Thursday, August 30, 2012

{ embrace the camera : 8.30 }

Me and my two little people... one internal, one external ;] 

We had our 20 week ultrasound last night... stay tuned for an update!! :] 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mission: Organization {home management binder}

Apparently it's the "thing to do" if you want to get organized. Making a home management binder isn't for everyone, but I *LOVE* this kind of thing. A cute place to keep all my "schtuff" organized. I know, I'm weird. 

There are a bajillion and three tutorials on Pinterest on how to make your own home management binder (or organization binder/book/whatever you want to call it), so I'm not really going to be sharing the "how to's" here. I just figured I would share what I put together to give other people some ideas. My binder is super simple, which is how I wanted it to be... and colorful, which is how I like things :] I'll share where I got the printables I used. They were all FREE, so that was awesome.

You'll notice that my binder is quite... empty. As in, the pages are not filled out. I thought it would be in my best interest to take pictures of my binder BEFORE I filled out all the information... so our personal info isn't floating around on the interwebs for some weirdo to find. ;]

I used a binder we already had, and the scrapbooking paper is just stuff that I had. The only thing I went out to buy for this were files to use as dividers, page protectors, and dry erase markers. I think that cost a total of $5 or less at Walmart. I cut the files in half because I wanted them to be able to lay flat in the binder... but they still serve their purpose of dividing the sections. 

Click on the photos to make them bigger!! 

[front of the binder. I used a bunch of proverbs on and throughout the book; most of them I just wrote on the files; others, like this one, I printed off of Pinterest.]

 [inside the binder. L: bible verse on one of the pockets. I plan to stick stamps and maybe a few envelopes in these pockets for easy access for Jake. R: the first section is "Weekly Overview and Calendar." I'm kind of bummed because in the files where I have page protectors, you can't see the label on the side of the file showing which section it is. Oh well, though. Next time (ha, there won't be a next time...) I should flip the folders over so that the tab is in the front of the section, instead of the back.] 

 ["weekly overview." This page is in a page protector that I will be able to write on with a dry erase marker. The pages I decided to put into protectors are ones that will be frequently written on, and probably erased the most. I've heard certain dry erase markers work better than others, so I'll have to see if the ones I got work well or not.]
You can find this printable here

 ["the eat sheet." These are also in page protectors because I plan our meals for two weeks, and the meal for a specific night may change due to activities or guests. So I wanted these pages to be flexible. I decided to put these here instead of under the groceries tab because this is part of planning our week.]
You can find this printable here.

 [next is just a simple calendar for the month. When I need to just quick jot something down, I write it down on the calendar on the fridge. That's my messy calendar. Then I sync up the two calendars and make things a little more neat and organized in this one. But I'm hardly busy at all right now so it's not too hard to do.]
You can find this printable here.

[the next section is "cleaning lists."]

 [L: I have a list of reasons why I want a clean home. I saw this on another blog and thought it was a good idea {and I did copy some of her reasons, but I liked them!}. I'll add to this list as I can think of them. R: I have a daily and weekly to-do list for cleaning. It's blank at the moment, but I plan to write down the things I do (and need to do) as I figure out what works for us. Then, since this list is one you can customize, I'll go back online and enter in my list there and print it out again. But, this is a work in progress and I need to figure out how it'll work best for us.]
You can find this printable here.

 [L: is the generic version of the daily/weekly to do list that I printed from MSM. I figured it would be good to get an idea of what another mom does during her day, cleaning-wise. I'll remove this sheet as I figure out my "routine." R: This is another daily cleaning list that I printed out because I haven't decided which one I like best. Again, a work in progress. I'll figure out what works best and take the other out.]
You can find these printables here and here

 [L: a weekly cleaning list... deciding which one I like best. R: a monthly/every three months/every 6 months cleaning list]
You can find these printables here and here

 [L: MSM's monthly/every three months/every 6 months cleaning list, just to get ideas. R: a three page list of ways to make your own natural cleaners using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemons, etc.
You can find this printable here

 [the next section: "grocery lists and recipes." You can see this tab because I don't have any pages with protectors on them in this section.] 

