Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Searching For Time

Time.....
  • To hold Lula Mae close and listen to her sweet voice as she talks...
  • To lay down on the couch and feel all of Jayce's kicks and wiggles and tell him how much he is loved already...
  • To pray for others more...
  • To listen to God as He talks to me...
  • To sit and stare into my husbands eyes, listen to his loving words, and feel his hand in mine before his deployment comes...
  • To learn how to be a better Mother and teacher to my children...
  • To spend with family that live near and far...
  • To connect with friends near and far...
  • To help people who are in need...
  • To give more thanks for all that He has done for me...
These are the things I am asking God to help me find time to do. I have been feeling overwhelmed lately for some reason. I tend to get ahead of myself and then get frazzled and anxious. Sometimes I just need God to put me back on His path and keep me going. He keeps me focused!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Monday, January 25, 2010

Words To Live By


The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's Been On My Mind

I have been questioning my birth plan ever since I found out I was pregnant with Jayce. Natural or epidural? Can I go natural, am I strong enough for that? I have to mention that Lula Mae's birth was, by God's grace, amazing for me! Here is a re-cap of my labor and delivery with her:
  • My water broke at 2:09 am on May 13, 2008
  • Charlie and I headed to the hospital around 2:45am (It didn't even cross our minds that we could stay home and see how things went... we were caught off guard by my water breaking a month early and were both half asleep so the first thing we could think to do was go to the hospital.)
  • The nurse checked me for the first time around 3:30am and I was 2.5 cm dilated
  • My doctor, Dr. Erickson was on call (thank goodness!) and suggested that I start Pitocin at 4:30... I told him to give me an hour and check me again. I wanted to see if I would progress on my own before I took any type of medication to "induce" labor (why induce when you are already in labor???) I have a great doctor who said it was fine. He explained that he only wanted to start the Pitocin because my water had broken and the longer you go the more of a risk there is on an infection, which is understandable.
  • At 5:30 am I was ready for my epidural... the contractions were too much for me at that point. I had done no type of childbirth classes to learn how to handle the pain. So the epidural was my best option.
  • 6:00 am I got my epidural. I was very comfortable and got to enjoy the rest of my labor. The nurse checked me right after my epidural was in place and I was almost 6 cm dilated. Everything seemed to be going very fast to be my first birth!
  • 7:00 am Dr. Erickson check me and I was 9 cm! Charlie had gone back home to get some paperwork for his paternity leave so I had to call him and tell him to get back quick!
  • 8:00 am I started to push.... I pushed so hard that after each set of pushes I had to rest through the next contraction because of the EXTREME nausea.
  • At 8:45 the told me to stop pushing while we waited for Dr. Erickson to come back. He was there in about 10 minuets... longest 10 minuets of my life though!
  • 9:11 am Lula Mae was born!
I suffered a 4th degree tear which took a little while to stitch up. Even with the epidural it was quite painful and I felt a majority of my stitches. It could be because they turned my epidural off about an hour before I started pushing so I kinda feel like the birth part was pretty natural. Although the birth didn't hurt. It was just tons of pressure and burning, but not pain. Now the stitches, that was pain. But all in all my labor and delivery was everything I had wanted it to be! If was fun, fast and joyful! From start to finish it was 7 hours. Dr. Erickson said that was very unusual for a first delivery. I felt very blessed that everything went so great!

