Saturday, August 19, 2017

30 weeks: baby #4

I just visited the OB office a couple days ago and things are going good, besides the pain but baby seems to be healthy so far! I am sure that every mama out there would agree that the pain is ALWAYS worth it! You completely forget about all the discomfort, acid reflux, difficulty breathing, heartburn, and more as soon as you get to hold your precious babe! We did find out why I had been feeling so much movement so low in my abdomen the past couple days, this baby girl decided to do a somersault and is now breech. This isn't as big of a worry as it could be since we still have plenty of time to see if she turns AND because all three other babes were delivered by cesarean so this little girl will also be cesarean... BUT it would be great if she could just flip back down, the correct way :)
According to the pregnancy app on my phone, baby girl is about the size of a cantaloupe. She is supposed to be gaining approximately 1/2 lb. a week until delivery, so that means that I will actually start putting on some weight now too! UH OH! The end of pregnancy always gets me nervous about weight gain.

On my Nesting List for this next week:

  • Take the crib down and store it in the garage (I had planned on setting it up by our bed with one side rail off and the mattress level with our mattress, but I know that I won't be able to crawl in and out of bed with how long the crib is after having a cesarean) 
  • wash car-seat, bouncer, and rock & play covers
  • start a "nursing basket" of things I would like to keep close by while nursing
  • clean out the kitchen cupboards :)

Monday, August 14, 2017

simple: weekly clothing prep to keep our mornings running smooth

School starts tomorrow, WHAT?!?!?! Ready or not, here it comes :)

Parker will be going into first grade this year and we are so excited for him! While we have a public school in our little town that he could attend, we have chosen to send him to a private school that is about 15 miles away (more on that decision in another post). Now, 15 miles isn't too far, but that means we will have to leave a little earlier to get him there on time. This also means that to be on time we will have to keep a pretty tight ship in order for things to run smooth in the mornings. 

We all know that a little planning and prep can go a long ways in terms of sanity :) So really, this all boils down to the fact that I don't want to be yelling and rushing and forgetting things every morning. There, I said it. 

I will be so glad to get back to our Weekly Clothing Prep, as I have been slacking in the plan/prep department lately and I can really feel a difference. So... a little more routine is welcome around here, even if that means that summer is fading away. 

To begin, I like to look at the calendar and just check what all we have going on. This plays a pretty big part in my clothing prep. This week is pretty simple. Parker has school Tuesday - Friday. We have a birthday party on Tuesday, and anniversary party on Saturday. My clothing prep online includes Monday - Friday though so I will worry about the anniversary party outfit on Saturday :)

Since it is already Monday, I am skipping today.. only needing four outfits for the week. Parker has recess and PE everyday so will be wearing tennis shoes. This also means he will need a pair of socks for each day. I also will be including Noah (age 2) and Aspen (age 1) into the Weekly Clothing Prep as they will have to be up and ready each morning to go with me and take the oldest to school. 

Starting with the shirts laid flat, lay down their underwear, socks, and pants/shorts, then fold the shirt over and then in half. 

The outfits should stack very nicely in a basket/bin/closet organizer. This little box fits Noah's and Aspen's outfits pretty nicely. Parkers take up a little more space and so I put them in a basket of their own. 

I used to have one of these hanging closet organizers but needed the closet space so switched to the baskets/bins that I just set on top of their shared dresser. 
I let the kids pick their outfit each day. They just have to go to their bin, grab an outfit and put it on. If I do have an outfit for a specific day, I will put a little sticky note on it and they will know not to grab that outfit until the day that I tell them to. 

That's it. Super easy. Super quick. I only think about what they will wear for the week once (besides weekends) and they get a little choice in what to wear. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

29 weeks: baby #4

So close, yet so far away. That is what the third trimester always feels like for me. At 29 weeks, I am just at the beginning of the the home-stretch! At this point, the sleepless nights and drowsy days are kind of running the show. The Cowboy rolled over in bed the other morning and seen me reading articles on my phone so asked what time it was, "4:26" I told him. He rolled back over, his back facing me now and very loudly questioned, "What the heck are you doing up?". Well, since I had laid there awake since 3:20, I figured that I would at least read up on some things! The boys were sleeping in the living room, after falling asleep watching a movie so I knew that I didn't dare walk out and try to stir around in the house. Then of course I am tired all day long from tossing and turning all night to get comfortable and being up for over an hour in the wee morning hours. Vicious circle it is during third trimester.
                                       {dress: Liz Lange for Target, found on clearance for $7}
At 29 weeks, baby girl is supposedly the size of a pineapple. I don't doubt this as my belly is usually in the way or I feel a big strong kick in the ribs. She is also pressing down pretty low, causing me to feel like I was kicked in the pubic bone... or that she may just come out of my behind... kidding, kind of! HA!

