Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stay At Home Mom Life

I basically want to start every post I write with .. "Here's the thing.." but that seems silly, right? I should think of more creative titles. It's hard I tell you!

So i've now been a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) for the past four weeks. I haven't quite gotten into a rhythm yet and what's the point really? I'm going to have another baby in a couple weeks which would throw it off anyway! I am most definitely enjoying spending so much time with Scarlett though and the only thing I miss about work are the people. I feel a ton more relaxed and I've gotten more housework done than I have in months.

We've had a couple of play dates with little friends so far and I have a couple scheduled for next week as well. Trying to keep things busy and interesting for Scarlett because she likes that sort of thing, plus it gets us out and about which is sometimes hard with my 'before baby to-do list' and the general tired/laziness that pregnancy often brings. Not to mention, she may have about 4 weeks of being less mobile than usual because of me recovering/getting the hang of mothering two children!

Here's a couple things I've managed to do so far:
Set up the Crib in our room! Originally, I thought I would be putting Scarlett in this crib and the new baby in Scarlett's current one but they're both drop side (read: convenient) and Scarlett is used to hers so why switch now. I learned this of course after setting the new one up in Scarlett's room only to take it down and set it up again in my room.

Upstairs bathroom cleaned! Honestly, I've never deep cleaned that bathroom before. We've lived here 3 years. Sorry past house guests! I have cleaned it, just not extensively. I recently mopped the floors and got in the crevices (gross!), changed out the shower curtain, etc. Our tub and toilet up there are blue. It's wallpapered and I don't enjoy the flooring. The toilet is completely facing the wrong direction. I usually just can't go in there and Scarlett takes baths in our bathroom so I have little use for it. After this baby arrives and I have some time, I plan to at least paint the cabinetry and remove the wall paper. Eventually we'd like to completely renovate the whole thing and close off the jack/jill-ness.. I'm just not a fan of those.

Master Bathroom Windows/Blinds cleaned! This was long overdue. I need to do it in every room but I started with ours because of all the dust on them. Babies don't need to breathe extra dust.

Baby Laundry! This has been done and put away in two of my dresser drawers. I have far more clothing for him then I did for Scarlett for the first three months. Thank you consignment sales! I do need to get another crib sheet though and perhaps a crib skirt if I can find one I ilke.

Vacuuming! I do this multiple times a week now. The house just isn't clean enough and having cats surely complicates this. I don't think I notice this as much in the winter bc I walk around in slippers but with bare feet in the summer I hate feeling debris beneath my feet.

Making Dinner! I've started meal planning and buying accordingly while trying to stay within a budget at the grocery store. This has proven difficult so far because I love the grocery store and I love sales at grocery stores. It's always hard to resist a 2 for anything! I did join Amazon Mom though and have started utilizing more coupons online for different things. So that will pay off very soon.

Other Random Stuff! I feel like that list is pretty short but I'm not going to put daily chores like laundry and dishes on there. Just seems silly to write a paragraph about that sort of stuff but trust me it's getting done!!

Still To Do:
Deep Clean Master Bathroom
Shampoo Master Bedroom Carpet
Vacuum Car
Organize Kitchen Desk
Wash Blinds/Windows in Every Room
Organize Actual Office Desk
Clean/Organize Fridge/Freezer
Sew Memory Foam Covers (for Scarlett's Crib, Toddler Bed & Pack N Play)
Recover a bumper for Baby Boy's Crib and Fix Scarlett's bumper ties
And probably more..

I take this SAHM thing pretty seriously. Alex has a job and so do I, to run a household. I try not to let him do most inside housework because he already does a lot outside and the inside is my territory. Who wants to work all day and then come home and have to do more work when I'm here all day? We'll see how crazy it gets once I add another baby to this picture though, ha!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can I have a successful VBAC?

As you may or may not know, Scarlett was frank breech and had to be delivered via C-Section. At first I was disappointed by this, however it truly was the only way she could come into this world safely and that is really all that mattered. The thing about having a scheduled C-Section is.. you're fully rested when you go in. I didn't go through 20 hours of labor or any amount of time pushing, my body was rested not exhausted. I believe that made my recovery faster and easier. And that's what scares me about a VBAC (among other things).

