i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Monday, June 08, 2015

the birth of miss G

the last time i was here i was half way done...
today, i’m sitting here with a 3 week old baby next to me!
and since i’m sitting here with a baby next to me…i figured it’s time to blog all about her birth.
the last time we talked i shared how we were having a girl. 
we figured out her name about 2 months before she was born…but kept it a surprise til birth.
so i’ll keep it a surprise here until she’s born in my birth story. :)

i’ll be honest, i was super nervous about the birth of this little baby G. i can’t really explain why, but i was just nervous. i think i may have been nervous about going into labor before my planned induction date. 

my due date was may 23rd. our church’s women’s retreat was the weekend before. so i planned the induction for may 18th. we kept it a surprise…i use the term loosely, now. a few close friends knew. and then the women at the retreat knew because my friend asked if they could pray for me the sunday we left. then shaun’s bosses knew…which ended up meaning my dad found out through his connections at shaun’s work. so my mom also knew. but in the end…it doesn’t really matter. 

i prayed that i’d make it through our women’s retreat. i’m part of the planning team and didn’t want to miss it! 

here’s miss G at her first retreat…

miss G listened. we made it through the retreat. ((which was such a blessing! and i had a great relaxing weekend away with my sisters from church. we are so blessed with a great church family. i’m so thankful i got the time away with them. it means so much to have a church family that feels just like family. just like it’s supposed to.)) 

after the retreat i spent the afternoon with the kids before taking them to our friends house. we are so blessed to have such fabulous friends! friends who have 4 kids of their own and were willing to watch our 6 kids! in fact, the day i called amber to tell her about my surprise pregnancy..she “called” watching the kids! :) the kids love going to their house and it makes us feel good knowing they’re probably not missing us too much when they have their friends to play with. and really…these friends are for sure considered family…so it was like to going family for them. they parent the same way we do, so we also don’t have to worry about retraining our kids when we get home from the hospital with a new baby. that night we spent dinner with them and tucked the kids in for bed before heading home. 

as we drove home it still didn’t feel “real”. like we were having a baby tomorrow. i was able to sleep as well as a million month pregnant woman who’s having a baby in the morning can. we had to be to the hospital by 7, so it was a bit of an early morning. 

we checked in and i still don’t think it felt real. but i wasn’t as nervous as i had felt before. (answer to prayers!!) 

my doctor came in around 8 to check me and get things started. the previous week i was about 3cm and 80%. and my doctor actually said she was surprised i hadn’t shown up over the weekend. i was about the same—3cm and 80%. she “got things started” and i had to lay in bed for an hour. 

when the hour was about over…my cousin showed up!

what?! my cousin?!


she was gong to photograph the birth!! a few weeks earlier i off handedly mentioned to shaun that i’d love to have the baby’s birth photographed. basically what i wanted was the moment the baby was born and the look on our faces. i said that if i knew my cousin had the day off i’d ask her. he told me to ask her if she had that day off! umm..okay!! i didn’t even think he’d GO for it. so i messaged her immediately and long story short…she ended up being able to take the day off for us!!

i wasn’t sure how it’d be with her there. like, if it’d be weird or whatever. but it wasn’t. at all. not even once. 

i remember around 10 or 1030 telling ashley and shaun i wish things would just start hurting. i was feeling some contractions…but it wasn’t anything ‘worth it’. at some point my nurse introduced me to another nurse who was going to be my new nurse. (secretly i was happy, she seemed more personable to me!) and i also met the resident. by far the COOLEST resident i’ve ever experienced. he had great bedside manner. and small hands. ;) 

this is shaun. being fabulous, of course. :) i just love his smile in the picture

my doctor came in a little before lunchtime to break my water. i know she checked me, but i don’t remember what i was. maybe 5 or 6. all i know is that it wasn’t much different. and i felt a little defeated. the contractions weren’t really hurting much yet. so i was hoping that breaking my water would bring on stronger contractions. and a SLOWER delivery than with fletcher. 
and during my labor my friend texted me letting me know she had her baby! i rightfully! called her a jerk. but she had labored all night, so she deserved it. 

