10 Goals for This Week

9 Oct
This week my goal is getting in lots of play time with this little guy!

This week my goal is getting in lots of play time with this little guy!

  As I near the end of this pregnancy I realize these are all goals to be held loosely this week as anything can happen.  

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals

1)  Paint Pumpkins with Elijah.  As we prepare for big changes in our family I am looking forward to carving out as much alone time with Elijah as possible this week!  Last week we went on a mommy/son date to the Zoo which was so much fun.  🙂

2)  Go for a walk in the woods with Brandon.

3)  Attend a La Leche League meeting if possible.

Personal Goals

4)  Spend lots of time in prayer this week preparing spiritually for the birth of our baby.

5)  Keep eating healthy and exercising!

6)  Write at least 10 thank you notes this week.  The ladies at my church were so sweet and held a surprise baby shower for me on Sunday!

Homemaking Goals

7)  Clean basement.  Change sheets on guest bed and clean guest bathroom.

8)  Cook 2 meals for the freezer this week.

9)  Sew some fun items for baby girl!  Repair Eli’s penguin that has been sitting on my sewing desk for months.  

Ministry Goals

10)  Prepare Sunday School lesson and songs to play for Sunday.  I just started teaching Sunday School recently which has been lots of fun!  

What goals do you have for this upcoming week?    

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Pregnancy & Sewing Update: Week 37

2 Oct
Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo.  We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo. We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago.  While at the doctor’s office we realized we were a week farther along in our pregnancy than we thought!  Our due date didn’t change we had just been counting down the weeks wrong.  Regardless this little girl is coming soon!  🙂  She will be born for sure sometime in October.

It is so exciting to be nearing the end of this pregnancy.  The changing weather reminds me often that our new baby will be here soon!  We have spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks talking to Eli about having a new baby in our family.  He asked us whose house the baby would sleep at the other day.  I thought it was so funny that he didn’t realize that the baby would live with us all of the time just like he does.

Our baby girl has not been moving as much as she did a few weeks ago which means we have been doing a little extra testing the past few weeks.  Ever since she switched to the head down position she just doesn’t want to move around as much.   We had an ultrasound and more non-stress tests that showed that all is well.   I’m also wondering if she is moving more during the night and I am just sleeping through it?  I guess she is just saving up her energy for labor.  🙂  Currently I have gained 14 pounds with this pregnancy.  My blood pressure looks great which I am so thankful for.  I had my GBS test and passed this time around.  Now that I am going to the doctor twice a week I feel like my time is quickly slipping away from me.  A trip to the doctor is pretty much an all day affair at this point or at least it feels that way.

I have been doing a better job exercising (walking) but haven’t been back to the gym in a while.  At this point I am just done with weight training.  If I manage to get some walking in I feel like that is plenty!  I have been trying to spend more time resting and less time working on the huge list of projects I would like to finish before the baby comes.  Brandon has been doing a great job of reminding me to rest but it is still so hard for me to do.  The biggest project left to complete is cleaning and organizing our basement.  (We were finally able to purchase a guest bed and mattress which are set up in our basement.  Hooray!)  I also have a bunch of sewing for the nursery that I would like to do but honestly I care more about having the basement clean before the baby comes than having everything all pretty in her room.  She will be sleeping in our room when she comes home from the hospital anyway.  🙂  I have yet to make a single freezer meal which isn’t good.  By the time I feel like I have time in the day to tackle something like that I am just ready for a nap.  Since we really could go into labor at anytime I am trying to stay well rested.  I want to be as well rested as I can for when labor begins.