What if I go through 20 hours of labor this time and spend some time pushing and THEN end up with a C-Section anyway? One of the main reasons I want to attempt a VBAC is for a faster recovery, so that it doesn't hinder my ability to care for Scarlett as well as our new baby.

Now, I do have a couple things going for me here. I am almost a perfect candidate for a VBAC. The only reason I had a C-Section was due to her position, not because my hips were too narrow, etc. This gives me great hope that I can do it. However, from what I've read, and I'm not sure if my midwives would admit to this if asked, is when a VBAC patient comes into the hospital, the staff is immediately nervous due to the added complications that could occur. Honestly though, I did wait long enough for my scar to fully heal so a uterine rupture shouldn't be an issue but I am sure they will have it on the brain.

Another fear.. the unknown. I know what a C-Section is like. I do not know what a contraction feels like, what labor will feel like, what delivery will feel like or what recovery will be like. Obviously, first time moms probably have this fear and for some reason, I wasn't scared of the C-Section. Maybe because it was a surgery, not hours of pain. Add to this that I am planning to have an unmedicated birth. Not having had any crazy amount of pain before in my life (besides some terrible gas pains in the beginning of my first pregnancy), I'm not even sure of my pain tolerance level.

One thing I do know, this is going to be a wild ride and in the end, I get a baby. I am positive he will be worth any pain I have to go through to get him here. Things I plan to remember (or that I will be reminded of by Alex during labor..) are:

This terrible pain has a purpose.
This pain has an endpoint.
Count slowly to 30 and the contraction is half over.
You CAN do this.

That's all I have so far. If you have any motivational phrases that worked for you during labor/delivery, I would love to hear them!

I hope to have a successful VBAC birth story once this little one arrives. Send some good vibes into the universe for me!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life as a Tastefully Simple Consultant

So i'm not sure if anyone is really curious about this or not, but since I care about it I'm going to go ahead and write about it.

Back in October (as I believe I wrote on here) I was looking for something to do in my free time that would generate some income. My mom mentioned Tastefully Simple, which I had heard of very briefly. I looked at their site and decided that people like food, right? How hard could it be to sell that?? After writing about it on here, my now sponsor Tracy contacted me to see if I wanted more information and after talking with her, I joined up!

I started with a Grand Opening Party in November which went very well and I had a great time making the easy to prepare food, explaining it to my family and friends and then I chose a winner for the rewards the party generated. I have learned a TON since that first party and at each party I learn a little bit more.

I've done a handful of parties for friends and family since that time, one fundraiser for Relay 4 Life and one event, which was a community yard sale. Some parties weren't super successful and some were. All great learning experiences for sure! I have an event coming up on Saturday at Seven Valley's Winery in York which I'm very excited about. I know I will learn a lot from this too and I really hope to book some catalog parties for the months of July and August as well as some possible Fall Tasting Parties.

A Tasting Party is where the host prepares food samples for guests to taste before ordering. A Catalog Party is where the host takes catalogs and order forms around to family and friends over a longer period and collects orders to earn rewards. I set up Catalog Parties to also include two samples for tasting purposes. Facebook is pretty big right now with these types of parties because family and friends can just go online and order directly if they cannot make the Tasting Party or won't see the host in time to order for the Catalog Party.

Like I said, I have done one fundraiser so far. I am very interested in doing more but it's a little bit hard to get my name out there currently since I don't have school aged children. There are ways to do it that I plan to look into but for now, I send out messages to people I am interested in working with to see if they're interested in working with me.

Overall, the experience has been very positive and fun! My sponsor Tracy is amazing and she answers any and every single question I have and is a great role model because she has a ton of fundraisers going and sponsors a large number of consultants and that number keeps on growing! I'm part of her team's Facebook Group which is extremely helpful. There are plenty of TS Facebook groups that are helpful for sure, it's a great place to get new ideas from other consultants.

