on the welt pocket on the third diaper, but I haven't put the elastic in it or the finishing touches, so no pics yet.
And here they all are in their photo finale!

Friday, January 23, 2009

So funny, you gotta read this!

I was checking out octamom's blog and this was her latest post.  It made me burst out laughing, so I knew I had to share.  Click here for a bright spot to your day.

Nesting Has begun among other things...

Yep.  Its actually hard for me to identify this in my pregnancies because I naturally tend to lean that way.  I love to be organized (even though that doesn't happen near as much as I would like anymore!:).  I like everything to have a place and be in it.  I love containers and shelves and organizational accessories.  I like everything labeled. 

Before we had kids, I had our closet organized by type of clothes, i.e. pants, skirts, short sleeves, long sleeves.  Then I had them ordered by color from neutrals through all the different colors.  Yep.  Its good to have kids to stretch me!:)  I haven't given up my organizational tendencies, mind you, I have just re-prioritized what I organize.  I get stuff to make sure we have a place to put all the stuff we need/have in a confined space.  Now, whether it all gets put back where it goes is another matter entirely, but at least the possibility of it is there!  Someday, when we don't live in the rv anymore, and we have a house....OH, Yeah!!!

So, on to the nesting phase.  Yeah, the urgency to have all the baby stuff here and in my presence hit a couple of weeks ago and last week I was able to go to the rv place to retrieve some clothes and things from the rv and then the following weekend we traveled to East Texas to get the rest of the baby things out of the storage unit.  We also got in a really good visit with Sam's parents, his sister and her kiddos and his brother, his wife and their kiddos.  Good times!

Anyway, we retrieved our portable baby swing, the boppy, clothes, car seat stuff, blankets, burp cloths, etc.  They are all still in the storage bags at this time because I'm waiting on the order of detergent I bought.  Its the Country Save that I'm going to use with the cloth diapers and any other baby stuff.  (When I run out of the stuff that I currently have, I'll be using the Country Save for all of our laundry.  Its flat out cheaper and the detergent is better for your skin, yadda, yadda...)  I'm actually expecting it to arrive today.  Yeah, free shipping via by FedEx.  You can't beat that!  So, hopefully I'll be able to start getting all the baby stuff clean and folded and put where its all supposed to go.  Aaaahhhh...that'll be nice.:)  

I had a great day yesterday because I was able to go to Target and get some things.  When I got there, wouldn't you know that they didn't have what I was originally looking for, but they were having a nice sale in the baby area.  I found some swaddling blankets that were actually bigger than 30" x 30" .  These suckers are 42" x 42"!  Isn't that wonderful?!  Okay, perhaps I should explain my excitement.  Both of my boys came out at 19" + and were very wiggly and active from the beginning.  They both needed swaddling for comfort for several months and the 30 x 30 blankets just didn't cut it.  I had to go with a stretchier blanket.  I did actually find a few that were big enough and light enough.  Well, through the course of our moving so very often, I only have one left and I can't find that kind any more.  If I find a blanket made out of the right material, it is smaller than what I need.  Anyway, to find these blankets which are stretchy and big enough is exciting, indeed!   Yippee!  It is now time to do the dance of joy!!!:)  Won't you join me? :P 

Another lovely thing happened when the post-person delivered my nursing pillow.  They actually tried to deliver it on Saturday, but we weren't here at the time and so they left a card for me to go pick it up.  I have to have a little aside here for a sec.  Did you know you can schedule a redeliver by USPS online?  I actually tried to call them to have them redeliver it, since I don't have the van during the day and wouldn't be able to go and pick it up until after 7 most of the time.  The person on the phone basically just brushed me off and gave me the impression that I couldn't request a re-deliver even though that's exactly what it said on the card.  So, after seeing the online thing, I decided to forgo the lack of customer service via an actual person and just schedule it online.  Its pretty pitiful that I had to go that route, but there you have it.  Okay, back to my delivery....   I LOVE the pillow.  I got the My Brest Friend Deluxe, which has the cover that comes off so you can wash it.  (It is so stinkin' soft!!) It also comes in a zippered plastic bag that fits precisely around it and is perfect for storing it in.  Even though I have a huge belly right now, I went ahead and tried it on and it did fit!  Amazing!  The boys also wanted to try it on and we all had a very good laugh.  When I get it out again, I'll have to take a picture of them with it on.  It was pretty funny.  Plus, this thing is super light-weight.  I am so excited to try it out when the nursing starts.  I'll have to let you know if it performs the expected task, which is to alleviate the back and neck strain I usually end up having from using the Boppy.  BTW - I do intend to still use the Boppy.  I like to snuggle my babies into it.  Right now, I need to get some more stuffing and plump it up a bit.

