Tuesday, September 30, 2014

to do before baby

 As of today I am officially 6 weeks away from my due date!
but with my past pregnancies I went 2 weeks early!!
AND I have lots of reasons to believe this one will be early too.
so figured I better make my list of things to get done before she decides to make her arrival.
it's a little overwhelming thinking our family is about to change again forever.
you would think baby number 4 would be like riding the same bike you learned to ride a long time ago but even though the big decisions like bottle/breast, co-sleep/crib, go back to work/stay at home, pediatricians, what kind of car seat to buy have all been decided on back with our first, I still can't help but feel like our world is about to be turned upside down.  we are going on a new path and we have no idea how bumpy the road might get.
in a good way!
of course
I have been so blessed this pregnancy to not have any big stresses like 2 years ago.
My husband and I actually feel like we are in a perfect place in life right now to bring this little one into the world and we are enjoying every step on this journey.
I definitely recommend a stress-free, worry free, easier pregnancy.

When making a list of what to do before a new baby comes keep in mind all the little things you will not have time for, may things you always wanted to get done, stocking up on little things you don't want to have to leave the house for in those first few days and add a few fun things to help pass the time.

here are a few of my items:

-freezer meals: I hate cooking most days and my husband is notorious for ordering pizza on his once every 2 weeks day to cook. with out a doubt you will be too tiered and too occupied with new baby and older siblings to actually plan a meal let alone cook! I found this pin on pinterest and tested a few of the recipes out over the summer. it was one full night of cooking and it lasted a long time! my family LOVED the taco soup recipe and have begged me to bring it back.

-Baby blanket: I hand made a blanket for each of my girls and this time a round I thought why put the extra work on myself and just buy one. we have plenty of blankets but I did want one new one just for this baby too. after hours of searching for one that would go with her nursery theme I came out with NOTHING! I even recruited a few facebook friends to help and just couldn't find the exact one I wanted. so with possibly 4 weeks left I am stitching and cutting away at fabric to make a one of a kind baby blanket.

-Stock up on diapers and wipes: I had every intention of potty training Stella over the summer but she just wasn't ready. so I waited till after school started but she's still not ready. my goal was to not have 2 in diapers in order to save a little money on the grocery bill. I haven't given up hope and we have had a few successful days, anyone that meets her will tell you she is a stubborn little spit fire and she wants to do it when she wants. in the mean time I have bought a few extra packages to hopefully last us the first month. This baby girl is set on everything she could possibly need except diapers and wipes so hint hint if anyone is looking to get us a present :P no pressure :D

-vacuum car: This also has been on my list for months!! We haven't even had my van for a year yet and it is a disaster! so many snacks and missing socks. I figured since I am already checking things off my list might as well finally buckle down and get this one done too.

-Video last days/birth: my biggest regret of my wedding is not having someone video tape it.  I started watching this youtube channel recently and LOVE the mommies! their birth videos are my favorite. I wanted to document our last days as a family of 5 and welcoming the new one so I will always have this moment in time to look back on. like in the 'what's up mom' videos I will not be getting a up close shot of my lady parts but just our reactions and that first cry. 

-organize closets and clean flower bed:
more things I needed to get done and so glad it's over with!

-maternity pictures:
When ever I meet someone for the first time that has been a follower of my blog of photography the first images they want to talk about are my maternity pictures. I was slacking a lot at the beginning of this pregnancy and finally had ideas start coming to me. so I had a fun little shoot with a friend. they turned out so cute! this weekend my sister is helping me with a HUGE project and I am supposed to have a mommy/daddy shoot soon too! this is my last pregnancy I need to make sure I get every idea done with!

-pack hospital bags:
I still need to do this just not sure when the right time will be. maybe next week. or the week after. heck I might just take my aunt's advice and forget to pack anything and tell hubby to buy me some new clothes instead :) 

did you have any weird things on you to do list before baby came? did you even make a list? it might be a little silly but it makes me feel better to cross something off knowing we are that much closer to being ready.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


back to catching up on photography post!
another shoot from back in March!!
I love this family so much!

 so full of love and faith
this has been a hard year for them but they continue to be a great support and loving friends for me and my family.
I couldn't ask for a better best friend than Ashley.
she is such a great mom and wife and soon to be God mother to our baby girl!

Friday, September 26, 2014

home school preschool fall week

Home school this week was all about Fall.
since it is officially Fall now.

