Blog Hop 386

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
 
This week's guest host is Alli from Cupcake Diaries
 
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.
 
Co-host Mingle With Us Blog Hop
We are always looking for co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blog. 
 
Sign up HERE if you are interested in Co-Hosting!
 
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
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!


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Team Mac just got BIGGER

On Monday, March 25, 2013 at 2:21 p.m. after 12 hours of labor...Micah Justice McInerney joined our team.

He was a whopping 9.2lbs and 20 inches long.  He is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way (spoken like a true very biased mommy).  He has light brown silky smooth hair, and deep blue eyes and the softest, sweetest smelling skin you could ever imagine.

We are all absolutely in love!

It was a very long labor...the longest of my three, but in the end we got a healthy baby boy and you will hear not one complaint come from these lips of mine.

We knew Julia, our 5 year old,  would instantly take to her big sister role, but we were concerned about our youngest Mark who is 3 1/2.  But the minute he came to the hospital to see Micah he was ALL about his baby brother.  And even today (Thursday) he kisses him, asks where he is constantly, and says, "Mom isn't he so cute?" and he talks to him.  So we are all relieved.

Thank you for all your prayers.  I knew this was going to be a big baby as I got closer and closer to my due date of March 29...especially when my Dr. predicted a 9lb baby.  But God got us through the birth with our doula, my husband, and nurse and midwife.  We were so lucky to have such a fantastic team helping us birth our son into the world.  Thank you to our doula, Rosemarie Dimare, Krissy the nurse, and Lee the midwife, and to my fabulous husband John, I was so tired during this birth and they kept encouraging me and cheering me on.  I'm so thankful.

The staff at Monmouth Medical Hospital was absolutely fabulous and they all loved on us completely well.  I even got a pink rose from the staff as we left Tuesday evening.  God was so good to us through it all.  And we are settling in nicely at home.  Micah has already slept through a bulk of the night last night giving me a 3 hour stretch and a 4 hour stretch of sleep.

Our family just got bigger...welcome to our newest member....Micah we love you my sweet boy.

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Paleo Diet

My sister Sara and I decided to start a new diet together in April.  I'm so excited for it.

It's a no sugar, no dairy, no grains, beans, or alcohol diet.  Basically it is fruits, veggies, and protein (eggs, meats, etc).

We decided to do it together because I can't wait to lose my baby weight and she knows I need a partner.  She did this diet last spring for a few months and had awesome results so since I can't start working out for 6 weeks (to heal after the delivery of the baby...whenever that happens) then I figured the diet could start me off!

Since it is such a strict diet and since I will be breastfeeding I am going to have make some adjustments and have "free days" or a "free meal" every other day because I will need some dairy/grains while I am nursing.  I want to lose all my baby weight but I don't want the baby to suffer or not get all the nutrients he needs.

On my Pinterest board I have a whole bunch of Paleo recipes that look delicious and I am currently making a binder with all the recipes I want to try and make for us at home, and for my workout routine.  Even though I won't start going to the gym for 6 weeks, we will be walking every day as a family (love having a baby in the spring!) going to the park, doing sit ups and push ups.  The low impact stuff that isn't too hard on the body will do in the beginning.  But in May I will join the gym and make it a goal to go at least 3-4 times a week.  ***click on Pinterest board above to see my Paleo Recipes.

Plus, my mom and I like to power walk at a local high school track in the evenings.  We take turns with the kids and do laps while the other person watches the kids.  My kids like to run up and down the bleachers and "work out" with us!

So, that's my "time to get skinny again" plan for when baby arrives.  I have about 30-33 lbs to lose!  Sara and I are going to weigh ourselves every Friday to see the results!  I will be sure to keep you posted.  It's great accountability to have a group of friends know what you are committing to and holding you to it!

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Micah's Namesake

Where did we get the name Micah from?

It's the Hebrew version of the name Michael and it is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament.

I love the name and it flows so nicely with our other two children.  Julia, Mark, and Micah...and if we had had a girl she would've been Mia Susannah which would have had the same meaning as Micah.  Micah and Mia both mean: Who is like God?  The obvious answer is there is no one like God because He is just THAT amazing.

I love Micah 7: 18 because it says, "18 
Who is a God like you,    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever    but delight to show mercy.
I also love this book of the Bible because it talks about how we are to love others, do justly, be merciful, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8)  

Micah Justice McInerney...I love his name.