I have one recruit so far and hope to have more in the future. I currently have a coupon code for $100 off the Business Blast Off Kit. I've been told this is the first time they've ever done this (you end up paying about $70) and I'm hoping it's been successful so that they run it every year. My code expires July 10th so the clock is ticking. If you've ever thought about doing a business like this, now is the time. It really is easy and it's actually fun.

A couple years ago, I had a Pampered Chef Party and the consultant was very nice but used all the sales cliches you can think of to try to get me to sign on. I have absolutely nothing against PC.. I have tons of products from that party that I use all the time and I love them! I just thought at that time that I could never do that. I could never be a consultant like she was. She was very very nice but I didn't enjoy the extra pushes, though I now understand she was probably just following the playbook. If you don't talk about the opportunity to join, you'll never know if they would've said yes.

In conclusion, lol .. I am very happy to be a Tastefully Simple Consultant. And though I may not talk about it much, I am working on that. To be completely honest, my target demographic is older than I am so it's more difficult to get into those circles but I'm working on it. I want to be successful and I know I can do it!

If you ever have questions related to it, please let me know! I'd be happy to answer them!

If you want to order, you can go to my website at OR send me a message. I offer great incentives for hosts as well if you're interested in that. I try to make it as easy as possible for you to have a successful and positive experience while earning free stuff!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's talk about Scarlett!

Here's an update of how our girl is doing. I don't have stats because they were last taken at 15 months and she's currently 17 months. All I can tell you right now is she's over 26 lbs, her height is in the 98% and her head size is off the charts, haha!

She rarely walks, it's mostly running. She climbs. She holds our hands when she's forced to. She's an explorer to the max. She says about 40 words that we've counted and learns new ones every day. She absolutely loves fruit, especially any type of berry. She's a very good eater and hasn't turned too much down. She doesn't enjoy sweet potatoes much, but loves olives and pickles!

She still takes two naps a day and I love it. It must be all the exploring that makes her tired. If she's 'on schedule' she wakes up around 6:15, takes a nap around 9:30 (these vary in length) and then lays down again around 3:30/4 when we're home, if we're out, she's fine without a nap. She goes to bed consistently at 8pm each evening. She's a light sleeper and goes through sleep cycles often so it's not unusual to hear her make noises at night.

She gives us hugs and kisses. She doesn't generally like older people, especially if they have white hair. Sometimes it takes her 10 minutes to warm up to people she doesn't know. She plays with her princesses in their castle now and makes them hug and kiss. She pretty much makes everything hug and kiss. When she hugs her stuffed animals she says "aww!" and then I die of the cuteness. She loves reading books. Her favorite was 'Goodnight Beach' but more recently it's 'Goodnight Pennsylvania'. She thoroughly enjoys the iPad and any iPhone she can get her hands on. She really likes Sofia the First and Little Einsteins. She likes to dance so she likes the shows that sing a lot. She rarely watches anything on TV unless it's a commerical.

She has almost all of her teeth, she's missing a front lateral incisor on the bottom and all of her cuspids. She has taken a while to get her teeth so we don't expect the cuspids for a while, who knows what's going on with the incisor. Teething does bother her from time to time so we use the numbing gel (put onto her paci) and occasionally some Tylenol or Motrin but rarely a full dose.

I just thought today that I should write down some "Parent Tid-Bits" that I have, one being.. when you go to the grocery store, always park close to the cart return.. this way you can get a cart on the way in and you're close to it when you need to return it at the end of the trip. I probably thought about it more today after carrying her into multiple places while walking a semi-far distance while 34 weeks pregnant. I'll try to document more as they come up.

Overall, Scarlett is full of love. She smiles a lot and she laughs a lot. Her personality seems very fun-loving and we're thrilled that she is growing into such a little darling (who never sits still).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pregnancy Update!

Today, I am 34 weeks and 3 days along. There are roughly 5-6 weeks remaining. This is crazy to me.

Time flies when you're already chasing after a wee one who is a non-stop mover/shaker. Let's review the past couple of trimesters, shall we?

