Tag Archives: babies

S5, E5: Flip Flop {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Woo-hoo. It is Wednesday and we are about to have a baby any day now in our Delivery Drama series. A baby, people!! If you are new to the blog or perhaps just this series, please take a moment to catch up on the previous posts in this mini-series. Each episode builds on the others, and reading the entire series will help today’s post make more sense. It’s completely up to you though. Here are the prior postings.

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Season 5, Episode 1; (Pilot)   Baby Five  -The history behind it all

Season 5, Episode 2; Life Line  -The famed purple box

Season 5, Episode 3: Big Mama -The nine month growth spurt

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

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flip flop

The alarm went off.

It was Wednesday, October 23, 2013, and I was still pregnant. To say that I was a bit discouraged over this fact would be putting it mildly. The dawning of my due date was 48 hours away and this thought alone heaped on tremendous anxiety. I needed to have this baby.

Yesterday’s adventure clearly did nothing for me. The thought of my failed attempt made me grumpy in spite of enjoying such a good night’s rest. The silver lining in this cloud would become clearer at a later time. For now, I was undeniably wallowing in self pity.

My frowny face is merely a result of nine months of accumulating hormones. I was thinking of a multitude of reasons and excuses for my blue mood as I lay there in the bed a few more moments.

I hefted myself into a sitting position and stood beside the bed a moment, just enjoying the darkness and quiet of our home.

My abdomen contracted. I rested a hand gently on my tummy as I waited for the tightening to pass.

Hmmm.

Oh well, another day, another Braxton Hicks. I was markedly determined to continue my morning disheartened -which was wrong, I know. (Ever been that pessimistic? If so, then you know exactly how I felt.) I shrugged off the pain, certain that I’d be overdue with this little one. There’s a first for everything, I thought glumly.

I walked down the hall and woke Bunny and Fuzz for school. It was 6:52 am.

I turned on the overhead lights to their room, called their names and called their names again. I was was not in a coddling mood. Forgive me.

Breakfast needed to be set out and lunches needed to be packed, so I walked back down the hall to the kitchen.

I’m still shuffling around in my pajamas at this point. If I would have had a bathrobe that actually fit my swollen state, I would have wrapped myself in it. The temperatures had dropped during the night and it was now freezing.

My hand was on the kitchen light switch when the next contraction hit. Again I took a moment to breath through it and then shook off this second “Braxton Hicks” to set out cereal bowls. I didn’t even note the time.

It’s nothing, I told myself.

The girls sleepily walked into the kitchen and after a brief prayer of blessing on the food and the day before us, they both began scarfing down their bowls. I shook my head. Cereal is probably the one of the top meals at our house, if you could call it that. Nothing like some carbs and dairy to start your day. 😉

Now was time for the task that I sort of dislike and was clearly avoiding -packing lunches. Although admittedly, I didn’t mind it as much as I used to since we now had an organized lunch drawer.

I began assembling their lunches at the kitchen counter. The girls were laughing, and conversing somewhat loudly for seven o’clock in the morning. Food had obviously lifted their spirits and chased away any lingering sleepiness. I smiled.

However, my smile turned more to a grimace as another strong contraction took over me. I was so, so glad that my back was to the table. I looked at the clock. 7:01.

My breath caught. Is this it? Am I really in labor?

With contractions already at approximately five minutes apart, it was not a good sign. As a precaution, I scooped up everything necessary for the stuffing of their lunch boxes and joined the girls at the kitchen table.

I never, ever sit to pack lunches, but I was hoping for two things.

First, that sitting down would reveal whether or not this was true labor. I have found that Braxton Hicks will disappear if I move around a bit, a combined effort of walking and resting. Was this labor? I really needed to know. Pronto.

Second, if this was real labor pains, sitting would hopefully stave off any rapid progression in my labor. It was, at the very least, worth my feeble attempt to try. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

I continued to mask my pain as I worked my way through packing the lunch boxes. This normal morning distraction was both annoying and comforting. I couldn’t focus. Bunny had to tell me three times what she wanted for her morning snack. Gah.

Poor girls. Who knows what actually ended up in their lunch boxes that morning! I’d certainly not trust a woman in active labor to pack my lunch. But they didn’t know and it evidently didn’t hurt them either. Bless their hearts.

