Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Laura's Birth Story

Things have been a bit crazy around here (imagine that!) and I'm just now getting around to typing up Laura's birth story. Luckily David and I managed to write most of it down the day she was born while it was still fresh.
When I was 38 weeks pregnant I received a phone call from my midwife’s office informing me she was no longer with their practice and would not be able to deliver my baby. As you can imagine I nearly flipped out. I had chosen this midwife because she was one of only two in town but I didn’t care for her office staff or the doctors in her practice but I figured I’d put up with it in order to use a midwife. There was only one female OB in the practice and I had seen her for a few of my appointments. She was relatively receptive of my birth plan and I knew I didn’t have any other choice for a practitioner. I was reminded that the Lord is in charge of this birth and will provide the best doctor for my baby. 
On Tuesday, November 8 (39 weeks 4 days) I had my membranes stripped by my doctor during my appointment around 3 pm. After a few hours I started to have bloody discharge and my back started to ache. By 8 pm I was feeling pretty bad, no contractions just uncomfortable so I took some Tylenol which didn't really help any. I went to bed around 11. I hadn't slept much the night prior so it was very frustrating to not sleep well another night, little did I know Laura was on her way. Sleep was fitful and intermittent at best and I was up every hour using the bathroom and the back pain made it difficult to fall asleep. I was confused whether it was back labor or just pain from having my membranes stripped. 
At 6 am Wednesday I gave up trying to sleep and checked on the laundry in the dryer. The load was still wet from towels and I found that a red shirt had bled pink onto a few things. I took the towels onto the deck to dry, turned the dryer back on and threw the newly pink items back in the washer with bleach.
I hopped in the shower until the hot water ran out and then went outside on the porch to pace back and forth. While walking back and forth on the front porch I started timing my contractions. I was still having constant back pain but I seemed to be having abdominal contractions that were frequent at two minutes apart but only lasting 30 seconds.

David woke up to his alarm at 7 and started his normal school morning routine. After he got out of the shower I was on the floor doing pelvic rocks and told him he needed to stayed home! I was pretty sure I was in labor at the point. I drank some juice around 8 am and threw it up 15 minutes later, too much sugar I guess.
Wondering if the back pain was from Laura being face up, occiput posterior, we walked the curb at 8:30. One leg on the street, one leg on the curb is supposed to help turn a baby to anterior. Our neighbor drove by on his way to work and I said "I think we're going to have a baby today!"

David called our Bradley instructor while I walked around on the back deck. I was very hot so the cold morning air felt amazing.

At 9 we went inside and I wanted to lay down so I got into bed while David pressed a hot compress on my back. David didn't want me laying down too much since it can slow labor but he didn't realize how far along I already was.
I wanted to take a bath so at 9:30 David drew a piping hot bath for me. Our hot water runs out pretty quickly so David heated water on the stove to keep the bath at a constant temperature over the next hour. I moaned through each contraction which I found to be the best relaxation method for me. It helped to actually do something physical to relax instead of just thinking about relaxing. There were a few times I felt like screaming but the low noises and vocalization prevented me from tensing up.

Contractions were getting stronger and stronger now and while the back labor wasn't as intense, I was having constant back pain even after an abdominal contraction would end. I could tell when they were starting, peaking and tapering off which made me feel a bit more in control of my labor. My contractions were about one minute long and three minutes apart, textbook active, first stage labor.
I got out of the bath at 10:20 and threw up while having a contraction and realized I was probably already in transition! That was probably one of the most miserable parts of my entire labor! I felt pressure in my pelvis but not the urge to push yet so I knew we needed to head to the hospital right away.

Left for the hospital at 10:30 and was taken inside in the worst possible wheelchair. It rattled and shook like it was about to fall apart but I just closed my eyes and tried to relax. We got to the labor and delivery floor and the nurses start asking a million questions even though we pre-registered with all the information they’re asking for. I told the nurse I wanted a birth ball and she responds that they have to run a strip (external fetal monitor) and do some standard procedures first. We got into the room and I collapsed onto the end of the bed crying that I wanted to go home. David ushered everyone out of the room and calmed me down.

He then went out and explained to the nurses to please not offer me any drugs and they were able to pull my birth plan from my doctor’s charts. I had left the extra copies in the car.

