Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Calm Before the Storm?

I hate to liken welcoming a new baby into our family as a "storm," but when it comes down to it this is truly the calm before life gets flipped upside down for awhile.  There is much I am anticipating, and much I am not sure I am ready to take on quite yet.

Right now things seem to be getting in order at our house.  I am almost done with the nursery and love seeing it come together.  I may have had more fun putting together a little boy room than either of my girls' rooms!  Belle and Evie have both transitioned easily into their new bedrooms--thank goodness!  Belle convinced me to put her in the basement bedroom.  I was reluctant at first, but she has loved it!  I think she likes having a bit more privacy!  Evie is still in a crib and we have no plans to move her to a bed anytime soon.  She is more than capable of climbing in and out, but so far it hasn't posed a huge I am crossing my fingers and hoping it lasts!

There is still quite a bit on the "To-Do" list before this little man gets here.  It's funny how I have this idea that we have to get the "house in order" before he is here.  I had a great reminder yesterday by a mother in our MOPS group who just had a baby.  She told me how they didn't even have newborn diapers at their house and had to quick swing by the store on the way home from the hospital.  I have to remind myself that very little has to get done before he comes.   Yes, I'd like his bedroom finished, but he'll probably sleep in our room a bit to start out.  Yes, I'd like the carpet fixed in the basement and our treadmill moved out of the hallway--but it really doesn't matter if this is done before or after the baby comes.  I think it is just the nesting mother in me that is trying to dot all my "i's" and cross all my "t's."

Physically, I am feeling great.  I am just getting over a cold that I was ironically thankful for having.  There is a part of me that feels like if I was sick now I won't possibly be sick in a month, right?  I have the normal pregnancy ailments of struggling to bend down, heartburn, being out of breath when I climb the stairs, and a child that kicks me in the bladder.  However, none of them bother me too bad right now.  I am sure that in a few weeks I'll be over being pregnant, but at this point I am still feeling good.

Emotionally, I am so excited to meet this little man.  I can't wait to see who he looks like, smell his sweet little head, and have him fall asleep on my chest.  However, I also know the other side of a newborn is sleepless nights, an unpredictable baby, and just basic adjustment to a new member in the family.  Right now he is very easy to take care of all snug in my belly.  I know once he comes out it is "game on."

I feel much more confident this time around, than when I was pregnant with Evie.  Before having Evie I was unsure as to how I was going to care for more than one child.  Obviously, I have that figured out.  I am not so worried about how to care for a third, but more concerned with how to keep Evie from getting into mischief while I am nursing :-)  I am worried about the exhaustion and trying to care for the needs of three children while caring for myself and the house we live in.  I know I will find a groove, and it will all become second nature like it all did two years ago when we had Evie.

So, that is where I am at right now.  I am certain the next post from me will be to announce the arrival of our new little man.  It's crazy to think I could safely have him as early as December 31st, and even crazier that it could be as late as February 4th!  I am due on the 21st, but I am thinking a baby around the 14th sounds about perfect!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas 2013

Once again we are choosing to make our Christmas card digital and share it with loads more people, than send it out to just a few.   This is our official Christmas card of 2013 :-)

This year has been another fabulous year for our family.  Obviously, it comes with the normal ups and downs of raising two young kids, but overall we feel very blessed.

Paul is still working at Meijer, but has moved from logistics to ecommerce.  I am still learning what all of that means, but think I am understanding it more and more.  Due to this move at Meijer he really needed to step back from the part-time job he held at our church.  It was a really tough decision, but in the end I think we both knew it was the right decision.  He still finds himself helping out at Cornerstone often whether it's with lights or service directing, but the time there is much more manageable--and his wife is MUCH happier to see more of him  :-)

I am somehow surviving with my crazy children at home.  For those of you who read my posts on Facebook, you are well aware that Belle and Evie are keeping me busy.  Although I love being home with them I am more than thrilled for a night out to sing with Alive, do something MOPS related, or even just unwind at the end of the day with my crochet hook and a ball of yarn.   As you can imagine, parenting a drama queen and an antagonist can lead to many interesting and entertaining moments in the Thompson household!  Thank goodness they are so stinking cute ;-)  Belle and Evie teach me something new everyday--whether it's about the mind of a child or about myself as a person.  As I always say, this parenting gig is the hardest, but most amazing and rewarding job I have ever had.

