Monday, April 14, 2014

Feelin' Like a Mom of Four

You might remember me mentioning that after Matthias's birth, I felt like I went through a midlife crisis. Well, tonight, as I carefully applied a coat of bright pink nail polish to my fingernails, I wondered if I was going through yet another crisis of sorts.

After Matthias, I wanted to lose the baby weight, buy non-maternity clothes, grow my hair longer, and so on. It was kind of a "I've just been pregnant for 9 months; I'm ready for something different."

What I'm dealing with now is more like, I've been sick for 2 months, in the process of transitioning to wearing thick stockings every day... Oh, and I'm 27 and pregnant with Baby Number 4. I'd say it's a mix of wanting to still look young and fresh and energetic, even though I'm a mom AND I'm tired of bring sick.

Hence. More eyeliner, bright nail polish, more jewelry. It's all happening. All these things are fairly quick and effortless, too--as opposed to, for example, doing my hair--which requires 10-15 minutes.

Which means, most days, my hair has been in a messy bun.

Probably another reason why the other "changes" have seemed so necessary. ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Days and Nights and all the Hours in Between

I wanted to write something about motherhood these days, AND I wanted to write something about packing/moving in/etc., so finally--when I couldn't decide what to write--I wrote about both. I never write posts like this. We'll see how it goes.

* * *

For better or worse, we are finally moved in to our new house. We've lived at my parents' house since the closing (or a few days before?) which was two weeks ago. Those two weeks were also when I was at my peak of "morning" sickness (which is actually more like evening sickness), and the help was priceless. My mom and sisters cooked our meals, cleaned up our messes, folded our laundry, read the kids books, and painted and cleaned our new house. Niiiiiiiiiice.

* * *

I have tried pretty much everything under the sun to help calm my upset stomach. Considering that I've been trying everyone's suggestions for four pregnancies now, I've heard a LOT of suggestions, and I've tried a lot of people's ideas. Unfortunately, not a single one of them worked. And then, one day at my parents', I randomly tasted a sip of my husband's somewhat-alcoholic cider... and it made me feel SO much better. My parents keep white wine around, and when I feel my worst, I've been sipping wine. Even ONE sip calms my stomach. Seriously. It's been amazing.

* * *

Talk about the dilemmas to moving into a new house. There is SO much that I CAN'T FIND. Tonight I was craving lemonade, and I even *found the lemonade,* (that was easy... it was in the freezer), but I couldn't find my lemonade pitcher. In fact, I couldn't find ANY pitcher at all. I was opening all the kitchen cupboards, almost in tears, when I found a pitcher. Sweet little bits of happiness.

* * *

Speaking of happiness, we have several bushes in our yard that are covered in lovely flowers. My sister surprised me with this "bit of pretty" amongst the chaos.

* * *

One of the last nights we stayed at my parents' house, the girls had been playing in the "Lego room." I asked them to clean up, and to tell me when they were done. So a few minutes later, the girls came upstairs, and told me the room was cleaned up. I went downstairs, opened the door, and had about 1.5 seconds of intense MOM PRIDE--as all the toys were TOTALLY cleaned up!! Had you given me one more second, I would've started praising the girls loudly, and telling them how proud I was, and then... I saw it. The huge green marker circles on the wall. So the toys were cleaned up, but the walls took me 30 minutes of intense scrubbing before they were white again. I'm sure I was meant to learn some sort of lesson from this... still not sure what it was supposed to be. The whole situation was definitely ironic.

* * *
Because of our new location, we now have Netflix instant streaming!! After dinner tonight, the girls and I ate M & M cookies, and watched "19 Kids and Counting." It's one show that all three of us (ages 27, 3, and 2) all appreciate. ;)

* * *

I'm a huge fan of clean children, and clean houses, and well... clean everything. But tonight, I heard the kids making noises upstairs, and I wanted to get upstairs quickly, so I didn't take the time to put on my flip-flops. I just ran upstairs. Even though some of the floors have been wiped clean SEVERAL times, I still found myself inwardly going, "Ick! Ick! Ick!" with every step.

There are spots of the house, however, like this railing, that are almost finished, and lookin' gorgeous.

* * *

Oh, but back to the clean children part. Our new-house shower IS clean. I've seen to that. I wasn't moving in till it had been scrubbed down several times. There's only one little problem: it's a SHOWER. So I gave all three kids showers tonight, instead of baths. It was interesting for everyone. It's going to take some adjusting to!

