Friday, April 25, 2014

Mentally Preparing for Baby #2

Just some pregnancy humor to start off ;)  Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest or ecards?

As I hit my 34th week of this pregnancy, I am starting to feel a lot of different emotions. I think with my first pregnancy, I had a lot of 'ignorance is bliss' moments. I was totally unprepared for the aftermath of labor and delivery, sleepless nights, but also how much I would love my baby. This time around, I feel like I am more prepared for those types of things, yet I'm still a ball of nerves.

My husband and I were talking the other night - what are we scared of, excited for, anxious about, ready for, etc this time around. It is funny hearing a man's point of view because all of his answers were different from mine! One thing we both agree on: we are ready whenever little man is! :)

For me, I'm mostly scared about labor and delivery. I had an easy and fast birth with Abby, and am praying little man wants to do the same! I had a terrible time afterwards though - really bad migraine mixed with throwing up whenever I sat up - and I'm nervous that will happen again. I'm trying to focus on the long term goal, and my mantra is "pain is temporary, and glory is forever!" John's biggest fear is dealing with two kids - going to man on man defense. I am still in a slightly delusional state of mind thinking Abby will be fine since she is used to having other kids around at least 3 days a week. It'll be an easy adjustment (insert sarcastic laugh here).

John said he is so excited to be getting a son this time. He definitely loves having a daughter, and she is a daddy's girl all the way, but having a little boy will be so special. I'm looking forward to seeing their bond too. My biggest excitement is getting back to being me. It has been a challenge to sit back and not do as much. I am getting frustrated trying to nest (aka rearrange, clean, and sanitize my house), but having to stop half way through a chore to rest. I'm looking forward to having energy again, being able to run without losing my breath, and honestly, just sleeping flat on my stomach again. This sleeping propped up on ten pillows sideways is ridiculous!

So, right now, I guess I'm torn between feeling excited and feeling horrified. His clothes are clean, nursery is stocked, and we are about as 'ready' as we can be. I keep trying to remember every baby is different, and there is no parenting book that can prepare you enough for what's to come. Keep us in pray as we chug through these next six weeks!

Any advice from going from one kid to two? I'd love to hear it!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jesus Has Ouchies

Our 2 ½ year old daughter J is obsessed with taking care of ouchies.  Whenever she sees a cut or scar on someone, she sadly says, "Ooooohhhh!" and wants to kiss it so it’s “all better”.  She really is a little mother.

Well, a few months ago, we were showing J the Crucifix up close and talking about how Jesus died on the Cross for us and then Resurrected.  Right away, she got a sad expression on her face and said, “Jesus has ouchies!” and went straight to kissing His Hands and Feet to make Him feel better.  And now, every time she sees the Cross, she says, “Ooooohhhh, ouchies!” and asks to kiss them.  And then she smiles and says, “And then He rose again!  I love you, Jesus!”

It really struck me the first time J did it…and it still does every time.  She expresses both sadness and happiness when she sees the Cross.  What all does she understand?  I don’t know.  She’s too young to truly know what we're talking about, but what shines forth from her is that child-like faith and love.  

So today on this Good Friday, we can take a lesson from this innocent faith:  Sorrow and love.  

We should be sorrowful that our sins are what put Jesus on the Cross.  Every sin we have and ever will commit helped nail Him to the Cross.  But at the same time, we should be joyful that God gave us His Son out of love for us.  Really think about that - He loves us so much that He gave us His very own Son to redeem and save us!

So when I reflect on what happened today on Calvary, I will kiss the Hands and Feet of Jesus to express that I’m sorry for my sins and that I’m so grateful for His love for me!


I'm linking up with #BISsisterhood today

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Eggs - Polish Style

Probably the first thing I learned about my husband is that he is 100% Polish and quite proud of it! John and I try to incorporate as many Polish traditions into our celebrations/daily life as possible. One of our favorite traditions for this time of year is coloring Easter eggs. The Polish way is really easy, and they always turn out beautiful. All you have to do for the color is add red onion peels!

How to Make Pisanki - Drapanki (Polish Easter Eggs)

Place eggs in single layer in a pot. Surround the eggs with the peels and cover with water (add some salt - helps with peeling eggs). Bring it to a rapid boil, and let it boil for one minute. Remove from heat, and let eggs sit in water for 12-15 minutes.  Once eggs are done, place on cooling racks, and let them cool to room temperature.

Once they are cool - the fun begins! Typically the adults carve/etch out designs using sharp tools. If this is the method you use, they are called Drapanki. We have done this for a few years now, and it is fun coming up with new things to put on the eggs.