At about 10:45 the nurse hooked me up the external fetal monitor and examined me. I was 10 centimeters! I was elated because I knew the hardest part was behind me! In our hurry to get inside I told David to leave our bag in the car, forgetting the camera was in the suitcase. I told him to run and grab the camera before I needed to push. The nurse tried three times to give me a Hep lock and couldn’t get a vein. I was in the middle of trying to relax through a contraction and she was stabbing me with a needle. I had to ask her to stop until the contraction was over but she never could get a vein so I was left with a nasty bruise but happy to not have a Hep lock in my hand.

At 11 am Dr. Johnson arrived and preps for delivery. My water still hadn’t broken so she broke it but it was stained with large amounts of meconium. She told me that they would have to cut the cord right way because of the need to suction Laura right away. I had wanted to delay cord clamping and cutting to allow for the most amount of Laura’s blood to return from circulation through the cord and placenta into her body but that wasn’t as important as making sure she was breathing properly. The meconium can be ingested or aspirated by babies or in Laura’s cause, clog their breathing way and cause edema of the nasal passages.
I started pushing soon after. It took a few contractions to learn how to push effectively. While I could feel the contractions, I wasn’t sure how long to push for so I was glad to have the doctor tell me. It was such a relief to push instead of relax through a contraction. I had my eyes closed most of the time but when they told me she was crowning I reached down to feel her head. David and I both remarked we were surprised to see hair. She was out a few pushes later and the time of birth was recorded as 11:26 am. 6 pounds 14 ounces, 19.5 inches long. They immediately clamped the cord and David cut it. They took her over to the heated bassinet and began suctioning her nose. I heard her cry but I was still scared she wasn’t breathing well. Her oxygen saturation was low and they were having trouble getting her to breathe through her nose since the meconium had cause her nasal passages to swell. The placenta came a few minutes later but I was bleeding heavily so the nurse gave me a pitocin injection. Breastfeeding immediately after delivery helps the uterus to contract and reduce bleeding but I believe that since I was unable to feed her right away I probably bleed more.
Her Apgar score at one minute was 5 because she was having difficulty breathing. It was up to 8 at five minutes. I was able to hold her momentarily before they took her to the NICU so they could give her oxygen and clean out her nose better. David was able to go with Laura and came back several times over the next hour to give me updates. She was returned to me after about an hour and they got me ready to transfer to our recovery room. The sweet nurse brought up a food tray but warned me it probably wasn’t very good. She was right and told us about a great Chinese place that delivered to the hospital. We ate yummy Chinese for lunch in our recovery room instead of hospital mush.

With the exception of Laura’s breathing problem everything went as close to our birth plan as possible and it was a wonderful experience. If you’ve ever had even a fleeting thought of having natural childbirth check out the Bradley method. With practice and a caring husband by your side you can do it! God designed our bodies to give birth and it’s an incredible and empowering experience that I hope every woman gets to enjoy. Yes I said enjoy, I truly enjoyed our birth process; it doesn’t have to be an excruciating, terrifying experience. Even if you choose to have an epidural or don’t think natural childbirth is for you, being educated about your pregnancy, understanding the stages and processes of labor will give you a great sense of control and help alleviate the potential for fear and trepidation about birth. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Carseat Cover

Well, it's after midnight and after an hour of tossing and turning I decided to get out of bed. Pregnancy insomnia, it's my last few weeks of not having to wake to nurse a newborn yet I'm up anyways. Oh the irony. I can't wait to meet our sweet girl in a few weeks (or tomorrow who knows at this point?) I'm 37 weeks and 5 days.
I found this carseat cover via a friend's pin on Pinterest last weekend and decided it would be a fun project. I'm all about killing time these days! I currently don't have a sewing machine so I tackled this project with a little hand sewing. It's not quite as professional looking as it I had done it with a machine and I wish it had velco instead of snaps but I still love it. The best part? It was totally free to make! I already had the blanket, snaps and ribbon laying around the house.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

I actually got around to planing our meals on Monday this week! It's the end of the month, ie we are low on food and I've spent the grocery money so it took me a bit longer to plan this week's menu but I managed to create a weeks worth of dinners without eating chicken every night!

Enchilada Rice- I didn't get around to making this last week and we don't have any ground beef so it will be vegetarian enchilada rice.

Panera Bread Tomato Soup- this was also on last week's menu but I didn't make it. The great thing about meal planning is you can be both prepared and flexible! 

Spaghetti- this is quickly becoming my Wednesday night staple as I get home at 5:30 and have to leave for bible study at 6:45 leaving little time to cook. I just pull the sauce from the freezer a few days before and defrost in the fridge. All I have to do is boil water for the pasta, heat the sauce and dinner is ready. 