my doctor also said she had a board meeting from 1-3, and she looked at the nurses and said “i can get here. but give me time! she’ll go fast and i’ll need time to run over here.” i think they were nervous! 

the contractions did get stronger after my water was broke. YAY! it felt more like labor. 

i didn’t do a whole lot during labor. basically moved from the bed, to the rocking chair to pacing the floor in my room. and not so patiently waiting for things to happen. 

feeling stronger!

i believe it was an hour or so after my water broke that the contractions were feeling much, much stronger. i started feeling myself getting “stressed”, that’s the wrong word…but i can’t think of one that’s better. basically i wasn’t remaining calm anymore. i knew if i took some meds it’d help me. earlier in the morning they had started an iv. it was more for after delivery so they could start the pitocin. with multiple births you have a higher chance of bleeding more and that would help my uterus contract…blah blah blah. 

but i knew i had the iv, so getting the meds would be easier. and maybe it just made me willing to get them faster because i knew how easy it was going to be. but i also knew it’d help to calm my nerves down. 

so when the nurse came in, i asked for some. she had the resident come in. he watched my contractions, told me “that was a good one. 101.” i asked what the highest was, he replied “100”. i believe i may have asked if i got something special for that. (i don’t remember if i said it out loud or not. :) ) 

SEE the peak isn't even on the paper!

he explained that in order to give pain meds they need to check me to make sure i wasn’t too far along. he then said how he was going to wait for a contraction. i asked if he “had” to. he said something back. my reply, well can i punch you in the stomach and put my hand somewhere you don’t want it?

he decided to just check me then. :) 

i was only like a 7. blah. seriously. again i felt like this labor was NEVER going to end! 

the meds helped me SO much. it helped me calm down. and feel good. i KNOW i talked. and talked a lot. but i have not much memory of everything i said. shaun just agrees with me and says that i did talk a lot. i’m sure i just rambled. and i know i didn’t say anything too outlandish. or at least i hope not. 

after awhile i felt different. i didn’t feel like i had to push, but i felt different. i had shaun call them in to check me because i just wanted to be sure i wasn’t complete. they checked me and said her head had moved down. but i wasn’t complete. i was probably subconsciously making sure i was giving them time to call my dr. 

you see. 

our family would hold the record for her delivering the most babies to one family. i was going to GET that record! :) i’m pretty sure i mentioned it a few times during the labor as well. i was a chatty cathy during this labor! 

it was about 230 that i felt things were getting worse pain wise. i asked for more pain meds. in all honesty, i shouldn’t have. i knew they weren’t going to work. i knew i was getting close. but i took them anyways. and they helped calm me a little, but did nothing for the pain. 

when the resident checked me before that dose, i was about an 8. he said that it felt like i had scar tissue and that as soon as that sort of broke apart i’d probably be “ready”. and we’d have a baby soon. i said, well i hope so…if i’m still in this bed tomorrow i’m kicking you all in the face. ((seriously! i’m not a violent person! labor makes me sound like one)) 

my doctor came in a little before 3 to check on me. i was still about the same as i had been a little earlier. she said it shouldn’t be long.

i don’t remember how long it was…but it wasn’t long after that i knew i something was changing. i remember saying “i’m almost done.” and ashley said “yes. you are.” i told shaun press the button. i need to push. press the button! i told the nurse i need to push.

for the love of all things baby...GET the strap off my belly. once i'm ready to push i HATE the straps on my stomach! 

soon after the room is full of people. they start tearing down the bed. i am saying how i need to PUSH. i’m told to wait. i don’t think i did. i think i just relaxed myself and pushed a little. my doctor appeared. and then she told me to put my legs back. um. i’ll be completely real…i TOTALLY forgot i needed to do that. it was like. oh. yeah. DUH! 

shaun had one. the nurse had the other and my doctor told me to push. i let my body push. it was the first time i remember doing that in any delivery. i think my nurse was going to count to 10. but my doctor told her to stop. she said, you’re doing good. just keep doing what you’re doing. 
i adore this picture of my doctor. her smile says how much she loves her job!

