May 26, 2016

Thrifting Through the Year {3}

One of my favorite things about thrifting is finding something you need on the cheap- even if it means a long period of waiting for just the right thing to pop up.
 For the past year and a half+  our DVD player and other technical equipment have been propped up on an overturned basket in our family room (necessity is the mother of...odd uses). Finding some sort of furniture piece to harbor the equipment obviously wasn't high on our priority list but having a room that's aesthetically pleasing is nice for the housewife who cleans it and spends ample time in there. :)
I didn't even know what kind of piece I was looking for until I found it- all I knew was that it needed to be small, cheap, and have an open back to accommodate the surplus of cords.

Thank you, St. Anthony. There's a handful of scuff marks on it but what does it matter because, kids!
And I love that it's white- one step (of hundreds) toward a cohesive family room. ;)


Next up- this Pottery Barn crib bumper looks brand spanking new and was under $10! The one we've had since Evie was born is pink sooo I bought this just in case a little male makes an entrance in the delivery room.

And Craigslist is standing by if we don't end up using it.


A year ago I owned one striped shirt...and I've thrifted three in the past few months. I may have a slight stripes obsession.

Thrifted shirts, Blog about thrift shopping
The two with thinner stripes have thicker material which is great for colder months and they seem (hopefully) good quality. I like that the zippers on the back make them a tad- dressier? 
I was really on the fence about the olive striped one from Loft but I went ahead about bought it. Olive green has never been a big favorite of mine but the darker shade and fact that it can be used as a neutral won me over.

I keep saying one of these days I am going to buy real grownup pjs to replace my sleep attire of college t-shirts and sweats- and look! A J.Crew p.j. top with tags still attached! Sadly, there weren't any matching bottoms to be found, so back on the rack it went.

The pretty detail on this little cabinet caught my eye at our local Goodwill...

Second-hand cabinet
The primary colors aren't quite my taste but something about it seemed very Eastern European or maybe Scandinavian? (I feel like I'm in that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: "Didn't you once have a Greek receptionist?...That's right dear, she was Guatemalan.") I can't quite put my finger on where I've seen something similar, though. Anyhow, it looks fun for a kids' room!


And, finally, this wasn't a purchase but I just thought this skirt was so sweet and summery with the yellow stripes, round edges, and white piping.

Bring on the warm weather! :)

May 25, 2016

Keep on keeping on

Some days I think the most accurate/ honest thing my family could put on my tombstone is:
She yelled.

With patience wearing oh-so-thin over here for dramatic displays of independence, defiance, and plain ol' tantrums, the parenting struggle is REAL.

 And yet I know I need to carry on and begin again (and again, and again x one million). I need to remind myself over and over of Pope Francis' words that God never tires of forgiving us- most especially when I feel like the lousiest parent ever and wonder how on earth I was chosen to be a parent...

 I don't know about you but quotes like this must be plastered in front of my face or else I read them and then they flit away like my patience:

St. John Bosco Quote, Love the Children quote
So easy at times and infinitely more difficult at others.
 Thank the Lord for mercy and the intercession of saints!

May 20, 2016

Painting and Picking {7QT}

 Joining Kelly & company for seven on Friday. 

This is something I've been working on for the past two nights (and counting...). I figure I'm going to spend a lot of time nursing on the couch in our family room and I cannot stare at that dark brick any longer. It does feel a little nerve-wracking to permanently alter something we'll look at every day, but what's done is done- for better or worse. So long, brown brick!

Evie had a race at school this week (the kind where people give donations and she runs laps) and it was so cute to watch her run. The kids were supposed to stop after every lap to get their cards punched but we saw her keep running past the volunteers again and again- it was almost as if she was thinking, "Why is everyone slowing down? I'll just pass 'em!". :)

The weather today is gorgeous and we left the house!! (It's supposed to be rainy and 50s tomorrow but I won't think of that just now...) Strawberry picking was the order of the day and Heidi made sure she- and only she- had full command of the bucket. The fact that it overturned several times did not deter her!