Belle is still quite the dramatic child.  I am CERTAIN that she makes up for the time she doesn't talk while sleeping within the first 15 minutes of being awake each morning.  She is a chatty girl who still has some killer one-liners.  Belle is curious about the world around her and loves to ask questions and figure things out.  Right now she is at preschool at Legacy Christian School, and seems to really enjoy it.  She loves to sing, read, color, and play with her dolls.

Evie has definitely kept me busy this year.  We had our first couple of trips to the doctor to get some stitches, and I tend to follow her around to make sure she doesn't kill herself or ruin the house.  You can often tell where Evie has been because she usually leaves a trail of marker colored walls, rolls of toilet paper in the toilet, or broken toys.  She is a busy girl, but she is quite the cuddler.  Evie melts my heart every day when she grabs her blanket, pacifier, and climbs onto my lap to watch a show.  She sure knows how to work that cute smile and curly hair.

We are just a a few weeks away from meeting the next member of our family.  My pregnancy has been fairly easy, and we are thrilled to welcome a little boy.  I am not quite sure what awaits him with his two older sisters, but I am certain Belle will be my big helper and Evie will be covering him in kisses (or trying to sit on him).

We have definitely had our own set of trials in 2013, but we feel thankful for the blessings we have experienced as well.   It is a continual process of relying and trusting on God to give us strength in our marriage, patience and confidence in our parenting, and direction for our family and work life.

Blessings in your 2014!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Facebook Is My Friend

Today I went to a retirement party for my boss when I worked at Access of West Michigan.  Many of the people I ran into are only those I see a couple times a year...if that.  However, each of them had one thing in common.  They all had a good idea of what was happening in my life thanks to good ol' Facebook.

The people that I ran into are those who I know care about me.  They asked about my girls, and they laughed at the many stories they have seen on Facebook about Belle's one-liners or Evie's newest antics.  I found that they actually were entertained, as well as interested in the stories that I share on Facebook.

I am a self-proclaimed "Facebook Over-Poster."  It is not new to me that I post statuses often about any subject across the board.  The fact is that I find Facebook entertaining.  Frankly, I have found it a great venue to share stories about my kids, ask advice, and follow up with others.

Let's discuss this stay-at-home-mom life.  I feel very blessed to be home with my girls, but there are days that can get long and lonely.  Sometimes things happen during the day I want to share with someone right away, but the chaos happening inside my home makes it not so convenient to call people up to discuss the latest and greatest Belle or Evie saga.  Sometimes I just want to share things so it is documented, and I can go back someday and read what life was like at this stage.

There are days I feel worn down and I just need some words of encouragement.  Paul is busy at work and can't always give me pep talks during the day to lift my spirits.  Enter Facebook.  Reaching out about a tough mom day to my Cornerstone MOPS group page has solicited loads of "You're a good mom!"  "Hang in there!" "Praying for you!"  All at once I am not alone and I have an instant cheering squad encouraging me to keep my head up and that "this too shall pass."  There are many days I have found a renewed sense of energy in this mom gig just by utilizing Facebook.

There are other days I just have to share a story about my kids because they are too funny to keep to myself.  I am not saying that I think other people find these stories funny, but I am hoping they can at least appreciate the crazy things that happen in this house.  I enjoy the posts others share about their kids, and sometimes you just can't pass up an opportunity to reinforce the fact that "kids say the darndest things."

Sometimes I just want to share things just to share life.  I have always been a social person.  In high school and college I constantly interacted with my closest friends and multiple people in a short amount of time.  Now, things are just different.  I don't get to socialize on a daily basis like I had been able to in my past.  I see people here and there, but I don't get my daily dose of adult interaction like I used to.  Facebook has become a way for me to share the ins and outs of my life from the comfort of my home without having to schedule a million playdates or social gatherings.

Tonight I was actually jokingly told that my Facebook posts have been therapy for someone because it has helped them realize that their granddaughter is behaving exactly how she should :-)  Another person told me that they loved following me on Facebook because my girls keep them laughing.  There are many days I question if my posts drive people crazy or not, but it was really nice to hear that others find them entertaining, and in some cases they actually help others feel more "normal." :-)

So, whether you hate my Facebook activity or not, I will most likely keep the statuses coming.  I find a comfort in knowing there are hundreds of people out there that I can reach out to for advice, for encouragement, to make laugh, and just use as a captive audience for the things that happen in my life.  Thankfully, there are many of you out there like me to keep me entertained and feeling "normal" as well.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Evelyn Joy!

