Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Update On Our Little Girl

Hey everybody! Hows life going for you? My life is - well it was a long day... 
School is exciting and I'm loving the feeling of having purpose in my life again {the whole sit around all day thing gets kinda boring after a while} So far I enjoy my classes - I'm a little nervous about one, but over all they are exciting and I'm ready to dominate this semester :)

Just a fun little story from my Floral Design Class.  The teacher is loud and fun and kinda off the wall in an awesome sort of way.  We have four midterms and we only have to take three! haha! How awesome is that?  Oh and there's no final wowza! That means that midterm right after thanksgiving doesn't have to be taken so I'm kinda pumped lol

Today I had a doctor's appointment and {other than the fact that my stupid old doctor didn't get my records faxed... grrr....} it was so fun to hear her heartbeat. I feel her kick all day, and I love it. Its magical.  But there's something about hearing the beating heart of a beautiful daughter of God growing inside of me.  And growing FAST!  I'm 27 and a half weeks pregnant, and she is measuring at 29 weeks! say wah??? She'd better come on the Friday before Thanksgiving, cause I am not giving birth to a 10 lb baby! I'm not as generous as her aunts lol

Madeline definitely likes college, as soon as I sit down for class its just kick kick kick and I love it :)  I'd like to think that she's proud of me, for not choosing between an education and being her mom.  That she's proud of me for holding my head high on campus, even when it seems that there are constantly eyes piercing down on me screaming, 'irresponsible, stupid, careless' etc.  I don't know if people are really thinking it, but it feels like it. Is it weird that I think of her as my friend and in my mind she's a little more competent than in actuality she is?  I can't wait for the adventures we're going to have together.  I'm excited to give all of myself in a way I never have before to someone who needs me and relies on me.  I can't wait to paint her nails, and go shopping with her :)  To lay down the law, and watch as she laments over her 'ending life'; to be her shoulder to cry on and her confidant. To have picnics at the park and lay on Jeremy's chest while we watch her play on the playground, and dry her tears when she gets hurt. I know, I know, motherhood is harder than it looks, but there's those good, amazing magical moments too, right? I have to believe there are.  

And I can't wait to have them :D


Monday, August 29, 2011

What is LOVE?

I am officially six months pregnant! 
{pick up jaw now}
Hard to believe that its been six months since we found out our home would be blessed by a little child of God.  I can't believe all that we've been through, and yet all that we have to look forward to, too!
I must confess that pregnancy has started to take its toll on my poor body.  {How do people have babies when they are old?  I mean I'm a fairly young mother, and I am wiped out!} Its hard to look at yourself as beautiful when the first thought that pops in your head upon seeing your reflection is 'hippo' - as in hippopotamus.  Poor husband has been a trooper - always reminding me how beautiful I am, and how proud he is of me.   It makes me feel purty good :) 

Lately I've been thinking about love.  For the past few years love has meant starry nights, romantic dinners, martinelli's, and lots of cuddling with my hubby.  But my definition is changing - not changing, but gaining an additional definition.  While I still have a lot to learn about the love of a mother for her child, I'm starting to get a glimpse of it really means.  Love means that this emerging belly button of mine  shows I've chosen to sacrifice my physical appearance to create life. 
 And these stretch marks -- well I'm still working seeing the beauty in those... {Is there a way to make those go away, like after birth? Oh well, there's always the resurrection, right!}

The point is, being a mom is not just fun pic-nics in the park and cute happily-all-the-time children, but so far its been worth it.  And I am so grateful for the chance I have to take part in this beautiful miracle, even if I'm super duper not psyched about the picture above... haha


First Day of School

Hello my dearies! How was your weekend?  Ours was calm and quiet.  We enjoyed skyping my family and giving them a little tour of our humble abode - speaking of which, I haven't shared our apartment with the blogging world yet, weird. Pictures coming soon!

Its Monday and the first day of school, only I don't have classes on Mondays haha.
At first I was excited about this, one more day of summer! But I feel like I'm missing out on all the energy that's flowing down on campus right now, alas.  There will probably still be energy tomorrow, right? 

Our Monday quote of the day is one that most of us have probably heard before, but its a good reminder!

"What lies behind us and what lies in front of us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Confession, I'm a little nervous about starting school.  Brigham Young University is a fairly prestigious school, with many very intelligent students, and yes I'm smart, but I'm not like a genius.  And oh side note, I'm 6 months pregnant and not getting any less pregnant til the end of the semester.  I just, I know this is where I'm supposed to be, but I'm a little scared.  I need to remember that I am an amazing person, and there's more to me than I realize, I just need to dig it out!