Thankfully, no one seemingly noticed or questioned my sitting in a chair. I said nothing about my contractions -not even to my husband when he entered the kitchen. No sense in scaring him until I was certain. I mean, really. I’d been having the occasional, yet strong Braxton Hicks for days. I wanted to be sure.

But what if I’m wrong though -and they’re not Braxton Hicks? What if the baby really is coming? Time alone would tell. And just to be sure, I kept a close eyeball on the clock and a mental list running in my mind.  7:06. 7:11. 7:15. 7:21. 7:26. You get the idea.

Trying to get two girls out the door for school, feeding two toddlers and attempting to sit as much as possible was not working out very well. I would gather and sign papers and then quickly sit back down. I stood back up to fix Fuzz’ hair, only to seek out my chair again as soon as I could. I’m not sure how I was even able to fix Bunny’s hair. In hindsight, headbands would have been so much faster. I could barely keep a straight face in front of my kids anymore. The pain and frequency was escalating faster than I thought possible.

the natural mama

I should have known at this point. And I probably should have told my husband. I have a lot of “probably should haves” from that morning.

However, my mind was totally zoned in on getting the older two settled safely at school. I would tell him later. Stupid plan, to be sure, but I was not thinking rationally at this point.

My mind was scrolling through a list of things that I needed to get done, things I needed to grab, and people I needed to call. Making sure our four older kids were where they needed to be was obviously at the top of our “we’re having the baby today” list. Sending Bunny and Fuzz off to school meant two down and only two more to go.

Relieved, I finally kissed the girls goodbye, planted a quick one on Hubs and closed the front door after them. It was 7:32 am.

My resolve to tell Hubs later went flying out the window, however, as the next contraction took over me. He needed to be told. Now. My fingers were shaking as I dialed his cell phone number.

“Hello.” (I love hearing his voice on the phone.)

“Hey,” I casually responded. “I just wanted to let you know that I think that I might be in labor. I wanted to let you know while you were out in case you wanted to swing by the church for any work that you might need later on today.”

I’m not sure why I felt like a disclaimer was warranted at this point. For crying out loud, the contractions were nearly bringing me to my knees. I guess that I didn’t want to shock him, after all this was news to him. Me, on the other hand, well, I’d already had over a half hour to adjust to the idea. Today really was the day.

Seriously, “I think I might be having a baby”?? That was the best you had?

Surely this little phone call was my “the time has come” moment if ever there was one -only I couldn’t quite muster the same theatrics as Desi Arnaz. My fumbling attempt came sputtering out much more in line with Lucille Ball’s – “Ricky, this is it” proclamation. (brownie points to everyone who has seen that episode of I Love Lucy)

“I might be in labor” was clearly the best that I could do at the moment. Sorry, Babe.

I had no sooner hung up the phone when I knew. There was no if, no maybe and no possibly. Strike that term “might” from the record-all doubt was gone.

Even though I didn’t call him back, I am so thankful for a husband who knows me better than I know myself. He wisely knew that stopping by the church would be a terrible mistake and instead raced back home to assess my labor for himself.

And let me tell you, it was not pretty sight.

I was vaguely aware when Hubs entered the house and walked into our bedroom. Zip and Pop were wandering around the house, fed but still in their jammies. I , however, was sitting like a statue on the side of our bed, afraid to move, afraid to sit still, afraid for the next contraction to sweep over me.

And I was still in my pjs myself…bed hair completed my look. I told you it wasn’t pretty.

During a lull, I tilted my head back and glanced up at my husband. The look on Hubs face said it all. His eyes were mirroring what my body was telling me. We were running out of time.

Hubs began dressing the little ones and changing diapers like a mad man.

“How far apart?” he called tersely.

I knew exactly what he meant. And my mental list was still going strong. I checked the time once more.

“Ummmm….like three – four minutes.” 

Pure panic was what I was reading in Hubs’ eyes now.

“Babe, you’ve got to get dressed. I know that you don’t want to move nor do you feel like moving….but you have to. Now!”

A cattle prod may have been helpful.

But the desperation in his voice was enough to cajole me out of my stupor. I clumsily dressed at a snail’s pace. I just couldn’t move. The pressure from the baby was through the roof. It felt like my water could break at any moment and I certainly did not want that to happen, not here, not now.

