The Beauty in the Trouble

Compared to my first, this pregnancy has been no picnic in the park.  In the beginning, I felt guilty for not being as excited about this pregnancy as I was with the first.  Then there was a worry about baby girl’s brain ventricle being too large, and more recently such bad contractions and cramping that I almost went to the hospital.

I realized the other day, however, how long October seemed away, and how impatient I was for it to get here.  The time has slowed and I find myself counting the days until sweet Baby Girl Baker makes her arrival.  I’m excited and expectant and eager…all things that I wasn’t in the beginning of this pregnancy.

You see, all the trouble and worry has made Baby Girl’s life all the more dear and precious to me.  I’ve come to realize just how much I love and cherish her…and that I’d do anything to see her safely in my arms.  The contractions, the excessive water, the aches, and the insomnia are insignificant to me in comparison to knowing that, Lord willing, in a few short months I’ll be able to kiss her tiny little toes.

I don’t mean to say that God gives us troubles and heartaches, but I do believe He has allowed these things to happen because He knew they were exactly what I needed.  He knew that I needed those worries to prepare my heart to receive my daughter. 

Sometimes hardships are exactly what we need to make us stronger.  Sometimes there is beauty in our troubles.      

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The Life Of Faith
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Simplify Your Child’s Closet

 

Storing and organizing children’s clothes can be overwhelming…especially when you factor in how many clothes they go through in a day, and how quickly they move through sizes.  Paring your child’s wardrobe down to the bare essentials is an easy way to make things a lot more manageable.  Here are 5 tips that have helped me simplify my children’s closets.

1.) Figure out how much you need of each size and for each season.  This will depend on how often you wash clothes, how often you have to change their clothes, and how hard the child wears them.  I try to wash clothes twice a week, and my toddler son doesn’t need a change of clothes during the day that often.  You just never know, though.  For him, I try to have 6-7 casual tops and 6-7 bottoms.

2.) Decide if you really need all those extras.  I have never bought my son dress shoes.  He hasn’t needed them, and I feel like they would just be a waste of money and space.  When we go to a nicer function, Converse sneakers or sandals seem to work just fine.  But…if your kid wears a suit (or fancy dress) to church every Sunday, you’ll want to invest in some nice dress shoes, obviously.  I also buy limited amounts of nicer clothes.  For my son, a few pairs of nice long-sleeve button ups work just fine, paired with jeans or khaki shorts.  I don’t typically buy short-sleeve button ups, and instead just roll up his long-sleeves in the summer.  Other maybes would be snow gear (do you even get that much snow?), jammies (will old outfits do?), and bathing suits (how often do you take your baby swimming where they’d have to wear one?).

3.) Keep your favorites and donate anything extra.  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  It can be really hard to get rid of something that your child has worn, especially if you can’t even remember them being that tiny.  Really, though, keeping more than you need is a waste of space.  When I went through my son’s old clothes recently, I realized that I had 30 short sleeve onesies in the 0-3 month size.  There’s no way I’d ever need that many, even if I had another boy someday.  I went through and got rid of a lot of them, even though it was hard for me.  If you’ll miss something that much, take a picture of it to reminisce by.

4.) Organize the remaining clothes by size, then season.  I have bins and old diaper boxes full of baby boy clothes that I’ve kept in case I ever need them again.  I’ve started to do the sa
me with bigger toddler sizes, as well as the new baby girl clothes coming in.  I try to keep the right sizes and seasons together, both for sizes we’ve outgrown and sizes coming up.  It’s so much easier to see what you have, and figure out what you need, if it’s organized well!

5.) Keep track of what you have.  I’ve started using Evernote to organize my children’s clothing.  I keep a file for each size and type (long-sleeve shirts, for instance), and then take a picture of each item I have.  This gives me a visual guide both for seeing what I have, and figuring out what I need.  If I’m out and about and see a pair of pants in my son’s size, I pull out my phone and can quickly see if he needs any more pants like that, and if they’ll match the shirts he has.  This keeps me focused and keeps me from buying things that he’ll never wear or that won’t work with the rest of his clothes.  This seems to be even more important as I purchase baby girl clothes, as there’s a lot bigger selection of colors, patterns, and styles. 

The Life Of Faith

27 Week Pregnancy Update

Baby Girl Baker has been doing well.  She continues to kick (and punch and flip) up a storm.  Miles has caught on to this, and one of his favorite things now is to push on my belly and tell his “seester” to move.  He really is in love with her.  He’s constantly wanting to “snuggle” with the baby, “feed” the baby a cracker”, and talk to her.  The other day he told me she said she was hungry for a cracker.  All bets are off when the baby actually arrives and he realizes just what a baby really entails, but for now he’s into it.

I, on the other hand, have been having an interesting ride.  This pregnancy is so very different from my first.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m having a girl instead of a boy, or just that every pregnancy is unique, but it baffles me sometimes.  I’ve had quite a lot of Braxton Hicks since very early in this pregnancy.  Never one to slow down, I’ve had to be more cautious and aware, as they seem to come on when I’ve overdone it.

