Hello week 23!

I can’t believe how fast time is passing by. I’m now 23 weeks 1 day and it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we will be having a sweet little girl join our family in 17 weeks! Her name will be, Emma Joy and she has already shown that she is going to be my feisty one!

Back at week 8 or so I wrote about the journey so far with Emma, you can read that here, but she wasn’t making the beginning of pregnancy very easy for this mama. A short synopses, she caused me to have a subchorionic hemorrhage that gave us a huge scare, a little bed rest and resting until our next doctor visit. Then she made me sick as a dog. This was no morning sickness, this was all day and night sickness. Nothing really helped and the medicine I could only take at night because it would make me pass out. Can’t do that when you’re at home with a toddler.

By week 17 I finally started to feel better, got back to a normal routine of life and felt more like myself again. I know Titus was finally glad to have his mom be able to function again. Then we were able to have our gender ultrasound at week 19 and found out that we were having a sweet girl!

I was so excited! I kept feeling like it was a girl but Nathan kept reminding me that I had a 50/50 chance of being right.

At that appointment the doctor brought up a concern that I hadn’t gained much weight. I already had a bump but I had only gained about 2 lbs in the entire 19 weeks. But remember I was super sick for a lot of that time and my appetite pretty much didn’t exist. She said that Emma was only in the 15th percentile and that for the next 4 weeks I needed to do my best to put on weight. Her actual orders were to eat ice cream every night. Every persons dream doctor order! But she said if it got lower than that we would have to see a specialist. I was worried after that visit but thought, You just need to gain weight! You can do this! So that’s what I did.

The next 4 weeks that’s what I did. I still ate healthy but added in snacks here and there, ate ice cream regularly and started drinking chocolate milk, sure things to make you gain weight. I was actually worried that she might tell me I put on weight to fast.

Yesterday I had a follow-up ultrasound with my next appointment. I went into the ultrasound thinking and even saying out loud to the ultrasound tech that I was sure my sweet Emma had put on weight. I had gained 8 lbs (which thankfully the doctor said was a perfect amount), I am feeling constant movement and this weekend you could even see Emma moving from the outside. After my ultrasound I had my appointment.

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During the appointment the doctor said that now Emma was in the 5th percentile for her size. She said that the next step was to followup with a perinatal specialist and have a more detailed ultrasound. My stomach sank right then. I thought I have been trying to do everything right. Eating a good amount of healthy food but also pack on the weight for my girl. It all hit me. I felt like my job when I’m pregnant is to protect, grow and nurture this sweet baby and I felt like I’ve been failing at my job. My OB reassured me that it’s very possible that my sweet, feisty Emma may just be small and that’s ok, but we just need to know for sure. That is what the specialist will tell us.

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Thankfully it’s nothing super serious and it seems like Emma is “healthy”. Strong heart beat, tons of movement and looks great in the womb. They are just concerned about her size. Nathan was not able to go with me to my appointment and I felt like I needed to tell him, my family and close friends to be in prayer for us before posting my update. I am supposed to get a call today with my appointment for the specialist and she wants me to see them sometime within a week. So that’s the plan for now.

As her mama, I just want to make sure that I’m doing the best I can for my girl. I’m giving her the nutrition and fat that she needs to grow and be strong and healthy. So we are going into this appointment thinking that we are just going to have a petite little girl. Last night Nathan joked that Titus took all of the fat genes in the family so Emma will just be our little girl! And I am totally ok with that, I just need to know that she is healthy!

So if y’all would, be praying for my sweet family this week. Pray that our Emma will keep growing strong, that the specialist will give us a great report, and that I wouldn’t let it consume my thoughts questioning if I could be doing better as her mama. I am so thankful and blessed that God choose me to take care of these amazing babies of mine!

Love,

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I’ve been away, but for a good reason.

So I’ve been pretty MIA from the blog for the past 2 weeks and I’ve hated it. But I promise I’ve had a good reason……

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Do you see my reason? Right up there. If you’re still missing it, check out Titus’ new shirt! He is going to be a big brother! We are 8 weeks pregnant and will be expanding our family October 1st. Baby #2 has been making me so sick and gave us a pretty big scare a little over a week ago.

I have always said that because of our past loss I would share our news with close friends and family as soon as we found out and then wait until my first ultrasound to make our big announcement. This baby has made that a little bit more difficult. We haven’t left the house much in the past 2 weeks. First because as soon as I hit 6 weeks I didn’t just have morning sickness, I had the wonderful all day sickness. And it was killer. Feeling like that and having a 20 month old was not easy.