1st Trimester
Everything went just as smoothly as it did with Scarlett. Small hiccup with an umbilical cyst but it resolved itself within a couple of weeks (probably a pretty common occurrence). No more tired or hormonal than usual and no morning sickness. Score! We told our families and friends around Christmas and New Years if not sooner. We didn't wait until we were out of the first trimester to spill the beans. Bumps grow much faster the second time around though too, so people probably knew!

2nd Trimester
Bump continued its growth spurts. I felt the first flutters and Alex felt movement soon after that. We found out we were having a baby boy! And we decided on his first name, which will remain secret until his birth. Sleeping became more difficult as time went on and I was forced to move from belly/back sleeping to side/side sleeping.

There's his little face!
3rd Trimester
I generally feel huge but I've come to terms with it. This boy does some crazy acrobatics in there that I didn't experience with Scarlett because of her position. He tends to sleep when I'm sleeping with naps throughout the day as well. He has been in numerous positions but stressed me a wee bit the past 4-5 weeks with the midwives saying he was breech. Today they said he's head down so he better stay that way. I am trying for a VBAC so wish me luck! I haven't had any braxton hicks but did have some belly button pain that went away with some rest. Also some groin pain when I over-do it, which also goes away with rest. I just have so much to do it's hard to slow down sometimes.

With 5 1/2 weeks left I have a full plan of things to clean and organize. I need to wash all of his baby clothing and organize the closet and my dresser drawer they'll be stored in. I need to move Scarlett from her crib into the other crib we have so that the baby can be in the drop side in our room. I need to pack a hospital bag at some point and maybe read about labor since I hope to go into it at some point. I need to bust out the car seat base from Scarlett and put it in my car and set up the pack and play and get out the bouncer seat from storage. The list goes on..

I haven't done anything nursery related because it's our current guest room and that will probably stay that way until he moves upstairs which will be when we're closer to being out of winter around 6 months.

That pretty much sums it up. Almost my whole pregnancy right there in a nutshell.

I'm baaaaack!

So lots has been going on around here lately so I'll start by explaining the absence!

 Last fall, work started getting pretty stressful and in addition to my part time hours, I started working at home as well during Scarlett's nap times and sometimes even in the evening. This contributed to the slow down of posting to the blog.

In November, I got pregnant (found out in December) plus the holiday season which seemed busier than previous years, probably because I had Scarlett to think about and plan for! I also started as a Tastefully Simple Consultant, so that took up some of my free time as well.

In the beginning of 2013, we had Scarlett's birthday party which was a blast, then in addition to working my part time job while at home, I also started a freelance project that also took more free time. Work was still pretty stressful so Alex and I started thinking about August (our due month) and how we were going to handle having two children with me working part time and if it would be worth it to look into me staying home.

Alex got a new job April 1st which has been a huge blessing. He is about 200x happier in this position and I really feel that he is now on a career path instead of just having a job. He has been loving it so far and I just know that will continue!

In May, we made the decision that I would stop working mid-June right before our vacations with our families. I put in three weeks notice after Memorial Day. My lovely coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower/best wishes party prior to my departure and it was all very bittersweet. Working at the same place for almost six years was such a great experience. I learned so very much and I'm thankful for all the great people I met there.

I went to OBX with my family a couple weeks ago and then met Alex and his family in Bethany Beach the following weekend for a few days there. I will write separate posts on those fun times with pictures! Returning last week and not going back to work on Thursday was a bit strange, and this week will be my first official full week without a steady job.

It's exciting (and a little scary) but I just know this is the right decision for our family and I am so thankful that we are in a position to do this. Plus, I can get back to writing here and documenting our life, if not just for myself, for my family and friends as well!

I definitely feel that our little boy hasn't gotten the blog attention that I dedicated to Scarlett over her time in utero but I'm going to write a couple of posts on it now and then definitely keep up on it when he arrives. Having a blog like this is like having a baby book and I love going back and reading about Scarlett and my pregnancy with her. I can't wait to do the same with him.

So stay tuned.. !