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The "Sisterhood" Around Me

These past few weeks have been filled with waiting...

Waiting for Micah to get here.

We have backpacks by the door.  His new car seat by the door.  His diaper bag is packed and ready, my labor bag is packed and ready.

Snacks for the kids to bring to the hospital.  We have gifts for both Julia and Mark waiting in the trunk.  The camera is charged and waiting.  John bought the cigars for all the grandpas, and uncles and manly friends who will stop by the hospital.

And still we are waiting.

It's okay.  Patience is a virtue.  The best things come to those who wait, right?

Still waiting...

In the meantime I have had such a great amount of support from my friends and family that I have not been able to sulk or get discouraged at all.  I get texts reminding me that people are praying for me.  Posts on Facebook asking how I am feeling.

My best friend, Cinzia, invited me to come over and check out boy clothes she wants to share.  My other bestie, Christy B. brought over 3 freezer meals to use this week and next week.  My sister in law Laurie has taken my two big kids out for 4-5 hour trips at a time, feeding them, playing with them and buying them things.  My mother has taken the kids to the park, and given the baths so I can put my feet up and rest.  My neighbor Patty and her husband have taken my kids to Awana for the past few weeks just so I wouldn't have to drive.

And so many of my friends have just offered to be there and help no matter what.  My neighbors are all checking on me and calling to see if I need a meal, or any help.  I mean I cannot complain one bit.  God is showing me that we are loved.  He has put people all around us to love on us and care for us.  Even our pastor has texted John to check in on us and see how we are doing.

I am so thankful.  I have gotten such good advice from my mommy friends who have 3 or more kids and have been through what I am going through with keeping house and raising kids and being SO pregnant.  And I'm so appreciative.

He will be here soon enough.  Making his mark on the world, and causing us to fall madly in love with him.

Thank you to all my sisters, all our friends and family, your love and support means so much to us.

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Blog Hop 385

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
 
This week's guest host is Rachel from The Philosopher's Wife
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.

Co-host Mingle With Us Blog Hop
We are always looking for co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blog. 
 
Sign up HERE if you are interested in Co-Hosting!
 
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
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!


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These are the Facts

Yes, I'm still Here.

My name is Kristi.

I'm 38 weeks pregnant.

Yes, I'm having a boy.

His name will be Micah.

Yes, I'm still pregnant.

No, I don't know why he isn't here yet.

Yes, I have been walking.  I have two very active children at home that really don't allow me to sit very long.

Yes, I'm very excited to have another baby.

No, I'm not crazy.

Yes, I'm having a water birth.

No, I'm not comfortable with epidurals.  Because.  No I'm not insane.

I'm 34 years old.

No, I don't give out my social security number.

Will I have more children?  God hasn't told me yet.  Yes, I would if that's what God wanted.  Because, I think kids are great.  No, I'm not crazy.

Please stop staring at my stomach.

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These are the random questions that strangers ask me on a daily basis (minus the social security number, that was just being sarcastic).  I thought I should just type out all the answers...just in case....

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Blog Hop 380

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
 
This week's guest host is Marissa from The Reading List 
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.

Co-host Mingle With Us Blog Hop
We are always looking for co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blog.   
Sign up HERE if you are interested in Co-Hosting!
 
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
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!
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Journaling--Getting the Kids to LOVE it

My children LOVE to draw.  Anything and anywhere, they love using markers, pens, pencils, crayons, paint brushes, chalk, the messier the better.

I've been looking for ways to introduce more writing time in our day to the kids and so on my trip to Wegmans when I saw those colorful composition notebooks I bought 3!

That day while I threw lunch together I labeled their new "journals" and told them that everyday we would draw and label a picture.  NO PROBLEM!

Mark likes any homework assignment these days.  I don't know why I didn't think he would jump on the school wagon, but he has with BOTH feet!

So Mark has a green journal and Julia has an orange one and they both have to draw a specific themed picture a day and then they present it to the group (Mommy and their sibling) and we label the parts.