So here's to you school year! I'm gonna kick yo butt :)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 Money Tips for New Parents: 1-5

Hello my blogging lovelies - I'd like to apologize for being so lame... my creativity is apparently affected by entering the third trimester.  My body is just worn our and acting weird lately. And thats all I'm gonna say about that.

I recently read an interesting article on {we're friends.  They send me emails each week telling me how big Madeline is getting, etc} but this particular one I thought applied well to everyone.  They offer 10 Money Tips for New Parents.  For the complete article you can click here, or you can just read my thoughts on them below.  {I think we'll just to 1-5 today}

1. Embrace the hand-me-down 
I've gotten good at this one already.  There's a store in Spokane called Other Mother, and once a month big sale where a room full of thousands of clothes is only a quarter! Woah! It does require some serious digging and sifting through stained clothes and random sizes, but so worth it.  I came home with a garbage bag full of clothes for only $15 - c.r.a.z.y.  And honestly, kids are just going to stain or spit up on their clothes anyways, so why not let them ruin clothes you didn't spend a fortune on.

2. Saving doesn't have to be a chore
All my life I have hated saving money.  As soon as I'm paid it literally starts to burn a hole in my pocket. But luckily I married a guy who realizes the importance of saving, and he's taught me a lot about it through his example.  BUT the article talks about how you can make saving fun with out yelling to your kids about how we can't do this or that because it costs too much.  Take your kids to the park, or free festivals in town - there's a lot of options with our constantly going out to eat and buying them endless toys.  When I was little my dad was in Medical School, so my favorite food was mac-n-cheese and otterpops.  I loved it!  They were affordable and good and I didn't feel like I was being forced to live the life of a poor medical student's daughter. 

3. Teach your children the 10% Rule
I really love this rule.  As part of our religion we give 10% of all we earn to the church.  It's done privately, and you're not kicked out if you don't do it, but as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we love the opportunity to support what we believe.  Teaching our kids to save 10% of each dollar teaches them to save and sets a great habit for the future.  Can you imagine if every American saved 10 cents out of each dollar they earned?  Another idea I've heard of is setting up a family bank where if your kids put their savings in the 'bank' they can earn interest through you and your spouse teaching them to value a savings account when the time comes that they are old enough for that. 

4. Show your kids that wants and needs are two different things
This rule makes me grateful for my husband again - because I'm still learning this rule.  Here's an example from my own current life.  My sister-in-law gave us an old stroller and car seat that she had used with her first two children several years ago.  She's since updated and offered them to us.  We of course said yes, but as we took it home and looked more closely at it, it wasn't new.  Sure it worked, but it wasn't the shining beautiful cute car seat I imagined showing off my baby in on a daily basis.  My hormones got the best of me and before I knew it I was trying to convince Jeremy that we NEEDED a new one, when in fact it would have worked fine.  Until we noticed that on the bottom is says, "Do not use after 2009".  So my want ended up being a need, and that's not always the case.   I guess I'm just trying to say that its ok to make do with what you have.  If its not essential to your survival you should probably pry your fingers off and walk away.  Think about setting aside a little of each pay check to save for it instead of splurging on it.  

5. Save in the fat times to help in the lean
Its true that there are times in our lives when things are financially good.  Our job is going well, there aren't a lot of trips to the ER, and we're able to relax.  But we have to remember that the 'fat' times won't last forever.  We're going to have bad years that make us struggle to make ends meet, but if we save up when we can then it won't be as much of a trial to make it through the rough times.  

I know that  being poor is hard - but its part of life, for everyone it seems these days.  I'm grateful for the relief I'm given as I save instead of splurge on things we don't really need.  Saving is important and if we set that example for our children, starting at a young age, they'll be better off too. 

Now I'm going to go whip up some delicious belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast and give my hubby a kiss :) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Trip to the Lake

Last week we tagged along for a Fullmer trip to the Lake
Hope you enjoy!


Some Thoughts On Birth

Fact:  Approximately 50% of all women get an epidural during the labor and delivery process.  

Ever since I learned what an epidural was {you know, the video you watch in eighth grade} I've wanted one.  I've never been scared about the 'giant' needle in my back, or the risk of being paralyzed, my only thought process has been - less pain?  Let's do it!  But recently I've been thinking about all the women in the world from Eve until now who've done it the way God intended.  I've been thinking about how our bodies were created to do this, and that {given circumstances are normal} maybe the best thing, for me at least, is to go the natural route.  Growing up with a doctor for a Dad I guess I've always had a sort of proactive approach to things.  Not in any extreme way, but if I had the choice between a doctor and a midwife, I'd choose the doctor, hands down, one hundred percent of the time.  And while I'm not making any jump to the all natural side of life, I just think that maybe going natural would be a good thing for me, as far as this baby goes.  Or at least starting out with that mind set and playing it by ear.  