So as you can see, I had an epidural with my first birth. This time around I have read a book on the Bradley Method. After reading the book I am still wondering if I will be able to go through it naturally or not. I just don't feel very confident in myself I guess. I have been praying very hard about this and I hope that by the time Jayce is ready to come I will feel at peace. I know that even if I do get the epidural I am no less of a women. Dr. Erickson and I have discussed that our goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom. We both have a good understanding of that. I know that if for some reason I have to have a C-section that it is God's will and I trust Him. I also trust Dr. Erickson to make that decision for Jayce and I. I know that he does not want me to have a C-section unless absolutely necessary. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful doctor! Please pray for me to make the right decision when the time comes! I appreciate any prayers you can offer! It won't be long before Jayce will be ready to come and I will see if natural chldbirth is something I can do or not.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Encouraged


I have been reading the Bible during Lula Mae's nap everyday since January 1st. I have to say that it is hard work. I am using a system called The Daily Bible Reading Plan that I got off of Sarah's blog, Clay In His Hands. This system has helped me stick to reading the Bible and I am so happy and thankful for that! I have tried probably 10 times to "read" the Bible, starting at the beginning and trucking through... but I have failed each time. I know that once Jayce gets here it may be harder to get my time alone to read, but I am committed to doing this! For one thing, to be a good Mommy you have to make time for yourself. "If I can't take care of me, how can I take care of my children and husband?", this is what I have to tell myself every day when I think I am too busy for me time. That is one of my resolutions this year, and I know I can do it! I love that part of my me time is my Bible time. It is helping me keep focused and keeping me on track with EVERYTHING in my life. God is doing amazing things for me and I feel blessed every day! When Lula Mae gets up from her nap I tell her about what I read. Before I know it she will be "school aged" and we will be working on her very own Bible study as part of her homeschooling curriculum. I am grateful that God is helping me get through the Bible now so that when I am teaching Lula Mae I will understand what I am teaching. I feel so encouraged!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Were I Have Been...

Charlie, Lula Mae and I just got home from a quick vacation to the mountains. Our neighbors graciously offered for us to use their time share to take one last vacation as a family of 3. We had a very relaxing time and really enjoyed our last vacation together. The weather was amazing and the crowds were not bad at all! All three of us really love vacation, no matter where we go! This one was very affordable since we used the time share and that is so helpful when you are trying to stick to a budget. I love vacation for lots of reasons, but mostly because I get to leave some of my "work" behind! No laundry, dusting or mopping! Ahhh! Wonderful! Although since I am not busy doing laundry and cleaning on vacation I have tons of time to think. I can't believe that our baby will soon be a big sister. This vacation made me focus on how soon Jayce will be here. We were so lucky to get to go away with Lula Mae one more time before Jayce arrives. We gave her tons of attention and love and tried to make it very special for her. She has no idea what is about to happen to our family, but I hope we are preparing her as much as we can for her little brothers arrival. I can't imagine what it will be like to take our first vacation as a family of 4! That is quite a ways off though, that's for sure!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Love A Good Deal!

Today we went shopping for new shoes for Lula Mae. I have looked several times at The Salvation Army for second hand shoes and am just not satisfied with what I have seen. I have never been able to find any gently used shoes in thrift stores here in Greenwood. I am sure that perhaps in bigger cities with nicer thrift stores it is possible to find nice shoes, but I have just found it impossible here in Greenwood. Charlie and I took Lula Mae to Rack Room this afternoon in hopes of finding something to fit her very wide foot. Well, we were quite successful! Lula Mae is the proud new owner of a pair of pink New Balances! And boy were they a HUGE bargain! The original price of the shoes was $34.99 (I can't believe people really pay that much for a one year old's shoes!). Then they were marked down to $30.00 (Wow, $4.99 off.... no better really.). Then they were marked down to $15.00. We tried them on her and let her walk around the store. They are a size too big, but that is how I prefer to buy shoes for her so that they last longer. They may look a little clunky but she walks just fine in them. We took the shoes to the register only to notice a sign that said "Military Discount 10% Off". YAY! We purchased Lula Mae's new shoes for $14.00 and some change! She was so excited that she wore them out of the store! I love to look at a receipt that shows that you saved more than you spent! I felt like $14.00 was still a little high for shoes, but all the "cheaper" shoes were $20.00. So I guess $14.00 for New Balances is a pretty great deal! Plus, New Balances is one of the only brands that we are able to find wide shoes in. Our poor child just can't squeeze into regular shoes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Baby Boy!


