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Baby is Expected in a Month?!

I remember being in my last month of pregnancy with my first two children, and it felt like eons had passed with many more to go!  This time around, I am all of a sudden into my 36th week of pregnancy and feel like I have NOTHING accomplished.  #momlife right?!

My current goal is baby bag, mommy bag and daddy bag for the hospital, and the birth plan (see my post last year about birth plans and how they changed my life here: Birth Plan).   I have been BLESSED this pregnancy to have a crazy supportive and helpful Doula who tasked me yesterday with resting and relaxing.  A much-needed task after surviving the weekend with my post-op hubby laid up in bed and two busy children running about the house!

Our third, and final pregnancy has been quite the whirlwind of emotions and life; I was diagnosed early on (after going to emergency with what I thought was a miscarriage) with a Subchorionic Hematoma, which has dissolved thank God, but had me on restricted activity for the first trimester and a half.  Then, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes which so far is 100% diet controlled and looking great (again, thank God)!  Needless to say, on top of pregnancy conditions and all other stresses life sends our way, the time has just flown by.

As I think about this being my last pregnancy, I am savoring every jab and kick – even though I am convinced he is trying to push his way out any way he can!  I am cherishing the hiccups, the late night rolling with in me and all the movement that I feel with this little miracle growing inside me.  I feel so blessed that I am able to carry my third and will forever treasure all three of my pregnancies!

I will be posting my postpartum kit and the baby’s hospital bag as I build them this week!  Giving myself some accountability – of course unless this little man plans an early arrival ;).

Hope you have a great day and keep in your prayers all of those affected by hurricanes and earthquakes in the past few weeks!!

x.

em.

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An Earnest Summer!

This summer is FLYING by!  Sorry the posts have been sparse – we are enjoying the weather and this hot season.  We have been keeping busy with our local zoo, libraries, bowling and even took in a movie.  I have to admit, with a school-ager it is tough to keep the interest, allow some boredom, all without allowing the craziness to take the days over.

This summer, we decided on a different approach.   Instead of trying to do BIG things like travel or get out everyday, we made a weekly schedule.  A schedule easy enough to change if necessary but also help with the dreaded summer “brain drain” (we have a great article on these tips coming up next week by one of our moms in the Earnest Mom Squad).  We decided weekends would still be the break so we assigned regular activities for the weekdays.  Mondays we have a fun class on self regulation and practicing hand writing, Tuesdays our local library has a free special event that we attend, Wednesdays are backyard days, Thursdays are baking afternoons and par kour classes in the evenings, and Fridays are science experiments day.

Tuesdays, our local libraries have been great.  We have seen magic shows, balloon shows, local baseball teams, the traveling zoo and bouncing play times.  All free and it is fun to get out and let the kids play in a new space with new activities each week.  Wednesday’s backyard day is literally time playing in the yard – nothing too special and sometimes we fill up the kiddie pool.  We usually get out everyday, at least the kids do but this is a special time where we all go out together and I may garden or rest my swelling feet and the earnest littles get to run and play to their hearts content.  All before rest time of course to help the nap process along.

On Thursdays when Earnest Babe takes her two hour nap, Earnest Boy gets up from his 20 minute rest and him and I bake together.  The first week was GREAT, we baked this Starbucks Copy Cat Banana Bread recipe (from myfrugaladeventures.com) with the bananas that my children will not eat once they have freckled, we substituted chocolate chips for the walnuts and enjoyed it for four or five days.  It was delicious.  The second Thursday, we tried our hand at strawberry jam with the strawberries we picked earlier that morning.  We made this recipe from www.intimateweddings.com.  The whole process took a lot longer than we had thought but the result was yummy plus it did not use pectin, only sugar and lemon juice.  The last two weeks we had family in from out of town so we did not bake but today we are back in the swing of things with Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We are using the classic Nestle Tollhouse Recipe (not my french aunt’s recipe for you Friends fans out there) and using all organic ingredients.  The baking day was created at the request of Earnest Boy, I was surprised he was interested in cooking but he is home with me all summer and I love baking and cooking.

Our Science Fridays have been so much fun!!  Once again, we wait until Earnest Babe is napping so we can focus on the experiments at hand.  Now before you get to thinking this Earnest Mom has crazy organization skills and creativity to plan and execute educational science experiments, hold on.  We decided to purchase a monthly subscription for the summer to The Spangler Science Club.  They send you 1-10 experiments a month that are focused on STEM and growing the curiosities of 7-14 year-olds.  So far we have grown polymers, experimented with the grown polymers, grown crystals and currently we are on a polymer alligator growth watch.  This post is not sponsored, we just are loving the Spangler Science Subscription and feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck no matter the price level subscription that is chosen.

