Friday, June 29, 2012

a heavy heart

the loss of a child is such a unimaginable thing...
if you have been a reader for awhile you know about the tragedy that struck my family a few years ago, four years ago today to be exact. we lost a beautiful baby, my niece shelby, who had only lived a short five months before she left us for home.

talking about sad or very personal issues are something i shy away from - it hurts my heart to hear of anyones struggles, especially when it involves a child, but my heart is heavy today and shelby will never be forgotten.

rowan was two months old when shelby passed and i took it hard - hard because i couldn't possibly imagine going through what her mother was experiencing and hard because shelby was a part of my heart too. zoe however was old enough to grasp what happened and took it hard, when we experienced the second blow of shelby's father committing suicide, we thought we would never recover. she was old enough to understand but i promise not ready to process.

eventually we pick up the pieces and we mask the ones we can't, but we never forget. so today we are sending up hugs and kisses to shelbypaige and prayers out to her mommy, one of my best friends in the world. we will never be over, or under, or around what happened but we can sure move forward through the best memories with that sweet baby. rip little angel!

pony royale "princess ponies" review

This post is sponsored by Pony Royale. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

pony royale, a new toy line starring beautiful princess ponies, brings a fresh new approach to princess play in the fashion doll category. pony royale combines favorite play patterns - hair play, fashion play and nurturing play - to give children endless hours of open-ended creative play with a fun and easy fashion system. the full collection, featuring twelve princess ponies, all with the ability to mix-and-match their manes, tails and fashion pieces, will hit store shelves in late july at toys r us. with just two ponies you can create over sixty fashion styles and every pony comes with their own personal jeweled birthstone design!

i have been anticipating this review for weeks, i mean, my kids were going to freak - and they did!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

have babies, make mess, lose mind...

i think i did it, i finally broke my kids. they used to be so well behaved and now, they just draw all over everything with pens...

(or in stella's case, pre potty training, her poop...)

the seat of my new car, our less then twenty-four hour old stroller, and one of my giant mounted photos of stella. pen, all over it. i have three kids, three, and one of them is eight years old, and not once in those eight years of being a mom, until this last month has any of my kids been a "off the paper" colorers and it is stressing me out. how can i possibly hide all permanent writing materials or gum, let's talk about gum - stella can find a hidden piece or package anywhere and devour the whole thing in seconds. who is this kid? i am not going to give up on the idea of having nice things when you have kids, i can't just give up my style for all washable surfaces. so we power on and we stand in the corner a lot and we lose privileges.

it makes me wonder what is going on - is it the new baby coming? i am going to argue no - even though i agree it is a huge change for everyone, nothing has really changed yet. there are no big pieces of stuff coming into the house or no one has lost a room and we don't even talk about it that much. so is it all being together for the summer continuously trapped indoors because of rain? probably.

i mean in all honesty i am so lost here. these naughty kids are so foreign to me and i am not bragging by any means, just trying to navigate a major shift happening here. i have to fish stella out of a self prescribed sink bath at least three times a day and thank god for a lock on our fridge water spout. rowan hits her sisters all of the sudden, but really that could just be a direct result of the fact stella is constantly beating the crap out of her.

don't even get me started about the arguing and the lack of responsibility for ones messes - there is a lot of that happening too. is this what i have to look forward to when they are all teenagers, except multiplied by a hundred? there better be wine, i am just saying.

i love my kids and feel so blessed to have three unique, charismatic, strong, smart girls but lord please return the ones who obey my rules and put their dishes in the dishwasher because i might not survive the summer.

so, how do you battle your little wall picasso?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

raising little mommas

my kids love to baby wear, wether it be with their custom kid versions of my favorite carriers or when i make a ring sling or moby out of my big scarfs, they love it! unfortunately the cat even falls victim to being worn from time to time.
earlier i caught stella breastfeeding this baby, which i am totally ok with, it is the sweetest thing. i asked what she was up to and she said, "no no, baby fussy" and patted her on the head. this is especially interesting to me because rowan did the same thing, but at this age i was nursing stella and she was constantly exposed to it. stella isn't that much and it makes me wonder...despite society's attempt to smother the act of breastfeeding, it is getting through to my two year old by leaps and bounds! sure she has seen her aunts and a couple of friends do it once or twice, but i am guessing she is taking it in from other sources too.

so feed and wear on little ones, you'll be the best mothers someday, when your forty.

sleep? what is that?

i don't always get the best nights sleep - currently pregnant, terrible allergies, early-riser children, and a noisy husband getting ready for work are always waking me up prematurely, but i do what i can to battle these obstacles so that i am refreshed and ready for the next day!

being a mom of three, soon to be four, you have to be crafty with your personal sleep methods. i'd like to think, that with the help of my night owl husband, i have tried to prefect a good nights sleep for myself - i mean how else would i survive the next day with these three crazy kids?

since i am pregnant with baby boy, the fourth and final, sleep eludes me a little more. crazy dreams and small bladder plague me in my second trimester, so i have learned to adjust by not watching certain shows while i drift off and limiting my water intake too close to bed, which i hate because...hello, allergy season. pregnancy this time around also means i am ready for bed before dinner and usually make my way up shortly after. a understanding husband is key for this maneuver, he may not love my 7pm bed time, but he know how much work it is being a stay at home mom and is supportive.

my top secret weapon? keep the kids up (reasonably) late running circles around the living room or neighborhood! it has also meant taking away rowan's, the preschoolers, nap. which i may have cried a little bit about as we said good-bye.

now that the kids are out getting extra tired, i head up stairs to catch up on my dvr and tire my eyes out, this isn't far off, it has been a long day and i am exhausted!

trick number two? my bed is extra comfy and i have learned the magic of black out curtains recently – how do people possibly survive without these? no thanks, i would rather not be up with the sun. you can bet they are in the girls room too, they think the first sight of light means “rise and shine,” they are mistaken. we are working on sleep training these full grown children, i'll get back to you on how it is working out for me, ha!

but, you know how i can tell i got some good sleep in? i am up and busy in the kitchen well before my girls are there begging for marshmallow cereal!

but just in case you too are bothered by sleepless nights and need a little something extra to help you get your good solid eight hours in, check out zzzquil - a vick's otc sleep aid available at your kroger brand store, here in washington that would be any of your local fred meyer or qfc. make sure and grab this coupon before try zzzquil for a great nights sleep!

