Taking Stock

 

taking stock collage

Making: A cute new dress for Bella. As soon as I pick up the sewing machine from my Mom.

Cooking: Spaghetti for dinner tonight. Made with bacon-burger and lots of cheese. And it’s calorie-free. Yep…

Drinking: Lots and lots of water. And hot tea and coffee. That’s pretty much it.

Reading: Edits for the third book in my vampire series.

Waiting: On my new planner from Emily Ley. Not so patiently….

Looking: For fun, unexpected gifts for those hard to buy for people on my list. Three of those left. What to get… What to get…

Playing: Is there time for this?

Wasting: Energy. Picking up the same toys over and over and over…

Sewing: Nothing yet, but I have a long list starting with the dress for Bella. Also, drapes for my dining room, a pillow for the bench in my entryway…

Enjoying: The season. Can’t believe there’s only three weeks left. What will I watch on tv when Hallmark is no longer playing Christmas movies?

Wishing: For snow. The light fluffy kind with no ice.

Waiting: For something in particular.

Wondering: What kind of surprises the future holds. Don’t we all?

Loving: Three sweet faces and a handsome one.

Hoping: That my book is finished by the end of the month. Not so sure I’m gonna make that deadline…

Marveling: At the way of the world. This is a broad one I know, but it truly confounds me everyday.

Needing: A new mattress for my bed.

Smelling: Christmas cookies. And Downy.

Wearing: The comfiest sleep shirt from Target. And those really soft, fuzzy socks they have for wearing around the house. They’re the best.

Following: A tight schedule. Always…

Noticing: Everything. I notice everything and can recount it to you years later.

Knowing: That I should be sleeping right now. Oh well…

Thinking: That I have so much to do today/tomorrow. Hey, it’s 3am. I never know whether to consider it today if the sun hasn’t risen yet.

Feeling: Lucky, stressed, blessed, under the weather…

Bookmarking: My favorite shopping websites. Am I the only one that loads up an online cart just for the fun of it?

Opening: A bag of muddy buddy chex mix – in just a minute.

Giggling: At pawn stars. The Old Man on that show cracks me up.

Feeling: Accomplished.

Thanks to Pip’s blog for her fun idea.

 

Hope you’re sleeping better than I am right now!

Goodnight (Or good morning! Whichever way you want to look at it.)

XOXO,

Erika

Marking things off my to-do list

Oh how I love the holidays! No lie: I have stayed up late practically every night since November 1st watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Most of those nights I’m one or two in the morning before going to sleep. Am I tired the next morning? Absolutely. But there is something about sitting in my living room with the only light coming from my Christmas tree and the glow of the tv that just makes me happy.

Oh, did I mention?

My Christmas tree went up the very first week of November. See? I’m a holiday fanatic.

I like to enjoy the full two months of the season. I like the house to be decorated and ready to go on Thanksgiving day when my girls wake up to watch the Macy’s Day Parade and the yummy smell of Thanksgiving dinner is wafting into the living room.

It makes us happy. So, why not?

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we decorate the outside of the house. I’m totally respecting the feelings of those that like to enjoy one holiday at the time 😉  So, I do wait on letting my Christmas joy spill outside until the day after, haha 🙂

Things I have marked off my holiday to-do list?

– Christmas tree up and decorated

– Major Christmas gifts purchased

– Christmas gift buying list made and ready

– Outdoor decorations purchased

– Christmas Cards ordered!

Here is a sneak peak of the cards I ordered. You have no idea how difficult it was to get this picture with all three girls looking into the camera! I have so much respect for photographers!! This was the best of about fifty duds.

christmas card picture 2013

I was happy with the final product though! 🙂

And for the close family and friends that receive one of these there is a surprise pic on the back and a note from us!

To my blog friends reading this: I wish I could send each and every one of you this card! Thank you for taking the time to follow our story. We hope you have a magnificent holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter, and joy!!

 

P.S. Stop by Bloglovin and visit me :).

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11358489/?claim=9n7nwra4bgs”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

 

 

XOXO,

Erika

 

 

Reflections of a third time mom…..

Image

Reflections of a third time mom…..