I wanted greatly to be free to focus and manage my way through this natural pain called childbirth, but instead I was enduring the irritation of attempting to put clothes on and hunting down a hairbrush. Boy, was it slow going.

Every three to four minutes I was overwhelmed with agonizing contractions and during those delicious moments of relief between the waves of pain, I wanted to do nothing but to sit and bask in the reprieve, to steady myself for the next round. But time was not allowing me that luxury, the clock was not my friend.

Hubs, on the other hand, was working circles around me. He was hastily grabbing all of our last minute items from around the house and keeping an eye on the kiddos while making a few important phone calls.

I could hear Hubs’ voice calmly explaining my situation to our babysitter and telling him to just meet us at the exit off of I-85. I straightened my top and denim skirt and sat back down on the bed, dragging a brush through my hair. Make-up was a mere pipe dream at this point. Styled hair -well, that was downright laughable. (How I managed both with Zip’s birth I’ll never know.)

Only I wasn’t laughing. By now, I was softly moaning.

Hubs came hurrying back into the bedroom.

“Ok, we really need to leave, Hon. What can I do to help you? Can I get you some shoes?”

(He’s just the greatest, is he not?)

“I want my flip flops.”

Flip flops are easy to put on, it’s true. But in my heart, I was planning ahead. What if….?

What if I needed to kick my shoes off in a hurry? What if they needed to, ahem, be sanitized later? Yes, flip flops were the best choice all around.

Hubs brought me my shoes and then left to buckle our two little ones in their car seats. I awkwardly stuffed my feet in the flip flops and sat there looking at my feet. It was a surreal moment.

Nothing was going as planned. It seemed as if every fear that I’d ever dreamed possible was now playing a major role in the events of my morning. Unbelievable.

having a baby

I needed to focus on the good thoughts. I was about to give birth to my fifth child. The details were still undecided, sure, but the chances were strong that I’d have a new baby in just a few hours -definitely by lunch. While I certainly didn’t need to be pinched to believe it, I was in awe. Five kids….soon.

Reflection time ended as another contraction knocked me over like a tidal wave. I felt more than saw my husband reenter the room.

“The kids are in the car. I have everything we need. We’re just waiting for you. Come on, Babe. I’ll help you to the car. You can do this.”

Bless his heart.

With Hubs’ hand on the small of my back, supporting me, I began tottering my way out of our house, swaying like a drunken sailor and grabbing the walls as I went. The pressure was just indescribable. With each step I took, the more I felt like the baby was going to just fall out on the floor in front of me. Cute waddling was a thing of the distant past. There was and is no term for the my promenade out the front door.

And I was still moving at the rate of an expiring turtle. (No, I’ve never seen one, but that pretty much sums up my speed. Trust me. If you ever see one, you’ll think of me and this moment.)

Ever so slow.

My heart was racing and I literally felt like I was going to be sick.

I stepped outside to an extremely cloudy and overcast morning. It looked like it could rain at any minute, and the wind was whipping at my skirt and pulling back my hair. The fact that I was freezing and probably needed a coat didn’t even register.

Somehow, I managed to make my way down the front steps. Hubs reached around me to open the car door to the passenger seat. From inside the open door, I could see Pop sitting directly behind my seat and Zip silently observing me from her perch on the back row. They were as quiet as mice -highly unusual. I’m sure that they sensed that something was about to happen.

I hesitated briefly, eyeing my chair. I hated to say it, but I had to.

“Hubs, ummm,…….we’re gonna need the emergency birth kit ready. Let’s cover my seat and the floor at my feet -just as precaution.”

Wordlessly, he spread out the necessary plastic and helped settle me on it. Then he shut the door.

It was 8:30 am. Had it really only been roughly an hour and a half since that first twinge?

Let me just stop right here and say that there really are no words to adequately describe the myriad of emotions that was threatening to overthrow me. I am speechless. Fear, pain, disbelief, excitement and more pain barely even scrape the surface.

I watched as Hubs ran around the car, opened his car door and climbed in. I could feel another contraction beginning to peak. Practically simultaneously, Hubs shut his door, started the van and put the gears in reverse.

