Monday, August 27, 2012

embracing the camera & an update

I'm a little behind on my "embrace the camera" so today I'm making up for it double time.
Embracing the camera is about being intentional on capturing photos with your kiddos or the special people in your life.  It's important to be a part of the memories, the photos that will be dug out years from now.  
Your family deserves it.  
It's not about looking your best, or being captured in your best clothes, because really, the people who love you the most just want to see you.  
They won't see the imperfections.  
And just because I love that "Wear Sunscreen" song from 1999 so much, 
I'm going to quote it for you...
"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind;
you will not understand
the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded
but trust me: in 20 years,
you'll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can't grasp now
how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine."

Here's a couple photos from todays baby appointment.  
We're officially 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Today I had another NST, which took a bit longer than normal because Jude decided to hide and they kept losing his heartbeat.  Jude also set the alarm off twice making Mommy a bit nervous with his baseline heart-rate going a bit too low, but he is active and  doing great they said.

Jack tagged along today and was so patient.  
He ate a banana, played some games on my iphone and occasionally peeked at the girl behind the curtain next to us who was also having a NST 
(just your belly is exposed).  
He is such a curious george.

Our official "due date" is Friday, here's hoping we don't make it! :)
Although I have been told I am not allowed to give birth tomorrow.  
Joel has a super important interview at work that he has been looking forward to for some time now.
Fingers crossed that he gets it and prayers if you don't mind :)
He has been working so hard!
We're all looking forward to the six weeks baby leave he is taking.
It will be so nice to have him home.

Jack waiting on our midwife.

Me & Jude a few days ago about to take a nap.  
A pillow between my legs and one under my belly... something I will not miss!

And my wake-up call right on time as usual.
It's been so hard to imagine us as a family of four... it's hard to imagine that I won't be pregnant forever.  
Having a baby in the house seems so foreign.

Today I promised myself that I would be super patient with Jack at our baby appointment and expect only what you should of a three-year-old 
(since I was immobile during the test and we are in such a small space).
We all want perfect behavior from our kids, but the reality is- they are kids!  
It is their job to mess up and learn right from wrong.
It's unfair to expect so much sometimes, especially in the boring situation I placed him in today.

I kept looking in the rear-view mirror as I drove to and from home.
He is still so young.
And I don't want to over-look that.
He is only three.
Time moves so fast.
Be gentle with your kids.
Enjoy your time with them.
Because one day, 
you're going to miss all the noise, all the chaos, and all the toys left on the floor.

Monday, August 20, 2012

38 weeks & an update

Just a quick update because Joel doesn't like to sleep alone and I promised I'd come to bed soon :)

Last Tuesday I turned 25.
(birthday gift from the ma & pa)

Last Friday I hit the the 38 week mark. 

And I officially finished decorating the nursery.

So much is about to change.  
(Joel & Jack making no-bake cookies together.)

There is so much to write about, but I honestly can't find the words.  

My mind is in constant over-drive lately. 
(a flower from Jack)

We're so ready for you Jude :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

my first "embrace the camera"

I need a shower, we're both in pj's and we're hanging out in Jude's new room.
But I love the faces Jack made in these... his "kissy face" 
and my "kissy face" he is pretending not to love :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Laundry Detergent- Updated

The last time I made laundry soap was in December of last year, I made enough for what I thought was 9 months and it lasted around 6 for us.  That being said, for some reason I was soap happy and added sometimes 3 tbsp per load instead of the recommended two.

    The last time I made laundry soap, I also followed a recipe that I found on pinterest and I thought was similar to the Duggars.  I looked up the ingredients only and didn't do the math (for larger batches), turns out the old recipe I used didn't have enough soap in it.  Most large recipes out there actually don't. It cleaned our clothes though and took out tough stains, but yea, kind of gross.  
The recipe here in this post is updated and the correct large amount, which I found from the Eco-Friendly Family's Blog, and I'm sure this will last us a good year or more.

Cloth Diapers:
Want a homemade version for cloth diapers?  Just follow the recipe below but leave out the bars of soap!