* * *

Sometimes I make fun of those "mom life" descriptions, because my life isn't like that (for example, my morning routine is usually very relaxed, as I get up an hour or more before the kids). But other times--like when I'm trying to head over to our new house, to quickly (??) swipe a coat of primer on the railing... and I'm trying to get 3 kids, 3 and under, ready to go, and there are unexpected diaper changes, and three sets of shoes and coats to find and put on (it doesn't help that half of our stuff is at the new house)... that's when I think that some of those "mom life" descriptions are SPOT ON. Young kids definitely keep you busy, but it's a good busy. It's a crazy AND fun busy.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Messy--Part 2

Now for more progress pictures. *long, happy, overwhelmed, feeling-kind-of-sick sigh*

Living room

Matthias' Room

Though right now, Jemima's actually sleeping in that owl bed. The room was originally white, as were most of the rooms in the house, actually (maybe all? my memory is failing me). Now it's a light brown.

Family room--with painted paneling!

Steps down to foyer--WITHOUT the carpet, WITH some awesome new flooring, and waiting on the rest of the railing...

Aand... the girls' room closet. The closets are all white and oh-so-lovely, and the walls are pink!

Thanks for following along on our moving adventure. :)

The Good, the Bad, and the Messy--Part 1

Okay, so finally... some pictures. I'm going to literally rush through this, because my time is limited, and my pictures are many. :O

Here are all the lovely "before" pictures...

Boys' Bedroom

Upstairs Bathroom


Living room

Master bedroom

Downstairs bathroom

Foyer + awesome steps (that is sarcastic--the carpet was disgusting)

Family room

Girls' bedroom

Before we started packing and moving, a friend of ours commented how much they hated the moving process. I thought to myself, "Well, it won't be that bad for us... After all, we don't have THAT much stuff." Who knows what else I was thinking. I was wrong. We DO have a lot of stuff, and the house DOES need a ton of work. I'm still dealing with pregnancy nausea, so my work in the house is limited. And there are the three kids to watch, which is KINDA a full time job anyway. Ya know.

All this to say, it's probably taking longer than we had hoped to get this "moving in" thing accomplished. Aaaannnd... it's a good thing we've had help. And by HELP, I mean that some of our friends and family have been helping all day long, *almost* every single day, from morning till dinner time, doing whatever needed done. Whew. We couldn't do this without our helpers!

Something else I was a little surprised by (why? I dunno. Maybe because I've only really moved once before in my life, and that was when I got married and moved in with my hubby. I truly didn't have THAT much stuff back THEN. :-p) was the really, really big MESS that comes with moving. Oh, and drywall, flooring, and/or painting projects going on in almost every room. There are tools, and dust, and boxes, and... disorganization. I love it. (Kidding.)

But not to discourage any of you who are about to move! We're just in the middle of it right now. I spent the morning over there, and it was overwhelming. But I'm seeing progress, and that's always good. Of course.

Now for some Progress Photos.

Ok, so there's just one. I'll be posting more soon. Promise.

Friday, March 28, 2014

House + Life Update

Well... We are officially homeowners.

We've waited for this day for a very long time. After looking at houses for almost 2 years (?), without any luck at all, this house practically dropped into our laps. We are very grateful!

On Monday, I went to my first house closing, and the next day, the work began. We are...

* Pulling down [ugly] wallpaper

* Removing [dirty and ugly] carpet

* Priming and painting and cleaning

Unfortunately (and who knows why), I cannot load pictures to this blog right now. I've tried on a couple different days, trying different methods, and something's just up. Considering I'm not computer savvy at all, the "something up" is probably with me, but I don't have time to figure this out now.

So. Here's a link to my facebook album:

Try it. It might work. Hopefully. ;)

In other life news...

I'm [almost] 11 weeks pregnant! This pregnancy has not been easy, but it has been AMAZING recently spending this much time with my family--as they help out with the kids, prepare the meals, and so on. I'm looking forward to the day in the very near future, when we will permanently live close to them.

Oh, and one last thing. Some of you will appreciate this, and the rest of you--just skip this part. After months of waiting to watch the new Mentalist episodes, I FINALLY watched the Find-Red-John-and-Kill-Him sequence. I'm not sure how I feel about Patrick Jane's involvement in Red John's death, but I am very glad R.J. is officially dead and gone and buried. Whoo. That took a while.

All that said, I'm off to check the laundry. Have a happy Friday!

P.S. Totally random: I was walking around Target today, with a long list of house stuff to look for, with all FOUR kids in tow, and I was starving. I've been eating every 2 hours or so, plus when you're pushing a ridiculously heavy cart filled with children, it makes you even hungrier. I didn't feel like spending any money on food, so I left the shopping center earlier than I was hoping to, and came home. I found peanut butter and jelly and bread, and made myself a sandwich. As I started eating it, I thought to myself how awesome it would be if Target sold PB & J sandwiches. Because that's really all I needed. Just a simple snack.