I also got my KCK One diaper that I bought via auction off of ebay.  Its so nice!  I sat down yesterday at the sewing machine and sewed up all the cloth wipes that I had cut out of the Christmas flannel fabric we bought for pajama pants back in November. (Yeah, it got re-appropriated.:) Those turned out quite well, but I do believe for them to be effective, I'm gonna have to make more.  I'll be getting some in the mail soon, too, but with two kiddos in diapers and another one who loves to get messy, I'll need a good supply of wipes!  I also attempted to make the welt pocket that is part of the diaper pattern, but I got so frustrated by the directions that I just decided to pack it all up and call it a day.  I'll probably get it back out tomorrow after watching the how-to video again and reading the directions at the same time.  I may even need to have someone explain it to me via email or something.  The best thing would be if I had someone sitting right next to me making it so that I could watch exactly how its done.  It'll be okay, though.  I'm thinking it'll be similar to the confusion I had with crocheting and then all of a sudden, BAM!, it'll make sense!  You know, I think I'll google how to sew a welt pocket and see what I come up with....  

No update on the rv yet.  I think they are still waiting on pricing and parts from the manufacturer.  God totally has all of this in His hands so that is where we are leaving it.  Last night when Braden was praying, he thanked God for this mobile home we are staying in in the interum.  Its so encouraging to hear him say stuff like that because its a window into his heart.  I'll have to write down one of his prayers on here one day.  They are so sweet and he's funny because he imitates the way Sam and I pray over him and Zekey.  I love it!

Homeschooling....hhhmmmm....yeah, that's been slow going around here.  I haven't recovered from the holidays yet and it seems like I have less and less energy everyday.  Well, I really do since I only have about a month left before we meet this new little person God has chosen to join our family.  I started to do a review of the Bible lessons and letters and numbers he has learned so far, but we've only gotten to B.  I think next week I am going to really buckle down and get the review done, so that we can move on to the rest of the Bible, alphabet and numbers.  I want to get our routine reestablished so that when the baby comes, I won't be trying to get yet another thing under control.  Ya know?

Sam is still on his schedule of 12's, but God is blessing us in different ways through it.  He gets surprise days off or he'll get off early on occasion.  So far, he has been allowed to have each Sunday off, so we are very grateful!  He was actually not feeling well yesterday, so he called in sick and we just spent a semi-relaxing day together.  (I did go to Target and then later we had to go to the grocery store.  We should know better than to go to the grocery store after 5.....!) Anyway, again God is blessing and providing in unexpected ways. :D

Well, I think that is enough typing for one day.  I'm sure if you have read this far, your eyes are tired, so I'll close my yap and give you all a break. :P  Have a great and blessed, wonderful day, wherever you are on the planet!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fabric complications