 [L: I cut off the flaps of two envelopes to make little pockets for the left side... I can stick loose recipes or whatever in here. R: a short reminder list of the "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" fruits and veggies. Behind that is a grocery list for me to jot down things as I think of them.]
You can find this grocery list printable here. (Just Google "The Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen if that list is of interest to you)

 [L: just some notebook paper for me to use since I tend to write a lot of things down pertaining to groceries/recipes. R: A pantry inventory so I know what I have/need without having to dig through my cupboards.]
You can find this printable here

 [a freezer inventory. We have a small chest freezer in the basement and having an inventory of it will help me reduce waste by planning meals around what we already have... and I can't use the lazy "I don't want to go downstairs" excuse any more, because it will all be listed right here.]
You can find this printable here.

 [the next three pages are just random "cheat sheets" that show how long things can last in the freezer (and still taste good) as well as cooking temperatures, etc.]
You can find these printables here.

 [the next section is "family info." I decided against making a few different files for family {health information, etc} and just combined it all into one.]

 [the first page is emergency info. I don't expect to flip this open if the need arises for me to call 911, haha (which I've already had to do once since being a mom), but having this information in here will make it readily available for others who may not be familiar with it... and it will make ME remember it better by reading it frequently.]
You can find this printable here

 [I do have a small section for each family member, just so I can jot down health issues or anything else needing to be remembered.]

 [Ryan's section is a little more detailed; I have some of his birth information here, his height/weight for the first year, when he got his teeth, etc. This page is a list where I can write down about him... we don't have babysitters very often at all but I figured this would be a good place to write down his favorite things in case he does get taken care of by someone else. And, it's a good reference for Jake because he obviously doesn't spend as much time with Ryan as I do, so I can jot down some tricks that may help Ryan if he's having a hard time if I'm away.]
You can find this printable here.

[the next section is birthdays and holidays]

 [here is a place to write down birthdays and anniversaries so I can remember to send cards. I've gotten terrible about sending cards. I used to be so good at it... fail. Hopefully I can get back in it.]
You can find this printable here

 [this is a place to write down christmas gift ideas. I hate that I'm a procrastinator when it comes to gifts so this will be helpful to just be able to jot something down when I think of it.]
You can find this printable here

 [this is a planner for christmas baking. I can write down needed ingredients and approximate cost so we can make sure it fits in the budget. I don't know why, but Christmas baking seems to get expensive!!]
You can find this printable here

[the last section is calendars and master copies.]

 [the first page is "things on loan." I can write down when I loan something to someone so I can keep track of who has what. This way you don't "lose" things!]
You can find this printable here.

[The next two parts are the rest of the calendar months, as well as a copy of every printed list that is in the book kept in a page protector. That way, if/when I need a new one, I can just copy it in my printer instead of trying to find the website it came from.]

Aaaand... that's my binder! I hope it gave you some ideas of something that might work for you, or that you were able to find some uses for the printable lists that I posted. I'd love to see your binder if you have one :]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{ 19 weeks }

19 weeks! The average baby is the size of a mango. It's hard to believe that baby is that "big..." I still don't really feel any movement at all yet. I'm so excited to, though! I get to schedule our ultrasound tomorrow... so excited for that, too!

I honestly don't have much to say this time around... I almost wonder if I should only post bi-weekly or when we have our appointments so that I will have more interesting things to say ;]

.../end boring and short post... maybe I will edit this if I can think of something else to say... but it's 9:30pm and I'm tired ;]

Mission: Organization

I have a goal to organize the entire house... every cupboard, every drawer, every closet, every little place where "junk" is... before baby comes in January. Early nesting, maybe? ;] There are some days when I'd like to just accomplish it all in one day, but I think it's a far more realistic goal to do it in, say, 9 months ;] I'd say I'm doing pretty well so far! I haven't tackled any "huge" projects yet (like the attic), but a lot of closets and cupboards have been organized and I think it's fun. Everyone's level of needed organization is different, but this is what works for us. We've only lived here a year and got rid of a ton of stuff before we lived in Kenya, so we have very little "stuff" compared to the average family, I think. We're very simple and try to be frugal but I liked to be organized. I tend to be a pretty Type A/OCD/organizing freak (I like it, okay?!), so this kind of stuff is right up my alley.

