What one shouldn't say to a pregnant lady

 Think before you speak!

To all you sweet people who would never dare hurt someone's feelings this post will make you smile. To all of you who may have put your foot in your mouth this post will make you chuckle.
To all of you who say what you want and could really care less about how others may feel--pay attention!

Ok, now it has to be said, I'm very sensitive. Most of you know this already. So I might not be the authority on this subject.  With that being said, I am pregnant and therefore I do have experience on the subject. I'm also 5 foot 3 and 8 months pregnant. I have a small frame and a very big baby belly.

For some reason people feel as though when you are pregnant they have every right to comment on the way your body looks....um when was it ever anyone's right to come up to a woman and comment on her body?  Pregnant or not I would never go up to a friend or a stranger and comment on how big, little, fat, thin, tall, short, wide narrow he/she was. Why? Because A. I'm nice. B. it's common sense. C. I would never want to say the wrong thing and accidentally hurt their feelings.

In the last few months here are some comments I have had said to me:

1. Oh my goodness I can't believe how big you got!
2. If you are that big now and have 2 months to go I can't believe how big you will be!
3. Oh my word, lady! (a total stranger at Costco today)
4. Wow you're huge!
5. Are you having trouble fitting behind your table?
6. You look really good spermeated....
7. Are you smuggling a basketball?

Most of these comments were from friends, one was from a family member, and two were from a stranger.

I finally had had it today at Costco and I looked the woman straight in the face and said "I really don't appreciate your comment.". To which she replied, " oh I'm sorry I didn't mean anything by it!"

Haven't you heard the saying, " if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything?"

And P.S. I know I'm big thank you very much, I look at myself in the mirror every day! I've watched my belly grow from day 1... And I love it. It's my son. It's my baby and I wear it proudly. I know with every pound I gain and every inch my belly stretches to a life is being fearfully and wonderfully made.

So...with all that being said here are some great things to say to a pregnant lady, if you definitely know she's pregnant!!!

1. I love your belly bump!
2. You look great!
3. You are glowing!
4. You carry so nicely!
5. You look beautiful!

A kind word goes a long way!!!


Blog Hop 370

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
This week's guest host is:  This Gal Cooks
 

There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.
 
Interested in co-hosting the party with us?  
We are always looking for co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blog.  Please email one of us or leave a comment and we will be in touch.
 
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Teach me to whisper

NOT Mommy of the Year

Oh boy.

It's been a rough week for me.

It's only Tuesday evening.

I've been so edgy and irritable and it hasn't been very pretty.

Proverbs 15:1 says A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up trouble.
I've turned into yelling mommy.

I am asking God to help me to stop barking orders and yelling.

I'm asking him to help me to count to 5 before responding to my kids in anger.

I need God to teach me to whisper.

And as Anne of Green Gables says, "Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it...yet."

I'm thankful that God's mercies are new every morning.

I need a lot of mercy and grace.

Maybe I can apply for Mommy of the Year...next year.




Bucket List Part 2

In February 2011, I wrote a similiar post to todays:  

Bucket List Part 1  and actually I did get to see Wicked on Broadway again with much better seats and it was just as awesome as the first time!

But I've been thinking about some more things that I'd love to do before I pass and here they are:

1. Go on a Cruise with John, maybe to Alaska...

2. Travel to Istanbul.  Several of my friends have gone recently and I've heard great things about it.

3. Visit Louisianna and eat creole food in the French Quarters.

4. Take all three kids to Disney Land.

5. Go back to Dutch Wonderland with the kids and this time not be pregnant so I could go on the rides with them!

6. Go hiking somewhere this summer.

7. Train for a 5k race and then run one.  One day I'd love to be able to do a full marathon.

8. Be a part of running a charity event in my local area that would help children in need.

9. Write an article for a big time newspaper or magazine.

10. Learn Italian.



Culture vs. Kingdom

"We are not citizens of a culture, we are citizens of a kingdom."

 A quote that I heard 2 weeks ago at Bible Study Fellowship has stuck with me.  Our speaker Joan who gives us weekly lectures on our study of Genesis was reminding us that we don't have to feel like we have to do what our peers are doing or what the culture says is acceptable.

We answer to God.  We have higher standards of living.  I don't have to feel like I need to keep up with the Joneses or do what "everybody else is doing".  My authority is ultimately God, not my peers.

Somehow this is very easy to teach our children.  We say to them, "Well I don't care what Susie Q's mom does or Johnnny's parents, you live in this house and we have different rules."  But somehow we forget that it is a very difficult concept to learn even as adults.