I've got a new project going.  I'm attempting to make my own cloth diapers.  I ordered the kit from and I also ordered a made one off of ebay so I know what it is supposed to end up looking like.  I also won an auction of 15 cloth baby wipes to try out and was intending to make some more myself.  I was going to used some of the "millions" of flannel receiving blankets we have amassed over the years, but it seems that I have either gotten rid of them or given them away.  Hooray for my kooky memory! Aarrggghh! I only have six now.  I used to have more like 20, I kid you not!  Anyway, I was thinking Walmart might be a good source for some flannel, but the one here does not have a fabric section.  I don't know if any of them do anymore.  Anyway, there's no JoAnne's or Hancock fabric here either.  The only thing I've found so far is the section in Hobby Lobby.  They have some of the fabric I want, but their selection leaves MUCH to be desired.   There is a fabric store in Temple, but it seems to be a specialty store, which to me equals more money.  I've looked at many sites online and while I've found lots that I would like to get, I'm really not wanting to buy that way because of the crazy way they do the shipping.  Why is it that they ship according to price?  I would prefer they sent it in one of those flat rate boxes or an envelope by first class mail, even if it does get to me a little slower.  At least that way you are not paying just as much for the shipping as you do for your order!  Now in all fairness, I have run across a few sites that do indeed do flat rate or by weight, but they are definitely in the minority.  Having this experience makes me want to start a co-op or something.  (This is just a process of thought.  I neither have the space, energy or time for such an endeavor now and may never have, but I can dream, can't I?)  I would have all of the maternity, nursing and baby gadgets that I really like, plus fabrics and patterns for making your own diapers, wipes and momma items (I have found reusable pads and tampons online as well as free patterns to make your own.  This may sound gross, but I don't see how its any different than reusable diapers, honestly.  Plus, when I think of all the money spent on those items over time and the fact that they go to a dump and don't break down, well, it makes me feel like a bad steward of the resources God has given me.  This is my own personal conviction.  I'm also not saying that disposable is not useful at times, but man are we a throw-away society or what?!)  I would also include the detergent and other cleaning products thrown in there.  I would also have people just pay for their portion of the order, plus whatever it takes to ship it to them by the cheapest means, of course.  I know there are co-ops that buy the fabric and all that, but the selections are pretty basic and I want fun, interesting fabrics!  I keep seeing some of the online sellers of diapers and wipes and I want to be able to get my hands on those fabrics for a decent price!!!  Okay, that's my dream.  Its not super grand or anything, but it would take a lot of work and time and research and I just don't have it right now to give.  Maybe one day.:)

Guess I'll get back to cutting out my diaper pieces.  Braden and I also need to do a review of all the Bible lessons, letters and numbers he's learned so far.  Then, next week we'll continue on.  He's doing great by the way.  I'm hoping he has inherited his daddy's type of memory where he actually remembers things in an orderly manner and doesn't go about everything backward like me. :)  So far, that is the way it is looking....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's going on...

I thought I'd give a bit of an update as to how things are progressing in this here family of ours.:)

First of all, we are all doing well.  We are all struggling with the abundance of mucus that allergies cause, but I have to say "Thank you, Jesus!" for Mucinex!  I am not able to take it, of course, but Sam and the kids are.  I am able to take Flonase and use saline nasal spray and so do Sam and Braden.  Woo-hoo Flonase!  Zekey won't be able to partake of that until he is 2, but he does get a healthy squeeze of Little Noses saline spray.  

The boys are really enjoying the abundance of room to play, both inside and out.  There is a vacant concrete pad right next to the mobile home we are staying in and their toys are strewn all over the place!  I'm really glad they have that area to play in.  We are trying to get back into some sort of routine with naps and homeschooling and daycare, but it is difficult at this point because Sam got moved on Post to work and his motorcycle needs to have a couple of things done to it in order to pass muster.  It'll work out, though.:)  Anyway, because of that, he drives the van most days.  Some days he comes home at lunch to leave me the van, but its a race against the clock to get the kiddos in the car and get him back to work in time.  You do what you gotta do...  They are both growing like crazy, too.  I am convinced that Braden changed noticeably during the time he was at my mom's.  How crazy is that?!  It was only 3 days! He's gotten so tall and lanky.  Plus, his face seemed to have lost some more of its baby-ness.  :(  Yep, he's growing up, but not too fast. :)  Zekey is huge as ever.  He's in 2T and they fit him.  Yeah, he won't be 2 until June and I'm pretty sure we'll be putting him in 3T by then.  He's just a very big boy!  He's also having to endure the pains of getting older.  He wants to do everything Braden does and most of the time its okay, but sometimes, he's just not allowed and boy does that not sit well with him!  That has been a very interesting thing to observe and have to "deal" with in having two kids versus just one.  Three should be even MORE interesting!