Oven roasted chicken with okra and couscous

Meatballs from the freezer, veggies and oven fries

David is taking the first part of the dental licensing exam on Saturday which will be followed by a class party with lots of yummy food! I'm working on our Halloween costume to wear to the party.

Brinner, I keep trying to cook on Sunday evening but never seem to have the energy to do so. Plus evening church starts at 6:30 meaning we have to eat very early or very late. Post dinner pancakes or breakfast tacos is becoming the trend since I can whip them up quickly after church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday

I actually did check the sales, get recipes, menu plan and go grocery shopping yesterday but didn't have a chance to type this up on Monday. I'm determined to become a better cook and break out of my boring food rut. I found several new recipes that we are going to try this week.

Monday  Cattle Drive Chili. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoon chili powder but she suggested using only 2. I thought it needed more heat and more tomatoes. We like our chili somewhat spicy with lots of tomatoes. This is rather thick with little broth, I also added more water. I've yet to find a chili recipe that we absolutely love, so if you have a great one, please send it my way! I have a feeling we are going to be eating lots of soup this winter.

Tuesday Potatoes and meatballs, veggies. Meatballs are from the freezer. 

Wednesday Homemade spaghetti sauce from the freezer with whole wheat noodles. 

Thursday Chicken Queso Soup, veggies

Friday Italian turkey sausage, baked potatoes and veggies. 

Saturday Enchilada Rice

Sunday Panera Bread Style Tomato Soup

Spicy Hop 'n Johns

I didn't discover Hop 'n Johns until I got married and they are a super easy, frugal and healthy meal that also freezes well. The only downside of this recipe is the fact that you have to have a leftover ham hock or bone to make it with. While spiral sliced isn't the only way to buy ham, it's certainly the easiest and tastiest in my opinion. Spiral sliced ham is rather expensive but in January I buy several on clearance, cut them up into more manageable portions and freeze them. 

Spicy Hop 'n Johns (from my mother in law)2 cups (1 bag or 1 lbs) dried black eyed peas (soaked overnight or boil 2 min then soak 1 hour)*
ham hock
2c chopped tomatoes
1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped onion
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
8 cups water 1/4 t basil
1 bay leaf
1 c brown rice
Add all ingredient to peas except rice. Simmer 1.25 hours or until peas are tender. Remove ham from bone. Add rice simmer till rice is tender apx 45 min.

* Be sure to drain all beans after soaking, it makes them less gassy, easier to digest and who wants to cook beans in the now dirty water they were soaking in?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good Reads for September

I'm not doing the best job of keeping track of what I've been reading so I had to sit and think for a few minutes about last month's books. 

Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson. This came out last year and is a must read for every parent of girls. Some parts were very encouraging about the unique way God created our daughters differently from boys, the powerful relationship parents, especially fathers, have with their daughters. Other chapters I found somewhat distressful and even scary as he recounted statistics about the plight of modern girls. Kind of made me want to lock up our daughter until she's 25 honestly. Praise the Lord we are not alone as we raise our children and it is not in our own strength. God's grace (and his guidance) is sufficient! 

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. Fantastic book for all pregnant woman explaining all the different medical procedures and practices used in obstetrics and midwifery. She is slanted towards natural childbirth which she gladly admits to but each subject is covered in a relatively non biased way with the pros and cons summarized with supporting medical literature. There are over one hundred pages of references. 

Subjects include cesareans * ultrasound * gestational diabetes * breech babies * inducing labor * IVs * electronic fetal monitoring * ruptured membranes * epidurals * episiotomies * vaginal birth after a cesarean * midwives and obstetricians * alternative birthing methods * choosing a birth location * drugs and delivery * elective induction * professional labor support * and much more 

I've already finished two books for October and have a huge stack of library books to get through. I normally only check out one or two at a time but I put ten books on hold and they are coming in quicker than I can read them. I will have lots of time nursing baby girl over the next year to enjoy new books. 

Georgia Baby Shower

 Me with the hostesses, Shannon, Julia and Renee 

Last Saturday three of my sweet friends from bible study blessed me with a baby shower. It was a beautiful shower with yummy food and great fellowship. David's sisters and mom were able to make it down for the shower as well.
 Denesha had her baby boy six days later! 
What was left of the delicious food
My favorite part was when everyone read off bible verses of God's promises for strength and safety and His great love for His children. These will be wonderful verses to meditate on during labor.