Then last Saturday night after Titus had gone to bed and I was falling asleep on the couch I started bleeding. I instantly began to panic. I cried to Nathan and said to him over and over again, this isn’t fair if we lose another baby. We called our parents, then the doctor who instructed me to come right into the ED for an ultrasound. My amazing husband and supportive family and closest friends kept encouraging me that this wasn’t the end, that our sweet baby could still very well be in my belly growing along. And thankfully that’s what we learned. After a few hours in the ED, they did an ultrasound and I got to see my sweet little blueberry right there with its tiny little heart just pumping away. In that moment I felt peace, and that God was saying this is going to be ok. I was diagnosed with a Subchorionic hemorrhage and my instructions for a week were taking it easy and no picking up Titus. Even though he is 20 months old and fully able to walk, I couldn’t pick him up to comfort him, I couldn’t lay him down for naps or bed, and I couldn’t give him his baths. I also couldn’t carry laundry on top of still being pretty sick I had to have lots of help. Thankfully I am one of the most blessed people in the world and my husband really took on the super dad role and for the most part took care of Titus as much as possible. My family took him for hours at a time so that I could rest and Nathan could work, and my amazing friends came over and put groceries away, folded my clothes, and got Titus out of his crib after naps if Nathan couldn’t be here. It was a hard week for me! And to those of you that helped, Thank you again so much!

So today was my follow up, my 8 week appointment with my OB and it was a GREAT appointment. I was pretty nervous going in to it because I just didn’t know what they would say or what was going to show up on my ultrasound. But thankfully our baby has more than doubled in size, has an amazing heart rate and I have been released to normal duty. Praise God! Our sweet baby is still growing strong. I’m still feeling pretty sick, which I just keep reminding myself is a good thing. Sickness means hormones and a growing baby.

So that’s why I’ve been gone and may still miss some blogs here and there until I’m feeling back to myself again. But I will continue to keep you posted on our new amazing journey as a growing family!

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Who doesn’t love breakfast?

Seriously, who doesn’t love breakfast food? Eggs, Bacon and hash-browns. I could eat that kind of meal everyday. But the worst part of breakfast food is most of the time I don’t want to cook as soon as I wake up in the morning. I’m usually pretty tired, entertaining my toddler and trying to get him fed. Once I’ve done all that time has passed and I don’t feel like preparing it, or having to do the clean up afterwards.

So I have started to prep our breakfast food. I’m making some type of delicious casserole that last us the week. I spend one day cooking and then every morning its in the fridge and only has to be heated up.

Below is one of my go-to, Whole 30 approved, healthy breakfast meals.


Ranch Sweet Potato Sausage Egg Bake

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooke Time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients:
-2 Medium sweet Potatoes, cubed
-1 lb Turkey breakfast sausage
-3 cups spinach
-9 Eggs
-1 Red Pepper
-1 tbsp coconut oil
-1/2 yellow onion, diced.
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-Avocado to top

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400, grease baking dish.
2. Add coconut oil to sauté pan and add diced sweet potatoes.
3. In a different sauce pan add Turkey sausage, brown.
4. Once Turkey is brown, add diced pepper, spinach and onions.
5. In a bowl whisk egg, add salt and pepper.
6. Once Sweet Potatoes are tender, mix them with Whole30 Ranch.
7. In your baking dish, layer sweet potatoes, sausage bake and top with whisked eggs (cover dish evenly).
8. Bake for 20 minutes.


Enjoy!

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The ease of the Instant Pot

Every time I use my Instant Pot to cook something new, I love it even more than when I first got it. What could you not love about a Pot that does EVERYTHING. You can read why I love it so much here. But I am going to show you 2 things that I cook regularly that the Instant Pot has made that much easier for me.

Titus and I both love sweet potatoes, we could both share one every night. So Instead of spending the time prepping them for the oven or having to cook them for an hour, I can put them in my Instant Pot.

Instructions:

  1. Clean Sweet Potatoes
  2. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  3. You can either put sweet potatoes on Instant Pot Trivet or if you have a steam basket you can use that
  4. Set for manual high pressure for 15 minutes
  5. Slow Release for 20 minutes once it’s finished cooking

 

I’ve always loved to make recipes with spaghetti squash. I love the taste and it does make me feel like I am eating spaghetti. Nathan on the other hand hates it. But I’ve always looked for easier ways to cook a spaghetti squash. Most recipes tell you to cut it in half and bake, or poke holes in it and bake/microwave. I don’t know if you have ever tried to do either of these, but it is not easy to cut or poke holes in a whole spaghetti squash. So the Instant Pot has made it even easier for you. Doing this you can literally peel the skin off, cut it in half, and then remove the seeds. I am loving this new way to prepare mine!

