It’s become a nonstop whirlwind in my corner of the world. Vacation, work, parties, doctor appointments and major cleaning/painting projects have ruled my life over the past week, and I’m ready for a breather.
A brief recap of my week:
The kid’s rooms have been switched over. B’s room is painted and decorated, minus his rug and new bed frame. The girl’s room has yet to be painted, but everything is moved in and in it’s new home.
Quads. We delivered our second set of quads for the year this weekend. In retrospect, it’s neat to be able to say I was the delivery nurse for quadruplets, but when we got the call that they were coming from our antepartum unit to be sectioned at eleven pm, my response was fuck. Six hours later, I finally got a breather after that delivery.
I’m happy to say our little miss weighs in at alb 12oz, measuring right at 30 weeks. Also happy to say that, for once, I have a normal fluid level.
We had an awesome birthday party for B on Sunday. I took one picture and broke the cycle of making the birthday cake from scratch. We had funfetti cake from a box and bright turn-your-teeth-aqua-blue frosting from a can. Definitely a change from past parties of making decorations, cake and snacks by hand.
The highlight of our mini vacation to Cincinnati was the hotel pool. I contracted the rest of the time. The kids had fun and are excited for our next mini vacation after baby is here.
I have a feeling this summer will absolutely fly by. There is something to do nearly everyday of the week. My husband is taking our son for a camping trip this weekend. There’s summer camps, science camp, art programs and summer reading programs. More doctors appointments. Birthday celebrations, baby showers, and weddings to attend. Meetings and mandatory stuff for work. Plus, the normal day to day activities. It’s never ending.
Not even ten am, and my day is already in full swing. Amazing how children change your life.
Six years ago, my husband and I welcomed our six pound bundle into our lives. The days of sleeping in on off days and doing as we pleased when we pleased were put on hold, if not put to an end indefinitely. No complaints. While very frustrating and exhausting at times, there’s nothing like being a parent. It’s one role I wouldn’t give up for anything.
So, yes, not even ten am and my day is in full swing. Seven am brought my now six year old running in our room announcing, “I’m six today! I can’t wait to be seven!” Within twenty minutes, B and I were dressed and out the door to enjoy a super healthy, low calorie breakfast of Krispie Kreme donuts and soda. Then it was onto Target for last minute vacation supplies where B proceeded to hone his bargaining skills.
“Mom, I’ll make a deal with you. If I promise to be a good boy, and I’m good the entire time, I can get a toy. Because it’s my birthday.”
Not even ten am, and I’m starting to crash from my sugar high. Both kiddos are up and at ‘em. For the moment, they’re both content building with legos and singing Phineas and Ferb songs. I can’t deny that I’m a little jealous of my still sleeping husband. Lucky dog. Not that I’d trade a minute of my morning with my special Bday boy.
Today marks the first day of summer vacation. Yesterday, B said farewell to kindergarten. I’m looking forward to having him home with us throughout the weekdays for a bit. I have a feeling the next two months are, unfortunately, going to pass by in the blink of an eye. Between our mini vacation next week, birthdays and parties, and baby R’s arrival (and everything we have yet to do to be ready for her), I’m sure August will be here soon. Just hopefully not too soon. :)
So, a few snap shots of our end of school year projects, Pinterest inspired, of course. For his classmates, we gave Kool Aid and umbrella straws. For his teachers, orange soda with labels that said “Orange you glad it’s summer?!” Cheap and easy, and B was so excited to give them out.
Three things I just don’t have enough of. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I have a limited supply of energy. There is never enough cash to tackle everything.
The last few months have flown by and have been jammed packed. Most of my family’s activities are connected to this sweet little thing…
She’s kept me on my toes. Between blood pressure issues, blood sugar issues, sciatic and ligament pain, and, ever my favorite, bouts of contractions, this hasn’t been my easiest pregnancy. To say the least. We’ve had a few minor scares with her. Bed rest constantly looms its ugly head. It hasn’t happened. Yet. When you work closely with your OB and her multitude of partners, you get a mini office visit every week.