and i did. well, my body did. i gently got my baby girl out. and at 315 we welcomed our baby girl into the world!

the look on my husband's face. the reason i wanted this pictures taken!

her cord was short and that meant she could only be put as far up as my belly button. i sat up as much as i could to hold her, but it was hard. my doctor had shaun cut the cord…at quite the angle according to shaun. 

i like the smiles/smirks on both of their faces. my doctor apologize for the lack of "room" to cut the cord. 

as soon as she was “free” i was able to have her up on my chest. she wasn’t crying too much and i think the nurses were concerned about how non-pink she was. it was a little while before they said we’re going to take her over and see if we can pink her up a bit. 

it does not matter how many times you've delivered a baby into this world. it is JUST as magical as the first, second and subsequent times!!

it was then that someone asked her name! 

and we shared…

and now i’ll share with you!

our miss G is…

miss Gloriana Louise
born at 315pm
May 18th
8lbs 1oz
21 1/2 inches
a "popp" kid for sure!

a cell phone picture. but one of her all stretched out. it's no wonder how she could kick me in the ribs and the hip at the same time! :) 

after gloriana was pinked up they gave her to me and had me do some skin to skin to warm her up. i also tried nursing her. she nursed like a champ! like seriously, the best nurser i’ve ever had right after birth. 
*sigh* one of my favorite pictures of the day. 

i was so happy to stare into her little eyes. 

can't believe we have another baby!

beautiful and precious.

we got put in our post-partum room about 2 hours later. the kids were there about an hour after that. 

and we were officially a family of 9.

this is a cell phone picture because i am too lazy to load up my camera pictures. 

i always take advantage of a 2 day hospital stay. i tend to push it too fast and this gives me the time to rest and recoup a little before entering the world of lots of littles.

ready to start our adventure!

there’s much more i could share. but this post is super long. and it gives me a reason to come back and blog. i miss it each time i do it, but then never get back to it! i’ll try to be back before Gloriana is a year old…

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

baby G update

well, well, well...it's pretty much been a super duper long time since i've been here.

i'm 21 weeks pregnant already! here's a picture from last week...

i was super blessed by a friend who recently was getting rid of her maternity clothes. she gave me an entire garbage bag full of clothes. it's no secret i'm a bit heavier with this pregnancy than any of my others-so a lot of the shirts i had from the first 5 don't fit well--well, they don't fit well for PUBLIC appearances. ;) i didn't have a lot of long sleeved shirts with fletcher's pregnancy, so i have bought a few but have been wanting some more. enter the wonderful friend who gifted me an entire bag of clothes! :) i feel "refreshed" to have some new clothes to wear and like to feel like i look nice--which she helped me accomplish. there's a lot to feeling good about yourself, and especially when pregnant!

i can't believe we are over half way done with this pregnancy. it feels like not that long ago i was sharing our G-igantic surprise. the surprise has settled in and we are G-igantically super excited. 

we were also excited to find out the gender of our baby G...shaun came with me to the ultrasound and it was actually the first appointment/ultrasound he's been with me for the entire pregnancy. my friend amber came with me to my 12 week ultrasound, and i was so happy to share the experience with someone...and especially her. 
anyways...we loved being able to see our little baby G. the baby is definitely a "popp kid". 
it was fun to see the baby have it's hand all by it's face--the baby did the same thing at my 12 week ultrasound, too...
it's amazing to see how much they grow just in about 8 weeks.

during the ultrasound the baby measured around 13oz...so a little more than a soda popp. ;) 

we found out the gender and i previously made a boy set and a girl set of booties. i brought both sets along to the ultrasound and then after we knew i just left the other set there for the tech to give to the next person with that gender. :)
at my 12 week ultrasound the tech guessed what she thought the baby was--but only a few people knew what she guessed. i didn't want the kids to find out and then be excited about a new brother or sister and then it turn out to be the opposite. it was a long 8 weeks of wondering if she was right or wrong...