How many times have I felt slightly embarrassed that we have chosen to  home school when people ask my kids, "Are you in school yet?"  Or how many times have I felt weird that we don't tell our kids about Santa Claus bringing them gifts.  Obviously these things are my choices and I should be fine with them.  But it is very hard to go against the culture and have to explain all the whys to our peers.  It would be much much easier to just go with the flow...  I even remember people asking me when I was going to stop breastfeeding Mark when he was only a few months old and I remember feeling like, "Am I doing something wrong if I choose to breastfeed him longer?"  Obviously I knew it wasn't wrong, but sometimes culture can make you feel that way.

Even in the heated debates among Christians there are convictions that people have that they try to make others feel as though the convictions that God gave them is now everyone's conviction...or should be!  And that is where condemning and judging come into play.  Two things we don't need.  Aren't we taught that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ?  Aren't we supposed to be loving to each other?  Why do we feel it necessary to put each other down and place our own issues on others?  Sometimes Christians can be the worst at this!  Aren't there enough black and white issues in the bible about sin?  Do we really need to make up more rules for each other to follow?  Isn't that legalism?

I need to constantly remind myself that I am not a citizen of this culture.  I am a citizen of a kingdom.  Ultimately I answer to God not to my peers.  I live for an audience of one.  I live in a culture, but I should not feel forced to do what everybody else is doing.  God will convict me of areas I need to fix and God will convict others what they need to fix.  All my decisions need to be filtered through the lens of my Bible and by a whole lot of prayer!!!

So I'm praying that this year I can live more like that...honoring God and caring less what people think.


Les Mis

On Friday I got to have a girl night with my bestie, Christy, to celebrate her birthday.  We always take each other out for a movie night because since we are both moms quality time is very hard to come by.  She suggested Les Mis and everyone I talked to who saw it, loved it.  I had never seen the Broadway play and was really excited to finally see it on the big screen.

If I could sum up the movie in 3 words they would be Grace and Forgiveness.  Now, you know how foreign films are known for raw, true to life, keep it real, not always happy ending films.  That's what makes them so great.  Well, even though Les Mis had a lot of American actors and actresses the time period and place was set right before the beginning of the French Revolution in France and the poverty that the people faced and the sadness could truly be felt throughout the movie.

Anne Hathaway (Fantine) played a single mom and she did an amazing job as the lovely Cosette's mother who tried to do anything and everything to support her daughter during such an economically difficult time.  I didn't know Anne had such a beautiful voice...oh my word, when she sang "I dreamed a dream..." it was so passionate and sorrowful, and yet beyond beautiful.  I can promise you that we have all been where she was in her pit of despair.  We've all imagined our lives to be different from what they turn out to be...we all start out as little girls or little boys with great big dreams of a prince charming, or wealth, or a powerful position...and sometimes, obviously, all of our dreams don't come true.

I loved Hugh Jackman's (Jean Valjean) and Russell Crowe's (Javert) characters.  These two men were the main characters of the show...good vs. evil.  I kept envisioning the movie gladiator, because to me Russell Crowe is not the type to sing in a musical with his big muscles and all...but he was awesome...even if he was the villian of the show.  And is there any part or any thing that Hugh Jackman can't do??? He was phenomenal....I think he deserves an Academy Award for this film!  I never have a chance to watch the Academy Awards so if he did get one already he really deserved it.

And then there is Cosette, and Eponine...with the famous songs as "On my own," and "Castle on a Cloud."  I've always known those major Broadway songs because of all the auditions and plays I've been a part of, but I never knew the story behind the songs, and now I have a full appreciation for them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie...even when the baby was literally jumping on my organs because he loves music...seriously he is a music lover.  And the reason why wasn't the great acting or singing, but the story line of grace and forgiveness that runs throughout the movie.  It shows you how every man and every woman, every boy and every girl deserves a second chance, a third chance, etc.  Yes rules should be followed, yes honesty and integrity always win out, but no one is perfect and we could all use a little grace.  Grace is worth fighting for, and dying for.  I couldn't help but think of Christ on the cross.  The one man on earth who actually lived a perfect life and wasn't arrogant or haughty but so generous with his forgiveness of our sins and grace.

Les Mis is a must see!

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Pillow Talk--Questions to ask your Kids


I can't take credit for this great idea...I found it on Pinterest (Check out my Pinterest Board: Anything fun for the Kiddos). It is an amazing resource of ideas of fun things you can do at home with your kids.  I have such a good time pinning things on my board and going back to actually use them.  But this idea the minute I saw it (thanks to my library friend Nina) I wanted to do it immediately because our bed time ritual was becoming a bit rushed.  I think I was getting so tired at night and was just happy to have the peace and quiet that after teeth were brushed, potty-ing was done, and a prayer or bedtime story was read I was just done! 