I did attend a LLL meeting last week which was wonderful.  So many sweet little babies.  It was great to be reminded of all of the great benefits of breastfeeding.  It made me reflect about how some of my own personal reasons for breastfeeding have changed since my first baby.  Before Eli I wanted to breastfeed primarily because of the health benefits and the fact that it is free!  Although both of those reasons are still great-I really want to breastfeed this time around because of the bonding.  That is probably one of the things that I am looking forward to the most (once I get past the first couple months of difficulties.  Breastfeeding was very difficult for me at first last time.  I’m hoping it isn’t as hard this time but at least I am mentally prepared for there to be a learning curve for baby and I.)  There was a little boy there who was 3 who had a great time pushing his cars over his 6 month old little sister’s belly over and over.  🙂  I laughed so hard!  I’m sure that will be Elijah for sure.

Sewing Update for the past couple weeks:

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

I sewed two wet bags.  I used PUL material I had on hand and a nice thick fabric that I had purchased for a different project years ago.  I also had the zippers in my stash.  I was really pleased with how the large wet bag turned out.  All of my other wet bags are square sized but I decided to make this one more rectangular.  I hope both bags can stand up to lots of washing and wear.  (That has been my only complaint with homemade bags.  They do not seem to hold up as well as bags you can purchase.)  The small-sized wet bag is really tiny and will probably only hold 2 diapers.

Peri Pads- I sewed a bunch of 4.5″ squares of flannel together to make peri pads.  I am planning on soaking these in witch hazel and using them for discomfort “down there” after the baby comes.  Has anyone ever done this?

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

Nursing Pads-I made a few more nursing pads from scrap fabric using the serger.  I think my serger might need a new cutting blade because it is really struggling.  I’m planning on sewing a couple more pads on my mom’s serger this week.

Sheet- I sewed a crib sheet out of a cute flannel fabric that matches the blanket I made for baby girl.

Size Newborn dress

Size Newborn dress

Dress-I used this tutorial to whip up this sweet little newborn peasant dress.  I thought it looked more like a 0-3 months size after it was sewn.  It was fairly quick and easy to sew.

What advice do you have for us as we prepare to meet our little girl any day now?

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

24 Sep
Eli enjoying his new saddle.

Eli enjoying his new saddle.

We purchased a used pony saddle for Elijah.  Just look at that face!  🙂  He is blessed to be able to ride often at my parent’s house.  I can’t wait to go riding with him next year when I am not expecting!

I passed along a couple of bags of books and clothes to a couple of friends.  I always appreciate hand-me-downs for Eli so I try to do the same.  By the way does anyone have a suggestion for where to buy new jeans for a super skinny little boy?  We are going to have to buy new jeans for the winter since I have only found 2 pairs at yard sales/thrift stores all year.  😦

Brandon, Eli & I attended a free Play-dough Party at our local library.  We all had a nice time.

I made Cole-Slaw and a 7 Layer Salad for my brother’s birthday party.  There was a mistake made and his cake was tiny so I also made a Chocolate Eclair Cake at the last-minute.  Thankfully I had all of the ingredients on hand since I always purchase the ingredients during my monthly Aldi trip.

We took snacks & drinks along to 2 doctor appointments this past week.  Not only does this save lots of money but we are eating healthier snacks.

The hubby was able to attend last week’s Bengal’s game for free.  A friend called him at the last-minute and asked if he wanted to go!  I was so excited for him!  I had actually tried to get tickets because the game was on a Monday night.  Usually all of the games are at 1:00 on Sunday.  As a pastor he just can’t make it to one of those Sunday games.  The tickets were just too expensive for us right now (even as an early birthday present) so it was such a treat for him.  What a kind blessing from the Lord!

My aunt gave us peppers, tomatoes, and green beans from her garden.  I will be freezing the peppers to use this winter.  I made a batch of homemade Tomato Basil Soup (Crock-Pot) for dinner this evening.  I cooked a huge pot of green beans for our church’s fall festival on Sunday.

I sewed a flannel sheet for baby girl and 2 sets of nursing pads using scrap flannel material I had on hand.  I also added pink baby rick-rack to a side-snap shirt that was Eli’s as a baby.

After months of writing letters I finally had a large medical bill processed correctly.  HOORAY!!!!  This saved us hundreds of dollars!  Always check your medical bills against your EOB.