He hadn’t even touched his foot to the gas pedal when I began gasping for air.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! No, no, no. Aw, Babe, my water’s breeeaking.”  As a good southern girl, I can certainly belt out a rebel yell any ol’ day, but I was desperately trying to not scar my sweet children sitting behind me. Not that I’ve ever yelled during labor, but their presence was certainly cramping any possibilities. Instead my outburst was a somewhat of a cross between a stunned declaration and a helpless whimper.

We hadn’t even left our driveway, our DRIVEWAY, and we had a long stretch of interstate driving ahead of us. And morning work traffic.

45 minutes to be exact. Yes, that number had certainly returned to haunt us.

The van was still rolling backwards and I was already kicking off my wet shoes.

Niiice.

Forget the flip-flops. My heart was managing those just fine.

-to be continued-

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Here are the links to the following episodes. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks for reading.

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S5, E2: Life Line {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Hey there, peeps. It’s Wednesday, so welcome back to The Delivery Drama series. If you missed last Wednesday’s pilot episode, you can catch that premier here.  😉  (I’m clearly having too much fun with this.)

Season 5, Episode 1: (Pilot) Baby Five – The History Behind It All

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life line

I’ve used enough of these little treasures that we should totally buy stock in them. Thank you, Dollar Tree.

But first let me pick up the story where I left off (Baby Five)  February 22, 2011. (Yippee…now I’m 29)

As I already shared, I quickly settled into being a mama to four small children and loved every blessed minute of it. The months passed by swiftly and before I knew it, my little man was nine months old. However during that month, I started noticing different things about myself: fatigue, super-sonic smell, occasional irritability, etc. And I knew exactly what they meant.

Wow.

Just before Christmas in 2011, I got up early to take a pregnancy test -a purple box test from DT of course- and sure enough, it was positive. I carried my new little one for just over three months.

On February 2, 2012, I lost our baby in the wee hours of the morning. My miscarriage was rough emotionally and physically. All said, 2012 as a whole was a year of trial and testing for my husband and I both in several ways.  However, desiring another child was always hanging over my head. Hubs and I agreed to wait until the expected due date of our angel baby before trying again.

August 8, 2012 came and went.

I probably used at least one purple Dollar Tree pregnancy test every month, if not two. (I told you that we should buy stock in them.) One, two, four months went by. I was beginning to worry whether or not I’d be able to carry anymore children. I began second guessing whether I should have had the recommended D and C. God taught me much about faith and trust in Him throughout the entire ordeal, the surprise pregnancy, miscarriage and healing process,.

2013 began as well as a new ministry venture for us: Youth Pastor. My husband and I were extremely busy launching different policies and programs for the teens. I guess that I somewhat forgot about Baby Five.

February 2, 2013 dawned. I have to admit that I got a bit teary as I reflected on the events of that particular day one year before. It was the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. My heart was encouraged as I remembered the strength and grace that God had richly bestowed on me over the past twelve months. I could smile with sincerity at cooing babies and truly rejoice at the pregnancy announcements of family and friends. I mean, really smile. God was good. God was God. My arms would be filled in His timing, not my own.

Approximately two weeks later, we were discussing the approaching birthday of Pop- the big 2. What?! Yeah, I couldn’t believe that he would soon be two either. I shook my head as I was folding laundry on our bed. (It’s a task that is never really finished, is it?)

Our thoughts and discussion soon veered to the baby that we were praying for.

“I think that you’re already pregnant.” Hub”s faith in answered prayer was a tad stronger than mine during this time. But in reality, it was more than that. You see, he thinks that he can judge my pregnant condition by my personality change. I don’t usually get sick or anything, but one of biggest indicators over the years has been irritability. My husband likes to call it aggressiveness. I call it hormones. Sounds better, doesn’t it? No wife enjoys being told that she’s been rather testy lately. Oddly enough, three times out of five, he’s actually been right. But let’s not tell him that, ok? He might think that he has superpowers or something equally as disturbing.

By the way, his so-called preggo radar is only good on me. I guess that they really can’t be considered “super” powers when they are so narrowly limited. Oh well, he’s still Super Man in my eyes.

“What? Where did that proclamation come from?!” I wasn’t so certain and to be quite open, I was afraid -afraid of the unknown, afraid of another miscarriage, afraid of secondary infertility. However, quick calculations determined that maybe, just maybe, I was expecting.