Then I thought... The only way I'd BUY a sandwich at Target is if they sold it for, like, 45 cents. "Hey, could I please have a sandwich...?" and hand them my two quarters... and GET BACK SOME CHANGE.

I'm all for it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Catch-Up Time

Oh my word, it's been a while. Hi, everyone. ;)

After what seemed like forever of waiting, we heard that the closing on our new house is Monday. Hurray!!

By the way, you all have been very patient, awaiting some pictures, so I decided to give you a sneak peek. (Actually, ahem... this is all I have at the moment. I never took any pictures inside.)

Aaaand... it's blurry. There are black bars all around it (not in reality--just in the photo.) But I say that something is better than nothing.

This morning, we went to Lowe's and looked at paint colors and flooring. There are so many decisions to be made, and then, so much work to be done!!

I would like to say that I'll be posting more frequently--y'know, pictures of the house, of us pulling up carpet, removing wallpaper, and so on... but who knows if that will actually happen. I'll do my best. My sweet mother and sisters have offered to help us with all these looming projects. I can already say, with complete confidence, that we wouldn't be able to make this move--and fix up this house--without them!

See you soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

From the Desk of a Sick 'n Pregnant Mama

As I write this, I'm playing a mental game to keep from throwing up.

I've been playing this game all morning--and yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.

This morning, Matt worked for several hours, organizing our "outside" tools and equipment, getting everything ready for moving day. I helped him for all of two minutes, and then I sat on the lawn, in the beautiful sunshine, and just. watched.

This is not typical for me. Before I was a mom, I would tackle big projects with lots of enthusiasm, stay up late working on crafts, or spend my "free time" painting bookshelves.

When I became pregnant with Rachel, the sickness knocked me flat. I'd never been sick like that before (for a solid four months), and I'd sit on the couch, look at the kitchen counter covered in dishes that I couldn't do, and I'd cry.

I wasn't used to this inactivity.

Or was it... really... inactivity?

Ha. Not exactly.

7.5 weeks

With God's help, I'm growing a baby--another little human, right inside of me. At this point, he or she is the size of a kidney bean, and they actually look like a baby already.

That's what my body's doing. No wonder I feel sick.

When I started thinking about moving day, I thought that if I weren't pregnant, I'd be up at the crack of dawn that morning, hair and make-up perfect, boxes stacked and labeled, and everything as clean and organized as could be.

That's a kind of discouraging thought, when it takes a huge amount of motivation just to get off the couch, to retrieve more nausea medicine.

But then I started thinking... people have offered to help. Anyone can label boxes, pack a moving truck, cook some tasty food to feed the workers.

But no one else can make this baby.

This little life, with all the sickness that comes with him/her, has been given to me as my special assignment. This sickness means my body is doing what it needs to do, to grow this child.

One day, Lord willing, I'll meet this child, and the sickness will be forgotten in the joy of holding another beautiful baby!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Big Changes

Between Matt finishing school (finally!) and my being a mother of four, there have been some major changes around here.

And now, we have yet another change coming up on the horizon. We're probably, hopefully moving. (I say the "probably" part because we haven't signed the "official" papers. Not yet.)

My mom actually found the house, called to tell us about it, and we went to look inside--all in a matter of a couple days. We made an offer, and the sellers accepted it--all in a day.

Let's just say it happened very fast.

Even though I'm excited to move to our own home, it's been a little difficult and a bit overwhelming, thinking over everything that needs done... all the while, being sick.

This morning, Matt and I started discussing paint colors and flooring options, and making lists and plans for the moving process, and it all started becoming real to me--and I started feeling excited. Really and truly thrilled.

I don't know how all of this will affect the blog... it's been rather quiet as of late, hasn't it? :) Even before the house news, I was concentrating on keeping the kids bathed and fed, and the dishes and laundry under control, while not throwing up at the same time... and somehow, blog-writing didn't make the "Top Priority" list.

But I'd love to show you our new house, and share more about what's happening...

I'm HUGE into before and after pictures, and there will definitely be some--as this house needs some love!

Until next time...

and thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Denim Jacket Love

Standing in the middle of the consignment sale, I stared at that denim jacket, and thought to myself, "When in the WORLD when my girls wear something like this?!"

I think the real problem was that I don't own one, so I wasn't familiar with how to wear a cute denim jacket... y'know?

But, the jacket was in excellent condition, and it was $3 or $4, so I figured I'd try it. Why not.

