What Have You Been Up To?

That's the question I get most generally when I go to town. People know I'm currently not working outside the home and I don't have a baby yet so what in heaven's name do I do with myself all day long?

Well a lot actually-somedays. I'm a busy body, kinda like my dad. Sitting around isn't really for me, my legs get this tingly feeling, my hands get jittery, I stop making any sense when I talk, I drool. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. But really, I don't do "doing nothing" all that well.

So I keep up on house stuff, laundry, dusting, rearranging things-you know the exciting things. Some call it nesting, but I've been on this track for months now. It's amazing how little I was able to get done around the house while in school 40 hours a week. Somedays I still feel like I'm making up for it!

I have been baking for our trip to Bellevue for birth. I've made some goodies that are easy to digest, high in protein, and will provide energy. I'm ruled by my stomach and the last thing I want to be is hungry and not able to do anything about it. So I'm prepared. The birth center encourages eating and drinking as much as you want and that's the 783rd reason why I love The Midwife's Place.

Jerrel is on leave now for 5 weeks. That gets some raised eyebrows. 1) Because that's a long time for a daddy. 2) Most people we know didn't take anytime-except for birth day off. Not this dad. People are really wondering what we are both doing with our time now.

The Olympics kept us at my parents house in the evenings for two weeks. Jerrel loves the Olympics. I like the summer games a bit better but enjoy the competition nonetheless.

We are dealing with a cat situation at our rental. Upwards of 17 cats, not friendly but hanging around because someone who works on the farm is feeding them near our house. Cats are gross opportunists. You feed them they will come. They hang around our door and fight all around the house. We are currently enacting a "Feline Relocation Program" FRP for short. I'll spare you the boring details for said program.

We also go to basketball games. This week begins subdistricts for Evans team. Go Trojans!

Baby has officially dropped. Just ask my bellybutton. It will scream at you. The day after it happened it was stretch mark city and the lines were and are red and painful. My religious application of coconut oil and essential oils couldn't prevent that situation. They could however, soothe the stinging and itching, I used a blend of Frankincense and Lavender. I spend a lot of time applying this mixture to that area.

I also spend a lot of time peeing. But you didn't really need to know that.

Jerrel's working on a baby blanket. It's darling and I can't wait to show you pictures. He's about done!

That's basically us. We are tired at bedtime so something must be working. Again, we are ever as busy, ever as blessed, and patiently letting God and baby pick birthday. In the words of Jerrel "Come out baby. Are you ever coming out?!" But this Momma will enjoy these last few days or weeks of baby in womb, comfy and cozy. Because it's special.



Daddy To Be Gift

Is it just me or do the Dad's kinda get left out during this whole "preparing for babe" ordeal? Baby showers are generally for the ladies-although Jerrel did attend two of the three we had and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Advice is generally directed to the Momma and even the outfits are bought with the idea of pleasing the lady with the baby in her. 

Some dads might not mind it so much, they are involved in other ways. But my husband? He likes to be in the know. He literally goes through every gift we receive and every bit of gear I pick up. My mom picked up an outfit a couple weeks ago that said "I love Mommy." Jerrel had something smart to say, something along the lines of "Not as much as I love dad!" This gave me an idea and with baby day approaching and Valentines Day I decided to put together a little Daddy To Be care package. A daddy baby shower gift of sorts. 

I spent a little time on Pinterest and Google to get some ideas but once I got going I really didn't need them anymore! In the back from left to right we have the burp rags I made, homemade truffles (topped with chocolate, nuts, or coconut, packaged in an egg carton), a book, My Dad Loves Me, Dad's Rootbeer, a sleeper, a onesie , and finally a jar of kisses-because babies need lots of kisses from daddy, mushy gushy stuff. 

The box is one that oranges came in at one time...and decided it would surely come in handy again. Well lookie there. It did. A basket that could be used for baby things would also be a great practical idea. 

I wanted the gift to feel like it was all about Dad and baby. Like how I feel at the baby showers. I decided to make tags for each item. They dressed the gift up and I was able to add some witty little sayings. 

Remember these? I folded them up and tied them and they looked special.

I was thrilled to find this brand in our local grocery store. Sometimes you just don't know if you will get exactly what you are looking for, but I did! They added some more whimsy to the whole gift.

This is by far my favorite gift for Jerrel and he seemed to be all over it, the truffles are about gone and the other things he seems to just like to look at-makes my heart happy.



DIY Baby Products-Take 2 Burp Rags

Burp Rags, sometimes things get messy. Drool, water, spit up. Babies can be kinda gross. Thankfully that didn't deter me from having a heart for my own! I have made burp rags before but never like this. I think this pattern and technique is my favorite. 

I dug into my stash for some "manlier" options for a project that I will share with you later this week!  I decided on this bright plaid flannel as long as some other plaid in navy and red. For the back I used some coordinating fleece scraps. 