Dear Evie,

Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet Evie!  I can't believe it has been another year that you have been in our lives.  It's amazing how much we have learned about you in just a year, but you have been certain to let your personality show!  You have been quite a joy (and challenge) to watch grow this year!

  1. Thank goodness we had health insurance for you this year.  This year you received not one, but TWO sets of stitches.  Both in your face.  You handled them much better than your mother.  Your second set of stitches was done in the ER and you made sure to charm the pants off of everyone there.  They loved you!
    Can hardly see the stitches in the side of your mouth!
    First set, and not the best location.  Thankfully, it has healed amazing!
  2. Your hair is still something to talk about it.  People often mention your curls and how they bounce all over as you run.  They are a bit of your trademark.

  3. You are still a great night sleeper.  You continue to be a shorter napper than your sister was, but you usually give me a full night of sleep, so I can't complain.
  4. You have a love for the water, which also includes a lack of fear!  You could play in the water all day.  We have to be careful, though, because this past summer you jumped in Aunt Jill's pool without your life jacket on and when we pulled you up you were all smiles.  
    Who needs bathing suits?!?!
  5. You started speaking in sentences.  You sort of skipped the one word sentences, and went straight to the 2-4 word sentences.  Your favorites are "Let go!"  "I want Daddy."  "I want a movie."  "I want more."
  6. You still don't seem to have much of an attention span for toys.  You would prefer to climb on the table, the counter, etc.  We have actually had to put the chairs and stools up to stop you from climbing on top of everything.
  7. You still LOVE to be chased.  You ask to play "I Got You," and then you start running!  I am certain you would play this all day if you found someone with enough stamina to keep up with you.
  8. I love to watch you and Belle together.  You two are beginning to play together more, and watching you play games like tag and hide and seek is my favorite.  My sisters are my favorite people, so I am thankful you have each other.
    Up to no good.  
  9. You love music.  You love to dance, although your dance moves are interesting!
  10. You LOVE to take baths, but they are often short lived.  I have actually caught you in the tub after you took of your own diaper, hopped in, and then started the water all on your own!
  11. You are SUCH a snuggler.  You are one busy kid, but you sure know how to climb onto my lap, lay your head on me, and snuggle right in.  It is my favorite ever and I am going to miss it someday when you stop.
  12. Your smile is still infectious.  You use it to charm everyone around you.
  13. You mimic everything your sister does.  You have learned to push chairs to the table and counter after watching Belle do it, in order to get things out of the cabinets and cupboards.
  14. Grocery shopping is not your favorite.  Honestly, most stores are not your favorite.  You hate being in a cart and hate to be buckled in even more.  We have had many "Battles of the Will" getting your to sit in the cart!
  15. You love your daddy.  He is ALWAYS cooler than mom, and I don't blame you for feeling that way.  I love that you ask where he is most mornings when I go in to get you, and your race to the door when you hear him come home.
  16. Your favorite foods are apples, eggs, any sort of junk food, and spaghetti.  However, rather than eat anything, you prefer to throw it all over the dining room!
  17. Speaking of throwing, you have a decent arm on you for a 2 year old!  You even chucked a sippy cup and hit Belle in the head the other day when she went in your room after your nap.  She since opens your door and runs out as fast as she can to avoid another injury!
  18. One of your favorite games is screaming as loud as you can and making Belle cry.  You think it's hilarious, and Belle hates every minute of it (so do I)
  19. You have perfected the dirty look when we ask you to "Be Serious," and you are quite good at putting those hands on your hips and scowling at us when you don't get your way.  It is one of our favorite things you do!  
  20. You love love love shoes!  You will put on anyone's shoes and wear them like they are your own!
  21. Your seem to really love the movie, Cinderella.  It is the one movie you will sit and watch the majority of.  This has been a life saver for me when I am trying to clean something or make dinner.
  22. You ask to go potty, but this pretty much consists of you sitting on the toilet, throwing in some toilet paper, and running away without pants or a diaper on.  You have yet to go, but I am not pushing it.  I have a feeling you are a kid who will resist if I push, so I'll wait till you are ready all on your own.
  23. You love on Mac, but aren't always so nice to him..  Thank goodness he is an easy going dog!  You love to give him kisses as much as you like to pull his tail.  You also have a real obsession with his food and water.
  24. You love nothing more than running around the chairs in the Worship Center at church.  As soon as I get you out of nursery you want to head to find Daddy and then you run back and forth.  It's easy to spot you with your hair bobbing around the room!
  25. You seem to have a desire to eat crayons, paint, and markers.  When I ask you to stop, you then choose to color on yourself.  Not sure what this is all about, but I sure hope you outgrow it soon!
  26. You have your father's adventurous spirit, and your mother's headstrong personality.  Both characteristics can drive me crazy, but I know they will become your greatest strengths one day.
  27. You remind me so often are the simple things in life I could so easily miss.  When we are outside you point out every single bird, plane, and dog that passes by.  You are observant and hardly miss a beat.
  28. You are quick!  You have found your way outside without us knowing more than once, and we have caught you standing on the patio furniture when we were certain you were inside playing.  We are going to have to keep a close eye on you in your teenage years!
  29. You have rightfully earned yourself the nickname "Cray-Cray."  Enough said.
  30. You are going to be one great big sister!  I have a feeling you will want to be more hands on than Belle was with you.  You are already interested in babies and love to kiss on them.  Your baby brother is in for quite the adventure with you!
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!  I feel so blessed that God gave you to us and entrusted me to be your mother.  You definitely keep life interesting, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Thank you for your sass, your spunk, and your hilarious personality.  You are such a blessing my crazy girl!  Keep charming us with that smile!