after the ultrasound i went down to the gift shop at the hospital. they have my SUPER FAVORITE burp cloths there made by because of hope. i bought three of them. then wrapped each one individually and then wrapped the booties i needed and the hat i needed for a total of 5 gifts. one for each of the kids who "cared" to know what the baby was. 

we travelled back to my sisters house with our package...
 they were excited to each open up their own little gift to see if they were getting a brother or sister...
 then i posted this group of pictures and let it sit for about 20 minutes. ;) there's something about knowing the answer to secret and not telling anyone for a little bit...
i gave in and then posted the video of the kids opening the gifts...

awww! i just love watching it!! :) dustin is actually excited about a little sister.  and here's a picture of the gifts they all opened...

and...yes...the ultrasound tech at 12 weeks was right. ;) 

now to start shopping for girls clothes....

Thursday, October 09, 2014

a "G"igantic update

alpha-popp baby G is due may 23rd. :) 

if all you care about is that we’re having a baby G, i’d stop reading now.


if you enjoy reading “how we found out we were having another baby” stories…this is just for you! :) 

let me take you back a little bit. to like, august. fletcher hasn’t been sleeping well since about july. (if you know me in real life, you may have heard that story a few times. ;) ) shaun and i were talking more and more about “if” there was to be another baby. we both decided that we were good. maybe for “good”. for sure “for now”. 

shaun went on a men’s retreat at the beginning of september and told me about someone sharing their testimony there that they had gone and had a reversal done and were now expecting a baby. it solidified for me that even though we were “done for now”, i didn’t want it to be permanent. we are young enough, that what if that’s us in a few years. i didn’t think it would be. but it just solidified how we both felt. shaun agreed with me. 

i was ‘due’ the saturday of the men’s retreat. i truly had NO reason to suspect i was pregnant. so i carried around my little “if i get my period” bag full of supplies just waiting for it to come. knowing it’d probably come when we were out and about, or in the middle of church sunday. saturday came and went. sunday came. from my calculations i was “late” sunday. shaun ended up with cellulitis and needing a prescription. so i bought a test to check. that test (and if you’re wondering…i took it right inside CVS) came up negative. okay. sunday came and went.

monday morning i did the “first morning” pee on the other test that came in the box. negative. i was sure. maybe was there a line? no. there wasn’t. i was actually starting to get worried. what was going on with me! my cycles were never this long. i was going to give it a few more days before just checking in with my dr. ((i also had started running and exercising more, been a bit “stressed” out so i figured it could be that, too)) i have this weird thing, i usually don’t throw pregnancy tests away. so monday i just threw the test in the mostly empty nursing pads box in the cupboard and left it at that. monday came and went without anything. 

i started thinking about “if” i could be pregnant. how was i feeling? well, tired. i was tired. but i have a kid who (still) doesn’t sleep. tired is NOT an indicator of pregnancy when you can explain WHY you’re so tired. 

tuesday morning. i looked at the test i took monday. ((i know you’re not supposed to read them AFTER a certain time. but whatever.)) i didn’t see two lines. i didn’t think so. actually i knew i didn’t. when i threw the test back in the box…i found an UNUSED test. what? woo hoo. i decided to take it. i peed on it and threw it in the box. the kids were up and i didn’t want them to find it. we have nosey and smart children who would know what it was if they investigated enough. :)  

shaun came in the bathroom to shower and at this point he was starting to wonder what was going on with me. i said. i don’t know. look, i took another test. it’s negative, right?! i grabbed the test out of the box and showed him. yep. negative. 

i also explained, based on my record keeping… ((yes. i keep track of things. i know when. if stuff was used. when my cycle started. ended. carry on.)) there was really a SUPER small chance i was pregnant. the only “dates” that would make sense that i could’ve gotten pregnant were “dates” that we were being “safe” on. there are failure rates…but we’ve only ever used this form of protection and it hadn’t failed us before…

shaun got in the shower and i threw the test in the box. for whatever reason i decided to look at the other test from the day before again…

…except the “other” test was the REAL test i had taken that day. i had grabbed the test from the day before to show shaun. the REAL test…