The first day was easy.  Draw a picture of your family.  I loved this one because Julia actually drew Micah in my belly.  Adorable!  When we started to go over the pictures I said you guys forgot someone! (Our dog Paris) Immediately they said, "Paris!"  So they had to go back and try to draw a dog...very cute.  Then we labeled each member of our family.  The labeling part is good for site words for the kids to be able to recognize each other's names, and words like dog, family, baby, mom, dad, etc.

Day 2 was Draw a picture of your friends.  Julia's picture could have gone on for days.  Mark I had to really sit with help and remind him of the boys at church, and Awana that he plays with.  Why is it that boys seem to have fewer friends than girls?  Maybe because they are always so busy building towers and such they forget to introduce themselves (we are working on this one!)  Our labeling part this time was people's names.

Day 3 was Draw a picture of your favorite place.  This one was harder for the kids but once I threw out some ideas and got them rolling they were both drawing pictures of the park.  Labeling this one we used words like Sun, Swings, Slide, Dirt, Grass, Trees, etc.

So for ten minutes each day we pull out our journal and write our name at the top, and the date, and the themed topic and we start drawing, coloring, and labeling.  The kids enjoy explaining their picture.  This also helps their vocabulary to grow along with their budding confidence!

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Favoritism...never a good thing

This is my family.  Mom took this of us on Father's Day.  Three daughters and Dad.

We all love our parents.

But growing up in our home there was always this "secret battle" shall we say over who was the favorite.

And of course with three dramatic girls, we all thought someone else was...and it hurt really bad.

Me and my sisters are all very far apart in age.  My oldest sister is 7 years older and I'm the middle, and my younger sister is 8 years younger.  We have really good genes from both our parents so just looking at us you would never know the huge age gap.  But it is there, and I also feel it played a huge role in our relationships.

It's one reason why I have always wanted to have children close together.  I have always wanted to instill a deep love for the siblings, and I have always tried to instill the fact that there are NO favorites.  In fact we didn't even know we were going to have a third for awhile so Mark was our baby for 3 years, and Big sister Julia was the nurturing mama, who protected her brother and helped me care for him.



But sometimes as much as the parents SAY, "I love you all the same," or "I have no favorites."  We all know that actions speak louder than words.  When parents are very strict with certain children and then totally loosen the reigns on another, you tend to feel like, hmmmm she is the favorite.  Or when one child gets in trouble more, that child is going to feel like the others are the favorite.  Or when one child is not paid attention to at all because he or she doesn't cause any drama, that child just feels like they don't matter at all.

At BSF, my Wednesday Bible study, we are going through the book of Genesis.  We are reading Genesis 25-28 right now and learning all about Isaac and Rebekah and their twin sons Jacob and Esau.  Isaac's favorite was Esau because he was an outdoorsy guys guy who hunted wild game and Jacob was a mama's boy and undoubtedly Rebekah's favorite because he hung around the house more.  This favoritism split the family in two.  It divided the family and caused some really heart ache.

I think that's one of the reason why as couples we really need to hold each other accountable.  There are times when I will discipline Julia for something, that I would let slide with Mark and John will tell me later that he didn't feel that was fair.  Sometimes I have had to say the same thing to John.  With the older child it is sometimes easier to discipline because we feel, "oh they should KNOW better," and we skip the discipline on the youngest because "they are cute," and that is not fair!  Now I know life is not always fair, but in our homes we need to be CAREFUL to be objective in our disciplining.  And we need to be consistent and we need to constantly catch our children being GOOD.

We need to constantly tell them we love them and tell them we are proud of them.  I did not hear these words very much (although I know them to be true now) and I so desperately needed to hear them.  We also need to SHOW our children we love them.  That means picking them up ON TIME.  Making a big deal out of special occasions.  Bragging about them in front of them to our friends and family.  These are some things that we really make sure we do.

One conversation we all need to have in our families is that favoritism is not acceptable.  We as couples need to keep communication lines open and be honest with each other.  I think if Isaac and Rebekah had done that the fate of Jacob and Esau and the whole birthright drama would have been a different situation.

Let's teach our children while they are young to value each other.

My one friend told me her mom would have each sister look at each other and say, "This is your only sister, she is your best friend." and vice versa.  Parents need to model this behavior.  We need to talk about it.  And never let your children wonder if they are the lesser or the favorite.  Always make them feel safe in their skin, truly valued and loved.  It will allow them to have great relationships down the road with each other and with others.

