Browsing Category: Parenting

It’s a….Gender Reveal Party!

It's a...Gender Reveal Party!!

Have you heard of the gender reveal party fad? In the past couple years, it seems like there has been a surge of people hosting gender reveal parties! I’m not normally one to jump on bandwagons, but I wanted to do something special and different for baby number 3! I thought a gender reveal would be the perfect way to share our excitement and celebrate our newest little one with people who are dear to us.

It's a...Gender Reveal Party!!

So we decided to find out the baby’s gender at the same time as our guests. Our ultrasound technician put the two most important photos of our baby in an envelope (which she sealed and STAPLED shut!! Do I not look trustworthy??). I was intently watching the ultrasound the entire time, but…I still had no idea what we were having when we left the hospital.

I drove to my cake lady’s house and dropped off our precious envelope.

She then made us this adorable cake, which she layered with pink or blue icing inside. We weren’t sure which. And no matter how much I texted her that night, she wouldn’t give me a single darn hint!

Gender reveal party cake

I went home and got to work decorating the house, mostly with repurposed decor we had laying around already. I had also made a trip to the Dollar Tree earlier in the week for pink and blue paper ware and balloons and glow sticks for the kids. 🙂

I made a couple signs that night…one for the front door…

Old Wive's Tales poster

And one I hung in the kitchen.

Old Wive's Tales Gender Predictions

I made a quick, easy garland with pink and blue ribbons from my craft stash. I used mini binder clips to hang our ultrasound pics (All but the ones with the “parts”.)

Ultrasound Pic Banner

I decorated our dining room table with a pink sparkly piece of material from JoAnn Fabrics and a blue polka dot table runner.

Gender Reveal Party decorations

I used a blue, antique cut glass bowl and put pink Good N Plentys in it. My girls and I enjoyed eating all the white ones. 🙂

gender party dining room decor

I love using photos for decorating at parties…so on the dining room table, I put photos of me and my husband while dating/engaged, a photo of us with our first baby, and a photo with our second. In front of the frames, I formed a question mark with heart rhinestones I picked up at the Dollar Tree. I don’t know if my guests picked up on the symbolism, but it made me happy. 🙂

gender party dining room table decor

I got to work early the next morning painting these pumpkins my mom gave me. I didn’t want my girls insisting on “helping” me, haha! These were not only cute decorations, but they also made cute photo props later on!

It's a....girl? Boy?

I incorporated the big question on everyone’s mind in our refreshment layout. 🙂

Gender Reveal Party M&M's

Finally, at 6:30pm, the day after we’d had our ultrasound, it was time to party! I was 98% sure that a third little girl would be joining our family…we have a total of 6 girls in the family on my husband’s side. None of Hubby’s siblings have had a boy, so what are the chances we would? Our friends were cheering and laughing, calling out their gender predictions as I sliced into the cake. The moment had arrived!

Cutting our gender reveal cake!!

And to my absolute shock, it was BLUE! I was speechless. I couldn’t stop staring at those blue layers.

The big moment!!

Moments later, I’m still staring at the cake wondering, “How can this be?”. But my four year old  simply shrugged, “I knew it was a boy!”. And somehow she did…she has stuck to her belief for months now.

Surprise! It's a boy!

Date night on the night after the party, I was officially 21 weeks. And the blue pumpkin makes for an adorable photo prop! Love my little man already!

Bump pic - 21 weeks!

If you’re planning a gender reveal party, check out my Reveal Party board on Pinterest!

How to Survive the Picky Eater Battle with No Tears!

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

The Great Picky Eater Food Battle is not for the faint of heart.

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

Lately, my two year old refuses to eat pretty much everything. Unless it is peanut butter, cheese, yogurt or her favorite fruits. She also likes ham, so regardless of what kind of meat I’m serving, I exclaim, “Eat! You like this; it’s ham!”. Sometimes, it even works! 😉

My picky eater refuses foods that aren’t aesthetically pleasing….

She turns up her nose at unfamiliar foods (unless they’re highly processed and full of artificial flavors)….

My toddler has even looked at her dinner plate and remarked, “Bleh!”. How rude! …

No matter how much I bribe her, or threaten time-outs, she Will. Not. Eat. She clenches her lips together, covers her mouth with her hand, and turns as far away from me as possible. And I know I have no course of action that doesn’t include handcuffs, straps, and pliers.