Love, Mom

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Small Prayer

"Train your child in the way he should go;
Even when he is older he will not depart from it."  
Proverbs 22:6

I really debated on writing this.  I want to preface this post by saying that I do not want to come across "holier than thou" or make this a brag about how spiritual my kid is.  As a mother there are a lot of areas I am screwing up and need some growth, but tonight I felt really proud and felt like I not only wanted to document this for myself, but also for Belle.

Tonight I walked Belle up to bed and as I go to tuck her in she says, "Mom, I want to put myself to bed."  My heart sank a little at how much she is growing up, and then I asked her what she wanted to pray for.  She replied, "I can pray by myself."  So, I left the room.

To be quite honest, I didn't think she was going to do any praying, and her plan was to push me out of the room as fast as possible so she could start playing instead of sleeping.  I gave her a kiss, left her room, and walked into my room.  I started to hear her speaking, so I snuck up to her door.  This is what I heard:

"Dear Lord,
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for the snow.
Thank you for the baby in Mom's belly.
Thank you that we have a mother that likes me and Evie more.
Thank you that we got to do crafts tonight.
Thank you for daddy.

And with that, I knew I was doing my job.

I do have to laugh, however, at this prayer :-)  First, she is thankful to God for the snow every night.  I am also not sure whether or not she is thanking God that I love her and Evie more than the baby, OR if I love Evie more than her.  Either way, she is thankful!

Today I was feeling a bit frustrated.  I had fed the kids junk, we watched a lot of movies, Belle was whining a ton this morning, and to top it off she peed her pants and when I asked her to change her clothes she promptly went upstairs and peed on the rug in her room.  Really?!  But with that one prayer I knew that my MOST important job with my children was actually being accomplished.

Regardless of all the mistakes I made today and the set backs in our home with potty training and discipline, my Belle had grasped that prayer was important and she was actually talking to God in her own genuine way.  I was teaching her that a personal relationship with her Creator was important, and it was actually working!

It's so hard not to get caught up in what my kids "should" be doing and if I am doing things right.  I often forget that my most important task is to raise my kids to love the Lord and that knowing Him is more important than peeing on the potty (although, this might give me some sanity), making it to church on time, or trying to get more vegetables in my kids' diet.  At the end of the day, if Belle knows that she is loved by an amazing God and that she can talk to Him about anything, then I feel it was a successful day.

Tonight, amidst all my other failure as a mother, I got it right.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Belle!

Kate Krueger Photography

Dear Belle,

How in the world did you become 4 already?!?!  I feel like I blinked and you went from a baby into this little girl before I could take it all in.