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Loss...my grandpa

Julia at a few months old visiting Grandpa in nursing home
My Grandpa Lenny...born on July 2, 1924, passed away on Feb 28th.  I haven't been able to talk about it to anyone because it's been such a painful part of my life right now.

This is my Dad's dad and my very near and dear grandpa.  He lived on Staten Island with his family for many years as a nurse at a hospital, and before he met my grandma he was in the service to our country.

When I was about 15 years old I got very close to both my grandparents.  I would sleep over their house, bake for them, cook for them and write them letters all the time.  Then when their health started failing my dad thought it wise to sell their home and move them closer to us in New Jersey.  They lived in apartments and even though I was a teenager I still visited, took grandpa shopping, picked up medication and made meals for them.

Then Grandma's health got really bad and we had to put both of them in a nursing home in East Brunswick.  Every Wednesday I would leave my teaching job and take time to bring them cookies and visit.  Losing Grandma 6 years ago was very difficult for our family, and especially grandma.  He called her mama and he told me all the time how much he missed her and still dreamt of her and even felt she would come to visit with him.  I knew he was lonely.  Even after I got married and started having kids I made every effort to visit grandpa.  He loved seeing Julia as a baby and Julia was such a playful little girl.

Grandpa always made me feel loved and special.  Whenever I visited he always perked up, sat up a little straighter, smiled, and would tell his roommate, "That's my grand daughter."  I could feel the pride in his words and see it in his eyes.  John used to shave my grandpa and grandpa loved John.  He always would ask about John and the kids if they didn't come with me.  I knew he was proud of us.  I knew he appreciated us visiting.  He always said, "I love you," and "thank you," and he would always eat whatever treat I would bring him, even if it was before dinner.

Once I had mark it became more difficult to visit grandpa weekly, but I still made sure we saw him on weekends, at least once a month and definitely on or before birthdays and holidays.  I hated the idea of him spending so much time alone at the nursing home.  I even thought of moving him in with us as newlyweds, but we had no other bedrooms in our townhouse except for an office and the master bedroom, plus we both worked full time and grandpa's eyesight was failing, so he really needed help all day.

After Grandma passed away, I really didn't think grandpa would live longer than a year.  He loved her so much and I knew he missed her terribly, but then a year passed, two years, three years, and I thought, wow, God is so good to keep him with us.  As his health got worse, and he became totally blind he was moved to another nursing home in Edison.  I hated the new nursing home.  It was far and also the people were much much worse off.  I felt so depressed visiting him there.  Grandpa spoke less, ate less, and just wasn't his natural self anymore.  Every time my parents would text me to call them or left messages to call them I panicked, I always feared losing Grandpa.  I knew it was always a possibility but I just never wanted to accept it or hear the words.

This past December is when I knew things had gotten worse.  He barely talked or answered when we spoke to him, all his food was pureed, and he kept getting pneumonia and having mini strokes and was at the hospital.  The last time I saw him, like always I told him I loved him, that we were praying for him, and that we would see him soon.  I even made my peace with the whole death issue, after all he was almost 90, he had lived a long, full life, and he seemed to be suffering now.  I wanted whatever God thought was best.  But hearing the news last Thursday was just shocking and awful.

As much as you think you've made your "peace" about someone passing away, it never goes away, you never stop feeling or being sad.  It's just this dull ache that comes to the surface when their name is brought up.  It's horrible.  The only solace I can find is knowing that God hates death too.  That death was never in His plan.  I know God has a plan for all of us and I just pray that my grandpa really knew we loved him.  Because we really did.  I really really really did love him.  And I wish I could have told him one more time.  I wish I could have held his hand and been there when he slipped out of this life.  I wish he didn't have to spend so many lonely days just waiting around for visitors.  I wish we all made the elderly more of a priority and not just a drop off at a nursing home.

There was so much to learn from Grandpa and hear about the war, about his life with three sons, about the love he had for grandma, and hear about how he used to play in a jazz band.  He loved music so much.  He loved black and white movies.  He knew so many actors and actresses by name and he was such a romantic.  He loved love stories.  He was never embarrassed to tell me so.  I'm thankful for all the time I spent with him although it was never enough.  He made our lives very full.  He brought us joy and we loved him.  I'm so sorry to lose him.  It's not fair.


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