Guest Blogger ~ Moore From Katie

I often get emails from people interested in having me give them a little write up on the blog. Usually it is something that I don’t think fits here on Wife, Mom, Woman or they just want me to sell you something. (I love getting the word out about awesome products and handmade sellers but I’m not going to try and sell you anything!) It was so refreshing to hear from Katie that she was interested in doing a guest post for me. Her blog theme fits in perfectly with what I do over here and she wanted to do a post for Pregnancy Awareness Month (and I just so happen to be nearing the end of my pregnancy!). Thanks Katie, and welcome to Wife, Mom, Woman!

New Motherhood: A Few Tips for Hospital and Home 

The excitement of motherhood starts well before delivery day. The moment a woman discovers she is pregnant, she begins to envision what her new baby will be like and how she will change in her new role of motherhood. Preparing during pregnancy for delivery day and bringing baby home can help make the excitement of becoming a mother far outweigh any nerves.

The Hospital Stay

Labor and delivery is a big event in a woman’s life, so adequate preparation and education will make this event a more manageable and exciting one instead of a nerve-wracking event. Taking childbirth classes is a great way to prepare and learn about options available during delivery. Learning about pain management choices and optional services will help a woman make important decisions regarding her labor. Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet throughout pregnancy will help a woman handle and recovery from delivery better.

There are a number of procedures that take place following birth that a mother should be aware of. For example, a mother can choose to have her baby’s cord blood collected and stored for umbilical cord blood banking. This blood comes from the umbilical cord and is rich in stem cells that can possibly be used in a medical treatment. After the baby is born, there are also tests and immunizations that need take place before he or she can go home. For example, hospitals will take a few drops of blood from the newborns heel before the baby goes home. This is a standard procedure to screen for different medical conditions.

Nurses are there to work with new mothers and are a great resource for a mother to learn from.

Nurses can coach new mothers on baby’s feeding, handling, and hygiene; a mother should ask as many questions as she can think of as she learns to handle her newborn and become comfortable with the idea of doing all of the caretaking without the aid of the medical staff.

Once at Home

The baby is not the only vulnerable human in the household; new mothers need time to rest and recuperate from childbirth and adjust to life’s changes. Recuperation includes a lot of sleep, good nutrition, drinking plenty of fluids, and sharing peaceful moments with her baby. Every mother hears sleep-deprived tales from other woman, but a mother should remember to grab extra sleep while baby is sleeping to help keep sleep-deprived feelings at bay.

When it comes to baby’s sleep time, allowing them to sleep alone in a safe crib without blankets and extras will help prevent SIDS. Many mothers want their baby close to them often, including snuggling during nap times; however, this can be dangerous for a newborn.

Simply having the guilt-free time to sing, rock, hum, and hold one’s very own baby is priceless and not likely to happen if there is a houseful of people. Limiting visits by friends and family to certain hours a day for the first few weeks can be helpful.

All of the above health tips can go a long way to helping a woman sail smoothly through labor and into motherhood, where life will be full of rewarding and special moments with baby!

“This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.”

Wordless Wednesday

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Lego Birthday Party – Decor and More

Continuing on from my last post and our Lego Birthday Party Awesomeness – the food edition… I’m really excited to share the decorations and other touches we did for the party. Super fun! So let’s get started.

the Invitations

After being inspired by this Etsy listing I set to making my own Lego invites. Want some directions? Here you go!

Supplies:

Black Cardstock

Colored Cardstock (I chose red yellow and blue)

White Cardstock

Printer

Circle Cutter (or something circular to trace)

3D Pop up foam adhesive

Glue Stick or other adhesive

Start by cutting your black cardstock into 8 1/2″x 5 1/2″ strips. Fold in half. Cut your colored cardstock into 5 1/8″x 4″ rectangles. Adhere the colored cardstock onto the front of your black card using a glue stick, double stick tape, or whatever your preferred method. Using your circle cutter (or circular object) cut 4 circles approximately 1 3/4″ out of the same color of cardstock. Apply a piece of 3D pop up foam adhesive to the back of each circle and space them evenly on top of your colored rectangle.

For the inside of the card I used my computer/printer to type up our birthday invite. I used the line “Let’s Build A Party!” (which the kids loved) and then I searched Google images for a Lego logo. I added our time, date and location info using colored ink and then printed it out on white cardstock. I then trimmed the cardstock to size and used the glue stick to adhere it to the inside of the card.