  1. You love to play pretend.  Actually, as I am typing this you are asking me to play house.  You want me to be the big sister, and you are going to be the mom.
  2. You love to dress up!  If it is a dress, an animal costume, or silly shoes you LOVE to wear it.  Many times we have gone out while you are in a princess dress.  I figure you can only get away with it while you are young, so I better let ya enjoy it :-)
  3. You love to mow the lawn with your dad. 
  4. You still love music and you love to sing.  I am amazed how quickly you memorize songs.  My favorite is when you are playing and I catch you making up your own little songs.
  5. Purple is still your favorite color. 
  6. You are a lover of anything princess.  You love all of the Disney Princesses, and love to dress like them.  I guess that is what I get for naming you "Belle." 
  7. Barbies!  You could watch Barbie movies over and over again, and you LOVE playing with them.  It is definitely one of your favorite toys.
  8. You are a girl who loves crafts and art.  Every time we are at Joanns or Hobby Lobby you request a craft.  I always give in, because I love to do the crafts with you while your sister naps.
  9. Speaking of Evie, you handle her SO well.  She often demolishes the blocks you built, the house you set up for Barbies, or any of your art projects but you handle her with grace (usually).   
  10. Nothing melts my heart more than how you HAVE to give Evie hugs and kisses before we put her down for a nap or for bedtime.   
  11. You are definitely a social girl, but you also do very well playing by yourself and coming up with your own things to entertain you.
  12. You still love to help me bake :-)  I am actually quite impressed with your ability to crack an egg!
  13. You are still a lover of animals and often remember loads of fun facts about them.  You get a Rick Jr. Magazine each month and you love to have it read to you so often, that eventually you are able to "read' it back to us.
  14. You have become obsessed with "being the leader" with everything.  I am not sure if you learned this concept in preschool or not, but you have often become extremely angry if I beat you down to the bottom of the steps or if I open a door before you.
  15. You are still a night owl, but you are much better at staying in your room at night and playing until you fall asleep (even if it is on the floor most often)  
  16. Potty training is still a major struggle.  You can do it, but you would rather play than go to the bathroom.  You seem perfectly content running around with wet pants, and have made it very clear you don't really care.  Oh, my stubborn and controlling girl, how much like your mother you are when you don't want to do something :-)
  17. You have finally become a snuggler :-)  You love to snuggle with your dad and I in bed, and you love to give us kisses and hugs before we leave.
  18. Speaking of snuggling in bed, you are a jumping bean!  You are a restless sleeper and hardly ever stop moving!  You often wake up upside down in your bed and I am shocked you haven't fallen out more than you do!
  19. You are still the queen of one-liners. The things you say keep your dad and I, as well as many others, laughing for days.  You have a witty personality and know how to entertain.
  20. You still love to be naked, and would prefer to be nude rather than hanging out at home with clothes on.
  21. You think hotel rooms are pure entertainment. 
  22. You invented the "party hand."  It came out of no where one day, but it has kept your dad and I laughing!   
  23. You are a charmer.  You know you are cute, and you love to chat with strangers. 
  24. Ever since you found out you were having a baby brother you have had to tell EVERYONE you run into.  I am thrilled that you are excited and proud to have a little brother, and I have no doubt you will be an amazing big sister to him.
  25. You thank God every night for snow...even in the middle of summer.  You love it, so it is a good thing we live in Michigan.  
  26. You can turn on and off the waterworks at the drop of a hat.  You might be crying one second, but if I mention cookies or cake the tears quickly stop and you are smiling and laughing. I am CERTAIN you must try out for the school play.
  27. You remember EVERYTHING!  I am amazed at your uncanny ability to remember details and events to things I would have never thought twice about had you not reminded me.    
  28. You love to be a helper.  Whether it is taking care of Mac, getting things for me, or helping me grocery shop, you like to be a part of the action.
  29. I have a feeling you are very similar to me when it comes to cleaning and organization.  I watch you play, and you have things EVERY WHERE!  Messes don't seem to bug you too much.  I am certain it is just part of our creative personalities ;-)
  30. You have already begun to ask me hard questions about God and Jesus.  You make me strive to grow deeper in my faith, so I can be a teacher and role model for you.  Thank you for your inquiring heart and tough questions.  Don't stop asking.
  31. You, Belle, are beautiful inside and out.  Don't ever forget.  