I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

oreck magnesium review and giveaway!

i would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family! our beloved new oreck vacuum cleaner and i promise you he has his work cut out for him in this family of five, almost six and a pesky cat.
right away i noticed how lightweight and powerful this vacuum was! weighing in at only eight pounds, about half the weight of your standard upright vacuum (hear that dyson?), this guy is so easy to maneuver around furniture and busy children. i wondered how i would make due with out any tool attachments but as it turns out, the magnesium's light weight, plus extra long cord and slimmer design, i had no problem lifting him up on my couch and vacuuming it like it was another part of the carpet! same with my numerous stairs to tackle, the magnesium fit perfectly on the width of my stairs and i was able to lift it up easily to each one giving them the best vacuuming of their existence!
believe the rumors you hear! you turn on the oreck magnesium and let go, he will take off and vacuum your living room on his own, ok maybe not, but with it's self propelling power, gliding him across any of your floors is that much easier! it is no wonder with it's 102 mph of air flow!
check out that amazing carpet pattern! my husbands favorite part, ha!

the oreck magnesium features two power options - high for your normal everyday carpet, and my favorite, the low, perfect for my beloved floral rug that goes under our couch and requires a gentler touch. i thought i would not love the fact it wasn't a bag less vacuum, but i in fact had the opposite reaction - i could tell right away the difference and with the help of its trusty hepa filtered bag my allergies are getting the extra support they need by having all of that pesky pollen, dust, and cat dander trapped inside and i don't even have to deal with the dust cloud that ensues when i empty my old bag less vac.
finally my personal favorite part of this bad boy - it's furniture friendly design! it's low profile fits better under the small space of my couch and folds all the way to the floor so that i can now finally reach those annoying dust bunnies under all of our beds! this pregnant lady just can't lift them up to move anymore.

over all i am so satisfied with the oreck magnesium! it took some time to get to know it after years of heavy bag less vacuums, but i think after a few weeks of time with my new oreck i am totally in love. it is easy to use, easy to store, and practically vacuums on its own. the kids even get excited about vacuuming with the new lighter "space ship" vacuum, they call it. they even fight over who's turn it is to vacuum. is it mean i usually tell them it is mine? ha!

i was given the oreck magnesium free, to review from oreck, however all opinions in this post are my own. oreck corporation provided the prize for the sweepstakes but is not the sponsor of the sweepstakes.

now, the best part - oreck wants to give one of my readers this exact same vacuum to fall in love with! this prize is valued at $499, are you excited?

details: winner must be a resident of the forty-eight contiguous states and must participate in the bold,  mandatory entry option. the other options are there for fun and more chances to win! the giveaway will run for two weeks at which point i will announce the winner at the top of daily post as well as contact them. winner, you have seventy-two hours to respond, otherwise at that time i will announce a new winner. so, have fun and tell your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

a cantaloupe

i am a little bit of denial that we are already to this point! meaning this baby boy of ours could be here in as a little as seventeen weeks - sounds like such a short amount of time when you say it like that, maybe i will just stick to saying four and a half months...that sounds longer.

boy names are so stinking hard! i will touch on this more in a separate post, but i think we hit a turning point last night when tim suggested a name that i am officially in love with, and it is that much better that tim suggested it, i feel more confident about it that way. did i ever tell you rowan is my only baby that the minute i saw her i had major reservations about the name we had camped on for months? now i know it was the perfect choice, but i had a major moment of panic.

we have a had a house guest occupying baby boy's future room, for the last few months, who leaves at the end of july - that means it is nursery time! i am so excited and have been pinning like mad in preparation and painted some possible swatches on the way yesterday.

so there you have it, twenty weeks - we start with our new midwife group on the 2nd of July and get down to business on planning our home birth. i have started replacing all of the pink in our house with a little blue here and there and we are on our way to being ready for this boy!

How far along: twenty+ weeks
How big is baby: around 10.6 ounces
Total weight gain: not available.
Maternity clothes: yes! so much more comfortable but in need of a lot more!
Sleep: not bad, crazy dreams though! i am very exhausted around dinner time.
Best moment this week: our twenty week ultrasound!
Gender: boy! boy! boy!
Craving: fruit and diet coke
Movement: getting stronger, easier to feel through my anterior placenta.
Labor Signs: none, thankfully! this baby has a while to bake still.
Belly Button in or out: more out than in
Stretch marks: this is weird this question is on here, like one week you might say, "oh, they just went away?"
What I miss: being able to eat with out a serious case of acid reflux and heartburn, boo.
What I am looking forward to: shopping for adorable little boy clothes!
Milestones: we are half way people!
clearly i have like three top options and will continue to rotate them at will.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

home-made dishwasher soap

let me tell you a story about how lazy i was this week...

we ran out of dishwasher soap the day we threw our little gender reveal party - the dishes piled up and we just kept forgetting. this morning tim asked why i don't just run to the store real quick, doesn't he know it just isn't worth it to pile all three kids into the car for dish soap? because, i promise to me, it isn't. so to google i went, i knew i had to have something in my cupboards that would magically concoct into some sort of detergent! thanks to the "green living" trend there were plenty of tutorials to get me started. turns out i didn't have quite any of the right ingredient, but i was able to find some things that i knew would work just as well, and it did!

so, i whipped up a loads worth of a batch and put it in and ran our normal cycle choice. you know what? i literally squee'd when i opened the dishwasher when it was done - before even pulling the drawers out, i could tell my dishes were cleaner then i have ever seen them before - short of hand washing them. they had a nice shine and that annoying glass-y smell our cups had acquired was gone, you don't know how happy my pregnant self is about one less nagging smell bugging me. not only all of that, but our dishwasher looked whiter and cleaner on the inside as well. i think we have a win here!

so, what is my secret recipe?
1 teaspoon of oxi clean
1/2 cup of apple vinegar (regular is what it called for, but i am more then happy with my results!)
1/2 teaspoon of dawn (i think it is pretty important that it is dawn)

you mix in a small bowl, and set upright on the top rack of your dishwasher, load the rest of the way and run your normal cycle.

i am never buying detergent at the store again!

do you have a favorite home-made recipe for dishwasher detergent or laundry soap? i am seriously tempted to try laundry soap next now that we are on a break from cloth diapers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

playing catch up

i have been horrible at instagram update lately! i have been trying to embrace my dslr a little more and put down the iphone on critical memory making moments!

i wanted to share some gems from the last month or so, while i am out today capturing some more awesome shots while on a blogger playdate! are you jealous?
have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the perfect stripes!