…clearly showed TWO LINES!

i said. oh. shaun??

he said. don’t even start with me right now. he knew exactly what that “oh. shaun?” meant. ((he was in no way mad. it’s just his way of dealing with shock. lol.))

i said. i need to go call amber.

amber had her phone on do not disturb. when i finally got through on her house phone. THANK GOODNESS! she still has one of those! i don’t even know if i let her get more than a hello in. 

i’m not one to usually care about sharing too much info, and told her everything. what i loved was her response…she knew we had been praying about “if” there should be more…and she said, “how cool!! God answered your prayer!” i was a tad confused because the week before i thought he had answered it by having us be done. LOL! 

and i said. yeah. it’s crazy. 

we gushed. said oh my goodness. and i stopped shaking long enough to hang up the phone. 

shaun needed to go to town that day to get his passport (he’s going on a missions trip to haiti in january! SO EXCITED!!) and another friend had been texting me and then offered to watch our kids so shaun and i could have lunch.

can i say, it was the most perfect timing for that!?! shaun and i were able to talk about this majorly awesome surprise. i wanted to so badly tell her, that day too. but there was never a “right” time. ((did i mention i have nosey investigative children?)) i did thank her later on for offering to watch the kids that day and how perfect it was for us to be able to talk. 

after our date lunch we went to walmart to buy a digital test. you know. in case the other one was wrong. i patiently waited until we got home to take the test. and yep. pregnant. for realsies! 

i called my dr’s office the next day and they ran the blood work that morning. they checked my hcg and progesterone levels. my hcg levels came back. at 30. that’s like barely pregnant. based on dating it seemed really low. it seemed possible, but low. 

i’ll admit. i broke down on thursday. every time i am pregnant i fear losing the baby. after going through three losses, it’s just always on my mind. i was able to go to walmart by myself that night and just be alone. before i went i texted some friends to pray for me and just that it was just a number. God is bigger than any number. but it still didn’t make it easy. 

one really fabulous friend was on her way to a craft show. she said, i want to come to you. she went way out of her way. in unfamiliar territory and met me in a parking lot. ((with a king sized cookies and cream hershey bar and red vines)) but more than the candy…a hug. and the ability to break down and cry to her. and to just let it be okay that i was scared. and it was fine to feel that way. it was fine to be scared, yet trust that God was in control and no matter what…GOOD!  

and deserved GLORY! no matter what. that wednesday night before at church we had a worship night and through the songs that were played he put on my heart the word Glory. i smiled and thought…there’s a G name. :) that night i decided to quit googling low progesterone and hcg levels and googled baby names. i checked to see what gloria meant. it means—Glory be to God. and just knew that no matter what, God was going to get glory through this pregnancy.

i had my labs tested two days after the first. i was nervous to call and get the results. but i got them. when i called i held my breath as the nurse answered and said, thank you for calling…this is GLORIA a phone nurse. 
i sat in silence for a second or three. and said to myself—HA! that’s funny.
then i asked for the results. they were 87. so not only did my numbers double, they almost tripled. woo hoo. my progesterone results did not go up. they went down a little. so the next week my dr had everything tested again.

when i called for those results i was so happy to hear my numbers went up to 882. and my progesterone was 23! i felt like i was in the clear. but to be safe asked if they would check my numbers again. i’ve had low progesterone issues with the last two babies and wanted to be sure. in the meantime i’ve continued to feel pregnant and never had any other “issues”. 

i had my levels checked last week. they were 12.81. i was, honestly,  devastated. still trusting that God’s plan was good. and is good. but still feeling bad. they called with my results and said that dr would start me on progesterone but first wanted to order an ultrasound to check on baby. quite honestly, from the tone of the nurse…i could tell they didn’t think it’d go well.

i was able to get in tuesday for the ultrasound. my first official drs appt was wednesday. but i didn’t care if i had to run to appleton twice, i could see if we were having a baby a day sooner!! 