Elijah picked four sunflowers for me from our yard.  We made a nice small bouquet to decorate our kitchen table.  The sunflowers are a dwarf variety to use in bouquets.

I picked up bread at a bread outlet that I pass on the way to my ob office.  Although I usually make bread it is one of those things that I have let slide all summer since I am expecting.  🙂

What frugal activities did you do last week?  

Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

18 Sep
Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

 

Call me crazy or insane but one of the things I am looking forward to is cloth diapering our new little girl as a newborn.  I have always loved cloth diapers and I cannot wait to see our sweet little girl in a teeny tiny cloth diaper!  🙂  We didn’t start using cloth diapers with Eli until he was 4 weeks old since we moved when he was only 2 weeks old.  Looking back it probably would not have been that crazy to use cloth diapers.  We ended up spending tons of money on diapers the first month because we had to buy expensive diapers for sensitive skin.  If we were going to use disposable diapers for the newborn stage I would definitely want to use chlorine free diapers which cost even more (twice the cost of generic disposables).  I am guessing these would set us back about $148 for the first month.  One option that I looked into was the possibility of using a newborn cloth diaper rental service but that would cost around $220.  We would like to have more children in the future so we opted to purchase a newborn stash that can be used for future children.  Our budget for our entire stash was $100.  I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun watching for sales and purchasing used cloth diapers over the summer.  That said I thought it would be fun to share what our newborn cloth diaper stash looks like.  I plan on doing an update in a few months to share which newborn cloth diapers worked best for us.

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Many people choose to use either pocket diapers or prefolds with covers.  We are planning on using both systems.  Prefolds and covers are by far the most economical option.  We purchased a dozen orange edged sized newborn (6-10 lbs) Cloth-Eez Prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and a dozen yellow edged sized small (10-15 lbs) Cloth-Eez prefolds.  Our covers include: Imse Vimse Size Newborn, 1 cover I made using the New Conceptions Diaper Cover with leg gusset, 1 handmade cover I made trying to copy the Bummis Super Brite Cover-I doubt this will really work, 1 DIY Cover using the Babyville Boutique size newborn pattern, 2 Thirsties Duo Size 1 covers, and 2 Bummis Super Brite Newborns.  To me most of the covers (except the Bummis Super Brites) look really big.  I wouldn’t be surprised if only the Bummis fit well for the first couple of weeks.

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

I made two pocket diapers using the Green Pepper Pattern F708 in Size Newborn.  On the second cover I made the elastic in the leg larger.  I also made 5 fitted diapers using the Kwik Sew Pattern 3690.  Thankfully I was able to try these on a friend’s baby and adjusted the elastic around the legs.  I did not sew a large stash of either of these since I am not 100% sure they will be a good fit.

 

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew's pattern.

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew’s pattern.

Before Eli was born I sewed 15 All-in-One diapers using Kwik Sew 3690.  Unfortunately these ran really small and I was hardly able to use them at all after all of that work! 😦  I don’t really know if these will fit baby girl at all unless she has really skinny legs.  I’m not actually planning on these fitting but if they do that would be great!  These diapers also took FOREVER to dry so I’m sure they will be the ones I reach for last.

Pocket Diapers or All in One Diapers are much more expensive than going the prefolds and covers route.  I chose to purchase 1/2 of our stash in AIO diapers because my husband likes them much better.  (I also got a wonderful deal on them used.)  I am also counting on having help from family when the baby comes (Brandon’s mom is coming to stay after the baby is born and I am sure my mom and sisters will help from time to time).  I wanted to make it easier for them to help me change diapers.  🙂

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

I spent lots of time researching which aio/pocket diapers worked best and I think it just depends on your child.  We have 12 Bumgenius AIO XS diapers (yellow, blue, & teal in the picture on the left and right).  The reason I bought so many of these was simply because I got a great deal by purchasing a lot of them.  In the middle column starting at the top I have 2 Grovia Diapers, 1 XS Fuzzibunz Pocket Diaper, 1 Alva Baby (a China diaper), and 2 Lil’ Joey diapers.  As you can see I tried hard to keep things pretty gender neutral for the most part.  It is so hard though!  🙂

I am also planning on sewing some fleece doublers in case any of these diapers need more absorbency.  We will also be using cloth wipes.  I have some leftover from Eli and am in the process of sewing a dozen more from scrap fabric.