This summer, I feel as though I am not feeling pressure any day or week to keep kids entertained – they know what to expect each day and we get excited for every activity we do together.  All days, the activity is not a full day event so we are able to spend free time together and time that is scheduled.  I feel a lot less stressed!!! Any earnest followers have some fun activities planned for their little or big ones this summer to keep the boredom and/or summer crazies to a low?  Please share.

x. earnest mom.

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Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Making Time for YOU

Here is a feature from our Earnest Mom Squad member, Kate.  This one is all about you, yes, you mama – we see you, tired, working hard, hustling everyday.  This feature contains some great tips on how to make time for you, which will help you have a better time with your family.  x. em.

When you have kids, making time for yourself is hard…how do you think of yourself when you’re kids need you 24/7? I always remind myself that in order for my kids to have me 100% I need me.  Even if that time is only 10 minutes of showering ALONE, or a bubble bath while my husband takes our son.  Sometimes I put our little man to bed, and as exhausted as I am wanting to sleep, I light some candles and draw a nice warm bath with my favorite country music.  Of course right next to the tub I have the video monitor, because lets face it as much as we say we want to unwind and step away we think about them constantly, what are they doing, are they sleeping, are they hungry, are they crying for me.

Then there are the nights that ME time is holding my son while I put him to sleep and instead of putting him in his crib right away I hold on tight for as long as I can. These cuddles to bed won’t last long so I will enjoy them as long as I can as much as I can.  My heart melts when my son knows it’s bedtime and he rests his head on my chest on his own and puts his arms around me, he doesn’t know but those are the moments I live for. In those moments, I flash back to every second with him, from his first cry, to the first time he rolled to when he learned to talk and say “momma” and “dadda.”  A lot of the time, my ‘me time’ is mostly with my son.  I am the person I am for my son it only makes sense for me to make my me time us time for as long as I can until the day he thinks spending time with his mommy isn’t cool anymore.

 

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An Earnest Postpartum Recovery Kit. 

Have a friend or family member who is due to give birth and looking for something to get her that will help in those first few weeks of recovery?  Try a PP Recovery Kit. 

Here is a gift I recently put together for a new mama in my neighborhood. 


Some essentials for a new mom those first few days: DIY padsicles because swelling and soreness are REAL. Soothing breast pad application and an all natural (non lanolin) nipple cream, because nursing may not always be easy. Water and some snacks because I know that I have NEVER experienced thirst and hunger like breastfeeding thirst and hunger.  Then add any other mommy pampering you think a new mom may like. Pop then into a basket or gift bag (I used a $3 wire waste basket from Target) and there you go! A great, useful and thoughtful gift to help any new mom get through recovery after delivery.  

Any other items you may add to a Postpartum Kit? Please comment below and let us know!

x. earnest mom. 

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Welcome to the Earnest Mom Squad Part Two

Next, I would like you to all meet another member of the Earnest Mom Squad, Kahentiiosta. Please join me in giving her an earnest welcome

Hi, I am Kahentiiosta. I have three daughters, 9, 6, 6. The youngest ones are fraternal twins. I am married to Saveoun, we have been married for just over 10 years. We currently live in Southwest Ontario, Canada. 

I am a full-time university student in my 3rd year of school for my Bachelors of Social Work. Prior to attending school, I worked as a Early Childhood Educator. I spend most my time going between school, home and various volunteer jobs. I sit on the board of directors for an Aboriginal centre, parent volunteer for my daughter’s school, Indigenous Parent Committee participant amongst some other smaller places. My emphasis in school is Indigenous competency, early childhood education, and advocacy for children, and Adolescents.

I enjoy spending time with my family, going on weekend trips, rv’ing—when the weather is nice, swimming and enjoying outside activities. 

I breastfeed all my children and co-slept with them until they were old enough to sleep on their own. But whichever way people chose to feed and help their children sleep I am encouraging and will assist in finding solutions with issues.

Throughout the years and even now I am the go to person for advice on child rearing, as my children are significantly older than most of my friend’s children. I am always willing and eager to help with any issues and find a solution that works best for the family. Each family is different and as are all children, being aware of that is helpful in assisting with families.

We have had a very busy 4 years after my twins were born, but life is starting to slow down, when it comes to the busyness of dealing with a toddler, and newborns.