Sam is doing okay.  He's had some brief reprieves from the crazy work schedule he's on, but working the 3 weeks of solid 12's when we first got here wore him down quite a bit and nothing short of several days in a row off will get him back to his normal energy level.  I think it will happen soon.  He's still on 6/12's with Sunday being an 8-hr day, but he's been requesting that day off so we can all go to church together and spend the rest of the day just hanging out in each other's company and so far, it has been approved.  That's totally God and we are thankful!  We're supposed to be going to East Texas to visit either this weekend or next to see everyone and also to get some of the baby stuff out of storage.  I think that will be a nice "vacation" for him as well as the rest of us.  Right now, he is resting in the Lord and just being grateful for the provision of it all.  He's also being stretched and refined, which though sometimes painful, always ends up being a blessing in the end.

I had a mid-wife appointment last week and my next one is next week.  So far, so good.  It looks like I finally put on some weight, but exactly how much is hard to tell because my clothing was heavier, plus the water weight thing.  Anyway, I'll weigh again this next week and see if it was a fluke or not.  This baby is definitely growing, though, let me tell ya!  I'm starting to get to the really uncomfortable stage.  I hope it doesn't rear its ugly head until much closer to the end of next month, though.  I don't like being in that stage because then all I want is to go ahead and have the baby and I get impatient!  I guess that's how God gets us past the being-scared-of-giving-birth portion of the pregnancy.... He moves us into the I-don't-care-if-it-hurts-I-just-want-this-baby-out stage! :p  I'm getting more and more easily tired and have to watch how much I do at one time, but I'm still trying to be as active as possible within those bounds.  

We still don't have a middle name for a boy, so I guess I should redouble my efforts in that arena.  

I've been having a good time finding deals on some of the things in my list of maternity/nursing favorites.  I found another interesting nursing "gadget" that I will update in my list.  I'm waiting to see if I win that auction.  There are still a few more days left for that.  I did, however, get another set of breast soothers for quite a bit less than half of the normal cost.  Now I have two sets.  I also got a KCK one-size all in one diaper.  I wanted to have an example of how its actually supposed to look when its finished, for when I get my kit and sew my own.  I'm also going to make my own wipes, as well.  We are just going to try out the all natural methods for right now and see how it goes because, in all honesty, we don't know that it will work if/when we move back into the motor home.  The instructions for washing cloth diapers and wipes involves several specific cycles on the washing machine and most laundromat machines aren't that specific.  We'll see what God provides and go from there.  I'm still going to try it all out because at some point we won't be in the rv anymore and using reusable diapers and wipes will end up saving us money in the long run.  Plus, we don't know how many children God will end up blessing us with, so there you go.:)

There are several things that God provided for us lately, that we chose to ask God for first and wait on His timing instead of just going out and buying it or trying to make it happen, but I will share that in another post.  I think that will be all for now

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

OCTAMOM (c): Monday Musings...Is Eight Enough?....

I saw this link on another friend's post and thought I'd share as well.  She has a lovely view of her large family of eight children and possibly more.....

OCTAMOM (c): Monday Musings...Is Eight Enough?....

Monday, January 12, 2009

An inspirational birth story

Warning:  Possible too much info for some people!  Proceed with caution...

This is the recent home birth story of a dear friend of mine and she gave me permission to share it here.  I hope it inspires you as much as it has me.