I cut my fabric 8x20 inches. This seemed to be a great size for coverage on the shoulder. 

Then put wrong sides together and stitched around the edge. I left about a 4 inch opening so I could turn my rag. Next I turned my rag and made sure my corners were nice and pointy using the eraser end of a pencil or something of the sort. 

Finally I folded, ironed, and pinned the edges of that pocket I left open to finish the rag. Then I stitched it shut and continued around the edge of the entire rag. It gives it a nice finishing touch. 

I decided to make a set of three and they turned out so very nice and very functional. I think this will be a project I keep in my back pocket for baby shower gifts. You could do a decorative stitch around the edge, colors that momma likes, the ability to customize is endless!

Stay tuned to see where these puppies found a home. It's pretty great...if I do say so myself.



Am I Ready?

As I sit here with my swollen ankles, feet, and hands in my sundress, snow is melting here, ipso facto-the pregnant lady is melting too, I had a thought.

Am I ready?

This may be a very common thought for women literally days away from their due date, but mine? Mine isn't about if I'm ready to be up all night. Is the baby room ready? HA. How will I care for a newborn?  Am I ready to never pee alone again? Am I ready for this big change?

I'm not sure one can really ever be ready for those things so I have chosen to not sit around and waste my time worrying about such. I've prayed for the Lord to prepare my heart, organized the diapers, and made some things tidier so that they are easier to find in our beginning days. But other than that, I think I'll be bold and say I'm ready enough when we are talking about those types of things. Besides, Jerrel and I are kinda "roll with the punches" type people-"figure it out as we go." So my unreadiness is more or less a 3 year old issue. What I'm not sure I'm ready for?


Now this will make the Grandma's cringe, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to share this baby. Maybe I'm not uncomfortable enough yet. I like not being alone, literally not being alone. There is another human inside of me, let us all revel in that one more time. I like watching my stomach move and feeling the little knees jab my ribs. It's endearing. I love that it's just us. That we are one, I can't hand baby off yet, he/she is mine, all mine. I have so enjoyed this season being between me, God, baby, and Jerrel. The waiting on finding out the gender and picking names but not telling-just us. Our privacy has been lovely. I'm not quite ready to have the baby and share with the world.

I know it's not the whole world but right now, we are comfy, warm, and quiet. I also know that we have some of the best people on the planet to share this baby with, a fact I am forever thankful for. I realize this daily. However, I still revert to a selfish 3 year old sometimes and simply don't want to share. I think my husband has influenced this. He has had this mentality from the get go. Senor Smarty Pants needs the word MINE tattooed on his forehead. For me it came along when this 6lb-ish baby started responding to children's voices, my voice and Jerrel's voice more obviously. Things became more real and time became more cherished.

Oh I'm excited to meet the little booger. I'm excited to kiss the fingers and all that jazz. I'm probably even more excited to see Jerrel with Sugar Bean. He is going to be incredible. But right now?

I'm just not quite ready to share.



How We Handled the Stomach Bug Naturally

This post gives me the ickies to write. But because I'm an educator by nature I feel compelled to share. For sometime I've been doing research on holistic treatments for ailments, and have an oil cabinet that I put to work these days so I figured, why not share, educate, and write a little ditty to the blog world?

It was just over a month ago that I got up to use the restroom (the joy of pregnancy) to find my husband camped out on the dining room floor. I looked down the hall and said "Rell, are you ok?" He answered "Yeeeaaah." Then it hit me-the stomach flu. Now, if you know me, you know I have a phobia of gastroenteritis. Give me a bucket full of snakes and bag full of spiders and I won't freak like I do when I hear the words: Stomach flu. Seriously. My dear husband had camped in the dining room and actually cleaned the bathroom nearest me because of this knowledge. So what did I do?

I grabbed my oil book- Modern Essentials I found the symptoms and the protocols. I grabbed my computer and went to I also did some quick googleing. Here's what I ended up doing.

-I had Jerrel take two activated charcoal capsules. Have you ever read about activated charcoal? It's pretty good stuff. I learned about it here and here.

- I put 4 drops Frankincense (antiviral) and 4 drops of the Digestzen belnd (for pain and discomfort) in a little bit of water and had him take that.

Well, that didn't go over so well because within 30 min he was sick again. If I was to do that part over he would only get the charcoal and the oils would go topically until he could keep things down. 

-Next I rubbed the On Gaurd blend on his feet. This is to kill viral, bacterial, or even fungal infections. Your feet have large pores so they are an optimal place to put oils, as well as wrists.