As a new mother to baby number three, I have noticed that this last baby has been by far the “easiest” baby. She is good natured, sleeps well, plays independently, rarely cries and is just overall a pleasure to be around. This was not the case with my first child, Hailey or even my second child, Mary Kathryn. Hailey was clingy, fussy and often times hard to console. Mary Kathryn was a little easier but still was not what you would call an “easy“ baby. I remember when I was pregnant with Hailey, I was under the mistaken idea that parenthood is something that comes naturally. After all, look at all the mothers who do it everyday. I also naively thought that having a sibling and babysitting had prepared me for having my own baby. The first night my husband and I brought her home, I realized how very wrong I was.

Once reality set in, I found myself thinking, “Why is this so much harder than it looks?”. I was breastfeeding around the clock and could hardly sleep for checking to make sure she was breathing. Getting a shower without a crying baby was impossible and the days of hopping in the car to run to the grocery store were long gone. As a first time mom, the first few months of my baby’s life had me feeling as if I were barely keeping my head above water. Life with a baby is something no one can really prepare you for. Though it is one of the greatest of life’s experiences, it is also, by far, one of the most challenging. Now, looking back, I can see that once little Hailey came home with us, our lives immediately began revolving around her. Instead of integrating her into our lives; we allowed our lives to be controlled by baby. After many comments on how well adjusted this third baby is, I have to wonder. How much of this is her natural disposition and how much has having a more experienced mother contributed? If only I had known then what I know as a new mom now.

At my third child, Bella’s, two month checkup my pediatrician was amazed at what a good baby she was. She smiled happily at him, did not fuss throughout the checkup, and was easily consoled after getting her shots. After I thanked him for his compliment, he went on to say that as a third time mom I had “figured it out”. On my way home I thought about this and decided that ,yes, I have finally started to figure this mom thing out.

For starters, with my third child Bella, I knew to expect a complete change in lifestyle once we brought her home from the hospital. I knew that I would no longer be able to come and go as I had once again become accustomed to. Knowing this took away some of the shock we had after our firstborn and then again when adding another baby to the mix. As a third time mom, I have learned through experience that by doing a few important things, I can set my baby up to be a “good natured” baby.

Here are some of the most helpful things I have learned from my journey through motherhood:

Start as you mean to go on….

It was so tempting to hold my firstborn constantly. After nine months of carrying her inside me, I was hesitant to let go of her for long. By baby number three, I realized that if I didn’t allow my baby to become accustomed to sleeping without being held, I would have a very clingy older baby on my hands. So while I hold, play and cuddle with Bella, I also allow her times during the day where she plays independently in a bouncy, saucer or play mat. Naptimes are spent in a bassinet or crib so that she does not always associate sleep with being held. Naptime is also a time when I know I will be able to do chores, rest, or spend time with my older children. I have found that by starting these practices from the beginning, Bella has become a less clingy baby than my first two babies were.

Put baby on a schedule…..

This has been the biggest factor in integrating baby number three into our family. My first child ate, slept and played with little routine or schedule. This left my husband and I often trying to figure out why our baby was crying. Was she tired? Hungry? Sick?. During my third pregnancy, I worried about how I could best integrate the new baby into our already busy life. With two school aged children I would need to know when I could do homework, give baths and cook dinner without a crying baby. Eventually I found that the feed, wake, sleep schedule would work best for our family. For example, by following a schedule, I know that if baby is fussing, and she has already eaten and played, then she is probably ready for her nap. Of course, I always take into account any cues she may be giving me. A change in her normal cry always warrants further investigation. Having a schedule has allowed me to plan my errands, lunch dates or doctors appointments during a time I know she will be at her best. By being able to better anticipate my babies’ needs, I am often able to avoid a fussy, inconsolable baby. Hence, the many compliments on a good natured baby.

Don’t expect too much…..

One thing that was especially difficult for me after the birth of my first baby was keeping a clean, organized house, cooking dinner and getting the laundry done. Maintaining the standard I had set for myself prebaby became almost impossible. Accomplishing the smallest of household chores is so much harder with a baby to care for. This time around, I am no longer sweating the small stuff. My priority is being the best mom I can be. And if some days I am able to get the house spotless and all the laundry done, well, that’s just icing on the cake.~

 

Image