i know i am so behind on posting a master bedroom tour, but truth is, we are far from finished and right now it looks even more crazy with our summer-mismatched bedding and stella's "nap time" crib in there, so bear with me and i will get it to you soon!

a lot of you followed along on instagram this winter as i added some yummy stripes to our off white walls, in bher's "wheat bread". it was a stressful, tricky process, but i seriously couldn't be more happy with the results. totally worth the six rolls of frog tape i went through and the re-measuring, removing, and re-taping i did to get the look i wanted. a little nugget of truth: if you attempt stripes, they are not easy, prepare to cuss and be frustrated a lot.

all that being said, a lot of you have asked what my trick is to get seamless stripes with no bleed at all, AT ALL!! well, it is actually super easy but hard to explain at the same time so i am going to try and use visuals that i created to show you. this technique also works really well for cutting in ceilings or if you are not painting a whole room and are stopping the corner. i also used this same method when i whipped out some flawless chevrons above our fireplace. again, no bleeding at all!

a couple of important tips before we get started: use frog tape, i have had nothing but great luck with it and in the past blue painters tape just hasn't stood up. so f-r-o-g t-a-p-e, equals very important. second, pay attention to your measuring and where you are taping, of course you (usually) want your lines to be equal size so it will depend on taping on the inside or outside of your marks to accommodate the width/size f your tape...does that make sense? i got messed up here when i was doing my chevrons, but luckily in this case it looked all right.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

it's a...

words on wednesday

my fearless girl circa two thousand and eight, who wouldn't come near a snake now with a twenty foot stick! haha, it is fun to show her things like this though and remind her that some things aren't all that bad. it's a funny thing to wonder where kids loose their care-free "go-for-it" attitudes. i watch as rowan gets braver and braver and my caution to the wind stella is all the sudden timid of the tall slide at the park, when i can't remember for the life of me something that would trigger that.
ps, i would never be caught dead touching, holding, breathing the same air as a snake!

the evolution of hi, baby.

it is funny to scroll through my old picasa albums and look at the evolution of headers on my blog. as you have seen me talk about before, i very first started blogging back in 2006 as a way to document my pregnancy with rowan and keep family up to date - isn't this pretty much how we all started?

well, one day i was playing around with a new design and was using a blog i had set up called "tester blog", i went to delete the whole tester blog and ended up deleting my entire regular blog. i literally cried for a day - over a year of baby booking lost, photos lost, my hard work lost. this was before blogger had the fail safe retrieve options if you deleted. what the heck blogger.

so, i picked the pieces back up a year and some random in-between posts later. thank god for picasa because in the same time frame we had simultaneously lost our hard drive and a lot of photos of rowan as a baby too. i had them printed of course, but it was great to realize that the digital files were still saved thanks to blogging.

anyway, i have gotten of track here - my blog started out as "the value of playtime" (i can't find the file for that) and quickly changed into "the value of sister time" after rowan's arrival. when the girls got older we became "mommy, monkey, and bear. oh, my!" because i called zoe monkey and rowan bear and it was pretty much all about our adventures together. this was the title i blogged with until we lost the blog and i took a break, before becoming "4 ladies and a patient man..." right around the time that tim and i started seriously dating. 

it was right around when i started itching for my own domain that we went for "hi, baby." it was the perfect name since we had just had stella and that is what everyone always said when they greeted her. since it had largely transformed into a baby/mommy blog i was in love with the new name and it has stuck all this time! i struggle with keeping it in the future since my kids won't be babies for ever and number four will be the very last one, but we'll see what the future holds in terms of blog names...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

seattle outings: the pacific science center

it has been at least since zoë was a toddler that i visited the science center and you know what? it was virtually almost all of the exact same exhibits! i can't decide yet if that made it lame or if i didn't really mind because it was all new and amazing to the kids.

it was a spur of the moment decision to go - we have a omsi membership and that allows us to pretty much get into any science center and some children's museums all over the country, pretty neat! we called ahead to see what our discount into the king tut exhibit would be, because we did really want to check it out, but even after our tiny bit off it would be thirty dollars a person and i was not willing to pay a hundred and fifty dollars for our family to navigate crowded walk ways for just that.

we zipped through pretty fast, or rather chased stella quickly through every exhibit. the girls loved the butterfly house but we left quickly after rowan stepped on one on the ground, a lady claimed it was already dead but zoe made sure to let everyone around us know what had happened, embarrassing.

tim got stuck playing with stellla at the water tables that we had sneakily tried to avoid. this girl and her water! tim and i are positive her career will be something in scuba diving. she loved petting the star fish and anemones in the tide pool and climbing on all the toys in the toddler area. i am glad she was able to get just as much out of it as every one else - you always worry about that when you have a toddler tagging along.

zoe spent the most time in the bug exhibit and we laughed at a little side "electricity" exhibit they had going on, two guys showing off really cool experiments, that at omsi, the kids got to do themselves. hear that pacific science center? you need WAY more hands on stuff for the kids!

in the end, everyone agreed that the very last exhibit with all of the crazy mirrors was their favorite. good thing we got in free - after all that and we played with mirrors for forty-five minutes. it was pretty hilarious though and i am glad i pulled out my phone to snap a couple of photos of the girls looking like little people.

it was  a great day that ended with heartburn inducing dick's for lunch - absolutely disgusting hamburgers but a must-do staple tourist thing, that we hadn't taken the kids for in a while or stella ever! i can't wait to round up some friends later in the summer and head back to spend a little more time in each area at the museum. so glad we got that omsi pass and really hoping we get the opportunity to try it at a new museum we have never been to before!

ps, i was feeling pretty rad that i remembered my dslr on this trip but then was equally embarrassed when i went to snap my first photo and instantly could picture my sd card still in the mac at home. so, crappy cell phone photos it is!
side note: the girls begged for this space needle photo. i have never met two children more obsessed with a building. the second  it is in their view they are constantly talking about - how big it looks, how small it looks, how many elevators it has, oh! there goes another elevator, and how they can't wait to go up to the top. if you have looked at our bucket list for the summer then you know it is our plan to take them soon! can't wait to see their reactions!