But now I want to make bed time more of a one on one time (especially before Micah arrives) and really talk to my kids the way I used to.  We usually have our deep meaningful talks (as deep as you can get from a pre schooler) in the car, but lately Julia has been asking such great questions, that I decided I wanted to be the initiator.  So here it is!  I found 20 questions you  could start with and you could obviously do them around the dinner table, in the car, at the playground, or bedtime, but what is important is getting your child to think and to communicate with you.  My kids always start out with one word answers.  We did the first question yesterday during school time and Julia said she likes to dream about Ariel and Mark said he likes to dream about Lions.  But then it's asking them why? and really, tell me what you mean by that?  or tell me more.

Just showing your kids you are taking the time to talk when you are normally busy busy busy is so important.  It shows you care about what they think!  Last night in the car to Awana Julia was asking me more of her hard questions about life and God and I said to her, "Julia I always want you to ask me your questions, never ever feel like you can't come to me, ok?"  And she really liked that.  I told her the more questions you ask the wiser you become.  I also want to foster this good relationship now while she loves to talk and ask me questions so that in her pre teen and teen years she still feels comfortable. 

Here are the questions:
  1. What do you like to dream about?
  2. What is your best memory this school year?
  3. Who is your hero? Why?
  4. How would you describe your family?
  5. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
  6. What are you most proud of yourself for?
  7. Who is the kindest person you know? Why?
  8. What do you like most about your best friend?
  9. What is one thing you would like to learn to do well?
  10. If you were an animal what one would you be and why?
  11. When is the last time someome hurt your feelings? How did you react?
  12. Do you know someone who is going though a hard time? How can you help them?
  13. What is the scariest thing that happened this year?
  14. If you could keep only one thing, out of everything you have, what would it be?
  15. Who do you think is really successful? Why?
  16. What’s the best thing about your teacher this year?
  17. When do you feel misunderstood by grown-ups?
  18. What three words best describe you?
  19. What’s something that makes you angry?
  20. What’s the best compliment you ever received?



Tracing Your Heritage

 Hosea 2: 21-23
 “In that day I will respond,”
    declares the Lord
“I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and the olive oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.[a]
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.[b]
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,[c]’ ‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
 On Tuesdays when I am not at a MOPS meeting or a MOPS play date, then I do my best to attend Dorothy Haine's Bible Study.  This year she picked a book called Wholly Devoted by Cammy Tidwell and Sheryl Vasso.  These two women spoke at one of our women's retreats and they were such a dynamic team.

One thing I love about attending any Bible Study is obviously the actual study.  And because of the geek that I am (or maybe it's the inner teacher in me) I love when the leader assigns homework.  I feel like the class is somehow more official if there is homework.  Our homework this week was to trace our heritage through the Bible.

We had to look up 7 passages from Scripture and try to "trace the thread that is beautifully woven through God's Word concerning those not born into the nation of Israel."  We all know that the Jews are God's chosen people.  Sometimes as I am reading through the Bible I even wish I was Jewish because of the love you can see between God and his people.  From the very beginning God made it clear that there was going to be a very special bond between Him and them.

As I looked up the following passages I began to find verses that included me (a non-Jew) into this awesome group!  I felt like the nerdy kid on the side lines being accepted into the cool crowd!  But obviously it's even more important than that.  This special group has eternal value.  God's relationship with His people is not superficial or temporary.  He is not a fair weather friend.  He is so faithful, loving and compassionate.

Here are the Scriptures:  (I paraphrased them as I did in my notes...but if you have time look up the whole passage because they are really beautiful)

Hosea 1:10 You are sons of the Living God

Hosea 2: 21-23 (see the above passage at the beginning of this post)...You are my people...and the people will say, You are my God!

John 10: 14-16  The other sheep which are not of the fold...will now be one flock and have one Shepherd

Romans 1: 16 The Jew first and also for the Greek...

Romans 3: 29 He is God of the Gentiles also...

Romans 9: 23-25  He will call us His people and beloved

Ephesians 2: 11-22  We have been brought near by His blood...we were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel...strangers from the covenant of promise...but Christ has reconciled us both...we are now fellow citizens!

Isn't it amazing how God has made a way for even the non-Jew to be brought into the fold...He calls us His own...and it's all because of the blood of Christ on the cross.  Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and for calling us your people!