Target has some GREAT bins and totes right now in their "$1 Spot" and I've been there a few times to "stock up." Organizing is only good if you have a place to put everything you are organizing :] Otherwise you end up taking everything out of a closet to organize it, only to realize there's no way to organize it as you put it back in. Some people need fancy baskets (= EXPENSIVE), and while matching baskets may look nicer, if they aren't really in view to the general public, I personally don't really care so much. :]

I thought I would share some pictures so that people with "real houses" (aka, not magazine worthy or pinned on Pinterest) would be encouraged. Looking at the big picture (organizing the whole house) seems overwhelming... but if you just start in one cupboard or one closet, it's an easier task. Smaller bites are easier to chew! 

I don't have any "before" pictures of these areas... just imagine a lot of things thrown into one place, and that will be about the gist of it :]

 [this is my "master cupboard." Home organization binder, address book, church directory, cook books, basket of pens, tape, note cards, COFFEE, mints for when the nausea strikes, extra nuks, and mixing bowls/goodies I don't know where else to put yet. Not much to be organized here, but it's an easy cupboard to just throw "stuff" into, so it looks a lot better now.]

 [This is under the sink. We don't use many chemicals at all, so it's pretty bare under here... we mostly clean with vinegar, baking soda and home made cleaners. The basket was found at Target; $3 in the $1 spot... how does that work? Haha...]

 [Hall linen closet. This is where medications, vitamins, etc go (they were stored in the kitchen in my "master cupboard," but that's right next to the oven, so I figured here was a better place for them), as well as towels, a heater/fan, humidifier, hair dryer (that I never use)... It's still pretty empty with a shelf and a half of extra space, as well as 6 drawers below it that are pretty empty. I love how much storage there is in this house!!!]

 [My bathroom drawer. The blue bin and little red baskets (came in a pack of 4) are both from Target.]

 [My second bathroom drawer. The orange bin is from Target and the three smaller bins are from the Dollar General store. I think they were $1.50 for all three.] 

 [The hall "coat/shoe closet." I have such fancy names for these places...! Since... SOMEONE... doesn't necessarily remember to put away his shoes, I made it super easy for him and put them all in a hanging organizer that was previously hanging (empty) in Ryan's room. He still doesn't always remember, but he's getting better ;] Since I'm a giant and can reach the shelf in the closet, I have my shoes up there.] 

 [my shoes in the wire bins on top; Ryan's shoes in one green bin and hats/mittens in the other (not that we need those right now...)]

[Ryan's bag gets hung in here, too.]

You can see in this post that we did some "updating" in our dining room/living room areas... the whole built in cupboard in the dining room was cleaned out and organized, too, and it's basically empty now. So much storage! But I don't want to just fill it with "stuff!" I think it will be helpful for keeping school stuff contained some day. 

That's all I have done so far... not bad for a couple weeks worth of intentional organizing. I'm working on our room right now, but it's not anything worth showing because it's just our dresser and closet. Kinda boring if you ask me :] Big projects to work on... guest room, office, and attic... I'm SO not looking forward to doing those!! I'm going to enlist Jake's help for those projects, I think...!

Friday, August 17, 2012

{ 18 weeks }

Linking up with:

My Joy-Filled Life

This is my reaction to being 18 weeks:

18 weeks... already?! Pretty sure I was just peeing on sticks and video taping Jake's reaction. And here we are, almost half way! I think it feels like it's going so fast because there is a "weekly countdown." If I only counted months, it probably wouldn't feel like it's going by so fast! 

Right now, at 18 weeks, the average baby is the size of a sweet potato:

Things are going well. I had an appointment on Monday and it went great! We were able to hear the baby's heartbeat this time (since baby was too wiggly last time), which was fun! Even though I'm not "showing," I'm still measuring at 18-19 weeks. You can definitely see a little belly when I lay down on my back. I'm still able to sleep on my stomach, which is good, because that is how I always sleep until I just can't any longer. ;]

My midwife thought my bruise was the craziest thing! She thought I was going to have some scary story to tell along with it... but no, I only had a simple tale... she said it was the worst she has seen from a blood draw. Hopefully I won't bruise so bad next time! I'm not sure why it took so long to heal (it's still healing)... my blood work all came back wonderfully so there's no concern there.