Monday, June 18, 2012

open wide!

i wanted to share a little bit about our experiences with the dentist three kids later. all three girls have started with a dentist between six month and a year, usually starting with a play visit, then getting down to business with real cleanings, the whole nine yards.

prior to stella i thought one to two years old, was a perfectly acceptable age to start with the fun visits to get them comfortable, but then we made the switch to our now beloved pediatric dentist, i learned that as soon as they have teeth is best!

not only does it help watch for anything and everything that might come up dental-ly, but it really lays the ground work for a healthy smile. it promotes good habits and helps small kids be more comfortable and secure with going to the dentist. i know some adults who aren't even there yet - and all my kids love the dentist and are perfect patients at every visit.

all of the girls have always loved the tooth brush they use and of course are huge fans of the water sprayer and suction. i really love how our pediatric dentist team works with the girls, if you have the opportunity to use one in your area, i highly recommend it! we found ours using our local red tricycle newsletter - they are a great resource for anything like that.

the hygienists at the office take the extra time to get the girls comfortable with the tools and machines they use. this was stella's third visit, but her first one with that the real tooth brush, so the gal took the time to "brush" her finger nails first so that stella could have fun with the tool. stella wasn't a huge fan of the floss, but i am glad it is something that they are getting to know now, in hopes that is promotes good flossing later! our dentist office looks like nickelodeon studios, with their bright colors, surfboard exam tables, tv's in the ceiling, and video games all around for kids to play - it is a really fun experience for them.

i know not all kids will be this comfortable with their dentist, but i think it makes a huge difference just visiting and getting to know the office you will be using. even if you just drop by every month so they can wander and look and learn - this is kind of how zoe and rowan's first visits went.

i am happy to report that all the girls have perfect teeth and are great brushers!
of course, princesses get their teeth cleaned too!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day!

happy father's day to the man wrapped around these little girls fingers, to the man who makes our dinners and works hard to support us, who is a jungle gym after a long days work, who makes bed time special every night. thank you for being my partner in parenting and life - we love you and happy father's day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

a mango

here we are at week nineteen! six days from now we will be halfway done already - man, having three kids keeping me busy is really helping the time fly, i must really know what i am doing here. by the time next week rolls around we will know what we are having and i will be itching to get started on the nursery!

nothing too major this week, our go go go days make for a exhausted mama at the end of the evening, it is really doing a number on my back, and i am ready for bed right after dinner. we did finally settle our hearts on a home birth, you can read about our journey getting there, here. for someone who thought home birth would never be for her, both tim and i are pretty amped about the experience we will get to go through.

as of last night we have settled for sure on our girl name pick, tim isn't positive on the middle name, but it is happening people. all of the sudden he is second guessing our boy choice, ha! why is it so stinking hard to name a boy? i guess before we stress over it we will wait and see what we are even having. on that note, no we will not be sharing the name, just like with stella! i never recovered from people tearing me down for wanting to name zoë, penelope, so we don't share, because people will keep their comments to their self once baby is here and adorable. plus, we like to drive tim's mom crazy with guessing :)

i am trying really hard to limit my intake of sweets and carbs (eek, yea right) but it will help a little bit in keeping baby's size under control and make my home birth go smoother if there is a less likely chance of another 10.5lb baby!

on a sort of related sort of unrelated topic, i am starting the process of becoming a doula! i will be hopefully be going through my certification for that and lactation educator by winter or spring, but in the mean time will start hopefully attending some births and getting the experience under my belt! i am a little nervous about taking on this new career with a newborn coming soon, but this will be more of a experience for me then a true money making venture, so i will be able to control a little more how many births i take a month and spread my time out better. i seriously can't wait!

How far along: nineteen+ weeks
How big is baby: around 8.5 ounces - measuring big as usual!
Total weight gain: not available.
Maternity clothes: mostly. i finally broke down and bought a pair of gap jeans and a maternity shirt, i guess my hopes of avoiding all maternity were never going to last!
Sleep: good, but i find myself exhausted early, so i go to bed early, and naturally am up with the sun.
Best moment this week: visiting tim's sister right after her first home birth! makes me really amped for ours!
Gender: unknown till wednesday!
Craving: chipoltle mexican grill
Movement: a lot more "kicking" then "popping"
Labor Signs: none, thankfully! this baby has a while to bake still.
Belly Button in or out: it is neutral.
Stretch marks: tons of tiger stripes and proud of them.
What I miss: sleeping on my stomach, limited positions are throwing my back for a loop.
What I am looking forward to: starting the nursery and my first appointment with my new midwife.
Milestones: made the switch to our birth center where someone from our team of midwives will assist our home birth!

is it just me, or does my belly go up and down, in and out, and change shape a lot?
and, just for fun! a comparison of rowan to stella to baby number four! it is suprising how flat my belly is with rowan here, considering by the end of my pregnancy with her i looked like i was carrying quints (no joke)! also, can we just talk about how i look like i aged twenty years between kids? i should find a pic of when i was this pregnant with zoe at 18, it will blow your mind! i guess, three drama queen daughters will do that to you, ha! i wouldn't change it for the world though!

Friday, June 15, 2012

giveaway: shabby apple gift certificate!

shabby apple is a online shop that features top trends in dresses, skirts, swim wear, aprons (yes aprons!) and more. they work hard to make every women feel chic and classy in their wide array of gorgeous items. they offer easy to use sizing, shopping tools and advice to help you find the best look for your body, who doesn't love that?

when i visited their site most recently, i went right for the dress section to see what would be maternity friendly, this was before i even noticed they had a section devoted to couture maternity at great prices! right away i found quite a few non maternity, but belly friendly options, since you know that is what i have been aiming for with this fourth and final baby, not wanting to invest in clothes that i can't wear post pregnancy.
i am positive that grey dress will be part of my maternity wardrobe very soon! it is right up my style alley and looks so comfortable for a growing belly.

don't even get me started on their kids and preteen sections - i could see my girls wearing every last thing on there. the girls were squealing over my shoulder at all of the adorable princess dresses, recreated to mimic some of their favorite disney characters, they wanted every last one! except stella, she wanted the superman cape of course!

i was really excited when shabby apple boutique contacted me about hosting a giveaway for you guys! i have seen their amazing clothing all over and couldn't wait to get to work with them. so, with summer upon us now is the perfect time for you to win this $50 gift certificate from shabby apple! some of their sun dresses are to die for.  also, just for you, they are offering 10% off on all orders for the next month - just use hibabyblog10off at checkout to receive your discount.