Isaac Watts:  "Love so amazing--so divine, demands my soul...my life...my all."


Blog Hop

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
 
This week's guest host is:  Living D.I.N.K
 
There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.
 
Interested in co-hosting the party with us?  We are changing things up a little now that it's a new year.  We are looking for a co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blogs.  Please email one of us or leave a comment and we will be in touch.
 
Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
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Updating my Birth Plan


Kristi Anne McInerney’s Birth Plan

Parents: John & Kristi McInerney
Due Date: March 29, 2013
Doctors: Dr. Giovine
Hospital: Monmouth Medical
Labor Support: Rosemarie DiMare, Doula

I look forward to sharing my upcoming birth with you.  I have created the following birth wish to help you understand my preferences.  I understand that in certain circumstances these guidelines may not be followed, but it is my sincere hope that you will assist me in making this the experience I hope for.

In the event of a Normal Birth we would like:

Labor

  • To be free to walk around during labor—no IV please…I’ve never needed one!
  • To be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor
  • To be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor
  • The environment to be kept as quiet as possible and low lights
  • Vaginal exams to be kept to a minimum
  • To not have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the baby’s condition
  • To not have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring
  • To be allowed to try to change position and other natural methods before pitocin is administered
  • To be allowed to use the birthing tub our doula will bring
  • To be able to ask for pain medication, if needed

Delivery

·         To avoid an episiotomy, I would like hot compresses, a slower delivery, and the ability to push with the urge in a relaxed position
  • To be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth
  • To have my baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery

Immediately After Delivery

  • I would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut
  • To wait 2 hours for eye treatment
  • If our baby must be taken from me, John will accompany the baby at all times
  • To keep the baby near me and if possible to have the evaluation of the baby be done with the baby on me, and both of us covered with a blanket
  • I plan to breastfeed my baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth
  • I do not wish my baby to have any pacifiers or bottles given (including glucose water or plain water)

Postpartum

  • To have my baby ‘room in’ with me at all times
  • To have a private room if available
  • If the baby is a boy we would like the baby circumcised prior to leaving the hospital

Other

  • To have my support people, Rosemarie and John present during the labor and delivery
  • I prefer that no guests, students, interns, residents, or non-essential personnel be present during my labor or the birth (unless given permission by myself or husband)



Hindered Prayers

May 27, 2009-birth of our first son Marky who is almost 4
Return and Submit

At BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we are studying verse by verse in the book of Genesis.  We just got through reading chapters 15, 16 & 17 when Abram becomes Abraham and Sarai becomes Sarah. 

Abraham was promised this amazing covenant and blessing by God because of his faith in God.  He was told he was to be the father of many nations, as many as the stars.

Abraham was told that this child was to come from his own body.  But Abraham was in his 90s at the time and to him this promise probably sounded crazy.  And think of how poor Sarah felt when she was still barren for 10 more years after they were told this news.  In that day and age, and even today, she felt the stigma of being barren for so many years.  I'm sure she wanted very badly to have children with Abraham.  Women who had children were considered so blessed and honored among the other women.  By now being in her 80s and 90s she must've felt it was impossible to ever get pregnant, so she takes matters into her own hands...

She decides to "help" the process along of getting Abraham an heir by giving her Egyptian maidservant Hagar to Abraham so that he could have a child through her.  I guess she felt at least this way God's promise could finally come true and it would save her the agony of waiting.  It was the custom in those days that if you remained barren while you were married to give your female servant to your husband in order that he might have children.  What a sad and horrible custom this must've been for the barren wives who wanted a baby so badly.  And think of these maidservants who probably never even intended on just being a surrogate mother for their masters.  Did anyone ask Hagar how she felt about having a child with Abraham?  Were her feelings even considered?

Ultimately this plan backfires severely on Abraham and Sarah (and causes life long consequences that we can even see amongst the Jews and Muslims today in the Middle East) because Hagar gets very haughty and proud about being able to birth a child for Abraham, and Sarah begins to mistreat Hagar so badly that finally Hagar runs away.

I love this next part because it just shows the love of our Lord. 

Genesis 16:7 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.

This angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ.  And Christ is always seeking to woo his people back to himself and show love and kindness to the hurt and to the afflicted.  Here in the wilderness where Hagar runs off to God shows her His love and kindness and tells her she indeed is pregnant with a son.  The Angel of the Lord tells her to return to her mistress and submit herself under her hand.