We learned this song:
(farmer and the dell)

The leaves are falling down 
the leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green and brown
The leaves are falling down.

for the books this week the delivery man at the library was a little late at getting our books to us so I had to do some searching on you tube and found these videos we could watch instead:

they worked for this week. but I made sure to order the next weeks early so hopefully we will have them in time.

our activities were to put together a pumpkin name puzzle
I wanted to keep incorporating her name in activities to really help her learn how to spell her name but she has it down pat and I think she is ready to move on to something else because it took her no time to put this together.
 we gathered a few different types of leaves and painted them with the different colors of the fall and made our own fall tree. she loves to paint and this was her favorite. it's now hanging on our fridge and she has to show everyone that come to our house.
 next we went on a scavenger hunt. on her list were acorns, leaves, stick, grass, pine cones, bug, and other Autumn theme items.
 we saved the acorns from her scavenger hunt and did a little sorting math activity with all the numbers she has learned so far.
she is up to number 4 in her work book. the number 3 is still a little difficult for her to write on her own but shes getting there. all the other numbers are a breeze.
we worked on circles and squares.
she has her Our Father prayer memorized pretty well with a little dance/signage that we do along with it.
she really looks forward to preschool time with mommy and on our off days she ask if she can still do at least one workbook page. 
next week should be lots of fun because we will be tackling the topic of Babies! in prep for her new baby sister coming into the world soon!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

baby Christopher

I am extremely behind on photography related updates.....
like WAY WAY WAY behind!!
I shot these newborn pictures back in.....

 Christopher was such a serious little guy.
but I was super excited to use my husband old baseball card collection in a picture idea I have had forever now!

be ready to have LOTS of photography sessions in the next month I want to catch up before our newborn is here!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

home school preschool float week

Home school Preschool week 3
this week we did quite a few science experiments and testing.
We read these books:

We sang 
row row row your boat

The first day we wanted to look at what is heavy and light
and how to tell how much something weights and material it is made out of.
we collected random objects and weighted them on a baby scale.
this didn't work too well because most of our objects were not even a pound!
so I let her hold one object in each hand and tell me which on was heavier or lighter.
 We also watched this little clip
We are HUGE Sesame street fans and this made Belle laugh big belly laughs.

The next day we got more into the floating aspect of things. she learned that just because something is heavy doesn't mean it will sink or float. we talking more about Density and materials that something is made of. she loved this too because she loves playing in water.
 Then We took our first home school preschool field trip!
we live about 5 mintues from the Ohio river and there is a Ferry boat that carries cars back and fourth from ohio to kentucky. We got to ride along on foot for $1.00!
I wanted lots of pictures but I was having anxiety about my girls walking around so close to the water. but I am in love with this one of Stella: I am not a fan of typical look at the camera a smile shots I like more candid them shots doing what they normally do. she was watching the water through the gate and looking for fish.

 the next day she build her own boat!
we used an egg cartin, torlet paper roll, construction paper, tape and paint.
everything we had on hand.

It works!
This week in her workbook she learned more about the numbers 2 and 3
color black and brown
patterns and circles
We always begin and end with a Hail Mary and Our Father prayer and she's really caught on to them faster than I thought she would.
another successful week for the books!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Home school preschool: Dinosaurs

Week 2 of Home school preschool!
We are having a blast!
she's catching on to so much already and it's the best feeling being the one to teach your child! 
I am so glad we chose to do preschool this way!

this weeks theme was Dinosaurs.
we read a few books with the theme 

We focused on the different types of dinosaurs and their diets.
The type of teeth and how it gives clues on what they like to eat.
Carnivores or herbivores.

We sang a song all week:
look and see 1,2,3
count with me 1,2,3
Triceratops has 3 horns
that's the way that he was born
1,2,3 1,2,3

and along with the work book pages we also played a few games:

Dino Bingo
I would call out a letter (the ones in her name) or number (the 3 numbers we have worked on so far)
and she would cover it up. once she got the whole page covered we played again. we played 4 times then she got to pick a prize (sucker)
 the back of the ten little dinosaur book had pictures and descriptions of different types of dinosaurs and we used this as a guide to building our own dinosaurs using shapes.
She loved this game!
Then we made a little dinosaur craft. this made her crack up so hard for some reason. she is a big fan of playing dress up and I guess a princess with dino feet is funny.
I plan for 4 days of preschool. That way we can have a break day if something comes up or we just need a break. Thursday was our scheduled off day and we had doctors appointments and a little maternity shoot that I will talk about soon.
 today (Friday) we had planned on being archeologist and actually dig up some (fake) bones but Miss Belle is feeling under the weather and after a dose of Tylenol, she fell asleep. I will try to see if she's feeling up for preschool time later. if not that's another benefit of home school preschool. We can move things around to better accommodate us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sister Rose (DIY nun doll)

so little know fact about me.....
I'm dyslexic.
well maybe it's not a little known fact because I am sure you have noticed some jumbled up words in my post from the past. 
I try to correct myself before hitting the publish button but things still slip past me.
sorry :)
it's WAY worse with numbers!!
I can't memorize phone numbers or count change very well at all.
I knew becoming an accountant, tax person, poker dealer, math teacher or even a cashier would not be a good career path for me.
back in Elementary school I was having a hard time keeping up with my classmates
my mom talked to the school and I had to have extra help on the weekends and after school with a very special lady.
Her name was Sister Rose.
she's a nun.
and she taught me how to read.
she was so sweet and caring and a little out there but that's something I loved about her.
others still think she was a little on the out there side and her tactics weren't very popular 
she was shortly after asked to retire as a teacher
 I knew it broke her heart. she loves kids and teaching was her passion.
she's now living in the local retired sister home but she comes back to my home church during festivals and special occasions.
she's one of my favorite people in the world!

I recently saw a nun doll for sale in a catalog. 
they wanted more money than I wanted to pay for a doll
but I thought what better kind of doll for my kids to play with than one that represents a person that dedicates their whole life to Jesus?
so I got out my sewing machine and some scrap fabric and just kind of winged it.

I owe a lot to Sister Rose 
even with my difficult time learning
 she never treated me like I was different than any other child. 
she was patient, kind and fun.
I learned to read, write and do math problems
I graduated highschool, trade school and even though I didn't complete my college degree (yet) I still kicked butt and got good grades.
 Big Thanks to Sister Rose.
I hope my girls idolize other people like her instead of a barbie doll.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Home school preschool! week 1

To go along with our desires to teach our children the values and education we feel is important
(more on that in this post)
We decided we wanted to home school preschool Miss Belle.
our church does offer a preschool and Miss Belle shows lots of signs that she is ready 
I however am not.
I have serious anxiety over my sweet shy little girl going away for a few hours a week.
Home school preschool seemed like the perfect way to help both us prepare for actual school next year.
over the summer I did TONS of research on different curriculums, workbooks and activities.
I loved the idea that we could completely customize what she is learning to what is going on in our lives at the moment.
So I made a basic calender and assigned each week to a topic. 
then roughly found activities we could do that surrounded that topic.
for example: we have a week about babies and family: close to our due date for new baby
week about the holiday that falls on that week (Christmas week on Christmas week)
learn about daddy's work on the week of his birthday so we can visit him
week about the health when we go to visit the doctor for check ups.
veggie week the week we plant new vegetables in our garden.
and ect.
plus I added topics that I thought she would be interested in like vet week and famous painters week.
 I have loosely planned each week out but every month and the week before I will go in to more detail about what activities, books, work pages and field trips we will do during that time also. 
I will post our weekly activities here, so I can reference back to this when planning Stella and the new baby and any other children my husband really wants to talk me into having in the future  :P

For our first week
we learned all about her name!
I thought this would be a perfect first week topic since learning how to spell and write her name is very important.
each day we start by doing a fun activity:
fishing for fish with the letters of her name on them.
once she got that down we flipped it over and the whole name was written along with other names and she had to find hers. she loved this game and has since played it 4 times!
 We found random objects like crayons, stars, yarn, buttons and traced her name with the objects
 we did a ALL about me book. I plan on keeping this book forever! she drew a picture of our dog Jerky on her family page and no one else! this fits her because she would probably give anything to actually be an animal.
We start the day off by saying a prayer. (our father) 
Julia said she since she started going to her new school she hates that she doesn't know any of the prayers yet that the other kids recite. so we are working on that and wanted to include Miss Belle.
then we sing a song (week topic related) this week was:
in the tune of BINGO

there was a mommy who had a baby and Belle was her name-o
and Belle was her name-o

she only started singing with me after three days of singing it to her but I randomly hear her sing it while shes playing or coloring. and now when I ask her how to spell her name she sings the song!
that's an A+ in my book already!!