The real root of my fears was simply this: I was afraid to hope.

“Nah. I feel fine.” Other than being a little short-tempered recently, I was doing good.

Yeah, Super Man nailed it again.

A few more days passed and my hopes continued to mount.

pregnancy test

February 22, 2013, I crawled out of bed and nervously opened yet another purple box. I took the test without reading or even looking at the instructions. (I know them by heart at this point.)  I didn’t want to look-that’s how badly I wanted to see two pink lines.

My heart was pounding.

I watched the saturation line move across the window and realized I was holding my breath. I blew it out quickly and at the same time breathed a quick, heartfelt prayer.

A prayer of thanksgiving for the children that I’d already been blessed with, a prayer for God to bless our home with another babe to love and cherish, and a prayer for all other women who were still longing for the gift of motherhood. Children are one of life’s greatest blessings and at that moment, time seems to stand still as you hover over that little stick.

Roughly ten seconds into the test, I saw the dark pink indicating that the test was valid. I ignored it, my eyes searching for that second line. A slow smile crept across my face as I witnessed a very faint line form. It continued to darken a bit, a sweet sign of new life. By now, my grin was full-blown and my heart overflowing.

It was a life line.

 -to be continued-

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Here are the links to the following episodes. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 3: Big Mama -The nine month growth spurt

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

Season 5, Episode 5: Flip Flop – The speed of a turtle

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks for reading.

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I was not compensated for this post, nor was this post a requirement for receiving free products. All opinions are completely my own. I’m just sharing my love of Dollar Tree’s pregnancy tests. They’ve saved us a hunk of change over the years. 😉

S5, E1: Baby Five {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Presenting the birth story of baby #5. Not a very impressive introduction for a little one’s entrance to the world, huh? Well, the story line will pick up very soon, I assure you, so I’m just gonna ease you into the drama of my motherhood.

Also let me admit that, yes, this story is way, WAY past due. Let’s just blame it on the dazed new mama moment…..that, ahem, lasted nearly a year. So let’s pretend it’s 2013 -just for the moment. (Good, now I’m 31 again.)

In honor of her being born on a Wednesday, I will be sharing her birth story series every Wednesday over the next few weeks. So stay tuned. You seriously don’t want to miss a single episode. 😉

Whew. Now that I’m all ‘fessed up, grab a cup of coffee or two and settle in for a baby story. (I just love those, don’t you?) A bag of popcorn wouldn’t be a bad idea either. 😉

Season 5, Episode 1: (Pilot) Baby FiveThe History Behind It All…

baby five

Whenever I find out that I’m pregnant, my propensity to worry escalates right along with my hormones. (Hubs can vouch for this, I promise) “Is the baby ok?”  “Will I pass the glucose test?” “I hope that my blood pressure stays normal through the end.” “Will the baby be born on Halloween?” “I wonder what my labor be like this time around.” Don’t get me wrong. All of these are probably very normal concerns for expectant mothers. However I will not deny that the last “worry” that I mentioned is by far my biggest cause for uneasiness as I near the end of my term.

My sweet, little October baby was no different.

Several things were altered this time around. My heart had known the hurt of loss only the year before. Having been through a miscarriage made me realize how overwhelmingly precious it was to conceive and safely carry a new little one. I will not deny that I breathed a huge sigh of relief once I heard the baby’s steady heartbeat for the first time at 11 weeks. My midwife for that visit, who happened to also be the founder of the birthing center, quietly rejoiced with me as we both listened for several moments to that simple sign of life. Miraculous.

As I just indicated, we also opted to see a midwife at a birthing center with this last pregnancy. I was, at times, a teensy bit apprehensive about not giving birth in a conventional setting. However, my midwives and nurses were the sweetest women ever and I absolutely loved seeing them for my prenatal care.  They always made me feel like they had all the time in the world to talk with me. And I can talk -a lot. Hubs sometimes thinks that I ask too many questions, most of them hypothetical. I can’t help it. I just want to know things. Preparing myself mentally is half the battle towards holding my fears at bay.

Now to lay the groundwork for the arrival of our fifth child, let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane -my past deliveries in chronological order. (Believe me, The History Behind It All is essential in my delivery drama series.)