Keep singing, my sweet girl, and keep that sassy attitude that makes me cringe and laugh all at once.  You are one special girl, and I am so thankful that I get to keep watching you grow.  My heart aches when I realize how quickly you are growing up, but I am so thankful I get to be your mama.  Yes, we drive each other crazy often, but I know that is just what mothers and daughters do.

I love you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VBAC vs. C-Section

My delivery with Belle was amazing.  Water broke at 2am, started pushing at 7, and by 7:50am the girl was out!  I was petrified of labor and delivery, and by the end of it all I realized how much I LOVED it (with an epidural, of course--I don't have any pain tolerance).

With Evie I never expected anything to be much different.  I assumed I'd have an easy breezy labor and delivery again.  To be honest, the labor part was easy!  Water broke at 3am, and by 7am I was ready to push.  Unfortunately, when my doctor came in to check on me he informed me that there would be no pushing.  Evie was breech.  Emergency c-section, here we come.

I really struggled with the c-section, because I knew my body was more than capable of delivering Evie the good ol' fashioned way, and that my recovery would have been much easier.  I assumed I was doomed to more c-sections, since I felt like the risk of VBAC wasn't worth it.  Welp, once faced with the decision, I became really torn.

I think the reason I really decided to seriously think about a VBAC was because I knew how different and easy it could be to have a vaginal delivery.  The recovery was night and day different from a c-section.  Don't get me wrong, c-sections have some pros in comparison to vaginal deliveries in regard to recovery, but none of which make major surgery worth it.

Two weeks after having Evie I had a follow-up appointment for my c-section, and my doctor told me right away that if I were to have more children I would be the "perfect candidate" for a VBAC.  Today, I had an appointment to discuss VBAC vs. c-section, and again I was called the "perfect candidate."  This is why:

  1. I have had a proven pelvic delivery.  Belle was a vaginal delivery, so they KNOW I can get a baby out.
  2. The only reason for the c-section with Evie was because she was breech, not because my labor failed to progress or she wasn't moving anywhere.
  3. My labor is quick.  Labor is hard on the uterus and causes strain on it.  A longer and harder labor means a higher likelihood of uterus rupture.
  4. I have had at least an 18 month gap between births.  Evie and this baby will be 26 months apart, so the time between delivery is perfect.  
For some reason, despite ALL these factors, I still find myself unsure.  I know that a planned c-section has its own set of pros and cons, but I worry about something going wrong and completely regretting my decision.  I don't want to feel like I am being selfish choosing a VBAC, if it risks my life and the baby's life.  However, c-section isn't risk-free either.  

60-80% of women who choose VBAC are actually successful.  There are 5 to 10 women out of 1000 who will have a tear or opening in the uterus.  My doctor told me that in her 20 years she has seen few tears, and of the ones she has seen only 2 of them were so severe that it required a hysterectomy.    All in all, the risk is low.  Paul and I still aren't sure if we are done after 3, so the risk of having a hysterectomy does scare me, but if I have one more c-section I am not able to try for a VBAC in another pregnancy.  

The risks in c-section are different, but still very scary.  There is still a risk of the uterus tearing just from having a c-section, scarring, higher risk of infection, problems with the placenta in subsequent pregnancies, as well as injury to other organs.

All in all, Paul and I have a lot to think about and costs to weigh out.  I want to feel confident in my decision and not freak out on delivery day--whether it be VBAC or c-section.  I know others have had to make this same choice, and I am curious how you made your decision and felt confident that it was the right choice for you and your family. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boy, Oh, Boy!

Most of you have already seen by now that Baby Thompson #3 is a healthy boy!

I have to admit that I am shocked and surprised.  I fully expected to see another little girl wiggling around in the ultrasound.  It is what we are used to, and for some reason I just did not fathom that we would have a boy.

Thankfully, this little bugger gave us an open view right off the get go in the ultrasound.  It was more than obvious he was a boy, but then he got real shy on us and didn't cooperate much after that.  No matter how many ultrasounds I get, seeing my baby moving around never gets old.  It's amazing to see the four chambers of the heart pumping blood, seeing his limbs move all over the place, his mouth opening and closing, and the tech actually mentioned that his bladder was full and she could tell he emptied it because she couldn't find it for a bit.  Crazy!

Techinically, ultrasound techs aren't supposed to say if they see something wrong, but it was made clear to us in so many words that this baby looked healthy.  There have been many many prayers being said for him, and today was something I was excited for, yet anxious.  I couldn't wait to find out the gender, but I was also hoping and praying all looked healthy.

