Sunday, December 10, 2017

37 Weeks with a Baby #3

We made it to 37 weeks and I am really starting to feel like I'm in the home stretch. No idea when this baby will make an appearance but we are excited to find out!

I wanted to get a quick update while it was on my mind. I had my first child at 37 weeks and my second at 38 weeks, so this could very well be my last post of my pregnancy.
How far along: I am 37 weeks, 2 days.

Maternity clothes: All maternity clothes and definitely feeling large. I have the waddle going and am feeling more and more uncomfortable by the day.

Sleep: I'm up every few hours to use the bathroom and change sleeping positions. I have to sleep on my sides and have to rotate frequently.

Best moment this month: Payton loves to kiss my belly and hug her baby. That has been so fun to see as she makes sure to tell him goodbye any time we part ways.

This weekend has also been a lot of fun as my mother came to visit. Monte and I went to his work holiday party and the kids wanted pictures taken prior to us leaving. 
These could easily be the last pictures we take before the new baby. It's so bittersweet to think about.

Worst moment this month: I am definitely much more uncomfortable than I have been with my other 2 pregnancies. I have slowed way down and spend a lot of my time dealing with pain management. That has been challenging but I know this won't last forever.

Miss anything: I continue to really miss keeping up with my kids. I can't always go outside with my husband and children or run errands with them like I'm used to doing and that has been challenging for me.

Movement: This baby definitely doesn't move as much as my other two, but he still has a lot of good daily movement.

Cravings: I really haven't craved anything or had any aversions this entire pregnancy.

Queasy or sick: Over the last few days, I have felt very nauseous, but it's so hard to say if it's pregnancy related or not.

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to bringing this little one home and the holidays!

Baby, you can come any time! We are ready and waiting anxiously for you!

I hope you are all having a great Sunday!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

I can't believe by the end of this week it will be December! This year has flown by so unbelievably fast! With a new baby coming, I am guessing time won't be slowing down any time soon for our household.

Since we are 35 weeks pregnant with baby #3, we decided we would not be traveling for the holidays. My husband's family decided to join us at our home this year for Thanksgiving (and then plan to be back for New Year's). Not all the family could make it but we still had a full house with 6 adults and 5 children.

 Payton loves playing games and so her cousins (and aunts, uncles, and grandparents) were asked to play anything and everything on constant repeat. Riley plays until he loses interest and then he ran around checking out what everyone else was doing.

My sister and her family also stopped by for the afternoon as they made their drive to family they were visiting. We loved cuddling the newest member of our family and the extra time with them. My niece is about to celebrate her birthday so we gave her the present we got her (a doll and sand art kit) and then my children proceeded to convince her that we should all help her with her sand art kit.
We all had so much fun. My kids decided to turn their sand art into Christmas tree ornaments.  This worked out well because as soon as family left and our house quieted down we decided it was time to set up the tree.
Payton was convinced that both festive outfits must be worn for Christmas decorating. So, she picked out a Christmas themed outfit that she had been dying to wear and Riley put on his Christmas pajamas that were handed down by Payton. We played Christmas songs and had a blast pulling out all of our Christmas decorations.

The kids spend lots of time in the morning looking at the tree and exploring all the ornaments we have collected over the decades.
With a quiet house and nice weather, we decided to head out to our park and feed the ducks. I love freezing time:
The holidays mean so much to us and we enjoy celebrating those we love, spending time with friends and family, and recognizing how important our own little family is to us. Each year, we try to make gift packages for our local friends and Payton has already been planning what she will do this year.

We didn't get to see my parents for Thanksgiving (hoping for Christmas) but we did receive a beautiful package from them with festive turkey hats and some new supplies for baby #3. We loved the thoughtful gifts!
Riley may look upset but this is actually his "cheese" face.

Gobble. Gobble. We hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Princesses, Police Officers, Tea Parties, and an Update on Our Kid's Sharing a Room

We have had a busy few weeks, so I am mostly going to just leave you with some pictures and a few details about what we have been up to. I used to be a lot better about doing weekly recap posts but between 2 kids, pregnancy, and all the other balls in the air I am finding almost no time (or energy to post lately). I hope this will change eventually, but until then, this is the best I can do.

 I have been trying to carve in 1:1 time with both kids over the last few weeks. It's easy to do with Riley since he's up before the sun and I get a few hours with him each day before anyone else rises. Earlier this week, I took Payton to tour the police office with a local homeschooling group. My mother-in-law and husband watched Riley during this time. Afterwards, we decided to take full advantage of our alone time and I took her out to eat. She was obsessed with this disco ball in the background and had to sit right by it. She also took about 100 pictures of it.