Instructions:

  1. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  2. Place trivet in pot and place spaghetti squash onto trivet
  3. Set for manual high pressure for 30 minutes
  4. Quick release once its done cooking
  5. Your spaghetti squash should be ready to peel off the skin; cut in half and remove seeds

 

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Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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How my life has changed since Titus

I remember, before having a baby, other moms saying enjoy every minute because the time will fly by. It’s crazy how real and true that statement is. I can’t believe that I have officially become the mama to a toddler, a strong, kind, and happy 18 month old little boy. My life has changed so much since becoming a mom. It’s been a year and a half of constant learning and I know that there is SO much more to learn.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned as a wife, mom and friend since my new title of mama:

So much joy has been not only added to my life, but my husbands, our family and all of our friends. The day that Titus was born I never knew I could love something quit like I love him. His cute little round nose (like his mama) and his beautiful big brown eyes surrounded by long eyelashes (like his dad) stole my heart the moment I saw him and that hasn’t changed since. His nose is still so cute and those brown eyes help show every little expressions that he is trying to convey. His laugh his contagious and he if you cheer him on for any new thing he does, he will clap for himself afterwards. Joy is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the past year and a half.

But with the new job title I’ve also seen more and more how my marriage needs to be first. I wrote about this in a past blog, but my relationship with Nathan needs to constantly be nourished and filled. Date nights needs to be mandatory and can’t be the first thing to go when life gets busy. Honestly, we still struggle with this. By the time the work day comes to an end and Titus is asleep we usually end up doing our own thing so that we can both unwind. And date nights go longer and longer without happening. We are regularly trying to get better at this and spend intentional time together. And that doesn’t have to be going out to a fancy dinner (not really either of our ideal date) but just a night in, good food, time to talk and relax together. It’s so important to make sure that our relationship continues to grow since one day, yes I know there’s a long time until then, but there will come a time when it’s just Nathan and I again and we need to make sure we still like each other.

One of the toughest things since becoming a mama is everyone’s opinion on how you should do x, y and z. It’s great to have experienced, amazing mamas out there to help you out when you need it but I’ve found that most of the time 2 other moms don’t agree on almost anything. I’ve seen that I need to stand firm on my convictions as a mom, like struggling with my child walking (read past blog here). I contemplating even writing that blog because I thought about how people would question why Titus wasn’t walking yet. Or the fact that we have started to discipline or how we chose to. Another hard one was when I talked about us letting him cry it out, no that does not mean that we put our child in his crib and let him scream for hours on hours. We read up on it, we learned about it and we put it into safe guidelines to help Titus enjoy and get a healthy amount of sleep. So for as long as I can I will be tough for my kid and stand firm on how I feel as a mom.

And last, I think I’ve always known but it has become more real now that I actually have a child but he watches my every move. Even though he isn’t old enough to fully talk he is taking in everything that happens around him. He is looking and listening to how I react to things, the ton of my voice, my attitude, what I spend time doing and how I interact with others. He is taking all of that in and that will be helping in because the kid, teenage, young adult and man that he will become. I want him to know that conflict will arise, you will not ever agree with everyone, BUT you determine your actions. I want him to be a compassionate, kind, generous, strong, God honoring man. And that starts now. That starts with the actions of me and his dad. It also goes further with the people he is around regularly. He is taking it in everyday.

Like I said, I know this is just the start of a lifetime of learning I have ahead of me but I am so thankfully for the last 18 months. I can’t imagine a life without our sweet boy, and I am so blessed to be his mama!

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Organization in the midst of a toddler

There were days when I found myself cleaning up my living room for the tenth time, wondering how in the world it could get so messy again so quickly. I like to have a very clean and organized house and when Titus got a little bit older, that was tested. With the amount of toys, gadgets, swings and everything else you use for a baby, I felt like my house had been taken over. I didn’t like the feeling that may space didn’t look like an “adult” space anymore. So I’ve slowly tried to find new ways to help keep things organized and still feel like I’m in an adults living room.

I don’t know about you but my child has an over abundance of toys and I don’t like to have them all downstairs where we usually spend our time playing, so every morning I bring one of his “big” toys down. It could be his big learning block, his trains, or his soccer goal, but only one a day. I feel like this helps with the mess and also makes it so that he enjoys those toys more. I found that when I had everything out he would get tired of them quickly.

Then I got this really cute bench from target that I’ve converted to a toy box. It goes with my furniture and you would never know that it is filled with books, puzzles, and toys. I also put 2 Storage Bins from Target in the bench and fill those up with toys. At this point in his life, 18 months, I can still somewhat manage what gets taken out of the toy box (I know this will change once he gets older and I’ll have to find new ways to stay organized.) I also only take out 1 storage bin and a few books out at a time. The toys in the one bin and his one big toy usually keep him pretty occupied.

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We’ve also already started the practice that before we get new things out, we clean up what we were already playing with. Thankfully I think some of my cleanliness has already rubbed off on Titus because he LOVES to put his books away every night and knows that things belong in certain spots.

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These are some of the things that have really helped all of us stay organized, so that I’m not spending countless hours cleaning up toys. It has made clean up so much easier and ensures that once I put Titus to bed I can actually relax.

I hope this helps you with some ideas to keep things organized with kiddos running around! Below are the links for the Bench and Cubes.

Target Storage Bench

Target Storage Bin

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