Jayce Moreland Bell

Today is my 23rd birthday and it is time to share the news! We will be naming our little boy Jayce Moreland Bell and for a very special reason. We both love the name Jayce, but we also love the meaning, which is, "God is my salvation". Moreland was my maternal Grandfathers middle name and that makes it very special to me. It is actaully my cousin Eric's (Lula Mae's Uncle Eric) middle name as well. I miss my Granddaddy very much and am very excited to use his name for my son. I know that he is watching over me and my family and I hope this will make him smile. Once you pick a name for your baby everything becomes much more real. I can not believe that we are going to have another baby and that the due date is fast approaching! There are days when I wonder "Why has God chosen us again? Why are we so blessed?". Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for all that He has given me! Charlie and I were so blessed and grateful to be given one baby after our miscarrage in July of 2007, and now two! There are no words to describe how grateful we are to God for the chance to be parents. I pray that we can raise Jayce to be a servant to God and have servants heart. We try very hard to teach Lula Mae to love God and do everything for His Glory and we want to do the same for Jayce. I can't wait to see his little face and see Charlie hold him for the first time! I can't wait to see Lula Maes face when she sees her little brother! I am sure time is going to really fly once Jayce gets here (as if it isn't going fast enough already!) and I am going to cherish every little moment with him that I can!

Monday, January 11, 2010

ABC's With Lula Mae

About a month ago Lula Mae "graduated" her ABC learning! She can now, at 19 months old, recognize all 26 letters in any order! She is amazing! At 12 months she could recognize 19 letters so we have been working really hard to get those missing ones into her little brain :-) I don't want people to read this and think that we aren't "letting her just be a kid" and that we are "forcing her" to learn. She LOVES learning! Reading words, letter, numbers and colors is playing to her. When she sees me get out her note cards she dances around and gets excited and can't wait to play with me! I adore her zest for learning and I hope it continues! I also hope that teaching her to read now is really going to help out when we start pre-k with her here at home. The sound on this video isn't that great due to the fact that we have a poor quality camera. Hope you can hear it! Soon Charlie and I will be getting our new video camera so poor video quality will be a thing of the past! YAY! The video camera is one of the first "saved up for" purchase! I'm pretty proud of us for that! Opps I am way off track here! Enjoy the video!

video

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review


For Christmas Charlie got me a book that I had been wanting to read since it came out! The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. It was a great book and I would recommend it to EVERYONE! It tells the story of their life, starting from Michelle and Jim Bob's childhood. It was amazing to read what this couple and family have gone through to get where they are today! It is also amazing and uplifting to see what God has done for them in all aspects of thier life! There are tons of resourses for homeschooling, organizing and finances (the Duggars live DEBT FREE and have for YEARS! Way before the thought of a TV show on TLC!) that are really great. It is filled with recipies too! I have to say that it was very insperational to me. This is a book that I will probably read over and over again!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Helping Me Focus

This face keeps me going! This sweet, innocent face makes anything that happens during the day not such a big deal. Anytime I feel overwhelmed or anxious I step back and look at my daughter. I quietly thank God for this joy He has brought to my life and ask him to help me keep her my focus. Too many nights I have gone to bed wondering if I spent enough time enjoying my little one. Every morning I ask God to help me not to worry about the laundry, dishwasher full of dishes waiting to be put away, the vacuuming or the dusting. I love to have a clean house and I take great pride in it, but my baby will only be a baby for a blink of an eye and I don't want to miss anything. Why be a stay-at-home Mom if you aren't going to make the BEST of each and every day with your child? Lula Mae won't be my baby for too much longer. In just a few short months she will be a big sister and I am having trouble emotionally with that. I have tons of questions running through my head each and every day and all I can do is give them to God! Will she hate me for having another baby? Will she hate the baby? Will she stop being this joyful ball of energy once the baby comes? Can I love another baby the way that I love Lula Mae? How can I give each one of them individual attention? Are we ready to have 2 kids financially? Are we ready to have 2 kids emotionally? I know that these are all things that I don't need to worry about, but it is very hard not to some days. All I have to do is look at Lula Mae's face and I know that God is going to take care of it all! Lula Mae has really made me a better person and she helps me grow everyday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Burp Clothes