Have you ever cloth diapered a newborn?  Any tips, advice, etc?  

 

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks & Sewing Update

4 Sep
The blanket I made for Baby Girl.  We have decided to go with Elephants, Giraffes, & Owls for the nursery.

The blanket I made for Baby Girl. We have decided to go with Elephants, Giraffes, & Owls for the nursery.  Notice the cute little tag I found. 

Now that it is finally September I feel like I am finally getting close to having this little girl!  She will be here sometime next month.  🙂

I had a doctor appointment last week and the baby sounded great.  She is quite the wiggle worm when it comes to the Doppler.  My sister Katelyn actually went with me and got to hear the heart beat which was neat.  As of last week baby girl was head down and locked in the pelvis.  Let’s just hope she stays that way!  (Elijah had to be delivered by C-section because he turned breech at 39 weeks.)  I can definitely tell a change in her movements since she switched to the head down position.  I have now gained 8 pounds this pregnancy which I am pleased with.  I sure look like I have gained a lot more though!

I have been having a little trouble with some leg pain in my left leg due to a vein that sticks out a little bit.  It has been that way since college but it has gotten worse with pregnancy this time.  The doctor recommended compression stockings.  I didn’t realize how vain I am as a person until I had to start wearing them!  🙂  They are awful in many ways (& cost a fortune) but they do help my leg not to hurt.  I think I have been much more active exercising since I started wearing them which is really good.  I really want to stay in shape for the birth.

Brandon & I toured the hospital where I will be giving birth.  I was very pleased with the tour and look forward to delivering there soon.  It was actually much nicer and had more amenities than I expected.  There are plenty of restaurants right next to the hospital so Brandon can get his fast food fix while we are there.  We also went on a fancy date afterwards to Red Lobster which was wonderful.  🙂  I have such a sweet husband.

My doctor did allow me to attend a girl’s get away in Gatlinburg, TN this past weekend.  Hooray!  I missed my boys like crazy but it was SO much fun to hang out with a bunch of girls I went to college with and rarely see because we all live so far away from one another.  I even rode the Sky Lift!  We went to celebrate the fact that one of my sweet friends is getting married in October (less than 2 weeks before baby girl is due).  I really hope I get to attend her wedding.  It was kind of funny because I was pregnant the last time I went on a girl’s trip with this bunch of girls.  🙂

I have started making head way on a couple of sewing projects for baby girl.

The flannel swaddler I made from Simplicity 2165.

The flannel swaddler I made.

I used Simplicity 2165 to sew the swaddler out of flannel.  I made this pattern last year twice for two friends who were expecting.  It was pretty easy to sew the third time around.

I sewed two burp cloths this week.  These are contoured and will not slip off your shoulder.

I sewed two burp cloths this week. These are contoured and will not slip off your shoulder.

I’m hoping to start cooking some freezer meals this month to eat after the baby comes.  Do you have any great freezer recipes to share? 

 

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

24 Aug
Brandon, my brother Jacob, and I at a re-enactment.

Brandon, my brother Jacob, and I at a re-enactment.

 

Now that we have hit the 30 week mark I feel like this baby is actually coming soon!  🙂  We are so anxious to meet her.  Right now our baby probably weighs over 3 pounds and is around 16″ long.  This baby continues to move around like crazy!  She kicks and does somersaults at all hours of the day (or night).  I am finding that as she gets bigger she is actually keeping me awake from all of the movement.  I don’t remember this being an issue with Eli.