Belle is thrilled to have a little brother.  Evie doesn't understand it all, but I am fairly certain a brother will be good for her.  She needs someone that might put her in her place a bit :-)  I am still in a bit of shock, and not quite sure what mothering a son will be like.  It is scary, but so exciting!

Now the task begins to prepare this house for a BOY.  This means changing the nursery decor, getting in some boy clothes, and actually moving a few Barbies over to make room for some trucks and cars!

Now, an insane amount of ultrasound pictures:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Professional Organizing Round 2

I figured I needed to follow-up about how well the organizing did for me with Lynne's first visit AND then follow-up with my to-dos for her most recent visit.  You can read all about her first visit here.

I need to first say that my laundry life has been transformed!!!  It is amazing when you add a few changes to your laundry system how well things can actually work.  I think the reason I can keep up on my laundry is because I don't just take it out and throw it in a basket to sit and sit until we are all almost naked because most of our clothes are waiting to be put away.

Now, I actually do all of the folding and hanging RIGHT OUT of the dryer.  This works perfectly, because I can do it while the kids are awake.  They can't reach the clothes I am working with, so things stay folded and where they need to be.  The folding and hanging seems to have been my biggest challenge with kids around.  Now, I can get it all finished while they are running around and it can sit in the laundry room until I am ready to put it away.

Tension bar added to hang clothes.  Used a table runner and tension rod to hide the toilet paper/diaper/paper towel storage above the cabinet.  WAY better!

Putting it away has been a dream too.  Since all of the folding and hanging work is done, I can get all the clothes put away in no time, which means I don't wait until I am overwhelmed to finally do it.  Major success!

Bought these at Joann's for everyone's folded stuff.  Small enough so that I have to empty them more often, rather than piling more clothes in.  Also, light enough that Belle can carry it up to her room to put her own stuff away.

My next step was to add a shelf to my laundry cabinets and add some small LABELED storage.  Lynn and I both discovered that my preferred way of organizing was labeled bins.  This was a system seemed to function best for me.  So far, it has been a success!  So many items have a spot, AND I have been very disciplined and diligent at taking an extra 30 seconds to put them in the right place, rather than shoving them in whichever bin was closest.  This system has also helped Paul.  He now knows where to put all of the bows, hair ties, bobby pins, combs, and brushes that seem to take over the house!

Small bins from the Dollar Store.

My front closet was another issue we needed to deal with.  Paul put in shelves and now all of my shoes have a home that is easy to access and doesn't clutter the entire floor.  He took of the door that was taking up too much space, and we added this curtain!  I found a LOAD of this fabric at an antique shop for only $6!  I love it!


My next bit of homework is with my toys and my yarn.  I am currently looking for more Expedit shelving from Ikea....again, more labeled bins :-)  I am working to sell a bunch of my crocheted items to save money to get these.

Speaking of crochet, my yarn was a mess.  I made myself purge the yarn and get rid of what I didn't need.  Lynn suggested I put cute little tassels on each bin to make it easy to know which color was where.  Genius!!  I still have a long way to go with this area, but hopefully I can post pics soon of the final product.

We also discussed my loose papers, mail, etc.  I have many items that are needed, but I don't have a good home for them.  Per Lynn's suggestion I bought each of us a folder to keep papers organized by which person they pertain too.  Eventually, I am hoping to purchase the NeatDesk system, so I can scan items, save them on my computer, and then throw out the papers I don't need to keep.  That is another we will be saving for that too!

Paul and I also have a cabinet with things we want to save that kids do not need to get into.  Lynn suggested making this off-limits and finding another door for it (it only has one, and I can get one at Ikea), and then locking it.  This would keep kids out of the electronics, cords, pictures, etc.  I am also thinking of putting our games in here.  We tend to lose a ton of pieces because all the games get brought out at once and the pieces are thrown everywhere.  If I only had access to them, then there would be a bit more control over the pieces and how many games were brought out at once.

So, there ya have it!  Hopefully I will post again when I have my second bit of homework complete!  Lynn's help and advice has been worth every penny.  Paul was a skeptic at first, but he has been more than thrilled with the changes it has made for me and our home.  It's amazing how a little system change, some labeled bins, and discipline can change how a house is run (and relieve my anxiety)!!