When Lula Mae was born a co-worker of mine gave us 6 beautiful burp clothes. Some with her name on them, some with her monogram and some with different things embroidered on them. They were so personal and gorgeous! Since I don't work at the YMCA anymore I decided I would try to make some cute burp clothes for this baby myself. I am not totally happy with the results, but I am my own worst critic. These don't look HALF as cute as Lula Mae's did, but this was my first try at this.


These three are done. I sewed ribbon border on 3 more and want to have them monogrammed. Unfortunately I don't have a machine that can do fancy things like that! I hope to save up for one in a few years though! I will post pictures of the others when I get them back.

Wondering what the "J" stands for? Well, I am going to make you wait just a few more days to find out! I will do a birthday post on January 12th that will tell what our little boy is going to be named and why! Stay tuned!

Yummy!

Yesterday I made Charlie and I a treat, Peanut Butter Balls courtesy of Sarah from Clay In His Hands. They were so easy and inexpensive to make! "Easy" and "inexpensive" mean they will be a favorite around here! Well, me being pregnant and a huge lover of chocolate I took all the healthiness out of these yummy treats (Sorry Sarah!). Yes, I covered the tops in chocolate! It is like eating a Reese Cup! So yummy and still a little bit healthy... right? Thanks Sarah for the recipe! I hope you will give them a try sometime! Enjoy!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baby On A Budget

Today Heather and I went out to do some thrift store shopping for the new baby. Baby stuff is not cheap when you buy new things from retail stores, that's for sure! What's wrong with buying used? Will the baby enjoy a swing more if it is new? Will he or she cry less if the mobile in the crib is new? Nope! I agree with the Duggar's philosophy of "buy used, save the difference", especially on baby stuff! Now, when I shop at thrift stores I am a little bit critical. I don't want to buy something that doesn't work, looks stained or is torn. Buying used does not have to mean buying junk. Heather and I found a great consignment store in Simpsonville today that had great quality baby items with great prices! This store had a huge variety of things! Everything you could possibly need for baby! I have to say that this will not be my last trip to this store! When we get our crib I will be going back to this store for the mattress. They had mattresses ranging from $20.00 to $80.00. A price to fit any budget! Look at what I got today!


Kiddopotamus Swaddling Blanket (New, never washed)
Retail Price: $10.99 at Babies-R-Us
Thrift Store Price: $5.99



Lamaze Car Seat Toy (Used I'm sure but seems new)
Retail Price: $14.99 at Babies-R-Us
Thrift Store Price: $4.99



Ocean Wonders Crib Soother (Older model but in great condition)
Retail Price: $47.49 at Babies-R-Us
Thrift Store Price: $10.99



Fisher Price Rainforest Mobile (Used in great condition)
Retail Price: $49.99 at Babies-R-Us
Thrift Store Price: $24.99

Today I spent $46.96 (before tax) on these items! At Babies-R-Us I would have spent $123.46 (before tax) which gives me a savings of... drum roll please.... $76.50! So I saved more than I spent! I was thrilled leaving that store today! If you are interested, this is the store that we went to today to do our shopping:

All About Kids Consignment & Resale
604 NE Main Street
Simpsonville, SC 29681

Owner: Brenda Hinsley


I am challenging myself to "Thrift Before Buying" with this baby (and any babies after this one too!). Anytime I think of something we may need I am going to check thrift stores first before just going to Wal-Mart and buying it off the shelf. I know it is going to save us tons of money and will be a great running project for me!