entering is so easy, i am really loving raffelcopter, just follow the prompts below - two are mandatory to enter and the rest are for fun but give you a higher chance of winning! the giveaway will run for two weeks at which time i will announce the winner along with a daily blog post the following week. have fun, tell your friends, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 14, 2012

this vs. that

i totally forgot to post a comparison so better late then never! i suck at life and it didn't occur to me to do "first day" on the photo on the left and follow up with a "last day" on the one on the right, but you get the picture for all intents and purposes.
i can see a difference for sure! i am still picking my jaw up off the floor over the difference in the first vs. last over at harper's happenings. it may be a little less drastic, but my girl definitely transformed into a real little human this year. sad, she lost so much of her baby face...and hair!

changes and big decisions

yesterday, after another in depth conversation with our doula to be and another in depth, me talking too fast, throwing facts and statistics around, conversation with my husband, we have decided to aim for a home birth!

if you know me in person at all and we have talked about my type of birth, then you knew i was very anti-home birth before. not that i didn't respect it or love it for other people, it was just not for me. see, i am a worrier of all things and i was already picturing everything that could go wrong, but on the other hand, i do well with encouragement and reminding, and that is exactly what i have gotten from my midwife and doula to help me make this decision.

when we first found out we were pregnant we went right to the local birth center because we were sure it would be the perfect in between. it was in the shadow of the hospital i loved and came very highly recommended. however, after a lot of talking with tim and feeling unsure we settled in at a midwife clinic in the hospital and were now sure that is what we wanted. the birth center didn't feel right either, i couldn't really explain it, but i wasn't positive i would be comfortable there and oddly? i find comfort in a hospital, not for just a birth, but for myself, and i am sure a lot of that comes from the fact that i have never really had a horrible experience. bad doctors? yes, but great nurses and treatment and easy labors.

my midwife has always quietly urged me to remember that i could switch back to the birth center at any time, i was literally the perfect candidate, and she knew deep down it is what i originally wanted. three perfect, short, complication free labors were how all my previous ones had been, however medicated and in a hospital, and i think that is what held me back.

i knew i wanted a natural birth right away and was pretty confident that i could do it, considering stella came in five hours start to finish, but there were those what-if's again...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

go go go

here we are on day number three of summer vacation, it has rained almost the whole time, and i am already struggling to keep us busy and not on top of each other. i only have the older girls for the first six weeks of the summer then we shuttle them off to their dads and zoe heads to her first year of a week long, overnight summer camp, which i am freaking out about that a little, then stella and i go back to sleeping in till at least 8am.

somewhere along the line i came under the impression that i had to jam pack our days, i feel like i always owe my kids a epic summer, and in some respects i do, but with a limited summer fun budget and the fact that i am responsible for three crazy kids and one in the belly, it is easier said then done.

i have a million plans in my head: jetty island, spray parks, edmonds beach, hiking, and more but it would be really great if the rain would just stop long enough to squeeze some of these in. like a true pacific northwester i am going to complain about our lack of summer until it rolls around after independence day, so until then we see early early movies, shop at old navy, and lock the kids in the hurricane wind tunnel attractions at the mall.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

she's got pee-wee power, oo-ah!

"angles can fly, bobcats can race, but guess what the c-h-e-e-t-a-h-s can do? they can hit a home run!"

I am now quite positive that some of these girls join softball just for the fun chants - there was this hilarious, very stereotypical looking softball gal who would shout them all through the game from her position of short stop or from the dugout. it was a really great time!

despite the rain and wind we really enjoyed catching zoë's last softball game of the year. wonky spring schedules had kept us away until now, but this was the perfect opportunity for a day trip to the tri-cities and to grab zoë for the summer.

rowan had been to a couple of games and got right down to business playing with all of the little siblings who had also come to watch. i was so mad that i had forgotten my dslr and had to settle with iphone photos to document her last game of the season as a cheeta, the team name zoë came up with then her team mates voted on!

they lost :( but you should have seen this other team, for eight year olds they were good! steroids maybe? they hit home runs almost every at bat, threw and caught the ball all the way across the field. my poor girl could barely throw from home to the pitcher, but we love her anyway! in their defense though, the cheetah were the best dressed and coordinated team i saw at the play fields during the tournament. pink socks, cheetah print ribbons, adorable grey pants, and zoo's purple bat and glove.

zoë played catcher for this game - she looked adorable in all her gear and the way she would squat down, glove up, all professional like. can you use the word adorable in baseball?

i can't wait until her season next year! i hope this is a sport she loves and can continue with. i was never really into these types of sports, i was more the ballet, jump rope team, abstract painting class type so i am thrilled that i can support my kids in these types of activities - even though i think that means, in stella's case, a lot of cringing while she does some sort of crazy bike or skateboard trick in the air.

the trophy she got was adorable, a little bobble head softball girl! tim was complaining that he never got trophies unless they won, doesn't he know they are all winner now days?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

i'm just going to go ahead and say it...

i hate when you ask someone, when it comes to the sex of their  upcoming new arrival, if they have a preference, and they answer, annoyed, "a healthy baby!"

well, duh.

i think that is sort of implied here, but you, as well as i, know that they lean one way or another, even if it is just a tiny bit. 

tim wants a boy, there is absolutely now doubt about that! he will love a girl just as much, in fact if you ask me i think he is a little sweeter on having more daddy's girls, he just gets overwhelmed by all of the estrogen at times. 

at this point, i can honestly answer you this, i haven't decided which i picture joining our family, or better, it changes daily.

team girl: i know girls, in the middle of raising three as we speak. in my garage? are totes and totes of the most adorable little girls clothes...dresses, mary janes, skinny jeans, leggings. i scored a jenny lind crib at a garage sale and i literally dream nightly about painting it plum purple and dressing it up with all sorts of bright patterns and fun. i love the girl name we have picked out, everything we own is pink, and the girls are crossing their fingers hard for another sister.

team boy: tim needs another man in the house. i think a boy would bring a different and interesting balance to our house and he would have three wild loving sisters to have his back at all times. the crib we have if it is a boy is amazeballs and i am already scheming on how we would get tim's childhood vintage pull down maps from minnesota to washington. a boy would be so so fun to dress, first things first i would order him a bow tie to come home in.

i think i lean toward desiring another girl more, although i know i could raise a boy, and would be proud to raise one that could possibly be anything like his daddy, i love having girls, but again i have no idea what having a boy is like. i promise you though, i will be absolutely, equally ecstatic, no matter what, because despite everything i just confessed, a healthy baby is all we want.

so i guess we wait. 