 The kids are really into picnics and tea parties. I have been trying to get creative and put together simple, yet fun snacks for them to use at their parties. I used a cookie cutter to make cheese shapes and it was a huge hit and requested frequently now.
 Payton was a princess for the day and had so much fun at this local fundraiser event. She got her hair done, nails painted, tiara, a special tea party, and a royal ball. She loved wearing her Cinderella dress to the event, made plenty of new friends, and danced the afternoon away. I may or may not have shed a few tears at how much she has grown recently. She is still dancing her days away but it looks so much different than it did as a toddler.
 You guys, when you find a friend that will play with your kids for forever, keep them. Seriously, don't ever let them go. They are the best. One of my lifelong friends came to visit us the other day and while we caught up she did anything and everything my little 4 year old requested of her, which mostly meant game after game of go fish. She is definitely one of Payton's favorites and mine, too.
Last month, we officially took the leap and had the kids move into the same bedroom. It's definitely been a transition but overall both kids seem to love sharing a space. Payton has spent a few nights in a different room at her request but then always ends up back into the same room with her brother after a night apart. I'll continue to keep you posted on this transition and how we make it work for us.

Our household is really starting to prepare for baby as we get his room ready and clothes out and washed. We are also contemplating setting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving as we will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year. Once we hit December, we will be nearing the finish line for baby so he could really come any time in December. I think it's all coming too fast and we'll have a new little one before we know it.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Celebrating My Husband's Birthday

With little children, birthdays are big. They are such an exciting event and kids make it so much fun. My husband's birthday this week was no exception. Payton had been planning his special day for weeks and Riley sang to his daddy the birthday song and practiced saying "Happy Birthday" any chance he could. Both kids made cards and picked out toys they wanted to give as gifts to their daddy. Payton has found a passion for planning a good surprise (I think thanks to my birthday surprise party earlier this year) and is constantly thinking of surprises we should do.

My husband's parents were staying with us so they got to join in on the festivities. I like to make the day extra special right from the beginning. This year, the kids helped me make confetti pancake cake for our breakfast. So not healthy but totally worth it!
Both kids loved putting the sprinkles on the cake and picking out the perfect candles. I made a double batch and threw the leftovers in the freezer. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and will use them as a special Thanksgiving breakfast that we know all the kids will love.
Birthday confetti pancakes. You really can't go wrong. Except for the sugar high and the inevitable sugar crash. That was fun.

My husband took the day off so after spending some time with us he headed off to hunt with his father for the afternoon. He requested tuna casserole for supper and so we made that for him when he returned. We normally make a cake homemade for birthdays and the kids decorate it, but this time I let Payton pick out a cake at the grocery store. Our week had been so busy I didn't know if I could guarantee a home made cake. As long as there's cake, everyone is typically pretty happy.
The kids were so excited to help their daddy open his present, a jig saw. We can't wait to see him put it to good use.

To my husband, I hope you know how important you are to our lives. You work so hard for us and have created a beautiful life for us. We love you so, so much.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Secret to Saving Money

If you met my little family of four (soon to be five) out in public, you probably would not think we are that different from any other families.
We love to be outside and therefore spend a lot of our time at the park, community events, and playing in our own backyard. Our two children will fill you in on their most recent adventures or their current favorite topic of the day. My husband loves hunting and fishing. I enjoy reading, baking, and running (although running has taken a back seat since finding out we are pregnant with baby #3).
We aren’t like all the other families though....
We have a bit of a secret in managing our money that goes quite a bit against the grain for many financial bloggers and influences out there. And you know what? We are still doing just fine.
Want to hear our biggest money secret? Read the rest of this post here that I wrote and had posted at Six Figures Under, a financial blogger that I love to follow.
Tell me, what's your secret to saving money?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

32 Weeks Pregnant with Baby #3

Well, I feel like we are starting to round our way to the end of this pregnancy. I'm still not entirely sure I have accepted that baby #3 is coming... or that he could be here very, very soon. Time goes fast.
We got a 4D ultrasound done a few weeks ago and loved seeing our baby. The kids thought he was the cutest thing. Payton packed baby books to read to him during the ultrasound. Riley packed snacks and proceeded to eat the entire appt. My hubby ran late to the appointment due to a flat tire on our vehicle, but was able to be caught up quickly when he arrived. Baby #3 slept almost the entire time.

Here we are now at 32 weeks. I just posted a few weeks ago (read here), so I'm doing better than I thought about keeping everyone updated. This is a good time to get another update going just in case I lose my stride and what you see next is a birth announcement.

How far along: I am 32 weeks, 2 days. This may be the only time ever that I have been exact.