I want the moment that Madeline is placed in my arms to be overwhelmingly special - and I know it will be, no matter what, but I guess I've just been feeling empowered lately by the thought of all the pain that will be washed away the moment I see her, and hold her in my arms for the first time. 

That being said, I know that every woman is different.  Everyone reacts to pain differently, and sometimes there are complications where c-sections, or epidurals, or being induced are necessary - and one of those things very well may be a part of our birth story, but at least for now, I'm think we're going to try going natural - and if I don't like it, then next time I'll get an epidural and appreciate it way more! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Awkward/Awesome Thursday

- The fact that husband and I sat on the couch {quite literally} all day and watched reruns of The Office.  We needed a break, k?  Don't tell me you never have one of those days.  We've already promised each other today will be much more productive! Yet here I am at 11:00am, still in my pajamas sitting on the couch... no comment.
- Having totally random strangers come up and rub my belly.   I guess it doesn't bother me bother me, it just took me by surprise.  I've never done that to someone, but hey, it works, I can be friendly!
- Walking around Target for way longer than needed.  I have a spacey brain my friends.  I walked from the peanut butter, to the shoes, back to the bread, to the water filters, to just back and forth around the store searching aimlessly for random things.  I'm just that cool.

- Watching my belly move from the outside.  Not gonna lie it kind of freaked husband out haha but its so cool!  I can't believe that in just over three months we'll be holding Madeline and ahh!  So crazy awesome :)
- A hard working, responsible, amazing, wonderful, perfect {ok not perfect... but close} husband who has done everything he can to provide for our family, and make sure we're alright, even if that means taking on a bunch of random, not so fun shifts at work.  I love you babe!!!
- The amazing job we're going to do cleaning out our old apartment today! wah-bamm! It's gonna be sparkling!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Penny Pinching: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Good morning lovelies!  And a beautiful morning it is I must add 
{probably because it's not hot yet}

Last night I started out on my quest to be a saver this year! hurray for saving money!!!
{husband is very excited}
My sister-in-law Maria recently made homemade laundry detergent with some women in her ward and I thought it was such a great idea, especially with how cheap it is - and easy ;)

Simply because I prefer the easiest possible route, and dry detergent seemed like the littlest mess, I chose a recipe I found online here but Maria actually used the Duggar Family Recipe  with great results as well.  Its up to you what you prefer how involved you want it to be, etc.  

Our recipe simply required {and we cut it in half for our first trial run, just to make sure it actually works}
12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 Cups Washing Soda
8 Cups Bar Soap (grated) Avoid heavily perfumed soaps.  We used Ivory soap, but we're told Fels-Naptha, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, and Zote work well too.  

 I know it sounds like a pain in the batootie to grate 8 cups of soap, but it took us about 3 mins, no joke!  Simply mix all the ingredients well and store in an air tight container and you only have to use 1/8 of a cup per load (might not hurt to put a little more in if its a really dirty load).

Hard to believe that something as easy as that could save you so much,  but it does!  Here's our calculations: for 8 cups of grated soap $2.27
12 cups Borax $2.50
8 cups Baking Soda $2.12
8 cups Washing Soda $3.77
totaling $10.66 

The recipe makes roughly 36 cups of detergent.  Divide that by 1/8th of a cup per load and you're at about 288 loads for only $10.66! That's 3.7 cents per one load of laundry - wow!

Now incase that doesn't mean anything to you, lets compare to an average load using Tide Detergent.
At the store we saw that a $12 thing of Tide advertises 60 loads leaving us at about 20 cents per load.  

Lets say we do 3 loads of laundry a week using our homemade detergent rather than Tide in just one year we would save $25.43.  I suppose that may seem like meager savings but hey, we're poor college students and we do whatever we can to save!

Of course that isn't enough savings for Jeremy, so as soon as we use up this batch of detergent we're trying the Duggar Family Recipe {I'm still not wild about all the extra involvement and goopy mess around the house... but we'll try it and let you know!}

Oh also  - you're probably wondering, does it actually work?  YES! We tried it and the clothes came out


Monday, August 15, 2011

Improving the World

Good morning world and welcome to the Scratch Pad!

I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous about starting this whole thing out, but Anne Frank helped me out.  She said, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

I'm not saying I think I'll have millions of followers and together we'll end world hunger, stop all wars, cure cancer and make everybody happy -- but I hope that in some small way we can all reach out and change a little piece of the world around us.  

David O. McKay said, "The greatest work you will ever do will be within the wall of your own home." 

With that said, I wish you all a fabulous day and hope to see you all tomorrow :)