The weekend before last we were very close to going up to the hospital.  I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks (sometimes more than 6 in an hour), plus some very strange cramping.  Thankfully, after gallons of water, tons of epsom salt baths, tylenol, and pretty much laying down all weekend, they subsided.
Last Tuesday I had a normal checkup scheduled anyways, and they decided to make sure I wasn’t showing any signs of labor.  Much to my relief, I wasn’t.  The doctor just chalked it up to every pregnancy being different and said this one might just be harder. 

So, since then I’ve just been extra careful about not overdoing it.  I’ve also upped my protein intake, and am carrying a quart-size mason jar around with me to make sure I’m getting at least a gallon a day of water.  So far, it seems to be helping. 

I’ll leave you with a picture I took last Thursday at 26 weeks.  I am SO big compared to last time.  It’s pretty much all belly…just a really big belly.

Here’s a comparison from 27 (almost 28 weeks) with Miles and 26 weeks with Baby Girl Baker:

Linking up with Mommy Moments at The Life of Faith:

Baby Girl Fashion

I have never been terribly picky with Miles’ clothes.  Many of his clothes were hand-me-downs or consignment finds, with some adorable brand new things thrown in for good measure.  But…I really have always loved finding cute outfits for him.  I may or may have not spent more than I should have on some suspenders and a new white dress shirt for this past Easter, just because I couldn’t help myself.  🙂  I’ve carefully and saved all of his clothes that didn’t get ruined or stained and then learned that we were having a girl.  Surprise, surprise!

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this whole “having a girl” thing, but lately I’ve been looking around at baby girls (and picking up a few things).  I’m getting more and more excited.  hah!  I’m really trying to simplify things and keep clothing to a minimum.  I counted recently and Miles literally had 30 0-3 month onesies…what a waste!  It’s definitely not easy, though.

I’ve never been into the big bows and giant ruffles and gobs of pinks for little girls.  No offense if you are, but it’s just not my style!  When we were little my sister loved lace and tea parties.  I, on the other hand, was busy pretending I’d tamed a wild stallion.  So, yeah…no surprise that that reflects how I’ll dress my baby girl.

Anyway, here are some things I’ve picked up or found that I love:

As you can see, Baby Girl Baker is already getting lots of cute outfits from her Aunts and Grandmas…

Don’t tell my husband I told you, but he actually saw these cute onesies and insisted we get them.  We really didn’t need any more onesies, but they when your big tough husband picks out clothes for his baby girl, you can’t really say no.  Plus…how cute are they???

I picked up these sleepers on clearance because I love yellow and grey…and the elephants?

Miles insisted on being the model for these little booties (he says they are for “seestah” I found on clearance.  Miles’ first winter he pretty much never wore shoes, but these looked warm and the elastic actually might keep them on her feet.

These bows were also clearance finds.  Like I said, I’m not into giant bows, but these dainty little things were just my style (not sure why the pic is sideways).

I don’t have any like these yet, but I love these cute retro-style headbands as well.


You can’t see these very well because my model got a little antsy, but I did go through Miles’ clothes and pick out the things I thought would work for baby girl as well.  Like, these striped onesies.  With leggings or tights these would be definitely girly enough.

I found this post and, for the most part, I loved all these ideas and outfits.  The one exception being that I probably won’t be putting a belt on my baby girl…too impractical for playing!


Here are a few more things I pinned on Pinterest.  Pretty much things that are girly and sweet without being too over-the-top.  Adorable, no?

All of this inspiration is really getting me excited for my sweet baby girl to get here. 25 weeks today! PS: You can also follow me on Pinterest to see more baby girl clothes and ideas.

Second Baby Forethought

When Miles was born, I thought I was prepared.  I had all his clothes washed and folded, a few meals in the freezer, and the gear I thought I needed all ready to go.

Those first few months, I was anything but well-prepared.  We ate fast food WAY too much, the dishes piled higher and higher in the sink, the house looked like a pig sty, the laundry never got done, and I pretty much lived in a sleep-deprived, caffeine-addicted haze.

This time around, I’m hoping that knowing what to expect will help enormously.  I know not to stress about getting things done, to not worry about being the perfect stay-at-home mom and housekeeper, and to not expect my baby to “follow the book”.  However, there are a few things I’m working on getting prepared that I’m hoping will make the addition of another baby a tad bit less chaotic.  Hey, you live and learn, right?  Here’s my list of preparations for this baby:

Freezer Meals.  Lots and LOTS of them.  Especially the kind that you dump right in the crockpot and don’t need to make a side dish for.

Stockpile of Paper Plates, Napkins, Utensils, and Cups.  I really hate using disposable things.  They make me feel so uncaring of the earth…so lazy.  Yet, I know from experience that trying to keep up with all the dishes is just not worth it.  Period.  End of story.  We can get out my nice plates again sometime in the future.