Maternity clothes: All maternity clothes and definitely feeling large. I'm hoping I don't outgrow the clothes I have as it sure seems to be a possibility. 

Sleep: Insomnia seems to have kicked in during the last week and I am in and out of sleep frequently at night. Around the 3/4am time I am normally awake and, after unsuccessfully trying to go back to sleep, I get up for a bit. 

Best moment this month: Pulling out baby clothes and starting to wash them. My kids are so excited and it was good for me to take a bit of a trip down memory lane. Why do babies grow so quickly? It seems like my daughter was just born last month.

Worst moment this month: Moving around is starting to get a bit more challenging. Depending on how baby is laying, I lose my breath easily when talking. I am really starting to struggle with putting shoes on.

Miss anything: I really miss keeping up with my kids. That is getting harder and harder but I know this isn't permanent. 

Movement: Each baby has been so different. I would say this one moves the least out of my 3 babies. I'm hoping this means this will be my most go with the flow child, although Riley is already in the running for that!

Cravings: I don't know that I really crave anything in particular, but am hungry all the time.

Queasy or sick: Feeling good.

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to the relationships my children will have. I can't wait to see how my children bond, whether its for the better or worse. 

Baby #3, we can't wait to welcome you to our family! We just want you to stay in there as long as you possibly can!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Fall/Halloween Activities

Fall is by far one of our favorite seasons around here. My husband and I have always loved fall and all that it brings- cooler weather, football season, warmer clothes, crisp air, soups, and the oven cooking amazing smelling desserts. Payton loves winter the most and Riley is still deciding on his favorite season, but I can tell you that both kids love so much about each season and what it brings.

We live in a small community and we are so fortunate that it offers a ton of kids activities year round. Halloween/fall events are no exception. We couldn't make it to everything this year (bummer to have missed the pumpkin patch) but we also added in our own little events with friends. Here's what we have been up to this month:

Pumpking Decorating

Our local YMCA had a pumpkin decorating event that we went to. The kids had a blast and Payton was dead set on picking out the biggest pumpkin available. I was thankful my husband could attend because carrying her pumpkin would have been a bit challenging for me with my own growing belly.
I think the kids could have spent all day there. Payton keeps asking when we will be going back. I'm afraid she has quite the wait.

More Pumpkin Decorating

A friend gifted us pumpkins and acorn squash from her garden. Normally, I would process them but this year we decided to go a different route. Since Payton and Riley loved decorating pumpkins so much we asked the kids if they wanted to host a decorating party for their friends. Of course, they wanted to.

I was very brave and we had 9 kids in our house decorating pumpkins with all the glue and glitter their hearts desired.
Payton loves to plan for events. She will spend 30 minutes putting together a show, only to have the show itself last for 2 minutes. I knew party planning would be right up her alley. She loved helping me clean and prepare for the party and she insisted on baking treats for everyone.

We made spooky cupcakes and the kids helped every step of the way.

Pizza Night Fridays

It isn't a new thing for us to have pizza night and watch a movie as a family on Fridays but we got out of this routine over the summer craziness. We spent this month getting back into the habit. Both kids loved picking out Halloween themed movies (almost always Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin) to watch while we ate our pizza. This is a huge deal at our house since we don't watch a whole lot of tv and it's a true rarity to watch a movie while eating supper.
I love this picture and didn't realize until I was writing this post that Payton was giving us the naughty finger. 😒 I promise she didn't do that on purpose but does seem to use that finger a ton. We're working on that with her. It's slow progress.

In any case, we love to make homemade pizzas as a family. I make the crust in our bread machine and made the pizza sauce over the summer. From there we mix it up a lot, sometimes with one big pizza and sometimes with a bunch of individual pizzas. We also change regularly what kind of pizza we make.

Now that the kids are getting a bit older, I am hoping to slowly change our routine a bit to include family game night. Both kids are really getting into board games (like candyland, operation, gone fishing, and hungry hippos) and I think they would really enjoy this addition to one of our favorite nights.

Trunk or Treat

Picking costumes this year has been a bit of a challenge with a 4 year old that constantly changes her mind. She started off wanting to be a doctor and then switched to a fairy. She changed her mind again and wanted to be a butterfly. When we showed Riley his pirate costume (he's so go with the flow we knew we could pick whatever), she insisted she had to be a pirate as well. So, our two pirates came to be.

We try to keep our costs as inexpensive as possible so having an indecisive 4 year old was a bit challenging this year. When she ended with pirate, I actually took my pirate costume from a few years ago and just clipped it/adjusted it to fit her. It worked out really well and I am thankful most costumes are made to be fairly easy to adjust.