Evie proudly wore her strawberry dress...

And we all enjoyed a good portion of the bucket right at the patch. 
It didn't hit me until we were driving home that I ate strawberry after strawberry, not stopping once to keep track of  how many carbs I was consuming...well, at least they weren't chocolate covered!
I am heartily glad fruit-picking season is upon us. 

And that means it's also coming up on swimsuit season. If you're looking around for one have you seen the swimsuit guide over at The Mom Edit? Some really cute options. I ordered this one  (not in their guide) which came on sale for $22! It was a little more with taxes + shipping but still a fraction of the original price! I know I definitely won't look it but it makes me feel all Haley Mills a la The Parent Trap. ;)

The parent trap 1961. Love haley mills' swimsuit!!! Always loved these cute swimsuits!:

My hair has been in an utterly sad, overgrown state of late but thankfully I was able to get it cut last week. It feels so light and...not horribly drab! This is ridiculous since I've always delivered late- but I kept thinking *what if* I go into early labor before I'm able to get my hair cut? Then what?!
Priorities, right?

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

May 16, 2016

My Experience with Gestational Diabetes

Several weeks ago I received a call from one of the OB nurses that I had failed two out of the three glucose tests (for the three-hour), so I was considered to have gestational diabetes.

Yeah, I did not take the news well. When Tim came home that day he found me in a puddle of tears, blubbering about the information the nurse had relayed to me.

There's a scene in "The Office" where one of the characters returns from extended time off work- he opens the office door and upon witnessing the antics of his kooky co-workers says, "Too soon." and promptly leaves. That's exactly how I felt about jumping into OB appointments again.
I've been thinking a lot about this lately and I've come to realize that I prefer to compartmentalize my life- I feel more sane when I'm not in (what feels like) frequent contact with the OB office, and long story short it hasn't been that way for me this pregnancy. As silly as it sounds I was starting to feel like my life was being usurped by that office and then on top of it all I was told I needed to schedule a consult with a dietitian regarding the diabetes...that just tipped the scale. When you have kids it's not simple to "just make another appointment" for yourself!
Gestational diabetes

When I first spoke with the Wellness office (dietitian, etc.) I was told I'd have to sign up for a two-hour class. THANKFULLY I was the only one signed up for that day, so it ended up being a one-on-one session and took about an hour. I've taken care of many diabetic patients and was dreading the thought of having to sit through a two-hour session going over things I already knew! Not that I'm claiming to know everything about diabetes by any means but from a medical standpoint I was definitely not starting from square one. I kept praying that God would cut me a break somehow with this class because I was feeling very much on edge! (Filling out the initial paperwork I was so tempted to write "these annoying appointments" when it asked what current stressors were in my life- because maturity.)

At first the initial plan the dietitian and nurse educator laid out left me stressed and frustrated: talk of more meetings/ follow-ups, extra work on my end recording everything I ate + adding up every carb consumed and then scanning all of the sheets and emailing them...but blessedly things have since evened out, and there's only been one follow-up phone call instead of additional appointments.

Regarding the "treatment" aspect of my gestational diabetes- I initially had to check my blood sugar four times a day (for now I'm down to twice/ day since my results have mostly been within range), eat three meals and three snacks, and record every morsel I ate, adding up all the carbohydrates. The most stressful part at the beginning for me was finding more glucose test strips for my meter (and they can be so expensive!)- there are probably hundreds of blood glucose meters out on the market and each one needs a specific type of strips (naturally, each pharmacy only carries certain brands, so it can turn in to a wild goose chase to find THE ONE). That's something I really wish I had been alerted to beforehand!

After my follow-up call with the dietitian one week in she asked me to continue recording my food for a few more days. Once I didn't need to record anymore that simplified things a lot (good gracious- it's tough enough finding time to eat my food when I'm trying to feed my girls too without having to write everything down!).

As for that tiny little matter of food...