i was able to sleep monday night. and for that i was thankful. i wasn’t so much worried about the ultrasound as i was nervous. i was almost throwing up all morning before it, at the thought of it going bad. it had nothing to do with feeling morning sickness. about an hour before the appt though, i felt peace. like the peace that you know can ONLY come from the Lord. and knew in my heart that even if the day went horribly…that He was still good. and deserved the glory. and knew that the few friends i had praying, were doing just that and that the peace they were praying for—was happening!!

as i sat in the waiting room for my ultrasound i prayed that i would get my favorite tech. the tech that has been with us through two of our losses, and one of our successful pregnancies…the tech that saw us out in a restaurant and said hi because she remembered me. when she walked out and said my name…i was SO happy! 

we discussed how i was pretty sure i was 2 weeks less than what my dates showed, and she still decided to try the abdominal. i held my breath as she put the wand on. and looked hard at the screen. i instantly saw the blob of baby. as she zoomed in…i saw the flicker. my baby had a heartbeat!! everything was looking OKAY!!

i almost broke down and started bawling. i calmed myself down. then she played the heartbeat and it almost happened again. i couldn’t believe it. i had gone in to the room expecting the worst news possible. but that wasn’t the news. the news was a beating heartbeat! i could tell she was also relieved. it was so nice to share in the joy with her! 

the baby measured 2 weeks “smaller” than my dates. BUT based on my record keeping…lined up exactly what i figured it would. i’m so thankful i keep track! it didn’t make me freak out to hear that the baby was measuring small, i knew it should’ve. 

i’m pretty sure i floated right down into the van and called shaun. he was nervous when he answered the phone. and i didn’t know “how” to say it. so i probably sounded weird, too. but then just said…we’re having a baby!! he was as equally as relieved as i was. and then it really sunk it. we’re having another baby! baby number 7. pregnancy number 10! it all still sounds crazy. 

it probably always will. 

but as crazy as it is…

all GLORY to God!!

i saw my doctor this week and she still seems a little concerned about my progesterone levels fluctuating. but i think it’s because it’s her “job” to tell you things. she started me on the suppositories and then wants me to come in next week for a quick portable ultrasound. i think she is also secretly concerned about the dates being that far off, but like i said, i know that’s what they should be. 

i also know seeing a heartbeat doesn’t mean i’ll be delivering a baby in may. my due date is the 23rd based on the ultrasound. i’ve seen a heartbeat before only to miscarry the baby a few days later. but you know, no matter what the outcome…God gets the glory. i mean really…any pregnant woman is not guaranteed a living baby at the end of her pregnancy. for me, someone who has lost three precious babies before, the thought is in my head quite often. and makes me enjoy each moment of morning sickness (or “after you eat you feel sick sickness) it makes me enjoy each moment of progesterone suppositories. of feeling dead dog tired most of the time. i know that it isn’t “fun”, but there are plenty of women out there just begging to God for the opportunity to throw up each morning if it means a baby is growing inside of her. 

really, though, we should ALL just be enjoying each moment of today. because TODAY is what we’ve been given. none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. so live each breath for today. do your best with today. ((so thankful for our current women’s Bible study—our chapter this week is on “today” and living for our eternal promise))

whew. this post is a lot longer than i ever intended. BUT it felt good to write again. it’s been quite awhile. :) 

i’ll try to be back soon and update on the rest of our little alphabet. 

but for now…

here’s another look at baby G. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

a random little post.

it's been pretty much forever since i've sat down and typed up a blog post.

i have so much to say. and probably won't even cover everything!! :)

something i don't think i even shared on my blog is some SUPER SUPER exciting news!! about a month ago i was in a local boutique in town. somehow it came up that i crocheted the kiddos hats. and then it came up that they were going to be looking for a new crocheter for the store! so i left my business card and a few days later the owner of the store called me to set up a time to meet. i met with her that weekend and she WANTED me to have my hats in the store!! she requested 20 hats. isn't that insane!?! i still can't get over it. i finished up the hats a few weekends ago and officially got them in the store! in addition i've been getting other orders through my facebook page. i seriously stand amazed at what the Lord has done with this little hobby. i never could have imagined this!