I had an appointment last week at 30 weeks and baby looks great.  So far I have only gained a total of 7 pounds which I am very pleased with.  I sure do feel all belly though-wow!  My next appointment is next week at 32 weeks.  Since I am nearing the end of pregnancy I will be visiting the doctor every 2 weeks.  We have been trying to complete all sorts of things like check-ups before the baby comes.  This past week I went to the dentist and had a mole removed on top of my ob visit.  What a great feeling to cross more things off of my list!  I am definitely someone who plans on staying home for at least the first month or 6 weeks after having a baby.

I have also been trying to add more pregnancy exercises each week: kegels, pelvic rocks, squats, etc.  I took a Water Aerobics class this week at our local gym.  It was a great workout and the perfect amount of cardio while being pregnant!  🙂  I’m definitely feeling clumsy so this was a great change from the elliptical machine.  I have also been having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions this pregnancy.  I had zero with Eli so this is definitely something new.  What a great reminder that this baby will be coming in the next 2 months.

Since this is my second child I am hoping to be a little more organized this time around.  I have been making packing lists of things to bring the hospital and lists of things to do before the baby comes.  By the way I would love suggestions on what to bring to the hospital (particularly from those of you who have had a natural birth).  I have been sewing some practical things like cloth diapers and covers but hope to sew some fun girly things next month.  🙂  We have slowly been working on our newborn cloth diaper stash this summer.  I think we need a couple more covers and we will be all finished.  In September I am hoping to clean out our freezer and cook up a bunch of freezer meals to eat after the baby comes.  (I’d love recipe suggestions too!)

Elijah has been asking more and more about his new baby sister.  This morning he attended a Big Brother class at our hospital which was lots of fun.  He was so cute learning how to hold the baby, change the baby, give the baby a bottle, and burp the baby.  The class also included a very interesting movie called Sibling Silly which was made before I was even born!  Ha, ha!  Before we left we all went on a short tour of the maternity wing of the hospital where I will be delivering the baby.  I am really thankful this was something we were able to do with Elijah.  I actually remember going to similar class when I was going to be a big sister.  We made a day out of it and even had lunch at Panera.

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

22 Aug

Aug 2013 040

 

Frugal Things I Did This Past Week:

My sister Bekah and I both donated a foot of our hair to Wigs for Kids.  This organization is similar to Locks for Love but does not charge kids for the wigs.

I took part in a market research study and made $45 for 45 minutes of my time.  I can’t share what the product was but it was interesting!

I sewed two newborn cloth diaper covers.  For the first cover I used the New Conceptions Pattern with leg gussets.  On the second cover I used the Babyville Boutique FOE Diaper Cover pattern.  I’m not planning on making a ton of either one since I don’t know how they will fit on our little girl.  (I made a bunch of All-in-One diapers before Elijah was born but they ended up not fitting well.)

I also purchased some size small GMD prefolds from diaperswappers.com.  I can honestly say I am really looking forward to cloth diapering our new baby.

Last week I also drafted my own pattern for a nursing sleep bra.  This was quite a stretch for me!  I sewed one but it ended up a little smaller than I would have liked.  I will probably try to make another one using fabric that has more stretch or enlarging the pattern.  Since it’s a little intimate I don’t plan on sharing a picture.  😉

I passed on some clothes to a friend that no longer fit Eli.  I really appreciate hand me downs from friends so I try hard to do the same thing.

I attended a free digital photography class at our library.  I also spent some time taking pictures of Eli and trying out some new techniques.

We moved a dresser into Eli’s room that I had been using to store sewing supplies.  The dresser was actually mine as a child but it is brown so it will work for Eli.  Eli’s former dresser is now in our nursery and will be used by baby girl.  It is a short dresser and has only 3 drawers which is plenty.  (It helps discourage me from buying too many clothes.)  We will place a changing pad on top and this is where we will change our little one.

I picked green beans, zucchini, yellow squash and peppers from our garden.

I attended a free sewing class with my mom where we made an iron tote.  I was in middle school or high school the last time I did something like this!  🙂  It was lots of fun!

What frugal things did you do last week?