These invites fit perfectly inside a standard 4×6 invitation envelope. They were super simple and turned out very sharp with the black and bright solids.

the Present

I wrapped Axel’s gift the same way I did the juice boxes. Just some blue wrapping paper with blue wrapping paper circles and some more 3D pop up foam adhesive. The gift was pretty cool too! Axel wanted to watch a movie for his party and so I thought a Lego movie would be pretty great. I was so excited when I came across this:

the Gift

Shatterpoint Entertainment has put together a couple of movies using stop motion animation and Legos that retell popular Bible stories. Their newest one is on the story of Jericho and it is straight from the Bible. They also sell comic books of the story and we purchased those to go along with Axel’s gift and one for each of his friends to send home in their goodie bags. The movie was fun and the kids were all so amazed with the animation. They kept asking how they did everything. I may have to purchase the how to book that Shatterpoint sells as well!

the Goodie Bags

Excuse the lighting on that picture! Someday I will learn how to use my camera… I wish I had gotten a picture of all the goodie bags lined up in a row. They were so cute. I was inspired by this Etsy listing and I knew I could do it myself simply. Cardstock didn’t look right with the shiny bags, so I used the wrapping paper to make circles and affixed them with the 3D pop up foam adhesive. I used 4 dots of the adhesive because the wrapping paper was a little more flimsy and I didn’t want it curling. My gift bags were approximately 7 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ and the circles I cut were approximately 3 1/4″. Add some red tissue and they looked great! (Inside the goodie bags were their comic books, a Lego man ($2.99 at Target) and the crazy straws that they used with their supper.)

the Bag Tags

These were one of my favorite parts. I took a Lego and had Andrew drill a hole in the end of each one. Then I threaded the hole with embroidery floss and wrote their name on the side with a sharpie. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my black sharpie so I had to use a red one, but it still worked. I did most of the bags with a yellow Lego so we could have all the party colors represented, but I ran out and had to do some in red too.

the Game

I also found a fun idea for a Lego Collaboration game. We gave each child a baggie full of Legos and they decided they were going to build a tower. They went around the circle and each put on one piece at a time. I wasn’t sure how it would go over but they all loved it!

the Table

I kept the table decorations simple. I found red square plates, yellow plasticware and blue napkins. Along with some blue and yellow crazy straws just for fun.

the "Streamers"

I saw this listing on Etsy, but we were sticking to squares and rectangles so I decided to make my own garland. I simply cut out several different sizes of squares and rectangles out of red, blue and yellow cardstock and then ran them through my sewing machine using white thread. After each piece went through I raised the presser foot and pulled  some excess thread in between the pieces. I originally sewed them into one long strand but didn’t like how that looked and so then I cut them to have between 3 and 5 pieces on each strand. Love, love, love how it turned out and we left them up a few days because I didn’t want to take them down!

It was a super fantasticly successful party and fun was had by all. Don’t forget to check out my Lego Birthday Party- Food Edition for more Lego birthday party ideas!

Ice Cold Hearts

I celebrated with the awesome cast of our church’s Christmas musical last night. They did such a great job back in December and they are such great kids. I love to spend time with that bunch!

There was plenty of popcorn, candy and punch and we snuggled up with pillows and blankets and watched Rio. Fantastic movie! It is full of bright colors, fun music and thoughts of warmer weather. After the movie the kids burned off all the sugar with a movie credits dance party.

I wanted to keep it simple with the popcorn and candy, but I thought a fun drink was in order. With Valentine’s Day approaching I decided on a twist on the classic fruit punch/ 7-up mixture.

I found these cute little silicone ice cube trays in the value section at Target. They were $2.50 for a two pack, and there were pink and purple ones to choose from. The Target I was at was running low though so if you want some you better go now!

Fill them with fruit punch and freeze! I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a messy job and my fingers are still a little red. I ended up using a small pitcher type thing to fill the trays so that it didn’t splash as much. Also, fruit punch takes a little longer than water to freeze and they take even longer to freeze if you stack the trays. Just some tips. It took about 4 hours for each batch to freeze at my house.

I had someone make fun of me saying that the ice cubes would just melt and so I was wasting my time a bit. The melting ice is kind of the point, but I kept the 7-Up outside to make sure it was nice and cold. We ended up with a little bit of slush which made it super yummy!

Plus, the kids were super excited about the hearts. Especially the girls!

 

The Most Awesomest Gift Giver Ever

My sweet husband has always been the most amazing gift giver. He always buys me the things I never splurge for myself, or he will get me something I would never in a million years have thought I wanted and then it turns out to be the thing I love. I have two pairs of shoes that I get compliments on every time I wear them. Andrew picked them out. I take him with clothes shopping because he makes better choices for me than I do…

It was his buddies birthday the other day and Andrew was showing me the coffee mug and beans that he picked up as a gift. They were really cool and unique. When I asked where he got them he told me about a little place over on Marshall (not in our neighborhood) so I said, “Oh, what were you doing over there?” Andrew replied, “Getting this.” It was just so obvious to him, but I don’t tend to think that way.