So what to do? I am a strict mom, but even I don’t believe in prying my daughter’s mouth open to shove food in it. 😉

Everyone says, “They’ll eat when they’re hungry!”. But what parent can stand there and watch their child starve nutritionally? While their child simultaneously grows unbearably crabby because, like their mama, they get HANGRY when they don’t eat.

Today, I am going to share what is helping us through this challenging time!

My mealtime tips for  dealing with a picky eater –

  • Serve several foods your child WILL EAT and one new food.
  • Serve small portions to avoid waste, frustration, or child getting overwhelmed at the sight of new food.
  • Encourage your child to try at least one bite.
  • Promise they don’t have to finish new food, or even swallow it. (My kids are big fans of spitting yucky foods in the trash after holding it their mouth for eons.)
  • If child still refuses to try even one bite, threaten to take away a privilege. For us, that’s tv time, which we often allow after dinner and before bed.
  • Follow through. No bite, no privilege.
  • Don’t get mad. Stay calm. Act like it’s no biggie if your kid is iron deficient because she refuses to eat her spinach.
  • Put cheese on it! My kids favorite food group – everything looks and tastes better with cheese!
  • Serve new foods at lunch, and familiar favorites at dinner. Your kids will have a full belly for bedtime and sleep soundly.
  • If kids don’t eat much of their lunch, don’t give them a snack. Or give them a small, but healthy snack to tide them over. NO TREATS! Go ahead, break out your secret stash of chocolate and eat it right in front of them. You deserve it for preparing food they didn’t want and washing a plate they wouldn’t eat off.
  • Keep trying!My mealtime tips for a picky eater

Our greatest success recently has been simply getting the food into my 2.5 year old daughter’s mouth. Whether or not she likes it, or will even swallow the food, at least she is opening her mouth! We accomplished this mainly by threatening a consequence (revoking tv privileges after dinner) and promising she can spit the offensive food in the trash if she so desires.

I trust that in time, her delicate palate will broaden itself from the repeated exposure to new flavors and textures. And if it doesn’t well…there’s always those sneaky veg recipes on Pinterest.

‘Fess Up Time: Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails – we’ve all been there, done that!

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

My general theory is that whether you make huge mistakes or simple parenting fails, your kid can still turn out either good or bad. Many successful people have emerged from a terrible home life. And sometimes kids from good, strong families lose their way. The Bible promises that if you train up a child in the way he should go, in the end he will not depart from it. So just do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

With that being said, however….parenting fails can still make us feel like idiots! I’ll never forget the time I took my newborn first child to the pool in her adorable two piece baby bikini and shades. I laid her on a lounge chair on top of a beach towel and started snapping away with my camera. She was three months old and cute as a bug. I was beside myself with motherly pride and adoration, when all of a sudden she rolled off the lounge and onto the concrete! Luckily, the chair was very low to the ground and she was not injured, but I was so ashamed of myself for being stupid enough to let something like that happen. I didn’t tell anyone (besides hubby) for almost two years because I was so embarrassed!

Beach Babe - Don't Call Me Supermom
An adorable photo from the fateful day!

I also forgot the diaper bag the first time we ever took our newborn daughter to church, when she was a week old. Now that I’m a “seasoned” parent of four years, I realize that these things happen to everyone. We all experience parenting fails, and that doesn’t make us bad at what we do! In fact, it’s the guilt we feel afterwards that makes us good parents!

If you’re having a rough day, check out these stories and realize you’re not alone when you feel helpless, inadequate, or just plain stupid. We’re all in this together! 🙂

Jen from Heaven Not Harvard: One time in the Wal-mart parking lot, I was so busy making sure my daughter’s car seat was in correctly and tightly secured that she started to roll away in the shopping cart into the traffic flow! 😱😳 Luckily, there were no cars and I grabbed her in seconds. My husband was just coming out from buying something he’d forgotten when he saw my eyeballs about jump out of my skull and my legs road runner spiral into action.

Aditi from Silver Linings – My parents, hubby dearest, and two month old baby came home after an evening spent roaming around the shopping mall. We had just started getting ready for bed when the crying began. Desperate, never ending and extremely loud to four adults who were new to being around an infant. We tried everything, feeding, bathing, more clothes, less clothes, gripe water, steam etc. Panic had just started to seep in, when for some reason my brilliant husband got our industrial fan, switched it to low and put it bang in front of the little one lying in the bouncer. And lo and behold, the crying stopped. My hubby quipped, “He just needed to feel like the star of a Bollywood movie with the wind blowing his hair in the scene where he’s introduced.”