 Renee's daughter Allie with my niece Lizzie

Psalm 139:13 - "For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother's womb." It's amazing to think of how the Lord is already shaping our daughter into his child and loves her even before she is born! 

Isaiah 43:1 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine."

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread... for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

 Adorable bow holder Denesha made with my nursery fabric
Three Ensley sisters, my brother in law's wife and my mother in law

Thursday, October 6, 2011


David and I wanted to get away one last time before we become a family of three and took a weekend trip to Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago. Tickets for the Biltmore house were cheaper in September than October and I saved $30 by ordering tickets online. Friends all said the audio tour was well worth the extra cost and I'm so glad I went for it. The house tour is self guided and the information in the tour booklet is sparse.
We drove up Saturday morning, stopping at Starbucks in Asheville for a pumpkin latte that was heavenly and worth every penny. We spent about three hours touring the house in the morning and returned to our car for sandwiches. In the afternoon we returned to the house to take pictures of the exterior and explore the beautiful gardens. The morning haze had burned off and the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains was spectacular.
We headed over the the new Antler Village where a large collection of Tiffany lamps was on display. They were simply stunning and it was such a treat to see the vast touring collection. I was getting pretty tired from all the walking and my poor choice of shoes but I buckled down and figured we're only here once and I wanted to enjoy everything. We then toured the winery and bought several bottles of wine to enjoy after I'm no longer pregnant!
Hickory Nut Falls 
We headed back to our hotel which I had booked on Priceline and got ready for dinner. I need to write a whole entry on how to bid for hotels but for now here's a short article from Clark Howard. I saved fifty percent on our hotel, it had a super comfy bed plus breakfast and just happened to be about five minutes from the gate to the estate. We had a delicious steak dinner in Asheville and returned to the hotel to catch the end of the Texas game.
Lake Lure
On Sunday we ate breakfast at our hotel and drove about an hour to Chimney Rock State Park. I knew the elevator was closed but was told you could take a short hike up to the rock instead. By a short hike what they really meant was a vast series of staircases. I got my workout in that day! It was a cloudy fall day but the view from the top was still beautiful, especially after all those stairs we climbed to get there! We also took a "real" hike to Hickory Nut Falls which was sadly just a trickle at this time of year.  
We then headed to a apple orchard in Hendersonville to pick apples and enjoy the cool fall weather. We picked half a bushel of Mutsu and Golden Delicious apples and bought a pumpkin for the front porch as well. After dinner in Hendersonville, we headed home. It was a whirlwind trip but I am so glad we were able to get away before life gets just a bit crazier next month!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Once again I haven't done this in weeks...
I only list the main dishes and will throw together some steamed vegetables or fruit and a whole grain.

Experimenting with a simple chicken and brown rice casserole. The directions say cook at 350-400 for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Not very helpful if you ask me.
*Update, this did not come out very well but I covered the dish and the rice took forever and by the time the rice was cooked the chicken was dried out. I'll have to give it another shot uncovered and see how the chicken comes out. I can't stand dry chicken!

Dinner at bible study for David, I will probably have breakfast for dinner.


Chili Cheese Bake from the freezer. I made a double batch several weeks ago but I'm not sure if this will be as good coming out of the freezer.

Dinner at an event

Homemade pizza

Marinated Chicken

Hospital Gown

I want to stay at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital while I am in labor. I am planning on waiting until my contractions are about 3-5 minutes apart. The hospital is about a 5 minute drive from our house with a very short walk from the parking lot up to the Labor and Delivery floor. A friend told me she purchased her own hospital gown and wore it with a robe over it to the hospital. This way I can just check in and get back to relaxing instead of having to change clothes while in the midst of very active labor (maybe transition... fingers crossed!) 

Having my own gown will hopefully make the hospital feel a little more like home and less like a sick ward! Hospital gowns are not know for their modesty and I want to be able to walk around the hallway while in labor without feeling exposed. I purchased my gown from Baby Be Mine Maternity. Some of their gowns are quite pricey in my opinion so I bought a discounted gown from the outlet selection. Looking forward to meeting our sweet daughter in a few short months! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More of the Nursery

The nursery is coming along nicely, everything but the dollhouse/bookcase has been painted. The crib still needs to be set up and my sister in law is sweetly sewing the bumper pads. I need to take pictures of the finished armoire and the changing table we were recently given. 
 Handmade pillow from a friend of my parents
 I couldn't resist picking up these pink handles from Hobby Lobby 

Baby girl will sleep for the first few months in our room in this cradle I borrowed from my sister in law.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Freezer Cooking

I went to the grocery store last Friday and today was the first chance I had to divide and cook up all the meat I bought. I scored manager specials on ground turkey and Italian sausage and froze them right away since their sell by date was approaching faster than I could get them cooked.