***We took the kids with us to the cottage this time. My hubby felt more comfortable getting down there before labor set in so we went for a visit a couple weekends ago - hoping for labor because my due date according to the charts was on Dec 16. But nothing happened so we came home to get a few things done. We left again for the cottage last Friday Dec 19. My midwife checked me and was able to hear the heartbeat but it was faint. She was concerned that the baby was possibly breech. She has delivered many breech babies so we weren't extremely worried - just wanted to be sure and more informed. She wanted me to get an ultrasound but we were not able to over the weekend. We had planned a trip to a doctor (she knows very well) on Monday. We were going to get a referral for an ultrasound so we could have a better idea of where the baby was. But Sunday night I started having some pretty good contractions - nothing regular, but felt more real. Monday morning she checked me and the baby was head down and engaged. :) I was not very far along but the baby was in the perfect position. During most of Monday I was getting pretty good contractions every 45 minutes. I did an enema after lunch. It didn't rush anything long but I felt better getting cleaned out. Around 6:00 PM she mentioned the idea of Hubby taking me for a bumpy car ride. I did not think this would do anything but I was up for it. We took Joshua (our 1 yr old) with us and left the other 3 kids at the cottage with the midwifes and doula - I had 3 ladies assisting my birth. :) We drove around for about an hour - Hubby hit every bumpy rode he could find (ouch!). ;) The contractions by the time we got back to the cottage were every 10 minutes. I got immediately in the tub and things picked up pretty quickly. Nothing got too intense until after the kids were in bed - around 9:00. I had thought of letting them watch the birth if they had wanted, but it worked out so much better with them being in bed. I stayed in the tub until about 10:30. I had considered a water birth but changed my mind. My midwife got me out of the tub earlier than I would have preferred, but we wanted to be sure not to get stuck in there if I indeed wanted to be out when pushing. I labored on my side on the bed with my hubby massaging my back - most of the pain was in my back. This labor hurt a little more than the last because of being out of the water sooner. But the laboring at the end went slower than the last - I got more relief in between the contractions. I can't remember exactly when I started pushing - maybe around 11:15? The baby was born at 11:42 on Monday December 22. A little girl - Livia Faith - weighing 11 lbs and 21 in long (big girl). My daughter had told me earlier this year before we even knew about the pregnancy and were not trying - "God was making her a baby sister". I told my husband that I possibly was pregnant although I would not find out until 2 weeks later. So, Madeline was right - God gave her a baby sister and she is beside herself thrilled! :) The whole labor and delivery went beautifully - very similar to Joshua's birth. Absolutely no tearing at all - amazing! I don't even feel sore down there -maybe just a bit tender, but nothing bad at all. I'm trying to make myself rest even though I feel well enough to go around doing stuff. Hubby has lots of off time so he is helping bunches! :) We came home on Xmas Eve so it was nice to spend a quiet Xmas at home as a family. Livia is doing very well. Nursing beautifully and does not appear to be slowing down on her weight at all. ;) 

This was actually an email to someone else, so I did cut out a few parts pertaining specifically to that, but left the main story in tact.  I also changed a name to keep this a little more private since it isn't my story.  Isn't that a cool story?!  I love it.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

*** Updated - A few of the maternity/nursing things that I love or at least found interesting

Here is a compiled list of maternity/nursing products and sites that I have found interesting/cost effective so far.  Several of the sites listed also carry other products so don't forget to browse.:)

1.  My brest friend nursing pillow: 
walmart online - $48.98 if you do site to store because of the no shipping
The doula shop - $39.88 + shipping - deluxe pillow; the cheapest with shipping
Got Breast - $41.79!!! free shipping - deluxe pillow.  She also has an ebay store.  If you sign up for her online magazine, she will send you an extra 5% off coupon to enter at checkout!  yay!

2.  Cover-Me strap - converts any  baby blanket into a nursing cover-up -$11.88 + $3.99 shipping

3.  Be-Bella Nursing/Belly tubes - 3 pack for $21.95 +$5.95 shipping  - you pick colors; keeps belly covered while being able to nurse using regular shirts

4.  Breast Soothers thermal gel pads - cold for engorgement/warm for blocked ducts and mastitis - $15.00 + $5.95 shipping - $15.99 + shipping unless you purchase $30.00 or more, then no shipping fee.

5. - nursing bras for all sizes and free shipping on them!

7. Milk shirt - black or white nursing undershirt that can be worn under any regular shirt. $19.99 +$4.00 shipping

8.  Feme Pad - relieves post-partum soreness - $20.00 for 2 pack + 10 gauze covers + shipping unless you have a $30.00+ order.

9.  Moby Wrap - $38.88 with free shipping

10.  Promise Stages Prenatal Vitamins - formulated for each stage of pregnancy - $13.98/mo and up depending on the quantity you order and if you want to add the DHA supplements

11. - Super wonderful nursing shirts that can also be worn during pregnancy; also have pjs, dresses, bras and other accessories.  Look for their clearance sales.  You can also sign up to receive emails with coupons or free shipping deals.