the kids are all doing well. i still can't believe i have six kids. saying it STILL seems weird. six. i have SIX kids. i stare at each one of them each day and am so thankful that the Lord has given us this opportunity to be their parents.

next weekend is our churchs women's retreat. i'm so excited for it! i'm part of the planning committee and have enjoyed seeing God's hand in all of the planning and can't wait for the retreat to see what he's going to do. we hold the retreat at a local resort and you can't help but feel fancy and special the entire weekend. add in God's word and fellowship with sweet sisters in Christ and it's darn near perfect! i'm also excited to be sharing my heart at the retreat about something the Lord has worked on me on and laid on my heart. so i'd appreciate prayers for that!! :)

fletcher has started to sleep better at night. woo hoo! he's basically sleeping from about 9/10 until 4/5 each night. now...while it's awesome...he's actually the "worst" sleeper we've had! BUT it's not really "bad" and we're surviving. i'm hoping he sleeps well next week at the retreat...or my friend may regret wanting to room with me. ;)

we're plugging away at school. we're going to keep schooling through the summer again. basically we've become all year schoolers. it works really well. and we can take breaks when necessary. plus it keeps us more on a routine. this week we started doing history at night as a family. we all have been LOVING it. it's really brought on some cool conversations between all of us

my birthday was the other week. 31. that's so weird. i think it's weird because i remember my parents that age. when did i get old enough to be my parents age? :) my only request for my birthday is to be made to feel special. so, when i opened a gift from a very dear friend of mine...and almost cried...my request had been granted! the gift was a handmade rag quilt. just for me! all mine. something worked on and sewn just for me. fabric colors and patterns picked just for me. honestly. this present went down as the best birthday present i have ever gotten. no lie. i'm tearing up again just writing about it. to know that she thought about each piece of the quilt and made it just for me, meant and still means, so much to me. so friend, thank you again!! I also got other great cards and gifts that made me feel very special and loved. I have the best family and friends!! on my birthday i went to lunch with my mom and sister and the kids. we went to my favorite local coffee shop. it was fun and i'm glad that it worked out to do it! it's funny, if you would've told me 15 years ago i would CHOOSE to go out with my mom and sister for a birthday lunch i would've laughed! but i treasured the time we had together for lunch.

it's finally spring in wisconsin. i think, anyways. the other day it was so nice out, i wanted to literally run and scream. but i refrained! i think shaun is itching to get in  the fields. he's been working so much lately. i'm so thankful for the hard worker he is. but i spend so much time wishing he didn't have to work so much. no one should have to work 130-135 hours in a two week time period. i'm so thankful he has a job, and each day i realize just how much he sacrifices for our family. there are weeks that he sees the kids for only an hour or two a day. it's no wonder the kids cling to him when he's home. he works every other weekend, so on his weekends off the kids are so excited to see him still in bed on a saturday morning. i do my best to not complain about his job to him, i know that he doesn't love the hours either, and i don't want anyone to think i'm complaining now. i'm SO thankful he HAS a job. it just makes for some really long weeks sometimes. i can't wait to see what God will do for him someday. i always tell shaun that the Lord knows the desires of his heart and he WILL give him them. we just have to wait for it. ;)

i'm needing to get my hind end exercising. i hate hating how i look. i refuse to go shopping for clothes that fit me. mainly because i don't want to see the size i need. i need some motivation. maybe i should go buy a pair of size NOT WHAT I WANT THEM TO BE pants and it will get me off my large bum. i realize how it's starting to affect my attitude and other things, and i really need to change it. all i really want to do is LIKE what i see in the mirror!

anyways...i have most likely bored you to death. but it feels good to be random again. ;)

perrigo nutritionals giveaway

are you a brand snob? i know i have been in the past. but as we added more kids to our family, i knew i could not afford to be a "snob" on all things!!

when perrigo nutritionals offered to send me a fantastic gift pack filled with store brand items i was excited! i knew i could feed the kids great things with store brands. :) also included was a store brand formula. right now i haven't needed to feed fletcher any formula, but if that need arises i know and can feel safe in giving him a store brand. here is some information about perrigo::