Each stage of life has changed our family and we’ve gone thru many transitions. Some we thought we would never get out of but in the end, we prevailed. I am grateful for a very supportive husband who encouraged me to continue school, even if it meant changing everyone’s lives. So far we have survived!

I’m grateful for the opportunity that Earnest Mom has given me to share some insight into my life, and thoughts. I look forward to hearing from everyone.  

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Welcome to the Earnest Mom Squad.  Part One. 

Please join me in giving an earnest welcome to A, who is one of the newest members of the  Earnest Mom Squad. Here is a quick intro from this fabulous mama! 

My name is A, I am a 22 year old stay at home mom of an 8 month old little boy. I have been married to the love of my life, Tyler for 2 years. We live in a small home, in a tiny town of northern Pennsylvania; it’s simple living and we are loving everyday! 

My son Noah (aka Our Little Super Hero), was born with many health concerns and requires a little extra love and attention.  I am so blessed to have him.  He has spent extensive time in the NICU/hospital and I spend a lot of time attending therapies and doctors appointments with him. 

Other than being Noah’s momma and Tyler’s wife, I love worshiping the Lord with friends, sewing, the outdoors, tacos, and writing. I am a growing Christian who has just started her faith walk and strive to do and be the best I can. I consider myself to be somewhat of a crunchy momma; I cloth diaper, baby wear and believe that coconut oil and breast milk heal all. I currently struggle and battle with PPD and PPA. I am working on myself every day. I guess the important thing to take from my bio is, “Hi! I’m A, and I’m just an imperfect person doing my best everyday.”  I cannot wait to start writing and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Earnest Mom Squad ! 


Photographer credits: https://www.facebook.com/photosbysjz/

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You Are Enough. Yes, YOU earnestly are enough. 

This past summer these three words rang in my head as I read them on my little phone screen. You. Are. Enough. Before reading this post it never occurred to me that I was indeed, enough.  Usually late at night when I rock earnest babe back to sleep I scroll my Instagram and Pinterest accounts to keep me awake. This is the time when I realize that I need to be more, there are always tips and pins that tell me how to be more positive of a parent, more skinny, more happy, more successful, more pretty, more face contoured, more hard working, more, more, more!!  When everything I see is telling me I need to be more, it is REALLY hard to feel like I am enough. 

Then I turn this battle inward, I believe that once I get more I will be happy (SO NOT TRUE); but when it is in my face enough, I become so sure that once I have a thigh gap…I will be enough. Ugh. Seriously, I did not even know that was a thing until Pinterest told me how I could get more of it. 

Back to “You Are Enough,” I read this post on She Laughs Project’s Instagram account and I stopped in that moment, I read the words out loud to myself and I realized that I had never told myself I was enough. So to see it that once, I did not believe it.  With a whole world telling us how to constantly improve ourselves, the majority of the time outwardly it is hard to see that we are enough. Fast forward to months later, I am sitting in a MoPs meeting and a MoPs mama sharing her personal story asked us, “Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are to question God? He made you, exactly the way he wanted you. Who are you to question that?”  I swallowed back tears, who DID I think I was??! At 32 years old, I had no idea that I was made enough and in that very teary eyed, pride-swallowing moment I gave myself permission to accept that I was enough. My life changed. 

I was enough, and it was liberating. I believe that our minds are very powerful things and I made it my mission to repeat to myself to remind myself often that I was enough. I am beautiful enough. I am strong enough. I am mom enough. I am smart enough. I am pretty enough. I am enough and reader, so are you!! In seeing the beauty that I can see in myself and loving myself as I am, has opened me up to see the beauty and love in everyone else. It feels so free, so light and so kind – I look back and cannot believe at the ways in which I judged myself, the things I said to myself.  In place, I remind myself that I am my kind of pretty, my kind of strong and my kind of happy. All these which are evolving as I change as a person, but that is okay because people change. Now that I am here, loving me I refuse to turn back. 

I am so thankful for the She Laughs Project, and their three small words has changed me as a mom, a wife, a woman, a sister and a friend. I am enough and I want all of you to know that you are too!  I have stopped looking at “make yourself more” posting accounts to “love you as you” accounts on social media and it has helped me to keep my positivity. I needed to not only change how I was thinking about myself but also change how I allowed my outside world tell me who I was. 

I am enough, just as I am. And I am happy, truly happy , it only took 32 years to get here but I am happier knowing that I get to be a better example as a self confident joyful woman to my daughter.  I want to be the change, any earnest readers feel the change too??  Let’s climb together because victories are way better when celebrated with those that you helped lift along the way. 

In closing, I want to tell you so you know, you are enough. 

x. earnest mom.