One of our favorite cheap dinner dates is buy one get on free on Tuesdays at Wild Wings. Not having to cook dinner on top of freezer cooking made my evening much easier. Here's what I got cooked including the meatballs I made last night. I let the meat and spaghetti sauce cool overnight before placing in freezer bags.

  • Two pounds of meatballs.
  • Eighteen whole wheat banana chocolate chips muffins. Since I don't buy many snacks these will be gone in a day or two.
  • Five pounds of ground beef and turkey. I mixed them together while cooking and will season some of the meat tomorrow for tacos and leave several pounds unseasoned.
  • Nine muffin sized portions of sloppy joes. These make great lunches for David.
  • Large stockpot of spaghetti sauce. I set some aside without meat for plain marinara sauce.
  • One pound of Italian turkey sausage for the spaghetti sauce.
  • Four meals of marinated chicken in different marinades.
  • Four meals of plain chicken breasts. I tray freeze them and place them in a bag once they are frozen.

I'm tired but making dinner for the next month will now be much simpler.

Frugal Oven Liner

My Dream Oven

I'm sure I'm not the only homemaker who feels like the bottom of her oven is constantly dirty! I clean up a spill and the next day cookies drip onto my clean oven bottom. After seeing this oven liner on a friend's wedding registry I was ready and willing to drop $20 for the sake of keeping my oven clean. Weeks later I brought a meal to a friend and when I stuck the casserole in her oven, I noticed she had lined the bottom of the oven with foil! What a great, frugal alternative to the silicone mat from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Now, whenever there's a spill in my oven, I simply replace the foil. No more burned smell coming from my kitchen!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cloth Diapers

When you think of cloth diapers is the first thing to cross your mind poop, pins and prefolds? Well, poop is still part of the equation and pins and prefolds are a very frugal way to diaper your baby. However, cloth diapers have come a long way in the last few years.
I think it has been a combination of the "green movement" and the recession but cloth diapers are making a comeback. The main reason I have chosen to use cloth diapers for our baby (and many babies to come) is the simple fact that it's cheaper! It costs between $800-1000 per year to use disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers can vary in cost but I have chosen to use Best Bottom Diapers from Nicki's Diapers. Unlike all in ones or pocket diapers you can reuse the shell so you don't have to buy as many shells which is the most expensive part. I have six shells right now and plan on buying at least two more. The shell can be reused until it gets soiled and simply wiped down if the baby has only peed in the liner. It costs about $450 to get started with this diaper system plus the cost of washing and drying. The best part is cloth diapers can be used for many babies to come!
The most common question I get about cloth is "What about the poop?" You can buy rolls of rice paper liners which look like toilet paper and lay it between your baby and the diaper. If they mess, simply toss the rice paper and mess into the toilet and flush away! You'll still have to wash the diaper of course but that takes care of the gross part.

Cloth diapers tend to be bulkier than disposables, especially one size cloth. I have a small stock pile of disposables I got on sale for the first few weeks until she fits into the cloth better.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Frugality Failure and Success

I had great dreams for my vegetable garden this summer. I dug up a hug piece of the backyard, David cut wood to make raised bed type area (we didn't actually fill it all the way to the top with dirt though) bought rabbit fencing to keep Lilly out, bought more seeds than I should have and two soaker hoses.

I tried to start seeds on the front porch in egg cartons but only about half of the plants came up and then I procrastinated transplanting them to the garden so they all eventually died. Then Lilly jumped over the garden fence and chewed up my soaker hose, so for a while I had to hand water. What this translates to is that for a while I didn't water enough. Then slowly but surely the southern heat and my lack of commitment to watering killed plants one by one. Then, squash bugs ate my pumpkin which was happily thriving until then.

The corn seemed to be doing well, but we ate it one night and it was AWFUL! I didn't know corn could taste so bad! Also only about half the kernels on each cob were developed, probably because we planted too far apart and they weren't able to properly fertilize. By this point I had pretty much given up, although there were still two tomato plants left. We were out of town for a week and when I got back I decided to throw in the towel! Maybe next summer I'll stick to container gardening. 

