Bring on 2016

welcome 2016

So here we are, 2016.

2015 was filled with a lot of ups and a few downs, but I can say, 2015 was a blessed year.

My husband finally got a job in his desired field – an hour away.  But 6 months later, got an even better opportunity in his desired field, 15 minutes from home!  Praise break!

I however, lost my job.  It hurt – a lot- because it was not handled in the manner that someone who gave their entire adult life to an organization should have been handled.  (Not gonna lie, the worse part was none of my friends reached out after, either)  However, I had been in prayer and was seeking guidance to step down from that position anyway to be home more with my son (since you know, more than half my income went to child care anyway).  So, clearly, God was tired of my lack of action and allowed for that door to be closed.

But I’ve started new ventures, and returned to old.

When little Liam will sleep, I spend time crafting and cooking, leading to the creation of Arts & Glass by Cindy, as well as becoming an independent demonstrator for Uppercase Living. It’s fun!Arts & Glass

I also am doing some freelance marketing work, busting out the old Sociably Cindy name tag and business card was fun.  I think it’s time for a re-design, though.

I’m looking forward to writing more, being more involved in my community and church.  Oh, and the JBQ season is about to start – 2 kids in juniors, 1 in beginners, it’s going to be crazy!
BorrowLenses.com

How to Behave Around A Pregnant Woman Part 1

“Common Sense Isn’t Common Anymore” is a phrase that I hear and use almost daily.  What use to make perfect sense to everyone to do or not do is not the case anymore.  People now need baby-step by baby-step instructions for everyday interactions.

Especially around pregnant women.

Now, this is just my opinion, with input from some friends, but I think most pregnant women would agree.  Here is the start of my list

Having a baby bump does NOT give you permission to rub my belly.  I mean I could go on and on, make this whole post about it but here are a few of the big reasons

  1. Personal Space.  I get it, some people are just touchy-feely and will find any excuse to hug your or whatever.  But you wouldn’t want me rubbing your non-baby belly, so why should you rub my belly.
  2. Maternal instincts.  We are growing a little human in our wombs.  That is my child.  Don’t touch my child.
  3. Sensitive Skin.  Did you know that some women actually experience sunburn like symptoms on their bellies due to the stretching.  Yea, it hurts. Don’t touch.

Don’t Call A Pregnant Woman “huge”.  We’re women.  We can be vain.  We are suppose to gain about 20 to 30 pounds in a pregnancy.  We develop swelling in random places, carry water weight and have a hard time maneuvering with our protruding bellies.  We already feel huge, you don’t need to point it out. And husbands, calling your wife fatty or even “phatty” is NEVER acceptable.

Don’t Ask “Is this your first?”  Such an uncomfortable question for so many women.  There are those who have had many miscarriages, or lost a child, that the question is just hard to answer, and it is hard for the other person to hear the answer.

Then there are those who have multiple children, and people give really weird looks when you say “It’s my 4th,” like you’re some kind of side show freak.  I hate when someone responds with “Ever hear of birth control,” or even more inappropriate “Ever think of saying no.”

Children are miracles from God, a blessing to their families.  Whether in our arms or in our hearts, every baby is precious.

Are you still sick?  Have you tried ____?” If you have HG like me, the answer is always yes.  And sometimes that’s hard for people to understand.  And then they list off things that they tried to deal with their morning sickness.  When you’ve been dealing with it for 20+ weeks, don’t you think a women would spend hours online looking up home remedies and old wives tales and try them all, just to feel better?  You really think telling me to drink Ginger Ale at 22 weeks is going to make me say “Oh gee, why didn’t I think of that?”

Don’t offer to help if you’re not going to help.  If you offer to make a pregnant women or new mom a few meals, or to come help with chores, or to watch the kids so she can sleep, and she accepts – DO IT.  If you’re not going to follow through, DON’T OFFER.  And, if she doesn’t accept – DO IT ANYWAY.  Call and say “I made an extra dish of lasagna for dinner, can I bring it over to you?”  As a mom of 3 with Hyperemesis, and a husband who works 50+ hours a week, making dinner and household chores are hard to get done.