Bärbel from Simple Summit – My daughter was 5 days old when we went to the pediatrician’s office for her first check-up. When the nurse called her name, my husband and I just kept sitting in the waiting room. She called it again – this time, the full name and we both got up, embarrassed. “We are new at this, can you tell?”, was our excuse. 🙂
We have also left the diaper bag at home before, or ended up staying out longer than anticipated so I ran out of diapers. I shook out the poopie in her diapers so I could reuse them again. So embarrassing!

Crystal from Love More Live Blessed – I had my pack-n-play up way before I had my son. I would throw diapers in there until I could put them away. I know, I know, so lazy. Anyway, one day I threw a package of diapers across the room into the pack-n-play. A second later, I realized my newborn was in there too! Ahh!! He was fine, the diapers didn’t hit him – but I sure felt guilty.

Nikki from Healing Mama Remedies – I was nursing my son while looking on my phone, then I dropped my phone on his head! I felt horrible!

Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama – I thought squeaking the dog’s toy in front of my 8 week old might make him laugh – it terrified the crap out of him!

Hannah from Sunshine And Spoons – On my oldest daughter’s first Sunday in church, I took her downstairs to feed her a bottle and forgot to burp her. When we came back upstairs and sat down in our pew, she threw up her entire bottle all over my dress.

With my 3rd child, I forgot to bring any diapers to church and she uncharacteristically had TWO really messy diapers. The first time it happened, I begged a too-small diaper from my sister in law. The second time, I was too embarrassed to ask again. Church was almost over so when it finished, I put a rag in her carseat so she wouldn’t leak all over it and took my smelly, oozing child home to change! I left diapers in the church nursery after that.

When my 4th and youngest baby was just 3 months old, I took him to a Sunday School picnic. I thought I did a good job keeping him out of the sun. However, I let someone else hold him for a while and she forgot to do the same. He had THE worst sunburn on his forehead and nose that I’ve ever seen. Note to self: Always bring a hat for the baby!

 As always, thanks for reading! And remember, if you’re a parent, or parent-to-be, take it easy on yourself. We all make mistakes from time to time, but it will all be okay in the end!

Proverbs 22:6

Laughable Labor Tales

Laughable Labor Tales

Laughable labor tales probably don’t exist in most people’s opinions. Labor is many things… It is painful, sometimes gross, always unpredictable. And there’s a wonderful reward at the end. But I think along the way, labor can have it’s funny moments, too!

Laughable Labor Tales

When I was younger and single, I always hated when women started yakking about their labor experiences. It was boring and I couldn’t participate in the conversation. But now that I have my own labor stories, I fully embrace everyone’s tales! But I also prefer to hear about the sweet moments, the laughable labor tales. I will never enjoy hearing the “How Long was your labor?” battle. One woman says she was in labor for 48 hours, and another still claims to have her beat at 92 hours. Since when was this a competition, ladies??? We were all miserable and in pain, ok? We all lose!!! Lol!

Now that my rant is out of the way, let’s move on. Who of you have ever seen the famous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy announces it is time to go to the hospital? Such hilarious chaos isn’t really that far-fetched. When it comes to going into labor, people tend to lose their cool.

This doesn’t describe me at all; how about you? Anyone in your family? Tell me your labor story in the comments below – I’d love to hear!

Today, I am going to share a collection of laughable labor tales I gathered from blogger friends. I will kick off the humor with my own funny labor stories!

Here is MY first labor story : 

With my first child, my water broke at home 3 days early on a Friday night. Just a trickle, not a gush – no big deal. I calmly called the hospital, “I think my water broke; should I come in?”. When they said yes, I announced to hubby that I was going to go take a shower and shave (Duh!). My husband scurried around getting things together and worrying about whether I’d ever finished packing my suitcase (the answer was no), but I was cool as a cucumber. I told him, “It’s a first baby – they always take a long time to come; don’t worry about it! Go make me something to eat.”

We pulled into the hospital parking lot as I was texting a friend to let her know that, “The time has come!”. Hubby went to retrieve our suitcase from the trunk and he locked the darn car with me still in it! He stood outside the car holding our suitcase, looking befuddled.

Next, as it just so happened, the hospital doors we thought we were supposed to use after-hours were locked! I don’t know how many times I’d asked which doors to use and when. I’d asked at the doctor’s office, we took the hospital tour, AND I had someone draw me a map. Yet, the doors were locked. It was truly the one thing I had worried about when it came to labor. Let me tell you, in case you’re concerned, hospitals are pretty safe places. It’s not easy to get in there once they start locking doors. We had to trek all around the giant parking lot until we found someone who would let us in, but not before my pants were soaked with broken waters!