Then we read a library book that also goes with the topic

I pre-ordered these books from our library. they were perfect for this week!

Then she does 2 pages out of her work book
a number page and a coloring page.
this is probably her favorite part of preschool because well if you know Miss Belle her absolutely favorite thing to do in the world!!

afterwards we sing the song again and close with a Hail Mary.

I was planning on doing her preschool in the morning time but I found that since she is outgrowing nap time it is easier to do it while the other kids are sleeping. this means I don't get to watch my beloved days of our lives BUT my daughter can spell and write her name all by her self! Sorry, Sammy and E.J. your cheesy acting is nothing compared to that!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

a day in my life

With it being Labor day today 
I thought it was fitting to post this one today :P
when we decided I would stay home with the kids, it was really my husband's idea and over the years he has been my number one supporter. even when we were really struggling financially and I secretly sent out resumes to find a job my husband was 100% against the idea and worked harder to make sure I didn't have to do that. He knows how much I do and he appreciates it and more than anything he knows how good it is for our girls to have me home with them and for them.
with all that being said one day he walked into the kitchen and listed off all the things he did that day. 1 load of laundry
cleaned his car out
paid bills 
I think that was about it.
I don't really remember because all I could think about was how my list was literally ten times bigger!!
so I told him my list and he walked over and kissed my forehead.
yeah that's what I thought mister!
so for proof I thought back to this post  
where I took one picture every hour on the hour
and I thought I should do this assignment again.
this time I took a picture with every activity I did through out the day.
just for fun 
and maybe a little in your face Brian Taylor :P

This was on a friday
we wake up a 6:00 to get Julia ready for school and walk to the bus stop by 6:40
 head back home and feed me, Miss Belle and lil Stella by 7:00
 Harper get here around 7:30
 we read stories or color
 by about 9 Harper gets hungry needs a diaper change and gets a little sleepy
 9:30-10 I try to clean while the little ones play
 10:00 is our Daily viewing of Sesame street. sometimes I get to watch but mainly I clean some more (laundry, dishes, windows)
 10:30 on Fridays Korben comes over to play. Fridays are miss Belle's favorite days. she loves playing with Korben.
 11:00 is cook and eat lunch time.
 11:45 I clean up lunch, change diapers  and put little ones down for naps
 12:00 I get to shower! :P
 from 12:30-1:30 I work on pictures watch Days of our lives and sometimes sneak in a snack. Miss Belle has refused to nap lately and so I just let her stay up as long as she colors, reads or plays quietly. but she mainly sneaks bits of my snack :P
 1:30 wake up little ones, change diapers, get them dressed load everyone up in the stroller and head out the door by 2
 2:15 we pick up the after school kids at their school
 then by 2:45 we are headed to the bus stop to pick up Julia.
 we get home and change more diapers, start home works, chores and feed Harper baby food 3:00
 since it was friday and the big kids didn't have any home work so we grabbed popcicles and played outside 3:30
 Korben is all boy and rolled around in the sandbox until he was covered!! 4:15 we went inside cleaned up, more diaper changes, drinks.
 4:30 I had another mess to clean up on the floor

 by 5:00 Grandma Vickie came over to visit and kidnap my 2 oldest for the weekend. it was a mad house for  abit
 5:30 everyone is picked up and my house is suddenly quite
 My husband got home around 6 and we got dinner together.
came home and I crashed out on the couch.
most days I forget I am pregnant until after the day is done and all the events catch up to me and I physically can't move. my back and hips have been really hurting lately. I think baby number 4 is getting bigger and my body is like "slow down!" 

I think with all the debates about stay at home mom's vs. working moms is silly
there is work and joys with both 
somedays I wish I could work, get some adult conversations and just feel like a am doing something more productive than sweeping the floor or changing diapers 15 times a day!
then Harper waves and gives wet sloppy kisses
I am blown away by how talented miss Belle is at coloring
The way Stella yells at me for not saying "your welcome" after she thanks me over and over again.
how Tanner and Kylan push the stroller for me becasue they just want to help
how excited Julia is to tell me EVERYTHING that happened at school
The smile I get seeing my husband's car pull into the driveway.
I would miss all of that if I was at a real job. 
this is only temperary
and I will miss this 
and look back on what a normal day was like and wish it hadn't gone by so fast.
*that sounds like a country song*
anyway enough rambling
hope you all have a great Labor day.

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