As for my frugal success, we have been keeping our air conditioning at 82 degrees while we are at home and 85 while away. We cheated a bit this month because we were out of town for several days but our bill was only $119, the lowest by $40 we've had all summer and $60 less than last month. Being slightly sweaty finally paid off! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good Reads for August

I can proudly say I got through my two books before the end of the month! I loved The Baby Whisperer, it has been one of the most helpful books on infants and sleep I have read so far. It was funny and easy to read and had very helpful charts on troubleshooting a crying baby, nursing issues and sleep problems. I checked it out from the library but it was such a great book I want to buy a copy to have for reference when baby girl comes.

It is similar to Baby Wise in that it promotes a routine of Eat, Awake, Sleep but adds in Yourself forming the acronym EASY. The EASY routine is less clock oriented than Baby Wise and teaches you to learn your child's needs and use the clock as a guide instead of the rule. Similar to Baby Wise, it also suggests putting your infant to bed awake instead of asleep.

It laid out the different types of baby personalities and how to do the EASY routine with each type of infant as well as help pages directed at your baby's personality. Several of the other books just left me confused but The Baby Whisperer laid out the principles in a clear and concise manner, I just can't say enough good things about this book!

August Reads 
How the Irish Saved Civilization
The Baby Whisperer 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How I earned $400 in 5 1/2 hours

Or my long air travel adventure to Texas.

David and I woke up at 4 am on Thursday morning to drive me to the airport and arrive by 5 for a 6:20 flight. I missed a flight after getting a flat tire when David and I were dating so I'm always careful now to allow myself to be at the airport a full hour and a half before take off now. When I arrived at the gate I found out the longer airstrip was closed and planes were having to reduce their passenger load in order to make weight and take off on the shorter runway.

The gate agent was desperately asking for volunteers to take a flight out of Atlanta and received a  $400 travel voucher. It tempted me at first, but I was tired and six months pregnant and at first decided not to volunteer. After everyone had boarded the plane, the plane was grossly overweight for the short runway even though there were only 33 passengers aboard a 50 seat plane. They called again for volunteers and this time I caved. A $400 travel voucher would get me another trip to Texas and I know David and I will be making a trip out here with baby next spring and we are NOT driving 1200 miles with a baby!

Nine people had to get off the airplane to make weight but finally enough volunteered and the plane was able to take off half full! The airline hired two cabs to shuttle us all to Atlanta and off I went to catch at direct flight from Atlanta to Austin at 2:30. I was originally supposed to arrive in Austin at 10 am but finally got into Austin at 3:30 central time. It made for a long day but I was so excited to receive the travel voucher it made it all worth it. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nursery Furniture

I have several pieces of furniture that I have gotten for free or very cheaply that I am repurposing and painting for out little girl's nursery. I acquired an old TV cabinet at a garage sale that I am converting into an armoire. It doesn't have any drawers, just shelves, so I am going to buy some baskets to hold the clothes and add a bar for hanging clothes at the top. I bought this cute little shelf at a consignment sale back in March and painted it white. Please excuse the cell phone pictures, I was too lazy to pull out my digital SLR today. 
My dad built this dollhouse for me and I am going to use it as a bookcase until she is old enough for dolls. The old blue trim is going to be painted green to match the bedding. 
Lastly, I bought this night stand at Salvation Army for $18. It has a laminate top that we have sanded primed over. I was a bit worried the primer wouldn't stick but David sanded the laminate down well enough for the primer to adhere. It's going to be all white when we are finished. All the pieces except the armoire have been primed and are ready for white paint! Can't wait to finish her room.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Maternity Clothes

I am so grateful to my sister in law who has given me two boxes of maternity clothes from her own pregnancies. Even still, maternity clothes get boring very quickly and I was elated to receive a package from my Aunt last week with a cute top and pair of shorts. They shorts were a bit on the small side so I made a trip to Kohl's to exchange them.