Newborn record of birth

My 2nd Funny Labor Tale! : (Yeah, would you believe I have two? We’re a funny couple, I guess.)

With my second labor, I thought I’d given hubby all sorts of clues that I was having contractions (again, on a Friday evening! What are the chances?). In fact, I’m pretty darn sure I came right out and said, “I think I’m having contractions”. The world will never know the true story. It’s merely my crystal clear memory against his fuzzy recollection.

But despite having contractions, they weren’t very regular. So we got ready for bed. Around midnight, I got up to shower and shave (Notice another trend?). I stepped out of the shower and snapped at my slumbering husband, “Are we going to the hospital or not?!?”. He was absolutely oblivious. In disbelief, I exclaimed, “Well, why do you think I got out of bed to take a shower??” as if that explained it all. Hahaha, oh my poor, poor hubby. After this bit of drama, the hospital sent us home 4 hours later. Whereupon my water immediately broke in bed!

Back at the hospital, hubby had the nerve to laugh as I kept nodding off during my epidural, due to the sleeping pill they’d given me on our first visit when they were so sure I wasn’t in active labor. But who can sleep through contractions?? My eyes would close and my head would droop, but then I’d have a contraction and my head would pop right back up! I’m sure I did look hilarious…

Laughable Labor Tales - hubby sleeps while wife contracts

Both stories I’ve related were definitely more funny than stressful! (Except for the hospital sending me home when I was most definitely in labor.)

I’m not sure if the following women would have been content with boring stories, but they definitely had some funny circumstances surrounding their labor and births. Check out their stories below! (I can relate to the first one! Haha!)

Labor Tales - 2nd child

Nikki from Healing Mama RemediesMy water broke at 3am. I shook my husband and said, “Honey, my water broke!”. He replied, “Okay”, so I thought he knew that it was time to go to the hospital. I started getting my stuff ready and still didn’t hear him get up! By the time everything was packed, he was still asleep! So I woke him again, saying, “My water broke; we have to go to the hospital!”. Later, he told me he heard me say, “I THINK my water broke”, so he didn’t see the need in getting up if I wasn’t sure. 😀

Hannah from Sunshine and Spoons – When I was in labor with my first, my brother-in-law called to see how things were going. I talked to him for a few minutes while stopping periodically to get through a contraction until a really bad one hit and I literally threw the phone at my husband because I was done talking. It wasn’t until later that I learned my brother-in-law had me on speaker phone at a church gathering (our small, family-like church) so everyone could get an update!

Another funny thing happened when I gave birth to my 3rd baby. We had two ultrasounds that predicted a boy, so when SHE was born, it was the shock of our lives! I seriously thought the doctor was joking until I saw her myself. When the nurse laid her on me, the first thing my baby girl did was pee on me, which I think was payback for calling her a boy for 4 months, lol!

Daisy from Fertile Brains – When my water broke, I was busy filling up my annual self-assessment (performance review) for work (It was 6:00 am and 9:00 am was the deadline). I actually called up my gyn and asked, “Can the baby wait for some more time?” LOL! I am not sure if it is funny or pathetic!

Bree from Family As we Go – The only thing funny to me was right when I pushed my baby out (and I didn’t know the sex). The midwife said, “Here’s your girl!” and then I looked down laughing, “No way, he’s got a little pee-pee! … it was midnight, so I’m sure she was exhausted!

Tabitha from Love My Mom Life : My family was stressing me out so much during the transition phase, that the staff technically kicked them out. My father-in-law was so nervous that he kept peeking through the waiting area doors at the nurses. I was continually reminding my husband to quit hitting my bed with his foot during labor. He was pulling my iv every time! I also had a nurse tell me no way I needed to push because I was checked almost an hour before and I was only at 3cm then. She was really surprised when she checked and I was at 9!

Suzanne from Made Perfectly Imperfect – I was in horrible labor and my husband hadn’t had anything to eat. We stashed blow pops in our hospital bag, so he decided he would suck on one. He was trying to open the bag while I was having a particularly bad contraction. All of a sudden, the bag exploded, sending blow pops everywhere! One hit the doctor in the head and one landed right between my legs as if it were a treat waiting for the baby’s arrival. Everyone, including me, busted out laughing.
newborn
I hope you’ve enjoyed all these labor tales whether you’re awaiting your first baby or aren’t having any more. Labor is painful and scary, but it can also be funny! Enjoy the experience if you can!
dark-pink-heart
Laughable Labor Tales