12.  Cloth Diapers - not the kind you have to fold.  These look and act like the disposable kind, but are reusable.  I'm listing several sites as each has their pros and cons for pricing.
bumgenius - baby colors in solids; lots of sites carry these; this is the main site for info.
urban fluff - very cool colors; microfleece
Good Mama - printed fitteds; organic bamboo velour
Banana Peels Diapers - has a nice selection of different brands, including bum genius, urban fluff, fuzzi buns... This site seems to have really good pricing out of all the others I've researched and they have free shipping on orders over $50.00. (If anyone knows of sites that have better discount pricing feel free to leave a comment about it and I'll update this list.)
My used - this is a used diaper auction site 
 Kaylas Cloth - this is a very cool cloth diaper site.  She will sell you a kit to make your own one-size or sized diaper, with or without a pocket.  Or you can have her make them for you.  She has a video that shows how hers work.  They are very innovative!  Also, she sells them for less on ebay auctions.  The one-size diaper kit which includes fabrics, notions and pattern is $24.00 including shipping.  It will make 3 diapers.

13. - breastfeeding and parenting tips and info.

14. - if  you are throwing up and can't keep anything down, check this site out and tell  your doctor about this! There are a few meds that can make all the difference.

15.  This is a recipe for nipple cream that I was given by a lactation consultant and let me tell you, it is fantastic!!!---Mix together equal parts triple antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream and lotrimin cream (its in a little tube at the store).  Apply it directly to the nipple and leave on.  There should be a noticeable difference in 2-3 applications.  It is safe for baby because it is non-digestible.  The lotrimin takes care of any fungal infection, the hydrocortisone cream helps with redness, swelling, chapping and pain and the triple antibiotic cream takes care of any bacterial agents.  Triple whammy - one cream!  I applied it after each feeding for a couple days until my nipples became used to nursing and it was such a relief and much better than the lanolin stuff because it isn't sticky and isn't painful to apply.  BTW - I just stored the excess that I mixed in a little pyrex dish with a lid at room temp.  I also didn't mix very much at a time because you'll end up only using it for a few days, if that much.

16.  Breast milk boosters - help increase your breast milk supply - goat's rue $24.95/60 count, more milk plus $$22.79/60 count, more milk plus $41.95/120 count (I haven't taken either of these, but if I end up having to take a supplement this time as well, I'm going to try the more milk plus.) - fenugreek seed $1.99/100 count and blessed thistle $4.49/90 count (there are other brands for a little more money.)

17.  Laundry Detergent for cloth diapers - After researching cloth diapers, all of the sites say to use a detergent that doesn't leave any residue among other things. While perusing all of the recommended brands, there were four that kept jumping out at me. (Originally I said three, I forgot about Allens, but it is now added.)
Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent - Jillian's Drawers has 1qt/1gal/5lb powder available, shipping is based on cost of product and baby cotton bottoms has the same, but shipping is flat rate - this has rave reviews, too and last a very long time.
Country Save - this brand is available on for a VERY good deal: A case of 4 - 10 lb. boxes for $50.75 and free shipping!  If you think that sounds like a lot, here's the skinny - each box is 80 loads for a top loader and 160 loads (large loads) for front loader.  So, you really are getting a deal!  Plus, this had 20+ reviews and not one of them was negative.  Most of the ones who bought it for diapers also use it on their other laundry with great success and there were several reviews from people with eczema or sensitive skin that were excited to finally find this product!
Nellie's Laundry Soda - several of the diaper sites recommended this detergent as well because its a very simple detergent that does its job without any kind of additives and its cost effective.  50 loads/ $9.99 + shipping or 120 loads/$18.99 + shipping.
Soap Nuts - This is a very interesting product.  Its completely all natural as it is the fruit that grows on the soap tree.  There are two websites where I found this product for sale Maggie's Soap Nuts and NaturOli.

18.  Ameda Breast Shell System - very cool breast shields that catch milk leakage so you can use it and also helps with sore nipples, engorgement, inverted nipples, etc. $26.99/ free shipping.