twelve days and we find out, my ultrasound is scheduled for 10 am on friday the 22nd. i am already planning a reveal dinner for our close family so you most likely won't get to find out till the following day, sorry. until then, any guesses?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

a sweet potato

it is weird, i was just thinking this morning how this pregnancy has been by far my hardest, when i would have assumed it would be the opposite. i joked with tim a month ago, that if this wasn't already going to our last baby, that after those first few weeks, it would be anyway, it was rough.

i just find myself a lot more exhausted and unwilling - which is hard for a mama of three already, to admit, but my house is a mess friends and i am not making any apologies for it. this has been hard for me and my ocd tendencies too. which is probably why i don't really clean, usually it has to be all or nothing with me, and if i can't guarantee myself i'll get the whole house done, stella and i watch shrek seventeen times instead.

i have been having major wardrobe melt downs lately, i preplanned with lots of maxi skirts and accommodating shorts but june has brought us nothing but rain and cold and the realization i lack maternity friendly pants, so i wear my work out pants a lot. warm weather, where are you?

we scheduled the BIG ultrasound for thirteen days from now, my nail lady and massage therapist and midwife all guess girl, so i guess we will see! what are your bets?

How far along: eighteen+ weeks
How big is baby: around 6.7 ounces
Total weight gain: we aren't going to talk about that, but a lot.
Maternity clothes: a mix still, dying for a pair of jeans though - i officially can't fit into any of mine with out a little macgyver rubber band action.
Sleep: a little better then last week. finals i tell you, they are d r a i n i n g.
Best moment this week: if i ask stella if there is a baby in my big belly, she says no, then tells me there is one in hers. so confused. but, she helped my midwife listen for the heartbeat and got to turn the doppler on and off - i love seeing any of the girls be involved in this pregnancy.
Gender: unknown for now
Craving: virgin bloody mary's and the red robin menu. obsessed.
Movement: a little here and there, starting to feel more like flips then bubble popping.
Labor Signs: none, thankfully! this baby has a while to bake still.
Belly Button in or out: it is neutral.
Stretch marks: for life.
What I miss: my energy. where have you gone, yo?
What I am looking forward to: finding out the sex of this sweet potato on the 22nd!
Milestones: i broke the scale at my midwifes.
yep, same shirt different day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

flashback fridays: one of my all-time favorite vacations!

once upon a time i loaded the car up, with my then only two little ladies, we made the drive to southern california and then some. the trip went like this: washington to sacramento to palm springs for a few days to disneyland and the beach to vegas that same night to somewhere in nevada and back to the bay area.

my kids were troopers to say the least, even in the midst of a terrible tragedy that struck our family while we were on this trip. we saw great sights, laughed, made things out of pipe cleaners, and couldn't get over all of the windmills in california and the shoe tree we passed near redmond oregon.

it was a crazy fun trip of a lifetime and even though rowan was just a tiny bit short of a year old i hope some of the amazing photos i have stored away help her relive what a fantastic time she had!

taking two small kids to vegas was not my favorite part - my mom got sick and it was difficult dragging zoe up and down the strip to see things she would be interested in. honestly it kind of ruined vegas for me, but i am willing to give it another go with the husband sometime.

on my original blog, that i deleted on accident, yea, i mobile blogged the whole trip keeping my few followers back then updated on our travels with two under five. it was a lot of fun and i want to cry a little right now thinking about how that was lost, in the deleting, yea. so since, you have never really seen those photos, except for when i would share for a contest or meme, i wanted to break them out of the vault again! i hope you enjoy our california road trip adventures!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

potty learning: done!

attention! winner of the tea collection giveaway is sonya morris! she and tea have been contacted. thanks so much to everyone who entered!

stay tuned for more great giveaways coming soon!
"potty quick!" 

i am pretty sure i could never get tired of hearing a cute little voice shout this as she recognizes the feeling to go and all on her own makes it to the potty chair on time. we did it!

this is another perfect example of how sometimes we (or at least i) don't always give my kids enough credit. you heard me say that i was positive that stella would be my most difficult nugget to potty train and yet she blew our minds with how fast (five days) and what age (twenty-six months) she did it.

the tell all, "we're potty trained" moment for me was when we went on a hike and she was able to hold it and communicate when she needed to go. pictured above is our failed attempt to teach her how to use nature as her bathroom (of course only when appropriate) - poor girl, you could tell she really was trying but just couldn't get past the barrier to let it go. so, the whole short walk back she would let us know she needed to go but held it like a champ till we got back to the car, because for trips like this i still carry the potty in the car - sorry, but i don't even like using this whole in the ground trailhead toilets and am not about to dangle my child above one.

of course, again like i mentioned we are still in diapers at sleep times and don't really plan on that not being the case for a bit. however, she does wake up from nap dry and every few morning is dry as well so it is not as far off as i once though, we'll just have to wait it out and see how it goes.

everyone has been asking me for tips - and while i am so ready and willing to share, the one most honest pice of wisdom i can give you is, my tips probably won't work for your kid. i have now taught three kids how to use the potty and not one was the same. granted the naked, potty where we are method is always our starting point, with great success, there have been tons of difference in how each one preferred to do it and what parts came harder or easier for them. i always kind of have to laugh at those sites that claim "this is is, the end all method to potty training!" because, really for most people it won't be.

the biggest change i made this time around is i completely took cues from stella - not that i pushed zoë or rowan before the tell tale signs were there, i just literally waited till stella was asking and obviously sick of her diapers. for stella this just seemed to come a little sooner. note: zoe potty trained a little over two and a half and night just after three, rowan trained night and day right before stella was born at two and a half, and stella is twenty-six months old now.

who knows though, maybe your little one is the same personality type as stella and these posts might be super helpful for you and i encourage you to look back and read about our journey!

our whole potty learning adventure can be seen here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

pnw blogger meet up: ridiculousness

the event photos and photo booth photos from our wonderful photographer, sara gray, graced my inbox last night and i couldn't wait to share. i thought that they just might not live up to the last photo booth we had, with it's hilarious props, but i am so excited about these fun memories that were captured, enjoying life with my friends!

my favorite photo of the whole thing was when mandy and i said we should do the classic charlie's angles shot and emily spat out, "but i don't have a gun with me!" um, you use your hand, haha!

the whole event was perfect - i met new ladies i adore, ate great sandwiches and sipped on diet cokes, watched people win fabulous prizes, speed blogger-dated a new friend, and more. it was the perfect recipe for a great night out.

there were so many pregnant ladies there and it was great to squeeze in a picture real quick with them. don't drink the water people, it is going around!