Type of Soap you can use:
Fels Naptha (what I used)
Kirk’s Castile

Here's the small batch recipe:
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup of Oxiclean
1 bar of soap, finely grated

And the super large batch:
3 Boxes Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz each)
2 Boxes 20 Mule Team Borax (76 oz each)
1 Large Tub OxiClean (96 oz) (I bought the off-brand)
24 Bars of Soap, finely grated
breathing mask

I grated my bars by hand with a nice big cheese grater, but it took me the length of about a Hallmark movie to do it.  That's where the real work for this recipe comes in.  I've heard that the secret to grating it is to chop up the bars of soap with a food processor (don't push your processor, take your time) and then lay the pieces out on a cookie sheet to dry out for a couple days and do it again so it makes a powder.

I had a huge bucket that I stored Jack's garage toys in that I washed out and mixed the ingredients in.  I layered it, stirred and mixed it back and forth with buckets until I felt like it was mixed good.  I recommend doing this outside while wearing a mask, as the borax can chalk up and make clouds around you and you don't want to breath it in or have it leave residue in your home.  (If you're making the small batch, you don't need to go outside or wear a mask.)

The large batch makes so much I bought a 5 gallon paint bucket with a lid to store it in, and it also filled the Oxiclean tub.  It just BARELY fit into both containers, so you may need another option.  I plan on storing the large tub in the basement and using the small container in the laundry room. 

Using your laundry detergent:
2tbsp per load

The large batch cost me around $45 when all said and done (and the cloth diaper version $20).

Cloth Diapers:
Want a homemade version for cloth diapers?  Just follow the recipes above but leave out the bars of soap!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Jack's 4 Year Photos

     Jack's 4th birthday is next month and since our world is about to get kind of crazy with baby #2, I knew I had to get his photos done asap otherwise they probably wouldn't happened.  So we went outside before dinner and I snapped a few photos in the front yard.


     I'm not sure why he says, "cheese" all the time when I'm not even a "cheese" type of photographer... my kid seriously wants to stand there like a statue.  I told him I wanted to ask him a few questions (in an effort to make him laugh, which is usually easy) but he kept saying cheese... thankfully I did get his genuine smile between "cheeses."


I tried to get him to take some toys with him outside too but he told me he didn't need any, and he didn't want his hair done either.  We sometimes give him an awesome fohawk which we've named "dinosaur hair."


For some reason my flash made him laugh the most, haha... I rolled with it though and laughed right along with him.  I can't believe he's almost FOUR!


He posed himself here... I suggested that he push up on his elbows, but he told me, 


Here's an outtake he insisted upon... "Mom take a picture of me scratching my head."  He then made that face too, haha.

My little boy's growing up!  Here he is through the years...

Three Year Photo


Two Year Photo


One Year Photo

one year

Two Weeks Old

Jack Final

Sunday, August 5, 2012


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. 
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. 
Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. 
Be honest anyway.  
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. 
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. 
Do good anyway.  
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. 
Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. 
It was never between you and them anyway.” 
― Kent M. Keith

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

was this a bad idea?

36 weeks pregnant and having a garage sale?  Hmm... 

I'm waking a lot more at night, and I'm napping again during the day.
I may have spoke too soon in my last blog post.

Pretty sure I'm going to be sore tomorrow from all the boxes I moved and stacked today.
Made the mistake of mentioning that to my Dad who is the person who worries about me the most... then tried to reassure him I'm just fine.
Which I am.

But, the worst is over.
I have everything sitting right next to the garage door so my Dad,
 or brother-in-law can pick it up tomorrow.

We live in the country so to have a better turn out we're going to my parent's house.  
Joel's been working crazy over-time, and we were lucky to have 15 minutes with him today.
So garage sale prep has landed squarely on me.
Yes... poor me! :)~

My sister's joining me, and Joel may or may not help that day... depending on if we want a three-year-old running around us in circles, or screaming how we can't sell this or that.  

He got quite upset today over books... specifically, my collection of The Hunger Games. 

The kid is attached to things.
I told myself I'd be going through this toys today but after a total meltdown I backed away and decided it's something that needs to be done when I have more patience and understanding under my belt to help him part better.

He happily carried the giant frog we bought Joel for Valentines Day proudly back to his room and I accepted defeat. 
We obviously need that frog.

Here's hoping we all survive the weekend.
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