It's been both easier and trickier than I thought. The provided manuals with general info on how many carbs are in most foods help a lot, plus food labels help a lot- but if I bake something from scratch (which I haven't been doing much of) or make, say, a sauce for dinner I usually go without because I just find it too much guesswork to really know the carb count/ serving.
Also, I initially decided I'd just curb the carbs altogether and make it easy but, nope, I'm supposed to have a certain amount (not over, not under!) with each snack and meal. Things like tortillas, rice, and pizza use up a hefty portion of my meal carbohydrate count, and sadly I've had to cut back on fruit and almost cut out chocolate entirely *sob*. I have honestly never, ever eaten this controlled during pregnancy.
However (silver lining), I've found things I haven't had to cut back on, for instance, with my morning coffee I've been drinking coconut creamer + agave for a while and I haven't had to change that . And I can enjoy THE most delicious coconut PB with no added sugar (thanks to my sister!)!
Gestational diabetes snacks
TJs has come through in the snack department!
I think my most pathetic moment has been literally measuring out my allotted two-inch square of cake from the cake that I won at our parish festival.

Suffice it to say after this baby's arrival I *hope* to enjoy a good dark beer and a large slice of chocolate cake!

May 13, 2016

7QT: A Mouse Invasion & Pregnancy Stuff

Joining Kelly today for some Quick Takes- it's been a while!

A family from our church (with 15 kids!) generously offered us their four-seater stroller...I kind of can't believe we are there. It's been great, though, for walks around the neighborhood since previously Tim or I would just take two at a time in ye outgrown double stroller.

A couple of weeks ago we had a mouse in our mini van. A mouse in our MINI VAN! We never saw *it* just remnants of things it chewed up (and it obviously didn't help that there are Cheerios and cracker crumbs wedged into every crevice- the mouse was probably reenacting Templeton's Fair scene from Charlotte's Web every single night).  And the creepiest part for me was finding- two mornings in a row- random (chewed open) packs of candy on the floor of the driver's side. I have no idea where the candy even came from in the car! It's like it was letting me know it was still sneaking around. Thankfully it has since been "taken care of"...

Can I just say you can file these shoes under "things that should never be a suggestion for a pregnant woman to wear"?

             Primary Image of Petite Maternity Scallop Jacquard Riviera Shorts with 3 1/2" Inseam
How is a woman with a bump supposed to lace these things herself? I'm pretty sure ladies maids only exist in Downton Abbey.

This doom and gloom weather is killing my spirits. Truly, I can feel them shrink to nothingness each day it rains/ we are without sun. Is this what it's like to live in Alaska? Anyways, I'm trying my best to be grateful that we were at least able to get out the past two Saturdays- first to our parish festival and then last weekend to an air show at the local airport. Everyone had fun and the rain stayed away. Oh, and I won a cake at the cakewalk, so there's that.  :)

Heidi just started saying her name a few days came out of the blue and is so precious. I love hearing it!

I've had a lot of remarks from strangers this pregnancy along the lines of : "It's definitely a boy", "Ugh, three girls? It'll be a boy", "Oh, I bet you want a boy!". Sometimes I wonder if people spout out default responses (especially when it comes to pregnancy) and don't really think about what they're saying? I find it slightly comical (and mildly annoying- not gonna lie!) that strangers assume they know how I must feel about this situation! (And in all honesty I'd be happy either way but am a little nervous about the possibility of raising a little male!)

Have your kids ever done something so endearing/ admirable that it immediately humbles you because you know it was completely of their own volition and had nothing to do with you? The other day Evie and Audrey separately brought in flowers for our Mary altar, knelt, and said prayers (Evie chose memorized prayer, Audrey chose conversational). And then later they asked to pray a decade of the rosary...and I've never prayed one with them! Humble pie for sure. I'm thankful that in spite of my flawed to the max mothering my girls are showing signs of hope. 

Happy Friday.

Visit Kelly for more takes!

May 8, 2016

Mother's Day My Sunday Best

Linking up with Rosie's new linkup My Sunday Best- come join in! 