by time the event wound down i was so sore and tired, but willing to squeeze every once out of this trip. there was talk of cake but we never made it back out of hotel room and ended up talking the dark about everything you can imagine, until 3am. needless to say, when we were all up and at em' at 7am i was a little exhausted! nothing a little breakfast at mother's bistro would cure though!

with the next meet up being scheduled when i'll either have a seconds old baby or possibly threaten to give birth at, i think i will sit that one out, but i can't wait until the next time i can chat and hang with these great gals! hopefully in seattle!

fresh corn salad for you!

with summer fast approaching and all of impending bbq's that implies, i thought i would re-share one of our all time favorite recipes. we love it so much we even served it at our wedding!

this is the perfect dish to bring along to a potluck because the cost is low and it yields a lot to go around. plus, it is a cold fresh delicious treat on any day. all of our kids even love it and that is always a plus!

everyone who we ever make this for begs for the recipe, so here it is!
fresh corn salad
8 ears fresh corn, blanched
1 tomato, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. italian salad style dressing

in large bowl mixed together (husked, sliced, and blanched) corn and all other veggies. pour dressing over and toss to coat. refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

side note: when we made this for our big day and were counting on serving 100+ people, we went with organic frozen options to cut down on cost and prep time. something to consider if you want to make it for a big crowd!

our summer bucket list

[ ] long board at alki
[ ] go fruit picking with friends and their little ones
[ ] take our yearly family trip to whidbey island
[ ] visit the waterfall park in pioneer square
[ ] take the older girls for kiddie pedicures
[ ] ride up the space needle
[ ] make s'mores in the backyard
[ ] visit one of the local farm parks
[ ] play at the spray park at least ten times
[ ] make and have a bike wash
[ ] camp with all three kids
[ ] get the baby's nursery done!
[ ] fly kites
[ ] discover sea creatures at edmonds beach
[ ] find a new cool park
[ ] ride bikes and scooters at robinswood park
[ ] get frozen yogurt before dinner
[ ] have a big play date with our blogger friends and their kiddos
[ ] use our omsi pass
[ ] spend a lot more time with the tv off!

this is my third year drawing up a summer bucket list for our family, and while it is so fun to dream up a hundred things i would like to do, we barely ever get through half of it. so this year, i was very practical about what i listed - of course our summer will consist of a lot more fun activities, it always does, but this will be a great jumping off point for days we are bored and scratching our head for ideas.

i tried to balance adding things that were very local and free to not overwhelm us with trying to do everything and the cost it implies when you are talking about a family of five. i might even add a few more things now that the red tricycle newsletter i get is featuring more and more local must do's for this nicer weather we have been having. zoe has been begging to visit the space needle forever and i think this will be the perfect year and age of all of the kiddos to really enjoy it - i can't wait to see how they react!

we already have our yearly trip to the oregon coast planned for the 4th of july - as you know, we look forward to this trip yearly and since last year we took only stella, we are over the moon excited to take all three girls on our favorite trip. the big girls are only here for the first six weeks of the summer so we are on a little bit of a time crunch to make the most of our summer together and pray for the weather to cooperate. i can't wait to get started on our list this month!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

pnw blogger meet up: the morning after

i am not ready to wrap up an epic weekend with my girlfriends, but i have been dying to post a little bit about our trip and the blogger meet up. i am still waiting on some photos from our wonderful photographer and from friends to really tell the story but first you must hear about our breakfast at mother's bistro in portland!

anytime i go to portland i am on the hunt for a new restaurant or food truck to try, even though for at least one meal we always end up at deschutes brewery, breakfast is one of our favorite meals to discover new places. it was emily to who found this gem and i was so glad when i had called our first pick place and their reservations were out till 11am, much to late for all of these early rising preggos to eat.

we had a little bit of a wait when we got there, but it was so worth it! chelsea and i ordered their crunchy french toast - which is basically classic french toast dipped in corn flakes before it is pan fried. i paired that with a virgin bloody mary, my craving this week and it was a perfect meal!

to continue the theme of awesomeness, the great conversation and photo capturing flowed, it was the perfect end to this wonderful weekend away. i can't wait to share the rest of the meet-up with you, so stay tuned!

a washington hike: big four ice caves

after last weekends failed attempt to get out of the door on time for a family hike, this sunday i was determined. i woke up hoping to talk tim into walking around discovery park in seattle and hitting the beach at the end, but he suggested that we try and stay closer to home and see what granite falls and the mountain loop highway have to offer.

immediately i clicked through my google search to the big four ice caves, i grew up hiking to these and remembered the ease of the trail and what a sight it was when you got to the end. i also had looked at doing mt. pilchuck or lake 22 but with a recently potty trained toddler, the ice caves offered a 2.2 mile trip that would suit our needs a lot better. the ice caves hike also offers very little incline and beautiful boardwalk trails through some fun sights to see. i even stepped outside of my photography box and snapped some photos of the cool terrain and plant life.

the long lost leavenworth post

there once was this time that tim's dad and his fiancé came to visit, we had a ton of fun showing them around leavenworth, a local tourist spot in the mountains, then i forgot to share the photos with you.

it was early march when they visited and since we had yet to make our yearly trip up, we headed out hoping to catch some snow still there and maybe get in some sledding for the girls. i guess we missed the snow, but still had fun weaving in and out of all the shops looking at ridiculous trinkets and souvenirs before heading to lunch. 

when you go to leavenworth you have to eat bavarian style, meaning some sort of brats and beer. we tried a new place that tim and i hadn't been to before and we all ate some sort of delicious something that i of course can't remember at this point. 

by time we were done with lunch, the general consensus was to start heading towards the car, but not before grabbing some treats at the local chocolate place. i was major craving truffles, which is funny because we literally found out that we were pregnant that morning - i was bursting at the seams to tell his parents right away but decided to wait in the end. kind of ironic though, the very first time tim and i ever went to leavenworth is the same week we got pregnant with stella - it is our lucky town i guess, ha! 

there is so much more to do in this fun little mountain escape but with wonky weather and the long tiring drive it seemed to take to get here, we were all content with the way the day played out. i am determined to do a sleigh ride sometime when i visit though, it never works out to be the right time! we also love the mini golf, so maybe we'll have to make a special trip with the girls this summer.

i really do love living in washington - you get a little bit of it all! you drive this way and you have beautiful beaches and you go that way and you are in the mountains with gorgeous scenery. we even have a rain forest here! you know, where the cullen's live...

the very last picture cracks me up! we take the same photo of rowan every time we come, it is funny to compare them, the last time we were here with kids i was pregnant with stella and rowan wasn't even two yet and had just had a epic meltdown over an aversion to snow, epic. 

so, if you are ever in our part of the pacific northwest make sure and check out leavenworth! summer and winter both have things to offer, but this little town is famous for its christmas spirit and decorations!