What’s your blood pressure? Are you contracting again? Let’s go do an ultrasound and check your cervical length. Is that caffeine you’re drinking?
I’ve made it six weeks since bed rest was first threatened. Hoping to make it another six.
So, my life has been a whirlwind of organizing and cleaning the hell out of my house while simultaneously trying to take it easy. It’s no easy task. With baby #3 on the way, our three bedroom home suddenly seems infinitely smaller. It’s been quite the task going through the plethora of stuff that has accumulated over the years. I can’t tell you how many trips we’ve made to Goodwill, nor the amount of things that have made their way to the garbage.
Next on the massive Stallings’ project to do list: the great bedroom switch. My son has the big room. It’s the size of our master bedroom. My daughter has the small room. Since baby #3 is a little princess, we have a room swap looming over us. Room swap = painting. Painting 12 foot walls. And ceilings. And moving large furniture. It’s scheduled to go down next week. I am not excited about it. Neither are the little ones. They are each very attached to their current bedrooms. We’ll see how it goes.
There are a million and one things I hope to accomplish before Rosie joins our family. Realistically, I hope to get ten of them checked off our to do list.
There’s nothing like being only 13 weeks into your pregnancy and looking, well, definitively more pregnant than I am. Last week, one of my coworkers asked, “Just how pregnant are you?”
Sigh. It begins again. Each pregnancy, I’ve gotten to hear comments such as, “That’s a big baby,” and “You’re getting so big,” and, my all time favorite, “Are you sure there’s just one in there?” Between having high fluid from about 16-18 weeks on, a short torso and a tendency to carry my kids in my rib cage during the latter half of my pregnancy, my baby belly has always been on the bigger side. And it’s no different this go around.
In an effort to have a healthy pregnancy, I’ve been walking/running 3-4 times a week and have been been doing 2-3 miles most days. Once the weather warms up a bit more and I can bring the kiddos along with me, I’m hoping to average 4-5 days. I feel so much better when I’m able to get out and hit the pavement. I have more energy, I sleep sounder, I don’t have as many crazy pregnancy-hormone-mood-swings on the days I walk/run, and my blood pressure has been never been better. With my first two pregnancies, I was already on medication for my blood pressure at this gestational age. So, woohoo for walking/running!
But seriously, I need the temp to get out of the 20′s. After dropping my oldest off for school, I donned my super warm running gear and noticed my uber warm running jacket is getting pretty snug over my pregnant belly. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to zip it up with the rate my stomach has been growing. The forecast is starting to look promising, with predicted highs in the mid 40′s to low 50′s with sunshine. I certainly hope so! My thermal jacket wearing days are numbered.
As I’ve gradually emerged from my first trimester funk (13 weeks tomorrow!), I’ve found myself using my kitchen again. My house is once more filled with sweet aromas, and my children are thrilled that I’ve been baking again. And thanks to the wonderful world that is Pinterest, I have a stash of crazy easy, minimal ingredient recipes, which, in my pregnant state, are perfect.
My favorite of these easy recipes involves a box of angel food cake mix and a can of fruit baked at 350 for 30-35 minutes. We’ve tried it first with crushed pineapple (very yummy) and now cherry pie filling (also very yummy). There have been requests for strawberries and blueberries.
December was going to be the month of Christmas crafts and training for my first long race since April. December was instead the month of not having enough energy to get off whatever I was curled up on, unless it was for running to the bathroom to puke for the umpteenth time. No, December was not what I has hoped it was going to be.
No complaints, though. While I would have preferred to be sickness free for the Christmas holidays, how could I be upset about rapidly rising hCG levels?
So there will be a new little bitty joining the Stallings’ clan this summer. He/she is due August 12th, but seeing how 37 0/7 weeks is the longest I’ve ever been pregnant, we’re planning for a July baby.
It’s amazing how quickly plans change. My race plans drastically changed. When I should have been training for the Hangover, I was getting IVs for severe dehydration. While I still hope to run with this pregnancy, training for a marathon is out of the question for me. I have the good fortune of preterm labor, and while my doctor encouraged me to continue running so long as I don’t start contracting, she flat out said no to anything longer than a mile or two. Maybe three. So, my race plans for the year are a flat 5K. Maybe after the baby comes I can revisit race plans.