For me, when it comes time to purchase a gift (especially for Andrew) I find myself freaking out about what to get. I realized I don’t know people well enough and that makes me sad. Especially when it comes to my husband.

So my goal for 2012 is to become the most awesomest gift giver ever. I want to be the one who remembers and acknowledges birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. My cousin sent me a card the other day with a $5 gift card to Caribou to congratulate me on my pregnancy. So simple and yet so thoughtful. That little piece of mail made my day! (Thanks Anne and Ellie)

No more short cuts, no more excuses and no more laziness! Wal-Mart bags are not wrapping paper, and wrapping paper is not a gift tag… I will be thoughtful, I will be caring, and I will be the most awesomest gift giver ever.

Ok, maybe not ever. I do have Andrew to compete with, but I’m working on it!

Care for a Spot of Tea?

I picked up this little beauty last night:

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KitchenAid Teakettle

Word to the wise…. The amazon price is $29.99 but I got mine for $21.99 at Home Goods! I’m pretty excited. A few years back for Father’s Day I got Andrew a whole set up of coffee beans, a grinder, french press and (gasp) an electric teapot. It is cool for what it is, but no substitute for the real thing.

I just love the sound of the teakettle whistling to me that it is time for tea. And look at this cute mug Andrew got me for Christmas:

I am in relaxation heaven! Happy Weekend Everyone.

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Getting Healthy – Part Two

Before I get into what I have to say today, I just want to add one thing to Thursday’s post. If you aren’t into totally going all out on the South Beach Diet and you are just looking for some healthy menu options, many of the Phase One food choices can be adapted to fit the everyday healthy eating lifestyle. Here are a few of our favorites:

Carne Asada– This meal is fantastic. Possibly my favorite all time meal, and Andrew agrees! Add a whole wheat tortilla if you’re wanting a little more.

Spicy Sauteed Chickpeas with Beef and Cilantro– The whole family loves this one. It also tastes great with a whole wheat pita if you want!

Kalyn and Mimi’s Chicken and Cashew Salad– After Phase One I added cut up grapes to the salad and we ate it on a whole wheat tortilla. Delicious!

And as promised, our exercise plans and results so far!

Exercise – Cheri: I have been doing the Couch to 5K. I learned about this program through a friend and I love it. I have never been much of a runner, but it is designed to get you from couch potato to running 5K (or 30 mins) in nine weeks. It is something that only takes 30 mins of my day and I can do it around my neighborhood at my own convenience. I love that it gets my heart pumping. I have a free app on my Android that works fine. You can’t control your music while the program is running, but I start Pandora before I start the C25K program and it’s fine. I also use my Endomondo app to track my distance.

Last week I added a Jillian Michaels yoga DVD to strengthen my core. My abs need some help! I did it one day and am still sore three days later. She really kicked my butt. Jillian is always taking it to the next level!

Exercise – Andrew: Andrew has also been doing the C25K but at a little quicker pace. He technically could run farther already, but he is using the gradual process to strengthen his back. He has also discovered that there is a Couch to 10 K so he will move on to that. Andrew has the paid C25K app on his Windows phone. I believe it was $2.99. It is a little nicer than my free app, but the free one works perfectly fine for me.

Andrew also has a couple apps on his phone that count his push up and sit up reps and are made to help him strengthen those muscles. He seems to like them, but I don’t know much about it. 🙂

Results: That’s what we really want to see right?! Andrew and I have both lost a decent amount of weight (although we both have a way to go before our goals are reached). What I’m really excited about though is our energy level. The two of us have gotten so much done over the past few weeks it is crazy! On the days that I go running right away in the morning I am constantly moving all day long and I love it. Our kids have noticed that we have been doing more with them and they have benefited in so many ways. Andrew has noticed less pain in his back and his breathing problems have slightly lessened.

It feels so great to be doing something that is healthy and natural and oh so good for my body! I obviously am a huge fan of the plan we have laid out for ourselves and the results we are seeing. Last night and today we were away from home and gave in to some sweet treats. The great thing is, we can just go back to Phase One of South Beach again and get right back on track. It is so forgiving and once you really get into it you find yourself not even wanting to load your body down with sugars and unhealthy carbs.

Let me know if you have any tips, or if you try out any of the things we are doing. I would love to help out if you want ideas for getting started or if you have questions about what we are doing. It is so great to have encouragement and friends to help you out along the way!

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