I also have had so much discomfort in my upper abdomen due to my other organs getting pretty squished and the acid reflux plus heartburn is waking me up at night and just pure torture. I have had acid reflux with all my pregnancies but two kids were born with only a little hair, and one was born with a full head of hair... so we shall see what kind of hair-do this sweet baby comes out with.

On my Nesting List for this week is:

  • paint the front door 
  • sew a crib sheet... we actually wont be using the crib for awhile  but I bought the fabric so would like to just get it done and then I will have a back up for Aspen until this new babe needs it :)
  • make a couple tiny hair bow headbands... most of Aspens newborn ones I got rid of, so I would like to have a few on hand 
  • get the baby girl tote out of the garage and wash all NB-3 month size clothes to put away
  • Rearrange kids bedroom to fit Aspens toddler bed... We have to replace the floor in their room so this will be done AGAIN before the baby arrives but I would like to get Aspen sleeping in her own bed before we will have time to get the floor done. 
  • Hang curtains back up for The Cowboy and I's closet... they fell down about 8 months ago and I just rolled them into a ball and shoved them into a corner of the closet...oops!
Next appointment with my favorite OB: This coming Thursday. We are on a 2 week schedule now because this pregnancy has been quite miserable and uncomfortable and just need a little extra monitoring these days. 

My final thoughts this week: With school starting for our oldest in just a few days, and a fourth baby coming to our family in the next few months I just really want to cherish and enjoy the moments with the three blessings that we have in our home already. We used a couple free admission coupons a couple days ago to squeeze in an end of summer Children's Zoo trip and it was perfect. My plans for this last weekend before school starts include a little swimming, a picnic lunch and maybe a farmers market trip. Nothing expensive, nothing that requires a lot of planning or packing or rushing... just slow and intentional time with my loves. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

fighting the good fight

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."  - Ephesians 6:11

I have been lacking in armor lately. Frankly, I have just been "forgetting" or "too busy" and it honestly has taken its toll on me. I noticed something was missing in the beginning of June. I had grown irritable, crabby, short-tempered, lacking in love and just down right miserable. My family has certainly gotten the brunt of my attitude and it really STINKS when you start to notice that something needs to change...and that "something" is you.

When I went back to work part-time in January I slowly started missing more Sunday and Wednesdays at church due to being "too busy" and lacking sleep and down time. I also kept forgetting or was too tired to wake up early and get some devotional, quiet time with God. When I looked in my journal a few weeks ago, I noticed that I hadn't even written in it since MARCH. Which means that I hadn't had a devotional time of my own, in my bible since then. Whoa. From January- March my entries were hit and miss... probably 30 entries at the most. 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."-John 1:1

So if the Word is God...and I hadn't been opening my bible to actually get in the word, my armor was slowly falling off. I had grown weak, and vulnerable to the enemy. Without God's word, and God himself to lead me, I had no plan of attack... not much to protect me either. I had basically stripped myself down and left myself open to the lies, to the anger, and unfortunately a lack of love. Don't get me wrong, I still loved my family, with all my heart actually, I just wasn't showing them. I wasn't taking care of my people the way that they should be. I was shouting more at my kids. I didn't care much about keeping my home. I grew irritable with my husband. I was fighting a war with the enemy and too weak to even notice that these things were happening.

After I finally realized what was going on, I knew that I NEED to fight back. I need to keep fighting the good fight. I need to stand up to Satan and let him know that he isn't welcome here. I need to open my heart up and surrender my time, my energy, and maybe even a bit of sleep to let God in. I need to be here for my family, fully present. I need to just open my bible and fold my hands in prayer, no matter what it takes. That is the only way I will be able to wear the armor of God and fight for this crazy, beautiful, precious and forsaken life that I have been graced with. Because without it, life is honestly miserable. 

God Bless friends, love you

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Holiday shopping out on the farm

I am obviously a little biased about this shop because the owner happens to be my aunt, but judging by others reviews she really has an amazing little gem right on her farm. Whether you are shopping to decorate your own home, for a gift for somebody else or just plain treasure hunting Whispering Acres is a great place to stop.