About Perrigo Nutritionals 
• Many moms are not aware that they can save up to 50 percent on infant formula by choosing a store brand over a national brand 
• Store Brand Formula is nutritionally comparable to the national brands, yet are typically up to half the price, and can save you about $600 a year
• Perrigo Nutritionals is the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula and nutrition products in the world and one of only four companies recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for meeting the strict FDA requirements for safety, nutrition and quality for infant formula-manufacturing in the United States
• Same standards and expertise used to develop infant formula applied to toddler foods 
• Toddler foods are appropriately developed for variety of stages of growth and motor skills with quality, nutritional ingredients to create foundation of good nutrition

also included in my pack was a great book by crystal paine. it was all about getting out of survival mode! here are some of her great tips offered::

Crystal Paine’s 5 Money Saving Tips for Families 
Create a Budget
A budget gives you parameters and purpose, it gives you boundaries, and it gives you freedom to live creatively within those boundaries.

Shop With Cash
When you shop with a credit card (or even a debit card, for that matter!) you can have your budget in your head and you can do the best to stick with it when you check out, but it’s so much easier to go just a little bit over here and there when you’re swiping! 
Plan a Menu
When you have a plan in place for what you’re supposed to be eating each meal and you’ve already purchased the ingredients for those recipes, it’s a lot harder to justify chucking the plan for takeout.

Use Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save a lot of money on your grocery bill, but they can be hard to keep up with. Clipping, sorting, and organizing coupons takes time — so enter a coupon database! You’ll have access to printable and other coupons currently available and it’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to save money on groceries. 
Buy Store Brands
One way to save a great deal of money on your grocery budget is to learn to like and use a variety of brands. The sooner you can get over being a brand-snob, the more your pocketbook will thank you.
For example, while I breast fed my children, moms who choose to formula feed can save up to 50 percent by switching to store brand formula, which meets the same FDA quality standards as expensive name brands. There are also coupons available at a website - StoreBrandFormula.com (www.storebrandformula.com). This one simple change can save moms about $600 a year.

perrigo nutritionals has offered up a gift pack for YOU to. filled with great store brand infant and toddler goodies...and a copy of crystal's book!! 

simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite store brand item.

giveaway ends: APRIL 28th.

“The Perrigo Nutritionals product, information and two gift packs have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals.” 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4 months

i only have a quick second to share an adorable picture of my FOUR MONTH OLD!! when did this happen!??!

Monday, April 14, 2014

merino kids review

I was contacted awhile back about doing a review on a baby product. I was so excited to have this opportunity!! I picked a merino kids sleep sack in banbury.

The sleep sack is made with merino wool…which means it’s warmer. And in Wisconsin…we need warmer.  It’s also made for ages 0-2, so instead of buying a sleep sack for every age, you can buy one and use it pretty much forever!

The sleep sack also zips around the edges/side not up through the middle. I thought this was a fantastic feature it leaves NO room for accidentally getting scratched with the zipper. The one side of the shoulder strap buttons which means the entire half of the sack opens up. It makes it nice and easy to get on and off!!

The sack also has a “hole” in the bottom part of it, so you can use it “in” something. It is thin enough you could use it in a car seat…or in a bouncy seat or swing or whatever.  I thought this was another great feature.

The ONE thing I could suggest is a way to make the excess smaller on it. When you have an itty bitty baby in there the length of the sack remains the same, so if there was a way to adjust the “drape” of it, I think it’d be nice. I must add this was totally Shaun’s idea!! I thought the “drape” was bothersome, but didn’t have an idea of how to fix it. lol.

Fletcher is on the taller side of the spectrum, so I’m not sure if the sleep sack will last until he is two, or if I’d even use one that long. BUT I do like that all I need is the ONE sleep sack and don’t have to worry about having multiple sizes. It’s nice to not have to have any blankets in bed with him! Makes me feel safer knowing he can’t pull a blanket over his head or something. J

Overall, I LOVE this sleep sack. You can find it here.                     .

I was provided this sleep sack for a review…all opinions are my own!