I just ordered the Breast soothers and a nursing shirt from Expressiva and it came very promptly and I LOVE the nursing shirt!  It is super soft and stretchy with an empire waist where the nursing opening is and it is long enough that I can wear it right now!  Love it!!   Plus, I got it on clearance for $17.99!  Oh, yeah.....  Hopefully, I'll be able to get  a few more shirts.  I like their styles because they are way more flattering than the ones you get at stores like motherhood maternity, target and so on.  Here's what it looks like on (plus another look at my ever expanding belly:):

This is where the nursing flap is or you can pull the wrap part to each side and nurse that way.  Cool, huh?  (You know you want one, Nerrrsa!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Braden and Wall-E and other tidbits

We rented Wall-E over the weekend and Braden ended up watching it four times!  He's obsessed.  He's been running all over the house talking about rocket racing with Wall-E and EVE.  So funny.  It really is a very cute movie and after watching it more than once, Sam and I have decided to go ahead and buy it sometime soon.  Zekey liked it,  too, and even though he doesn't know what Braden is really playing, he runs around after him giggling and having fun anyway.  The night after Braden first watched it, his imaginary friend Wall-E slept with him and he even had me give him a good night kiss.  He really does have quite an imagination.  He's also gotten Wall-E and EVE involved in battling Harrod to keep baby Jesus safe in some of his play scenarios.  You just never know, right?  Anyway, I thought that was pretty funny.

We also rented Horton Hears a Who.  All I have to say is...not what I expected.  Why can't they just remain true to Dr. Seuss' style?  What was the deal with the anime sequence thrown in there?!?!?!  Good grief!  I also couldn't get over how many times the words/phrases: shut up, imbecile and idiot were said.  Hello?!  Has it come to such a sad state that better wording can't be used in a children's movie?  Needless to say, we're not interested in purchasing, or for that matter, watching that movie again.  Yeah.  Okay, I'm done ranting about that movie, but I do have to rant about another one.....sort of.

We rented Hancock, too.  We actually did look at what it was rated for and because there didn't seem to be any sexual content, we thought it might be okay.  Not so much.  There is a whole scene that we had to fast forward through that wasn't mentioned in the all!  What is that?!  Very irritating.  It showed no nudity, but the woman had her "dress top" open and her bra was completely exposed in the front.  Also, the alluded to act and subsequent sounds left no doubts as to what they were doing.  Yeah, nothing mentioned about any of that.  I also felt really let down after the movie was over.  In addition to the excess of expletives, I felt like the movie was somehow beneath the usual choices of movie for Will Smith.  Don't get me wrong, his acting was really good, just the caliber of movie was somehow less.  Anyway, I felt like I had wasted life to watch that particular movie.

Here are some movies you might like if you like clean period British movies.  If you have Netflix, they are also on instant play:

Under the Greenwood Tree
Martin Chuzzlewit
Wives and Daughters
North and South (not about the Civil War, this one is a British film)

Let me know what you think, if you get around to watching any of them.:)

On a happy note, we were really glad to just have a weekend to spend together and veg out!  We did go to Austin to go to Costco and got some things that we'd been waiting to get.  Sam also was able to find some tools that he's been needing and got them at an unexpectedly lower price.  Yay!!!  I was able to get some nursing bras and a nursing shirt and some gel packs for less by being able to split my order up between two websites.  It made the biggest difference with the shipping in the end to do it that way.  (I've updated the links in the sidebar, if anyone is interested.)  I also found a shirt that acts as the under layer of a nursing shirt, but its separate and you can wear it under any shirt you want thus turning it into a nursing shirt!  How cool is that?  Another nice thing was I found a site that sells Moby Wraps, but has free shipping.  Oh, yeah, love that!  I did have a disappointment in the nursing pillow area.  The one that I was wanting to get is not being produced at the moment as they are searching for a different manufacturer and they won't have any available in time for me.  I'll have to go back to the one that I was looking at in the first place.  Its okay though, its basically the same kind of pillow, but without the safety shield on it.  You can compare the two here (my brest friend, the one I'll prolly end up with) and here (my baby's nest, the one I'd rather have.:)

I think that'll do for now.  Hopefully, I'll be able to update more now that the holidays are over and things are going back to normal-ish.  I'll try to do a post on all the maternity and nursing sites that I have found interesting and cost effective.....soon.