-Since internally wasn't working so hot yet I gave him some peppermint to sniff. My husband says more is better so he may or may not have been on his way to hallucinating because of the amount he put on the cotton ball. NOTE: Your definition of "some may be 1-2 drops. His? 9 drops-or whatever comes out of the bottle is cool too. When I realized what had happened I took the peppermint away and put it on his spine, viruses like to hang out there. I also put the Digestzen on his abdomen. He ended up asking me to take that off because of the smell. I grabbed a wet wash cloth which I now realize, because of the water, only intensified the oil. However, he never did vomit again and started to get some relief after that. Happy accidents.

Soon things settled down and I sent him to bed. I then went in every hour and put On Guard on his feet. By that evening he was up on the couch and ready to eat something.

So then I had to deal with my phobia. Prevention. I put On Guard on my feet almost every time I went into his room, drank lemon in all my water. I looked up the flu bomb, took it 2-3 times a day for almost a week. I religiously took my prenatal vitamin-which is awesome. We avoided refined carbs or sugars. Fruits, veggies, protein-that was it. I made vegetable stock for his first meal back. Then used the rest of the stock to cook with for the next 3 or 4 meals. Think: chicken and rice etc. That evening I made him a hot compress with peppermint to continue to heal his gut area. It seemed to really finish up the soothing and healing.

So after all that what worked?
-On Guard. I swear by that stuff. I use it morning and night on my feet. Every hour on him seemed to kick the bugs butt quickly.
-The Flu Bomb-great prevention strategy when you've been exposed to something. I never even had a symptom!
-Peppermint Hot Compress-Very soothing.
-Activated Charcoal-even though he purged it-he didn't get sick again after and I probably would give him more later on if I were to do it over.
-Digestzen-the smell certainly bothered him but in the end with the charcoal and this it helped.
-FOOD-I can't express enough how much I think our diet impacted his healing, and my health. If only I could deny those raspberry cupcakes in the kitchen like I could that week...
-Cleaning, Holy Mother of Mary did I clean. My hands were raw from washing them. Lemon went in all our laundry. Door and drawer knobs were washed, washed and washed again. Don't ever underestimate cleaning.

My husband works in the hospital I'm sure this won't be the last time he brings home a bug. But guess what. I'm not helpless. I don't have to wait for it to get to me and run it's course. I also recently bought a diffuser so it can be another tool in our tool box.

So that's our icky story and little science experiment.



Monday and Maternity

Maternity photography is a new thing. I like old things. I decided that this time I'll embrace the new. Until it came to the day of going. I was curling my hair and told Jerrel, I'd changed my mind. I was already sweating, my feet were swelling to the size of my bump, and the last thing I wanted to do was capture the moment. 

Boy, am I glad that my dear husband said we were still going, that I was beautiful, and that I had five minutes until we had to leave-so hurry up. 

We decided to get our pictures taken by Emily Davidson of Emily Davidson Photography. She worked with some of my family around Thanksgiving, Jerrel had her as an RA in college, and she ends each of her blog posts with a glory be to God phrase. It was a perfect fit. And lest I forget to mention how talented she is! She was totally on board with my idea of being inside-doing something and we decided on the library  I LOVE how they turned out it was so fun and so us. 

She did a wonderful job, I can't decide if I like the color or the black and white better on so many of the images she captured! 

See what I mean?!

Jerrel thinks it's funny how we are standing close but with a basketball between us. The little things humor him. Emily was so wonderful about not making me feel like I was totally on pregnant display. There was no heart over the belly button, grope your bump now, type of shots. I felt very flattered by the angles and shots she used.

Then there is these images. My friend Abbie made the necklace, Jerrel put it in my stocking for Christmas. With the coat or without? Good thing they will both fit in the album! 

We did head outside in the 10 degree weather and the lighting was stunning. We do love us some nature!

I braved the sweat, I braved the swelling. Emily captured some moments me of carrying our first child. We have photographs now of us in this season of life and that's a wonderful thing. I think these pictures are my favorite of us. We seem to be more "us" now than ever before. And it's a beautiful thing. 

This last picture was all Jerrel's idea. And after we left he said "I sure hope that one of me talking to the baby turns out." Well it did dear. It certainly did. 

Jerrel- "Hi little baby, wake up. Can you kick for me? Come on little baby. Little baby, remember I'm the cool one!" 

If he means cool in the temperature sense, then yes. No brainer. Otherwise...the jury is still out.

See more of Emily's work here and here.



I Am Not Alone

Taken at 36 Weeks. Photo by: Emily Davidson Photography

Running errands and talking on the phone, I am pleasantly reminded that I am not alone. Little tiny hands, a precious rounded knee, pushing and twisting that no one can see. Oh sweet child kicking up your heels, it is our little secret that only I can feel. I look forward to your birth, when I can kiss your skin, but for now I will just smile, as I feel you play within. 

-Author Unknown



The Fluff

The fluff is washed and ready to go! 

Note: The camo diaper is uncle approved. All four of 'em.