During our discussion time we talked about how God has placed people in authority over us.  First our parents and teachers, then professors, and bosses, and ultimately our husbands when we get married.  Many women have a hard time with that SUBMIT word.  I think in a way we all do.  It may be at different levels, but all of us have that stubborn rebellious streak in us that want to do our own thing and have our own way instead of submitting.

But if we don't submit to the authority in our lives our prayers could be hindered.  That is such a fear of mine.  I love being able to call upon the Lord at all times and know that He hears me and will answer my request.  But how can we be in the will of God if we are not willing to submit to the authority God has placed over us?  How can we expect a life of blessings when we are not being obedient?  How can we expect God to hear us when we are not listening to Him?

So after reading these chapters I really asked God to show me in any way if my heart is not willing to submit to any of the authorities in my own life.  Only God can show us and reveal that to us.

Return and Submit

vs 10 says, "Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude."

That your prayers might not be hindered post click here

After reading the above link I saw that it's not only a matter of praying right so we can live a godly life it's a matter of living right that helps us to pray!  So today and this week I will be focusing on being obedient to God and submitting to authority so that I can pray "right" to the Lord and be heard!


Story of a "Crunchy Granola" Mommy

This was at Monmouth Medical for Mark's water birth
High Expectations

I'm at 30 weeks and of course already looking ahead to the finish line of this pregnancy and into the delivery room hopeful for the "perfect birth" and a healthy baby.

But we all know there is no such thing as a "perfect birth".  Each birth story is unique and has it's own twists and turns. 

Being as though this is my third pregnancy of course I want another all natural birth, no pain meds, no interventions, and Lord willing another wonderful water birth, but I am leaving that all in God's hands.  I know I need to just focus on taking one day at at time.  There is no sense in over planning or worrying about something that hasn't happened yet.  I know God will give me the grace and strength to get through whatever lies ahead.  Whether I have the baby a few weeks early or right on time or a few weeks late.

Don't Roe and John make a great team?  They were setting up my tub
 John and I used to tease our doula Roe and call her "crunchy granola" because of course she believes in all natural and that the pain during labor is for a purpose and that all women are strong enough to have the birth that they want.  Whether that be all natural or not.

I wouldn't call myself a completely crunchy granola mommy.  I mean, yes, I do nurse my babies for the first year, and shoot for all natural deliveries, but I don't puree all our baby food, I don't use cloth diapers, and I believe that every women is entitled to the birth she wants.  I don't think you are a better mom because you breastfeed or a bad mom because you don't.  That's just silly.  Let's face it we all do the best we can and hope and pray we don't scar our children for life as we raise them!

I do believe that once you set your mind to do something or try something you should go for it with all your might.  I saw a water birth delivery as a high school teenager and ever since then I always wanted to deliver my kids that way.  I just thought it was such a peaceful and gentle way to birth your baby.  I also felt for me, using an epidural was risky and I wanted to try to labor without it.  I still have friends who think I am nuts, well maybe I am.  But on the same token I would never judge a mom who chose to get an epidural.  We all have different pain tolerances.  And I think if a woman wants one then by all means she should get one.  Personally, it's just not for me.

Same thing with breastfeeding, I think it's awful that moms who feed their babies formula get such a bad rap or are made to feel like failures in some way.  That is their choice.  Frankly, I just feel lucky that I was able to produce enough milk for my babies and that they thrived and did so well on breast milk, some babies don't and some moms have such a difficult time nursing that formula is the only way.  Why do we judge each other about something so private?

And I won't even go into the whole circumcision issue.  Every parent is entitled to make those decisions for their child without judgment.  Why are we so hard on each other?

Let's be honest, whether you breastfeed, circumcise, or puree all your baby food none of these things makes you a better mom, mom of the year, or even mom of the day...these things are all just choices along the way that every parent must face and decide. 

With this third and possibly final pregnancy/delivery I am going to focus on keeping my heart and mind open to these decisions and to all the twists and turns that life may throw at me.  Crunchy granola or not, I am just happy to be a mommy again!


Where do babies come from? And other difficult questions

Julia's Grown Up Questions

As many of you know, especially if you've read my blog for awhile or you know Julia personally, she is quite the character...she has wisdom beyond her 5 years.

In the last year she has asked us some really really hard questions.  Just last night John had to explain the Trinity again to her with diagrams and all because she was asking these awesome questions about the God-head...they were up from 9pm til 10 pm talking about it.  She really doesn't want "easy, kid" answers like, "Oh honey it's just a miracle."  She want's scientific evidence or facts or diagrams so she can truly understand it.