We had received a $50 Kohl's giftcard several months ago for signing up for a free trial of something which I don't remember that we immediately canceled. I had been saving the giftcard for maternity clothes or some other shopping later down the road. Maternity clothes are way overpriced in my opinion and I am so grateful to have been given so many clothes. I returned the too small shorts and decided to buy a skirt instead. With the money from my return and the giftcard I got a skirt, and two dresses plus the top my Aunt had mailed me. Then, on Saturday I found a nice Target maternity dress at a garage sale for only $3. I spent $7 out of pocket at Kohl's coming to a grand total of $10 for four new pieces plus the one my Aunt bought me. So happy to have more clothes that fit my ever growing belly!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wonderful couponing trip

So sad, I started this post on Sunday and I'm just now getting around to finishing it.
I haven't gone hard core couponing in quite a while. It tends to stress me out a bit and so I haven't hit up CVS for a good deal since last month. Here's what I got on Sunday at three different stores.

Transaction #1
  • Renu contact solution $7.89
  • -$2 coupon. = $6.44 after tax. Got $6 back
Transaction #2
  • 3 cans shaving cream 2.19 each + 8 pack disposable razors $14.79
  • - 6.25 manufacture coupons  - $0.50 ECB - $6.00 ECB from Renu = 10.07 after tax got $10 back
CVS total

  • Spent $16.91, Value $29.43, + $10 ECB
Next a made a mad dash to Toys R Us. Southern Savers had just listed a great deal on diapers and I knew they would be gone by day's end. I lucked out and got 66 count Babies R Us diapers for just $5 a pack. I'm using cloth for our baby girl, but I was told the Best Bottom cloth diapers I registered for are a bit large on a newborn so I wanted to stock up on newborn and size one diapers. Plus diapers on sale make a great baby shower gift so I bought two pack of size two as well.

Toys R Us total
  • 4 packages of Babies R Us diapers, normally $12 on sale for $5 each (7 cents a diaper)
  • 2 packages of Huggies Natural diaper $5 each minus $4.50 in coupons + $5 gift card for buying two packs of Huggies. After the gift card (which I have to use later) the diapers were only a quarter a package! 
  • Used a $10 gift card I already had which brought my total to 18.30, Value $72 + $5 gift card
Lastly I stopped at Walgreens to get wipes.
Huggies wipes on sale for $2.49x2 - $3.50 in coupons = $1.48 plus tax

Total spent $37.21, total value $108 and I got $15 in gift cards and extra bucks.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I did it!

It took an untold number of hours, ripped out seams and tears but I finally finished the crib dust ruffle last night. It's by no means perfect or professional but I think it will look nice in our little girl's room. Her crib is not set up set so I can't put the bedskirt on just yet but here's what it looks like draped across the table. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the fabric is mini stripe not a solid green. 

I had enough energy and motivation to get started on the valance yesterday as well. I was a little nervous about cutting out the pattern without any guidance but after reading it several times through I went ahead and cut it out. The valance turned out to be much easier than the dust ruffle and it only took me a few hours to make it. I have a curtain rod that's too large for the nursery window but I put the curtain on it anyways, just to get an idea of what the finished product looks like. I'm going to buy some cheap sage colored shears to layer underneath the valance. I couldn't be more thrilled with myself, it's the first time I've sew something using a pattern without any help!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June and July Reads

David and I start our Bradley Childbirth class tomorrow and I'm excited to say I was able to finish reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, before the class began. I highly recommend this book for all pregnant mommies, even if you are not planning on having a natural birth. The book is graphic, which threw me for a loop at first, but the details of birth, relaxation techniques and labor practice have helped me to become educated and at ease about labor. The Bradley classes study and practice this material over a course of 12 weeks. For more information on the Bradley Method and to find a class visit Bradley Birth.com.

June Reading
Finished bible study book No Other Gospel 
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

July Reading 
Bible study, Shepherding a Child's Heart 
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (this book is rather long I may not get around to my second book)
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gender Party

I had an ultrasound on June 24 to check on baby's growth and find out if our little bundle of joy will be a boy or girl. 
We kept the gender a secret for a week and planned a party to tell out families. This was my first attempt at decorating a cake. I bought a box cake mix, dyed the batter pink and made the icing from scratch using Wilton's buttercream recipe. 
To create perfectly smooth buttercream, first ice a crumb layer and allow to harden. I placed my cake uncovered in the fridge until it was firm. Then I added a second thick layer of icing and allowed to cool and harden. Once it was firm, I placed a Viva brand paper towel over the cake and rubbed over the towel until the icing was smooth. Check out Cake Central  for more detailed instructions. 

Pink and blue supplies from the Dollar Store
I asked people to vote for whether they thought the baby was a boy or girl and any names suggestions. I will add these pages to baby's scrapbook. 

It looks like I was surprised but I was excited to show off the pink cake!