Veggie Lasagna… takes 5 minutes to put together.

Make one for someone!

Is A Baby Shower OK For Baby #4?

Going in to this pregnancy, we’d gotten rid of just about everything.

We have some outfits for each of the kids, our favorites, and the ones not ruined by spit-up. 


Any toys we’d gotten rid of because of concerns for the chemicals in the plastic.  


We don’t have a crib anymore, and the old baby carseat is long since expired.  


High chair had it’s last meal a few years ago…

So now here we are, expecting another baby.

We’ve had several friends ask us if we were going to have a baby shower… and several people tell me that if I’m thinking about having one, to not.

So I don’t know…. The last baby shower I had was for Samantha, almost 9 years ago.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to have a party; why not have one for just the baby.  I mean, we still have a few clothes, and I’ve been slowly stocking up on diapers (very slowly).

I mean, a diaper party isn’t too unreasonable, is it?  Or a casserole party?  I mean, I’m having a hard enough time feeding my family with my being so sick, what’s it going to be like once the baby’s here?  Plenty of people have asked if they could help, and we’ve accepted, but then it slipped their mind or life happened…

http://www.toysrus.com/registry/

Registry #: 52002962

Hubby and I had a few evenings to ourselves while the kids were visiting my parents, so we went and did a baby registry.  Not really planning to have a shower; it was more to see all the things that we didn’t have… it’s  a long list.   We did sign up for the Babies R Us V.I.B. (Very Important Baby) program – where was this when my other kids were little?  Friends and family can contribute to a gift card, that can be used for diapers, formula and baby food, and then Toys ‘R’ Us adds an additional 5%.

So that is the question: to have baby shower or to not have a baby shower…?  This the the response I got from a 30+ mom group on WhatToExpect.com.  Still not sure what to do…

Water Weight & Extreme Fatigue

12 Weeks…

 

We were really hoping to only have the IV for a couple of weeks.

 

After 2 weeks, there was no way Bridget was going to let me off them.  I was still getting sick several times a day.

 

I began to eat one small meal a day, in addition to my Herbalife Monster Cookie Shake at New-Trition for breakfast: Mashed potatoes.  And not even made from russet or yukon golds… no powdered dehydrated mashed potatoes.  Seriously.  And I became kind of ‘brand specific”.  Idahoan, to be specific.  They were the only brand that tasted ‘good’ and would actually stay in my belly.

 

Life with an IV isn’t pleasant.  You have this thing in your arm, all day every day.  And you get this backpack.  It’s not attractive, so you can’t really pass it off as anything but what it is.  And it’s heavy!  The 4L bag weighed about 20 lbs, and after 2 weeks I was decreased to 3L, in hopes I would feel the need to drink more.  The 3L bag weighs about 15 lbs.  And you have to carry it with you wherever you go!

 

 

 

I adjusted my schedule so I changed the IV at night, so it wouldn’t be as heavy during the day.   But here’s the thing about having 3L of fluids pumped in your system everyday: in addition to the trips to the ladies room to get sick, you have to empty your bladder a dozen times a day too.  Imagine getting up at 3AM to go potty, and having to carry a 15 lb backpack with you… seriously.  Try it sometime you have to get up in the middle of the night – carry two 8 lb bowling balls in a bag and then tell me “It’s no big deal.”

 

The fluids helped me make sure the baby was OK, but there was still plenty of fear and doubt that baby was OK.  Then there’s the guilt about taking care of the rest of your family.  I was so sick that I had no strength to do anything.  Making dinner was hard for me to do.  I was thankful for my husband, and the care that he gave me, us.  But there were nights that he’d work late, and I’d be on my own to make dinner.  It was hard.  There were plenty of nights where all they had were PB&J and fruit.

 

I was so thankful for our friend Jenn making us dinner.  Though I wasn’t able to eat it, my kids did.  And there was plenty for dinner the next night, too.  We hadn’t even asked for help, she just went out of her way to help us out.  We are so thankful.

 

One thing that I’d encourage any mom dealing with HG to do, is not be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be embarrassed when it’s offered.  You are growing a person!  And you will occasionally need help.  So if someone offers, accept.