1) Year 2004: Baby Bunny was a quick labor considering that she was my first. I had no clue what I was in for, and I was trapped in a bed due to monitoring preeclampsia. She was born about six hours after getting my labor started consistently. Her rapid descent shocked us all and the resident doctor nearly had to deliver her since my doctor was not extremely close at hand. It was a sign, the handwriting on the wall, if you will, that my babies would have no sense of timing whatsoever. Hindsight truly is 20/20.

2) Year 2006: Baby Fuzz was born just 20 minutes after settling me in the labor and delivery room. My nurse was so disappointed. She was planning on caring for me throughout the night, but daughter #2 had other other plans and popped right out after my water broke on its own. Again my doctor was not nearby and the resident doctor rushed into my room to deliver our little one. The funny thing was she asked us later if we had been there about a year and a half before. Yes, she was the same resident doctor that had come very close to being the one to catch Bunny.  {Blush} Yes, that was me.

3) Year 2009: Then Baby Zip came along (see her full birth story here). By this time though, we had caught on to the pattern developing. When it came time for daughter #3 to be born, we were ready… or so we thought. Long story short, I went into rapid labor while desperately attempting to convince my new OBGYN that I was having the baby and making an equally frantic attempt to find our baby sitter- both to no avail. We had to rush to my doctor’s office with two little kids in tow. Baby Zip kindly allowed me enough time to enter the building before my water broke. Needless to say, my arrival had the doctors and nurses scurrying around to do an emergency birth on one of their exam tables-less than ideal. Five years later and I am still laughing. I guess I showed them.

Never doubt the woman in labor.

4) Year 2011:  Baby Pop, well, he was the horse of the different color (click here for his full birth story).  Not only was our fourth child a boy, but he did everything in reverse. Unlike the girls, my water broke first with my little boy blue. You can imagine my utter shock when I felt a little pop while lying on the couch at 11 pm. I never had had my water break with zero contractions. I immediately went into full-blown panic mode. I mean, all that I could think was, “What in the world?!”  “I’m not ready.”   I was ready, but I wasn’t. You know what I mean. I needed the “contraction phase” to mentally give myself the pep talk. “You can do this.” “You’ve done this three other times.” “Women do this all the time.”  “This is nothing.”

Nothing? Yes. I sometimes lie to myself.

We jerked our three little girls out of bed, drove willy-nilly to our babysitter’s house (at least middle-of-the-night labors confirms they’ll be home) and sped to the hospital. And I do mean speed. I tried not to look at the speedometer. To be truthful, I was distracted. I was trying desperately to keep it together and not hyper-ventilate in the middle row of our Ford windstar. (I had moved back there “just in case” I needed space and also because it put me in within easy reach of our emergency birth kit that we’d made for our car. After delivering  Zip at the doctor’s office, we weren’t taking any chances.) In prior pregnancies, water breaking signaled an imminent delivery ranging from 5-15 minutes. We were racing against the clock…or so we thought.

The little stinker made me labor, actually labor, at the hospital. I had to walk the halls, people. It was not pleasant. However, he finally made his appearance nearly five hours later. The duration of my labor was on par with the others: 4-5 hours, but everything else was different. My water broke at the beginning instead of at the end, I labored through the night, he tried to come “sunny-side” up, my nurse ignored me pretty much, and I experienced mild hemorrhaging a couple hours after his birth. Yes, my little dude wanted to stand out from the girls for sure.

I took my little man home and began adjusting to life with four munchkins, tidbits of blue in my laundry and the occasional sprinkling during diaper changes. Life was good. I unpacked our bags from the van and there it was, lurking in the middle row, mocking me. Untouched.

My emergency birth kit.

I may have smirked –just a bit– as I disassembled it for storage.

Fast forward two years…exactly. It was the morning of February 22, 2013.

…to be continued…

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Here are the links to the following episodes. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 2; Life Line  -The famed purple box

Season 5, Episode 3: Big Mama -The nine month growth spurt

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

Season 5, Episode 5: Flip Flop – The speed of a turtle

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks for reading.

Blog Again, Blog Again, Jiggity-Jig (+ a Christmas series)

I’m back. 🙂

Whew. It has been quite the few months since I’ve been on here.

And I spent it living out of a suitcase. Literally.