My Aunt Jill started her little shop out of her love for JUNK, as she affectionately calls it. Her home was quickly being taken over by all of her lovely treasures and out of her husbands concern for his space... they started a little shop out of one of their buildings on the farm. When you shop at Whispering Acres, you are helping a family near and dear to my heart. Not too long after they opened their shop, their gorgeous, big red barn was burnt to the ground by a fire. They were blessed to get most animals out but lost all of the contents and of course the barn itself. They are slowly rebuilding and it has come a long ways, thanks to their side income from Whispering Acres, and many, many generous and lovely people donating supplies, time, and money.
Since nothing can stop Jill from what she is passionate about, they keep opening their farm up, about once a month to shoppers. She is also open by appointment. Since both her, and her husband Jamie, have full time jobs besides the store, the weekends they are open vary but she does a great job of posting on Facebook to let you know when her open weekend is.
Jill really loves what she does and puts a lot of her time, energy and heart into everything she creates. She also has some beautiful furniture, cute vintage children's games, dried flowers, fun baskets and bins, small farm equipment... the list is never ending. 

Speaking of never ending list... their full business name is Whispering Acres TAILS and treasures... because of the many animal tails you will encounter while visiting the farm AND they run a small PETTING ZOO. They take their critters on the road for birthday parties, fundraisers, church events, town celebrations... you name it! Here is a peek at Oliver, AKA Ollie. He frequently roams all over the farm and also does a little trick. So, if your out there and see Ollie, ask to see his trick ;)
They are only open one more time this year, THIS WEEKEND! So be sure to make a special little road trip out to their farm for one of a kind treasures.

Shop local, and shop small this Holiday season friends!

Dakota XOXO

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why you should shop local and one of my favorite local stores

I am sure you have heard the phrases "shop local"  "support small business" or "shop small" many times... BUT have you ever really stopped to think about what the really means or how it could impact those that you would supporting?

By making wise choices as to where I spend my money, I am making an impact somewhere close to home.  I can put money into a friends pocket by purchasing an item from her that she handmade, between diaper changes and filling sippy cups. I can buy a gift for somebody special from a family member who works for a direct sales company trying to pay for her daughters dance classes.  I want to support small businesses, around my local community before I run to a big box store and put money into somebody's pocket that I have never met.

That is how I found my friend Jojo. This lady has been such a blessing in my life, and in more ways that one! Since I have this passion for shopping local, I came up with the idea to start featuring some of my favorite local places, or my friends who are working hard to earn a buck by slaving over handmade goods or standing behind products that they love and working for a direct sales company. I might sound a little "commercial -y" but I am okay with that, and I hope that you are too! All opinions are 100% mine, this little series just came about due to my love for purchasing with purpose!