During the holidays we had some really hard questions from her about the birth of Christ.  She wanted to know if Mary was Jesus' mommy and God was Jesus' father then did God marry Mary?  I tried to explain how it was a miracle, how God didn't have to marry Mary because he was God and how God wanted Jesus to be born on earth to a woman on earth...and then the baby questions started coming, "Well how did the baby get in Mary's belly?"  And, "Where was I before I was born in your belly?"  "Was I in heaven with God?"  I tried to explain how we all start from a seed in our mommies belly and how when a mommy and daddy get married the seed grows into a baby (I am not saying egg and sperm to my 5 year old yet...trust me she will bring it up all the time if I did!)

Then I tried to explain that God just has all the babies in heaven until they are born here.  Nope she didn't buy that one, "Mommy that is just too many babies in heaven!"  I tried to explain that birth is just a miracle.  "Mommy, I don't understand!"  Then the tears would come.  If I don't give her book like answers she gets very frustrated with me, and yet I am trying to only answer things slowly and not as detailed to protect her.  I don't want to explain some of these things yet!

So what does she do?  She corners John when he gets home right at the door she goes, "Daddy, where is the baby before its a baby?"  Somehow his answers are always better than mine.  He gets into these long drawn out seminary answers and she just soaks it all in.

But last night was the toughest question of all and I knew it was coming... 

Julia: "Mommy, how is the baby going to come out of your belly?  Is he going to rip open your stomach?'

All I could do from laughing was to bite my toungue, smile and give the Abraham to Isaac answer...

Me: "God will provide a way honey, and no it will not rip open my stomach."

Julia: "Mommy I don't understand!!!"

Me: "Well...it's very hard to explain my love.  I can't explain it right now in the van while I'm driving."

And thank goodness by the time we got home she forgot about it...BUT she must've had more questions about God and the Trinity because poor John got all those hard questions.

So, my question is for you parents out there...how would you explain birth to a five year old????


Presents from Baby


Me and Julia
 Everyone loves spoiling and holding a new baby...

That's what I'm afraid of!  I know we will have tons of visitors and family and friends who come to see the baby and most likely bring gifts for the newborn which is so nice of them!

Our third baby is on his way, and yet I still have two young children who I don't want to feel left out, forgotten, or over looked...

So at my last doctor's appointment a mom gave me an awesome idea.  She had her newborn "give" presents to the big brother or sister.  This is what she said to her kids: "Your baby brother wanted you to have this special toy because he loves you very much."

On Monday, I took the kids to the Barnes and Noble and had them pick out their favorite toy item since our book store has a kid's toy section.  I got some great ideas as to what baby brother can bring them when they come to see him at the hospital.  Mark had his eye on this really cool fireman outfit and toys with it and Julia kept holding this stuffed cat she named.  I just watched to see whatever they liked and wanted to bring home.  One day this weekend I'm going to sneak over to the store and pick up the gifts for the kids and wrap them.

This way when everyone is ooohing and ahhhing over the baby, mark and Julia will get to open up presents from their very cool baby brother who thought of them and got them something special.

I thought this was a great idea for younger siblings! 


Pardon Me...I've been nesting!

My Marky...isn't he a dream boat?
Nesting: The act and art of getting one's life together before a little one arrives!  (Kristi Macs definition)

I've had so many great blog post ideas lately and yet we've been so busy with fun things like MOPS play dates, BSF, and Taekwondo AND nesting, that I haven't had a minute in front of the computer (which is a good thing, if I might add).

Although when my kids take their nap around 1:30 or 2:00 you better believe I quickly throw in a load of laundry, clean up the sink, and go and lay down right on the couch myself.  After all, growing a person is very tiring! 

This week I have gotten a lot done around the house and have had a lot of play time and school time with the big kids.  (I'm finding myself realizing that Julia and Mark are officially the "big kids" and my new little guy will be in the new batch of my little ones, or my baby).

I've been taking every opportunity to tickle, read stories, do puzzles, have lap time and just talk because I know life will indeed change once our new little guy gets here...I can't believe I'm at week 30!!!!  So, while my kids have been doing their writing or math homework at the kitchen table, or eating lunch, I've been busy tackling my little "nesting projects" around the house...things that I know will just have to wait when the baby gets here, but can totally be done right now.