Hairband: Children's Place ($3)
Jacket: Consignment sale ($3 or $4)
Dress: Goodwill ($2)
Leggings: gift
Flip-flops: Old Navy ($3)

I'm so glad I took the plunge! (Now I want one!!)

Even though it's size 2T (Jemima's size, technically speaking), both girls can wear it...which makes it double the fun. Regardless of the price, I like to buy clothes that I know the girls will wear over and over and over--and this jacket definitely has been worn multiple times, by both girls, with a whole variety of different outfits.

Speaking of clothes they wear more than once (ha!), I was looking for a dress for Jemima in the Target clearance section, and came across these $4 dresses (one is pink/purple, and the other one is black). I bought both of them, not realizing that they could fit both girls! I love when that happens (and I'm sure it will happen more, as the girls grow older).

Hair bow: Walmart ($3)
Shirt (for warmth): Gabe's ($3)
Dress: Target ($4)
Sweater: ThredUp (?)
Tights: Children's Place ($3)
Boots: Walmart ($15)

Necklace: Goody's ($3)

See? You switch out the "accessories-of-sorts," and you just turned a more casual outfit into a church outfit!

So the cool thing is... Jemima wore the pink one to church a few weeks ago, at the same time Rachel wore the black one. Then this past Sunday, they switched dresses, wore their own set of accessories-to-match, and I'll bet few people even noticed! (And if they did, congratulations on some awesome observation skills! ;-))

Hairband: gift
Sweater: Children's Place ($7)
Dress: Target ($4)
Tights: Children's Place ($3)
Boots: consignment sale ($5)

Necklace: mine (Goodwill?)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tricia Goes to the Movies... Not

My entire childhood, I probably walked into a movie theater three times. Maybe. In my late teens, I read an article online about "The Village," and I went to see it, while it was playing in our theater. That began the habit-of-sorts of watching a movie-in-theaters once a year or so, unless it was a movie I really liked A LOT (Lord of the Rings, anyone?). Then I'd go to see it several times, while it was still playing.

All this theater-going didn't hurt my bank account at all. I didn't feel like I was putting myself under any sort of financial burden, because I was paying $5 or $7 or $10 to see a movie (the price just keeps going UP. OUCH.)

But it's because I was single. I was babysitting several times a week, and I'd been saving my money since I was born (my parents had a strict saving policy on all the money we received for birthdays, Christmas, and so on). I was living at home, so my parents were paying for most of my expenses, and I didn't feel any sort of financial responsibility on my shoulders.

I wasn't saving for anything "big." When I wanted to buy some jeans, or purchase a movie ticket, I bought it--within reason, of course.

What I'm getting at here is: going to the theater wasn't a big deal.

I didn't go often (there were few movies that interested me enough to watch on a big screen), but still when I went, I enjoyed my time, and wasn't stressing over the dollars handed over at the counter.

Fast forward a few years. I am in an incredibly different season of life.

I'm thinking about purchasing food for a family of five-going-on-six. If Rachel's shoes are too tight, or her jeans are too short, I'm going to need to buy her new clothes. What about our long-term goals? What about a new vehicle, with more seats? WHOA... What if the kids need braces?!

All of a sudden, I [WE] have a new set of priorities. Goals. Long-term savings that need built up, so we can make significant purchases--not just $10 here or there.

It's easy to think, "Hey, we've got some money saved! Let's go party!" without viewing the big picture. "Some money saved" isn't going to make us homeowners.

This doesn't mean that we eat beans and rice every meal (though we do sometimes), and never go anywhere or do anything "just for fun." On the contrary.

When we started our budgeting adventure, on January 1st, I designated a specific amount of "fun money" for Matt to spend, and for me to spend. It isn't a lot, but it's enough so that if we'd like something "new," or to do something "fun," we could do so.

It's helped me live and spend more intentionally. I know that if I spend all of "my money" on one fun thing, or one clothing item, etc., my money is gone for the month.

Which is why... I don't go to the movies much. I'd rather spend my "fun money" somewhere else, in small amounts, here and there, on different days.

Not BAM: movie watched, I walk out of theater, money [almost] gone. Sad day.

I guess movie-going just isn't a priority for me right now. And that's okay. I spend money other places, on other things, that other people might not spend money on, and that's cool.

It's just--where I am in my life, trying to keep that "big picture" in mind, I don't feel like spending $10 on two hours of entertainment, that I won't even get to keep.

I'm not saying that I won't ever walk into a theater again.

Maybe one of these days, I just won't be able to resist how incredible a movie sounds, and I'll be first in line, paying my ten dollars.

Until then, I'll be happy at home, with our rented movies, or the movies we own.