Let me introduce you to the lovely Jojo Meyer...
She owns a small shop in Beatrice called Jo jo's Where Shabby Meets Bling. Jojo and her husband live in the second story of this beautiful home and the store is located on the main floor. Beacuse I love people, and I absolutely love hearing peoples stories I asked her to share about herself! :) Here is Jojo's story:
"My name is Amy Meyer, I prefer jojo but answer to a variety of names including mom and Mother Bird. Born in the great state of Nebraska and raised in Iowa where my parents and sister Molly and her family still reside. My baby sister lives in Vegas with her family which is wonderful because that is where my only child, Zedekiah, has moved to. It's a great comfort knowing that family is nearby for him.
Upon graduating I moved to New York (Long Island) and began my first Nanny position.  Through the years I've worked for/with many families in numerous states and have met some amazing people. I created a business called Mother Bird (the name my son gave me years ago).  In a nutshell, I would assist families or individuals by doing whatever it was that made their lives easier.  While living in Colorado my days were rather colorful with clients. I was a Personal Assistant to a young 90 year old business man.  An overnight Nanny 2 times  a week to a Junior Ski Champion. I took on organization and decluttering projects for clients as well as holiday decorating.  People in the Vail Valley are busy people so I also assisted clients with weekly grocery shopping and errands.   A personal chef to an anesthesiologist and an as-needed Mary Poppins style Nanny to numerous locals in the Vail Valley as well as those visiting for "fresh-powder" skiing.  I could've worked 24/7 had we stayed living there longer I would've hired individuals to assist with clients.  Once we knew we were going to be moving to Beatrice I did months of research and searching for clients for Mother Bird in Beatrice.  They just weren't found.  Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places.  I ended up finding all my clients in about 2 weeks in  the Omaha area. It presented the obstacle of needing to live in Omaha 4 nights per week for work and I'd come back to Beatrice on the weekends.  Eventually the commuting took a toll on me and I began focusing on opening a store again.  A store that would contain things I love and also allow me to utilize my creativity which was something I missed after moving away where I owned a company called G'Wiliker's which catered to kids.  I provided art's&craft's sessions and parties as well as a Mommy & Me time.
Married to Kevin Meyer, a teacher and football coach.  I still laugh to this day when I think about how a certain someone said I was only dating him because he was a football coach.  I laugh because I know nothing about football and it actually puts me to sleep but I try to be a wonderful supporter for him.  I'll always be his biggest fan!"
What can you find at Jojo's? "Treasures and things created with love!  Vintage treasures, repurposed home decor, shabby chic furniture and home decor, jewelry by 2 artisans. darling children's items created by 2 women and awesome bird feeders using repurposed materials."
Who might enjoy what Jojo's has to offer? "Those who have an understanding of what it means to support local and why we all should support local.  Buying local is not a fad.  It's a way of life that keeps your town from turning into a ghost town.  Those who appreciate one-of-a-kind treasures and homemade creations.  Those who appreciate the creative mind,  People who don't care for a store filled with "from China" merchandise. Customers who respect and appreciate building up other women who are simply following their dreams, being true to themselves and embracing and making time for creating."
So... this holiday season, purchase with a purpose. Seek out the individuals who are putting so much effort into providing for themselves/family. 
How cute are these gift tags that she made out of vintage children's books? (I may have bought a few packages...) 
And this display was for the fall season but LOOK AT THIS, darling! 

Dakota xoxo

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween and Fall Themed Books We Have Been Enjoying

With decor changes for the seasons, I like to also switch out the books in our book baskets. I keep one basket in the living room and one in the dining room. I leave 2-4 of our go-to books that the kids love in each basket, and then gather seasonal books from their book shelves and place them in the baskets so that they are easy to find. 
I wanted to share a few books that we have really enjoyed so far this season. I will try to link to them if possible too! I would like to share that I have only bought four of the books on this list. The others were gifted to our boys in some way over the past 5 years.

The only book I purchased brand new, and at full price, was "Five Little Pumpkins"  I found ours at Walmart last year. Parker kept singing a little tune that he learned in PreK...and then I came across this book with the same story, so I caved and bought it. It's surely a favorite though with its cute little rhymes.
I try to look for books at thrift stores, garage sales and our used book store. I LOVE buying LOTS of books, but our budget can't afford that many new I try to pay no more than $1 for a children's book. If it is one I have been hunting for, then sometimes I forget about my own little rule and break it ;)
Starting from the top left and going clockwise: 
"We're Going On A Leaf Hunt" by Steve Metzger - This is similar to We're Going On A Bear Hunt, and fun to read after we collect leaves on a walk. (gifted)
"The Best Halloween Hunt Ever" by John Speirs - This is kind of like a Where's Waldo or I Spy book. Parker and I both love these because the boys can do them without an adult since they don't know how to read. :) (thrifted)
"Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold and Illustrated By Steven Kellogg" - It is hard to welcome Fall into our lives without talking about apples. (thrifted)
"Pumpkin Town" by Katie McKy - A fun story about LOTS of pumpkins. (gifted)
"Five Little Pumpkins" - Ours from Walmart last year came with a CD of "spooky" sounds but I can't find that one to link to.
"Sara Squirrel and the Lost Acorns" by Julie Sykes and Catherine Walters - This is another fun one after we have gone a walk and collected acorns. The illustrations in this book are super cute too! (thrifted)
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" by Charles M Schulz - My mom found this book for Parker a few years ago and it is fun! It has reusable stickers (see photo below) that they can place throughout the book! (gifted)
"Let's Shine Jesus' Light on Halloween" by Diane Stortz - This was either a gift from Parker's youth church leader or a prize from our fall festival at church, I can't remember but it is fun to ALWAYS remind our kiddos of Jesus, and so this will be a story that I will read again and again for years to come as my kiddos grow. (gifted) 
Happy Reading Friends!

Dakota XOXO