Stockpile of easy, premade things that my husband can pick up.  Again, I really try to avoid processed, prepackaged foods as much as possible.  Yet, somehow I think that the store bought granola bars are going to still be better than the candy bar from the gas station.  Prewashed fruit, bagged lettuce, frozen rolls, instant oatmeal…these all suddenly make the cut.

-Snacks.  Specifically for Mama, but also for toddler boy.  When Miles was a newborn, eating enough was SO hard because I just didn’t have quick things on hand that I could just grab without prepping.  This time I’m making a list of snacks to buy/make, such as hummus, carrots, granola, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, etc.

Simplified cleaning.  I’m making a list of the minimum basics that need to get done, and letting the rest slide.  In addition to cutting myself some slack, I’m stocking up on things that make cleaning a little faster…magic erasers, swiffer wet pads, etc.  Basically, things I usually turn my nose up at that would actually make life easier. 😉

Books, movies, and NETFLIX!  Confession: we didn’t get real, honest-to-goodness internet until a few weeks ago.  And we’ve been married four years.  This time around, I’m hoping the addition of Amazon Prime and Netflix will make those first few weeks of near-constant nursing a little more bearable.

Cash Stash.  Let’s face it…despite my careful planning, we’ll still need to pick up a quick meal every once in awhile.  I’m hoping to have a little cash set aside for this, so I don’t get too stressed about our increased eating out “eating” into my budget.  Pun intended.

Bills Paid and/or Ready to Pay.  I do most of the bill paying, checkbook balancing, and budget figuring in our house.  After Miles was born, I got pretty far behind.  I just was not organized and bills would sneak up on me.  I’m sure we’ll still have a few late payments, but I’m hoping to have everything either paid or all ready to pay (aka, check written, envelope sealed and stamped). 

Moving the rocking chair into our room.  Why did I make myself walk halfway across the house to nurse Miles in the middle of the night?!  No wonder he ended up in our bed so quickly!  This time, the glider, diapers, and wipes will be in our room. 

House Folder.  This will include food lists, budget info, etc, as well as any pertinent numbers and info.  You know, the pediatrician’s number, the phone number for pizza delivery (okay, I wish…nobody here delivers!), etc. 

Lists.  I pretty much have a list going for every one of the things listed above.  Lists I can just hand to Andy to take to the store.  Lists I can pull out and look at (or pull up on my phone…love Evernote).  Lists just make my life better.

It’s a…

About a week late, but wanted to share with you that we had our anatomy scan and it’s a…

Or, if you don’t want to watch the whole video, just look at the candy color:

Yep, that’s right…its’ a sweet baby girl!!!  We’re excited, but still a little in shock.  We’re in such “boy mode” right now.
Here’s our sweet baby girl:
And her apparently enormous feet.  Not sure why, but I think she might be tall (if you know us in person, you’ll know why 😉 ):

Life: An Update

Today I realized that I’m 19 weeks pregnant, and the only thing I’ve posted on here about it is our pregnancy announcement and one other post.  It’s not that I don’t have things to talk about…life just keeps seeming to get in the way.

I’m a SAHM to one busy toddler, so how busy could I really be?  The problem is that “Stay at Home Mom” is only a job description…not an accurate picture of my daily life.

A year and a half ago, my husband and his father had the opportunity to buy the business that they had been running for a number of years.  That in and of itself was crazy.  Six months ago we had the opportunity to buy the counterpart retail store on the square of our little town as well.  Somehow, remodeling and revamping a 10,000 square foot retail space wasn’t enough…we decided to open a coffee shop AND a brick oven pizza place in part of the building as well.  Add to that the fact that my husband was taking 13 college credit hours this past semester, and you start to realize that he was really rarely ever home.  We hardly got to see him unless it was at the store, and we frequented it as often as we could.

Life was crazy, to say the least.  I felt like a single parent many days.  I even traveled on a plane alone all the way out to sunny California with my wiggling, active “lap child” toddler son because my husband was far too busy to go.  I missed having family time.  I missed getting to eat dinner together every night.  I missed my husband.

Yet, somehow we made it out and things have slowed down considerably.  Only now, I’m the one working.  My husband was needing help with some office work at the plant, and I’ve been working a few hours a day to help them catch up.  The rest of the day is pretty much a wash from my son being so thrown off his schedule.  Its rough, to say the least.

And did I mention that I’m really, REALLY trying to stay on top of my garden this year?  Yeah, life is full and crazy.  Yet, somehow amidst all this craziness little Baby Baker makes his or her presence known with near constant kicks and jabs.  I’m thankful for those little kicks.  They make me slow down and really sit and think.

So there you have it…a little snippet of my life right now.  Hopefully it won’t be too long before you hear from me again.  I’m not making any promises, though. 🙂