Other plans that changed due to our little bitty was summer vacation. My husband’s family plans for a big vacation every other year. We were to leave July 9th. I’ll be 35 weeks. 35 weeks has been a notoriously bad time for me with both pregnancies. Both times required trips to the hospital to be shot up with various labor stopping medications. Needless to say, my husband and I will not be partaking in the big family vacation. We might just be hanging out with my coworkers instead.
Yes, it’s amazing how quickly things can change directions. I didn’t anticipate my head would be swimming in all things baby related so early in the year. We were planning on trying for our third (and final) bambino later in year. The plan was for me to work a little OT, save up for a new car (I’m still driving my two door Honda civic I got when I was 19…we’ve made the two door thing work with two children, but a third will not fit. I’ve checked), pay off a little more debt, etc. before trying. And now, working extra…HA! Maybe next trimester.
Day three of our activity advent calendar called for making plates from peppermint candies. I’d seen several tutorials around on Pinterest, and it seemed easy enough. Bake at 350* for 8 minutes and allow to cool. It was quite easy, and the kids had a blast.
We baked ours in spring form pans to help keep the peppermints from spreading too thin, which I highly recommend. It left our dishes nice and thick and not too fragile feeling.
I also highly recommend to line your dish with parchment paper, a step I over looked. It made for a lot more work getting the plates out of the pan.
While super easy, cheap to make, a lot of fun and a lovely end product, I have one complaint. The plates are pretty sticky, even after having air dried all night. Stuff keeps getting stuck to them. I’m not sure if I could coat them with something to help with that. Any ideas?
Hands down, this has been the most awesome Christmastime, and it’s only beginning. My five year old has been unbelievably excited about EVERYTHING Christmas related, from our nativity sets, to the lights, to Elvis (our elf on the shelf), to making decorations and now to our activity Advent Calendar. This kid’s spirit is positively infectious.
This year, rather than going only with our traditional advent calendar (usually a one dollar treat from Trader Joe’s with a piece of chocolate for each day), I opted to add an activity based Advent calendar. It was a quick and simple DIY that turned out quite nicely, I must say. My oldest found several small broken branches in the yard, we put them in a jar, tied a ribbon around the jar and hung little tags from the branches.
It’s been so much fun thus far! The kids have been so excited to see what the newest activity will be.
Send Christmas cards to soldiers
Make a peppermint serving dish
Write a letter to Santa
Make coffee filter snowflakes
Read The Night Before Christmas
Listen and dance to Christmas cookies
Read about the nativity
Go ice skating
Make a Christmas craft
Watch Frosty the Snowman and drink hot cocoa with marshmallows
For the last few years, my husband and I have steadily moved away from store bought gifts at Christmas and towards hand made gifts. This year will be no different. We have a few store bought things (mainly for each other and the kiddos in our lives, plus a few off the wall gifts, like the beef jerky chocolate bar that we simply couldn’t pass up for Brett’s oldest brother), but the bulk of our gifts will be homemade. We have a large circle of family and friends we exchange gifts with, and homemade gifts really help cut down our cost each year.
One gift I opted to go with was a collection of flavored salts. I had everything on hand minus enough small jars to put the salt in, but I’m hoping to get a stash before Christmas is here, which will have made this a no cost to me project. How freaking awesome would that be?!
Thus far, I have three different flavors of salt: cumin salt, lavender and thyme salt, and Siracha salt for all the spicy food lovers in my life. We have several people in our lives who are quite adventurous with their food, and I hope these salts will be right up their alley.
Not only was this an uber cheap gift, it was incredibly easy to whip them up. For the cumin and lavender/thyme salts, it was a simple act of grinding up cumin seeds and lavender (fresh from the garden) and thyme leaves and mixing them with salt. There heavy on the herbs/spices so that a little will hopefully go a long way.
The Sriracha was the most involved salt (if you can call it that). One cup of salt mixed up with several teaspoons of sriracha sauce and popped into the oven at 170* until it’s dried (about two hours). Easy, peasy.