She is going to call the sonogram place and have them call us to schedule an appointment, probably around my 20th week. I'm very excited! I've gone back and forth on getting one done... I've read some pretty interesting articles about the pros/cons of ultrasounds and that there might be potential dangers... but I'm still on the fence about it all. I guess I just don't really know. So as of right now, we're going to do it but I want it to be done quickly... just checking on the major organs and development and stuff.  Ryan's ultrasound here in the States was oober long, like almost an hour... but I think a lot of that was just dinking around for fun. I'd rather just check on things and then be done this time.

Everything else was good... I gained a pound, but lost 6 last time... so I'm still -5. Fine by me. :] BP and everything else were good, too. Praise Jesus for a healthy pregnancy! The last two weeks have been pretty good sick wise, minus a few days here and there.

I was also finally able to get in to see my chiropractor friend this week... what a blessing! It was painful to be adjusted but I feel better today. She said she didn't doubt that I was having muscle problems as well as the sciatic pain... I was VERY tight. She wants me to come in again early next week and she gave me some exercises to do (which reminds me... I should DO them, haha!). Hopefully this will get things in the right place and will help the sciatic nerve pain.

My favorite things right now: 

...notice a trend? ;] I like mint.


...can you say "YUM"?!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

{17 weeks}

17 weeks (and some days) already! This pregnancy is going by so quickly. It's very crazy to think that in less than three weeks, I'll be half way there. Well, give or take. Who knows if I'll go early or "late" (again) this time.

We have our next appointment on Monday. After that, we get to schedule our ultrasound! I'm so excited for that. Jake and I are planning on a dinner date after the ultrasound... not exactly sure how that will work yet, but we'll figure it out. We hope to have the ultrasound tech write down the gender on a piece of paper that we get to look at later on our date. I think it will be fun!!

I finally got in to the lab and got my blood drawn, per my midwife's request (since she wasn't able to do it). It was super quick and easy. Needles don't typically bother me at all, so it was easy peasy. I didn't even feel it this time; the tech did a great job... probably the best job anyone has done trying to draw my blood. It was probably the first time anyone has ever gotten me with the first poke, too (I've been poked and re-poked so many times that I finally established a two-poke rule... if you can't get me in two tries, it's someone else's turn!).

The next day I had an icky bruise. I never usually bruise this bad, but I did this time.

And this was it yesterday:

Slowly but surely going away! People kind of look at me funny when they see it...

I think that's all I'll share for an update... nothing else is really happening and nothing else has changed (I'm still sick and tired, ha)... so I'll just leave it at that until my next appointment. I'm tired and am going to go to bed... unfortunately I am going to bed alone! Jake is still working and I have no idea when he'll be off. It'll be another looong day tomorrow, too... boo. I miss him!! But I am so thankful for such a hard worker... God has blessed me!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Ryan is a banana-holic. Seriously, it takes him an average of only 2.74 seconds after he wakes up in the morning before he asks for a banana. And then he continually asks throughout the day. He LOVES them. I'm not really so sure what's to love about 'em. I mean, I like them... they're bananas, they're okay. But I don't understand his obsession. I guess that's alright. :]

Ryan has his first banana experience when he was 6 months old. We did "baby led solids" (which you can read about in my previous posts, here and here)... he liked them from the start. But recently, within the last, oh... 6 months or so... he has become OBSESSED.

[6 months old]

I just stumbled across this on YouTube... it's a short clip of the Minions from the movie Despicable Me (which I have not seen, so I cannot vouch for!). I honestly don't know if this was part of the movie (I don't think so) or just a short clip someone made, or an "extra." But it definitely described Ryan's love for bananas to a T. I was giggling the whole way through!! 

and here is a short video of Ryan... sorry, it's sideways. It took 24 minutes to upload so I don't wanna do it again the right way ;) Just turn your head... or your computer!!