I packed for my kids to spend a week in WV visiting my family, packed for a couples retreat, packed for my husband to fly up north to his brother’s wedding, for the fam for vacation, for a whirlwind weekend to WV for my grandmother’s 90th birthday, packed for my daughter for junior camp, for my kids to go to WV {again}, for Hubs and I to take the teens to camp, packed for Hubs and I {again} to fly to Jamaica on a missions trip with our teenagers, packed for weekend ladies retreat and my very favorite {and most recent} packing- for our newest addition’s arrival: Baby #5.

{one day old}

(Unfortunately living away from both sides of the family, this meant packing for our entire family of six + the new baby. Somewhat daunting trying to have the proper attire packed and ready to go- for a time/day that we knew not. Talk about packing blindly. Ha!)

I think that I can now be considered a professional packer. (Adding that to my resume.)

Life is settling down…ahem, somewhat. (Does it ever really?!) Life with five kiddos is totally awesome- and totally a crazy house. Add about 25 more kids to that mix that we “adopted” this past January when my husband became the youth pastor in conjunction with his role as the music pastor at our church. Yup. Busy, busy times.

{one week old}

However now that I’m finally getting sleep again, I am determined to  get back into blogging. 🙂

I really need more things to do. (Ha!)

{one month old}

(Actually my “new” thing that I’ve added to my life just this past week is photographed in the above picture. Cloth diapers. Why not add blogging back to the mix? I’d hate to be bored. And by the way, just look how big she’s already getting. Wow.)

No. It’s because I enjoy connecting with you. It’s a little slice of “me time”, a chance for me to talk with adult people throughout the day, albeit through my keyboard. (I’ll take what I can get. 😉 )

My blogging presence will not be perfect. Some weeks may have more posts than others. But this does not surprise you, I’m sure.

Several of my blogging friends have graciously allowed me to jump in with their holiday series. It was the perfect time for me to ease my “virtual toes” back into the blogging waters, so to speak. And here I am late to the party. So typical.

Please take the time to check out their different posts for some Christmas inspiration. You will love each of their posts- they are some super creative women. I’ve included a little “teaser” picture from each post just to pique your curiosity. You won’t be able to not click over. 🙂

 

The Frugal Homemaker shared an absolutely gorgeous wreath made with real tree clippings. Using nature in your decor is beautiful and adds a new texture to your display. Best of all, it doesn’t always have to be expensive. It could even be free. You could use some clippings off of a garland or even off of some pine trees near your home. I usually tromp around in the tiny little woods behind our house, looking for pine branches and pine cones. I think that I may look for some sticks as well this year. 🙂 Anyways, find out how Christina made her wreath for free. Brilliant.

Christmas Grapevine & Evergreen wreath (made with free tree cuttings!)

{Christmas Grapevine & Evergreen Wreath}

SlipCoveredGrey made a breathtaking piece of Christmas art. I loved it. Loved everything about it. It was so simple, yet so elegant. I have got to find some huge pictures for great prices at thrift stores. Our home could use some statement pieces for our walls and so could my husband’s office walls. I’m a woman on a mission now. Look out! That huge, out-dated framed picture is totally mine. 🙂

{Christmas Mirror Art}

Another favorite blogger (whom I was thrilled to finally meet in person this past summer), Brown Sugar Toast, shared a festive ornament yesterday. It was simple and easy. This is totally necessary in my world lately. I’d love to try these with the kiddos. Maybe. Knowing my munchkins, anything involving glitter could definitely go south in a hurry. Ha! Whether I attempt doing it with my girls or alone, a Pottery Barn inspired craft never disappoints in my book.

{Monogram Glitter Ornament}

Today PenniesnGrace is sharing more Christmas inspiration at her blog. Her holiday wall decor is right down my alley. Rustic. Pottery Barnish. Free. Frugal is certainly the key word in all of these crafts. I’m all in. Ok. I’m jotting down covertly looking through other people’s trash along with scouring local thrift stores. And just so you know, scissors would be my best friend for this craft as well. 😉

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{Wooden Joy To The World Sign}

Tomorrow I will be sharing another Christmas inspiration here. So excited about it. So again, please take a moment to check out these great ideas and come back tomorrow for one more frugal idea for your holiday celebrations.

Thanks for reading. 🙂