We've had almost two weeks straight of rain and gray skies so today's sun and temperatures in the 70s is glorious! It's making for an especially happy Mother's Day! Tim thinks my griping about the weather is over the top but, whatever, I'm not from the Pacific Northwest so gloomy weather saps my spirit away. 

Mass behavior today really was not the best we've had (why the constantly sitting with feet on the pew or pulling dresses up?!) but at least breakfast afterwards helped- no cooking and no clean-up which made it just about perfect. ;) (Speaking of cooking, this Mother's Day preschool cookbook I posted about a few years back is a good laugh!) 

For Ascension mass I wore an old Loft cardi, a borrowed Old Navy maternity maxi (from a very kind soul!), and Sole Society sandals, which I've worn many, many times before. 

And here's another mass outfit from a few weeks back:

Pregnancy style, Pink blush dress

A PinkBlush maternity maxi hand-me-down from a friend, J.Crew factory top (which can barely tie over the bump :-/), and old Land's End Canvas sandals. 

The restless troops got a good amount of play-time and vitamin D outside and I'm heartily glad for them since they've been cooped up so much- now it's quiet time for me. :) Have a good one!

May 5, 2016

Postpartum Purchases

Just compiling a list of things I'm looking at for the hospital and beyond...

This baby’s due date is right at the start of summer heat and humidity around here, so I am staunchly in camp yes please for elastic waists in order to comfortably handle the pp sizing limbo. I found an elastic waist midi skirt from Gap via thredUP which I’m hoping to get lots of use out of year-round (now that I can see the laser cut holes up close I’m really glad it was inexpensive since they look like they could fray). I'm also seeing more and more options in the stores for elastic waist midi skirts which makes online ordering a bit easier when you're not *quite* sure what number size to get!

And, darn it, if J. Crew factory doesn't have the cutest selection of elastic waist shorts (although, would it kill them to offer lots of those cute prints in longer lengths?? Apparently so.). I noticed Gap and Old Navy have a pretty decent selection as well.

Recently while thrifting I found a pair of old-school, half elastic waist, Adidas tennis shorts. When I first glimpsed them my thoughts were half, "Hey, cool!" and half, "Wait, by donning these would I be a walking symbol of the proverbial 'I give up'?". But home them came and I think they'll do (at the very least, they don't seem to scream "90s"). ;)

Postpartum clothing, elastic waist skirt

Loft also has soft, loose-fitting tees which I'm packing for the hospital (sorry, hospital gowns!), and plan to wear all summer.

Along with those I'm hoping H&M gets more sizes of the nursing tanks Rosie recommended back in stock soon since the two I bought before Evie arrived are ready for retirement!

For hospital pants I just want sweats and really like the idea of these joggers or something similar.

And last on my pp clothing list socks. There's just something SO nice and almost indulgent? about cushy, new socks. :)
I delivered at the same hospital for all three girls but in between Audrey and Heidi the hospital was acquired by a healthcare system and I noticed little changes like- not being given much in the way of post delivery soothing products as the times before (also, the elimination of chocolate cake from their menu which was very, very sad, indeed)I didn’t think to ask if they had any at the time and this time around I’m just going to bring my own.
I've heard a lot of great recommendations for this spray, as well as this soothing balm (plus! can also be used for diaper rash). And these hydrogel pads made a world of difference with breastfeeding- I wish my first-time-mom-self knew about them then...those were bleak days.  
The Honest Company Healing Balm Soothing Protection & Relief for Sensitive Skin & Diaper Rash,3 oz.Medela Tender Care(TM) Hydrogel PadsEARTH MAMA ANGEL BABY BOTTOM SPRAY (Pack of 1)
1 / 2 / 3
The idea of a belly binder leaves me hemming and hawing. Has anyone had any experience with them? There seem to be a lot of brands and styles out on the market in all price ranges and I've read reviews for some that said after 2-3 weeks the bands/ binders don't fit anymore...I know my abdomen could use some support but I'm hesitant to spend money on something that won't help for long. 

Well that's a wrap- now to get going on washing and sorting of baby clothes (now that I've just finished sorting the girls' winter piles- gah).
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