Our downtown businesses sponsor a trunk or treat each year and it is truly magical. There are hay rack rides, cookies, apple cider, coloring activities, trick or treating events, bounce houses, and children's games. Our family looks forward to it each year and, as our kids get older, it just gets better and better.

Snow

The day of Halloween, we got our first snow of the season. The kids really wanted to build a snowman but had to settle for catching snowflakes.


There is really something so magical about watching life through your children's eyes.

Trick or Treat

We wrapped up October with a fun night of trick or treating.
The kids really wanted Daddy to dress up with them and were so impressed when he did. Despite Payton not wanting to cooperate during pictures, I assure you she was having so much fun.  It was so cold out so we didn't go out for long but that's the beauty of having young children. They don't know the difference.

It was a busy but great month for us and we can't wait for the holiday season!

Happy Halloween! We hope you all had an amazing month and Halloween as well!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Digging Into Our Finances

It isn't too often that I talk about our finances on this little blog, but you can find the occasional post. When I initially started this blog I had planned to have a bigger focus on money management as it is a personal interest of mine. Once I got going though, I just haven't really found the time to type as much about money as I would like. Maybe someday that will change but for now, the main focus will probably continue to be on my kids and our life together.

Want to know more about our household's financial situation? I did an interview with mod Dollar this week and you will find it here. I talk more about our financial goals (both short term and long term), our rental business (including owning two properties without any loans), and what I hope my children will learn from us about money.

Have a great week!
Here's a random picture of some of the great views we have been enjoying at our house!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The warm weather, colds, and rearranging bedrooms

After wanting to slow down our life for awhile, we finally found our desire met. We embraced the slower pace of life with open arms. After a wild start to our month having a little down time makes me feel like we are, I don't know, somewhat boring. I didn't think I had much to even put on a post. Though this may be true, I have to tell you, I love having a quiet slower-paced lifestyle. I'm less stressed, more focused on what I'm doing, and a more purposeful parent. 

Never the less, I was able to find a few pictures to share with you what we have been up to in the last week. 
In our area, many of the local farmers are harvesting or wrapping up harvesting their crops. We are fortunate to have a field next to us and across our road. My kids LOVE watching this process. They will sit and watch the farmers all day. I am amazed at how much they are already learning about farm life and where our food comes from.
Payton begged me to take this picture of her. She's so silly.
We knew the cold weather would be coming soon so we spent one of the last warm days wrapping up outside projects. My husband made a bird feeder for the kids to paint and there it sat on our counter for about a month. I decided to procrastinate until the absolute last warm day. Sometimes, that's just how I roll. 

In any case, I hauled the feeder out and let the kids paint as they wanted. They had so much fun. While they painted, my husband sealed our new campfire sitting area. We are so excited about this area and have already made s'mores a few times. Eventually (probably in the spring) we plan to make some outdoor benches or chairs for what we have already named "our secret spot."
We also took a quick trip to our apple tree and picked apples for the last time this year. We spent a few days harvesting what we picked and now have a freezer stocked full of apples from our 3 trees to get us through until next summer (or they may only get us through January). Riley found joy in picking 1 apple each time and spending the remainder of the time eating that said apple. He was a lot of help!
As I mentioned in this interview, we are preparing for baby #3 by rearranging our room situation at our house. This meant moving our two little ones into one room while we took over the room Payton was in. The 3rd bedroom on the main floor will be used as a toy room for the time being but will become the baby's room. 

We are only on our 3rd night. The first night went really well. Too well. Both kids were out within minutes. I had taken my family to my hometown for a few days to see extended family and celebrate one of my friend's 30th birthdays. While we were gone my husband moved the kids into their room together so it would be ready when we returned. They were so tired and excited about the transition to sharing a room that they both fell right to sleep that first night. The next two nights were not so easy. I'm hoping we survive this transition...
With moving and rearranging 3 rooms, I pulled all the pictures down to redistribute them. It is so crazy to see the pictures of my babies. What a bittersweet time for me as we will be adding 1 more before I know it and time seems to go faster and faster. Babies don't keep but thank goodness photos continue to linger.
When the weather got colder we turned to one of our favorite things of all, coloring and art projects. The kids have been working hard on making cards and letters for family members, creating fun art projects, and coloring in their coloring books.
The other day, I caught this beautiful picture and had to share. Riley loves his daddy so, so much.
And, unfortunately we kicked off the weekend with 2 sick kiddos. The common cold didn't want to miss our house this year. Despite feeling cruddy, both kids were fairly happy and Payton really perked up with some homemade, warm apple juice. 
Both kids are worn out but definitely seem on the mend. We will continue with a quiet week this week and will hopefully get plenty of rest.

We hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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