This Week's NESTING SCHEDULE:

Monday: Consignment Store Shopping
Tuesday: Clean out ENTIRE Fridge
Wednesday: Clean out Pantry
Thursday: Have a friend over for lunch
Friday: Visit with Great Grandpa for Dinner

Last Friday, a friend took me to a great consignment shop where you can turn in your children's clothes for credit and shop for your children with huge discounted prices.  I'm talking getting a Ralph Lauren shirt that could be $30 in a department store for only $2!  So on Friday I bought some things for all 3 kids and brought a bag of girl clothes to turn in for credit.  And over the weekend I went through Julia's closet and drawers again to find more items to drop off on Monday.  You would not believe the value of the clothes and shoes and the price differences!  It was awesome! 

I got Julia a great pair of black church shoes for only $10 and they were Stride Rite shoes BRAND NEW from the box!  I got a pair of white baby shoes for our Micah for only $10 and same thing they were BRAND NEW and Stride Rite...Stride Rite shoes are usually $45-60.  My Little Haven in Spotswood is awesome!  I got some great pieces for the baby too which I was really pleased about.  And Mark was really pleased about the Spider Man snow boots we got him for $10 which he wears all around the house even though there is no snow.

Tuesday we had a fun play date with my MOPS group at the Party Jungle in Manalapan.  10 moms showed up and about 16 kids!  It was great fun.  The kids got to rock climb, go on the indoor trampoline, go in the ball pit, climb all the cool tubes and go down the indoor slide, in addition to being with all their friends.  My favorite part was watching Julia mother all the 2 and 3 year old kids and when she had to go to the bathroom she told one of my friends, "Could you please watch Ellie, I need to use the potty."  Ummm, she forgot my friend was fully capable of watching her own daughter.  Oh, Julia you are a riot.

Today at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) I got to just sit and go over my bible homework with my group, and here the lecture on Genesis 16 and 17 and also just be with a great group of godly women.  My kids love BSF because there is a whole structure to the day...they call it their "bible school"  they get to paint, sing worship songs, listen to the bible story of the day, draw pictures, play games, and of course they have snack time.  Julia was so happy because Aunt Debi was in her class today as a helper.  That was an added bonus!

Tomorrow I get to have a friend over who is finally done with her course work and we can just sit and chat and get all caught up.  In the evening we get to enjoy Awana Club time and our memory verse is from Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might!"

Friday after gymnastics we will probably just have a relaxing day, and then head to my mom's to celebrate my grandpa's birthday.

Something fun I did today at the grocery store today...buy size 1 diapers...I haven't had to do that in a LONG time!  He will be here soon...





"God Moment"

Five Years Ago...

You were too tiny to walk or talk or do anything on your own.

You were only 8lbs and could barely hold your head up.

You needed us for everything.

You didn't ask for what you wanted you just let us know when you needed a diaper change, or some warm milk.

You were small, and helpless and rarely ever cried...I still remember being teased at church about how you were the easiest baby ever because you never seemed unhappy or cried.

But now you can walk, talk, make your own breakfast, take your own bath, make your own bed, clean up your room, memorize Bible verses, read words, add and subtract, write words, ride a bike, whistle, skip, jump, do gymnastics and taekwondo and speak another language for goodness sakes.  My how you have grown.

Today on our ride home from Awana we were listening to music and out of the blue you said, "Mommy, you are a great mom."  And that was that.

You just spoke from your heart. 

And I loved it.

Thanks Julia for that "God moment"...your love and your life is such a gift.




Blog Hop 361

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop

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His Goodness

Psalm 27: 13

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
There are so many times in life where our circumstances or people can really get you down.  It can be a health issue, a job concern, a disobedient child, or a flip comment, whatever it is it may cause us to lose heart or despair.

Yesterday at MOPS our speaker shared this life verse with us.  She said this verse got her through the mothering years because as busy moms, whether you work or stay at home, so much needs to be done, so many people need you, you are pulled in so many directions and you can lose heart just simply from being overwhelmed.  And yet...

God's goodness overwhelms us each day.  It can be in a moment when our kids are actually playing happily together with a toy or someone says, "Mom, I love you." or our husband is extra hands-on and helpful around the home, or someone who barely knows you gives you a compliment on your parenting.  I call these little things, "God moments".

I'm realizing that I need to slow down (I know I say this a lot) and look for these "God moments" these little miracles, these examples of God's Goodness in our lives.  It's when our husband texts us, "I love you or I miss you" when our sister drops by to sit and chat and hang out, it's when we actually have a minute to watch a sunset, or see a rainbow, or see our child learn something new.

We could have lost heart...because in this world we will have trouble.  But God is constantly reminding us that He has overcome the world and that He is good, and just, and holy, and ultimately he will handle our difficult circumstance, He will strengthen us when we are weary.  He is our shield, our help, and  our rock.