 

Hair Donation

I saw Facebook posts from La Luna Salon & Spa, of the ladies who donated their hair.  It got me thinking…

Over the last 7 1/2 years, I’ve donated over 50 INCHES to be made into wigs for cancer patients through Pantene Beautiful Lengths!

I’m thankful to be able to give something, even as simple as my hair, to those who are going through a difficult time.  If my tiny gesture, small sacrifice, can bring a smile to someone’s face, than it was all worth it.

17in, Oct. 2007 (at La Luna),

18in, Spring 2009 (Thank you Cara)

17in, summer 2011 (Thank you Jenn)…

Dealing With Mean Girls

Third Grade

That’s when it really started for me.  Something about 8 and 9-year-old kids, especially girls, that this age is when they try to test the power of control over others.

I’d experienced it for myself, and now I’m starting to see it affecting my daughter.

I’d been made fun of for the clothes that I wore, how long my hair was, my slight Boston accent, stupid petty things.  And yet, it really affected me.  No matter how hard I’d try to ignore it, I couldn’t avoid it.  It continued through junior high and high school; I couldn’t avoid it.

And now it’s my daughter’s turn.  She was telling us about a situation, and she told us she tried to talk to the girl, but it sounded like she was trying to dish it back, and failing at it.  She was being made fun of because of how she wears her hair, and because she did Bible Quizzing.

I sat and talked with her, trying not to cry.  I told her that just because that girl might like the headbands with lots of sparkles and big bows, doesn’t mean she has to.  They don’t stay in her hair very well.  And if it’s “too long” (as I was often teased for), maybe she’s jealous because her mom cuts her hair short.  My daughter has hair that most women swoon over, asking to borrow her for a little while to take to their colorist so they can get color just like hers.

My daughter is not athletic… she’s tried sports, but they’re just not her thing.  She’s not a bad runner though, but she doesn’t want to be a runner.  She likes music and reading.  I’m not going to force her into team sports unless she wants to try it.  But she loves Bible Quizzing.  She’s proud of the work that she’s done.  But in a public school, she doesn’t get an opportunity to share her experiences and talents.  Other kids who aren’t active in a church don’t see this as a real activity.  She should be proud of her hard work, and even if the kids at school don’t recognize her accomplishments, I know many parents who are.

As she was getting ready for school today, I told her that if someone is trying to say something to bring you down, just walk away.  If they continue bothering you, and it’s hard to ignore them, just pray for them; because even if they don’t seem likable at that moment, Jesus still loves them.

As a mom, who was in her shoes, I just want to protect her.  But most importantly, I need to let her grow and handle things on her own.

Have you had to deal with mean girls?  How did you deal with it?

Snomageddon 2014

Well, 2014 has certainly been fun!

Living in the midwest, particularly our part of the midwest, snow can be hit or miss.  We always seem to be on the cusp of any snow storm that has potential to close the county.

Not this year!

Winter Storms Henry and Ion shut us in, even giving the kids a few extra days off of school from Christmas/Winter break.  The hardest part is dealing with the temperatures: The kids WANT to go play in the now, but it’s -7 degrees at 1:00 in the afternoon: not really happening.

All bundled up for 5 minutes of play

Snow has kept them in for the most of the past 2 weeks, and they’re getting stir crazy in the house.  Wasn’t it just a couple of weeks ago when we could go for a walk?  Now we can’t even step outside the house.

It was so cold today that we tried the whole “toss boiling water into the air to make snow” thing.  Yup, it totally worked.  And it was awesome!

The girls were able to get ahead on their bible quizzing verses, and our son is enjoying all the toys he got for Christmas. But they really miss their friends and having someone other than their sibling to play with.

My husband had shown them the infamous “Bread and Milk” YouTube videos, and our theatrical children wanted to make their own.

And so, we did.

 

We were in fact running low on milk, but the Level 3 Emergency that we were under (making it illegal to be on the roads) was going to be lifted soon.

Regardless, the kids had a blast making this, and I crack up every time I see my son on the screen.