Monday, June 4, 2012

the end of our cloth diaper journey, for now.

since stella is potty trained (knock on wood) we are wrapping up out cloth diaper journey, for now. she has almost always worn a seventh generation sposie at night due to heavy (heavy) wetting so now that we are full time day potty users i am packing up our cloth, in a near by location, until baby number four comes along this fall. since starting, our techniques, brands used, and tips to share have evolved a lot. even though i have shared a couple of times along our cloth diaper journey i wanted to tie things up on a where we're leaving things post...

we started using cloth when stella was about three months old. an interest had been sparked before she came but the fire was really lit when i saw my good friend amanda going though it with ease and a smile on her face even. i knew i could do it and when i mastered it, i wanted to share it with the world.

warning: cloth diapering will involve a lot of internet window shopping for the new hot designs and deals. hide your credit cards.

when we very first started i ordered mostly the flip system, a outer shell that comes with a long fleece/microfiber insert that lays inside. i liked these because similar to the pre fold + cover system you could change the insert without going through too many covers a day, this enabled me to start out with minimal flip systems so that i could start cloth diapering without breaking the bank and before i knew i would love it. along with those i ordered a couple of bumgenius pocket systems, same sort of idea but the insert slips in between the cover and a liner of fleece sewn in, these you have to change every time they are soiled. later we discovered that bg's weren't for us and swapped with a friend for our favorites, fuzzibunz.

over time, we learned that over all fuzzibunz were the best fit for stella. eventually once she was mobile the flips were put away, as her wiggles would lead to leaks. fuzzibunz, also a pocket system run about $15-$19 a diaper but if you think about the bigger picture you still are saving money not buying sposies! to be more specific, we buy the perfect size diapers in a medium, since we started at three months they fit her right away and have still fit, with adjustments to the snaps, all the way to potty training. the one size option they offer were always too trim for stella and would leak after one light soil.

now that we're cloth diaper pros, i have ventured onto find less expensive options to grow our stash and cut down on washing so much and spread the wear out more between diapers. in the search i discovered kawaii diapers and fell in love with their round tab snap diaper and at $10 a diaper that was a price i could get excited about. we dabbled with sunbabys too, but i'll have to admit that despite the rave reviews, they are not my favorite. i don't mind them so much when i can use my more pricey and absorbent inserts but all in all i just don't think they are a great fit on stella's toosh.

not to be forgotten is our trusty diaper sprayer and favorite cloth diaper specific soap! we didn't start out with a sprayer but boy is it handy, we went with the bumgenius one after trying to create our own. rockin' green is our favorite cloth soap since switching from store bought country save, tim even loves it to remove built up grime and smell from his work clothes.

with the new baby coming soon, we are hoping to use cloth from the start so i have started looking into the best options for us. newborns usually require a whole set of diapers just for their tiny size. the stash i have built up now will work great for a three+ month old but won't fit a tiny baby at first. i have priced out buying a whole stash of newborn cloth but in the end it looks like doing some sort of rental program will work best for us and be a chance to try out the fitted + cover system.

so cloth diapering friends stay tuned for the next chapter in our cloth diaper adventures!

(pictured above: flip, bumgenius, kawaii, and fuzzibunz)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

an onion.

seventeen weeks in and this will be my first official documentation of pregnancy going-ons, whoops. bottom line, the two small rugrats i have running around beneath me daily keep me busy enough, i barely have time to stop and remember that i even am pregnant, even though the heartburn never lets me forget.

my belly is huge already, i have daily melt downs in my closet about jeans, and rowan keeps asking me if i need to hurry to the hospital yet because she really doesn't want to see a baby fall out of my butt. this is where we are so far...

it is so strange with baby number four, i am so laid back about what we need, finally. we have a few big ticket items to procure (cause we never saved stuff due to living in a apartment before), a crib (done, we have two) a carseat (done), a double stroller (done),  the swing, and a breast pump. we have tried to get one a month to spread out the pain and so far it is working. i made a stead fast list that i will stick to on other things, like swaddle blankets and paci's - i think that helps tim stay calm when the cost start adding up, he knows the list is small and i have promised to stick to it.

i literally cried the other day when i was going through bin after bin of baby girls clothes from all three girls - if this is a boy i will sell almost everything and start trying to replace eight years worth of wardrobe with some dapper duds for a boy. will none of my babies ever wear all these adorable pink things again?

don't tell tim but i think i am secretly hoping it is girl - a boy would be so fun, different, and add some balance. but girls? i can do girls. everything we own is pink and i am literally dyeing to paint that jenny lind crib i scored, plum purple. both my nail lady and massage therapist say they are positive it is a girl. seriously, don't tell tim, ha.

the all day i want to die sickness is gone, but it left behind it's friend, heartburn. seriously, water gives me heartburn. however there are some cravings i just can't give up, therefore i endure it. i have looked into a hazel wood necklace, it is suppose to be a cure all for heartburn, and since i am a believer in the amber necklace i might give it a try. have you tried one? did it work?

so now that all of that is out of the way, we can get down to the important stuff:

How far along: seventeen+ weeks
How big is baby: around 5.9 ounces
Total weight gain: we aren't going to talk about that, but a lot.
Maternity clothes? a mix, see above about meltdowns in my closet.
Sleep: not getting enough. so far i stay asleep ok, but am wide awake to early.
Best moment this week: hearing baby's heartbeat, but i own a doppler so i hear that every week.
Gender: unknown
Craving: everything and pepperoncini
Movement: for a few weeks now, but really felt continuous flutters last weekend
Labor Signs: none, thank god
Belly Button in or out? it is neutral
Stretch marks? hard to tell since I AM COVERED already from one and two.
What I miss: this week, a cold summer ale.
What I am looking forward to: finding out the sex of the baby this month!
Milestones: i look more pregnant and less just fat.

i can keep asking tim to take my picture, so i am going to keep up with this weekly bathroom, dirty mess in the background, mirror picture thing going, to add to these weekly posts. i will update this weeks photo when i get back from portland, this was a prescheduled post and i am off enjoying my favorite blogging ladies!