And after reading all of Psalm 27 I found out that it's ok when people fail us, in fact I shouldn't be surprised, because vs 10 said, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me." People will fail you.  But God will never forsake you.  He will never forget you or overlook you.  We make mistakes, but He is always faithful.  Always good.

Psalm 27:1 says The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

In 2013 I want to live a life that focuses on God's Goodness, that catches all the little miracles that happen each day, that fully trusts in a trustworthy God.  This Psalm 27 was such a great reminder for me!


What to do when little ones are afraid

Nighttime and the Dark

Let's be honest.  Sometimes the dark can be scary.  You can't see what's in front of you.  You may hear strange sounds, and you think maybe something is under your bed or hiding in your closet.

I can remember being nervous living in our first home because it was just so strange living in a house by myself when John was at work.  I hated being alone.

So I can understand when at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.  Mark will climb into my bed and say, "Mommy I'm afraid."  I don't want to yell at him or shoo him away (although sleep is really important right now).  I just let him climb in so he feels secure for a few minutes and then I say, "Mark come on mommy will turn on your lamp so you can see in your room."  And he doesn't protest, he just climbs out and grabs my hand and we walk to his room.  After turning the small light on and tucking him in, all is well.

But today, at MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) we had an awesome speaker shared a verse that I really want to share with my kids tonight before bed.  It's short and easy to memorize and hopefully will stay with them when they do become afraid again.

 Psalm 56: 3 "When I am afraid I will trust in You."

And you know what? It's even good for big people, because often we let our fears, stresses, and worries take over and we forget we have a Father we can totally trust in and rest in, one who makes everything all better.




Full Preparation Mode

Me and baby Julia in the hospital back in 2007
A Newborn

Everybody loves a newborn.  The way they yawn.  The way they smell.  The coos, their little faces, how they stretch.  They are just so little and so incredibly cute.

Now, my job as a mom of Julia and Mark with Micah on the way, I need to prepare my little ones for a newborn.

Of course we've been reading Big Sister books, Big brother books, and what babies are like books, and even my pregnancy books have helped witht he pictures, etc.  But we have to do even more than that because Julia is now 5 and Mark is almost 4.  They understand a lot more than the average toddler or Pre-Ker...so I've been doing and planning even more things with them, like...

1. A Hosptial Tour for the end of this month to show the kids what Monmouth Medical is like and where mommy will deliver the baby.  A few of my friend's suggested doing this because they said their kids loved going ahead of time and going on a tour, and that the nurses do a great job of showing them the different rooms, the nursery, and they even get prizes to go home with!

2. A New List of New Big Sister/Big Brother responsibilities.  My kids already have chores, but lately (as it has been getting harder and harder to put my own socks on, and bend down, and carry things up and down the stairs) they have been getting new jobs like...bring down their hamper bag to the laundry room, they learned how to sort light clothes from dark, and they even put their dirty clothes in the washer (only mommy is allowed to press the buttons thought).  Some other responisiblities we've been practicing are getting dressed by yourself from start to finish (mommy doesn't pick anything out, except for mark who would wear 4 t'shirts if I let him...he loves putting all his favorite shirts on at once).  It's amazing to me how after bath time now I just towel them off and they go to their own room and put pjs on!  It's so much easier now!  The kids will even get baby jobs like, burper, and diaper fetcher, etc.  I want everyone to feel a part of this experience.

3. Planning who watches the kids during our hospital stay.  Debi Hech, my knight in shining armor, who just became a grandma on Nov 20th has already volunteered to be our first call, after the doula and doctor of course.  She said she will watch the kids day or night for how long it takes before someone can relieve her so she can come see Micah in the hospital.  But we still have to plan who the kids will stay with while we sleep at the hospital, etc. 

4. Our birth class is coming up on Jan 26.  Our doula Roe, is giving us a refresher course since it's been over 3 1/2 years since we had a newborn.  And apparently a photographer is coming to take pics during our class time for her own personal advertising for her doula business, so how cool is that!

5. The minivan, carseat, and diaper bag are ready to go!  Come on guys, are you surprised, lol?  Even John said to me the other day, "Babe you are so excited for this baby, aren't you?"  And my answer was, "Of course I am!!!!!!!!!!"  Even Julia reminds me of how often we prayed for this baby and how happy she was that God answered our prayer to bless us with another one.


So, now that the holidays are over, the countdown is on...9 weeks and counting!  Woooohoooo!  On Thursday my sister Sara and I get to go to my 7 month check up!!!


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