Since I don't plan on giving Abby a knife to carve with, I going to let her use washable paint. I know it's not the tradition, but she'll enjoy it and stay busy while we carve away. We do this on Holy Thursday, so tonight is craft night here!

Once the eggs are done, we will place them in our Easter baskets and take them on Holy Saturday to church for a special blessing. Every item in the basket has special significance and is to be used on Easter day.

Enjoy your pisanki - drapanki!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Resolution Check-In: No Snooze Button

Resolution Check-In:  Have a set time to get up and don’t hit snooze.

Whew, getting up with the alarm clock.  This has been a hard one so far.  I loved my Snooze button.  A lot. 

Here’s what’s worked for me:

I have to put my alarm clock out of reach from the bed.  If I can reach it from bed, I'm too tempted to hit snooze.  But if I have to get up to shut it off, then it takes a special effort to break my resolution and get back into bed.  Also, when my alarm goes off, I slip on a robe and comfy slippers.  Then, I pray, check my email, or read for a few minutes.  That has made it a little easier transition for me.  What’s worked for you?

Here’s what I’ve struggled with while trying to make this a habit: 

Sometimes I wake up around 30-40 minutes before my alarm goes off.  Well, there’s no snooze to hit because the alarm hasn’t gone off, so I just lay there in that half asleep state, like I’m hitting snooze.  That makes it much harder for me to get up when the alarm does actually go off.   

What road blocks have you come across with this resolution?  How are you overcoming it?

To combat this, I’m just going to follow the previous Game Plan, but when I actually wake up even though it’s earlier than my alarm clock.  Thirty minutes less sleep doesn’t sound very pleasant, but being groggy all morning from snoozing forever is worse. 

Overall, getting up with my alarm clock has been great.  It’s really hard to do, but it never disappoints.  I feel more alert (for the most part).  And I feel like I’m a better wife and mother – I’m sure it’s because I get a little “me” time to start off my day.  One thing that has pleasantly surprised me is that now I’m falling asleep much more easily at night.  I was having a difficult time before – like laying in bed for 1-2 hours before falling asleep – but now it’s under 15 minutes.  So ironically, I’m getting more sleep than when I was snoozing.  Now, you can't beat that.  

Please share how the Heroic Minute has been working for you too!  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas

Having kids makes holidays so much more fun! I am a major planner - as in I got all of Abby's Easter basket goodies at the end of last summer when everything outdoor fun related was on clearance. I keep all my gifts I find throughout the year in a bin, and then distribute as necessary! I basically am done with Abby until she's five. Yep, I'm a little crazy. Crazy organized! ;)

So if you need some fun ideas for Easter goodies, here are some of our kids' favorites:


Below I have posted affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on any of those links. Please see the disclosure page for more info!

1  -  2  -  3  -  4  -  5  -  6  -  7  -  8  -  9  -  10

Seriously, have you tried the Annie's homegrown cheddar bunnies? Those are a staple in our house! We are planning on having their bunny mac n cheese for Easter lunch. :)

What are you putting in your kids' baskets this year?

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crustless Quiche with Veggie Mix-ins

I used to be scared of eggs.  Remember "This is your brain on drugs" as an eggs sizzles on a frying pan?  Yeah, that freaked me out.  As a kid, I saw it as eggs = drugs.  So I wouldn't touch eggs for a long time because of that commercial.  But finally, I got over my fear, and thank goodness I did.  There are so many tasty breakfast recipes for eggs - a great one being Crustless Quiche with Veggies.

This is one of my favorite breakfast foods – because it’s all around easy and tastes amazing.  You can make it the night before.  It re-warms up beautifully in the microwave or oven.  It can easily be doubled for big get-togethers.  You can make it in a baking dish or in a muffin pan.  It has several great mix-in veggie options.  It tastes delicious all by itself.  It is beyond wonderful on a 100% whole wheat English muffin.  It’s great for on-the-go in the mornings.  Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this tasty egg quiche!

Crustless Quiche with Veggies
(Modified from ANY14TNS recipe at Allrecipes)

Prep Time: 20 minutes          Cook Time: 30 minutes          Serves: 6


1     Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1     onion, chopped
5     eggs, beaten
1     cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2  cup shredded milk cheddar cheese
1/2  cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4  tsp. salt
1/4  tsp. ground black pepper

Special Mix-In Ingredients:
8-10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1    red pepper, diced
7    asparagus spears, diced 


1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease 9 in. glass pan or one 12 cup muffin pan.

2.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are not quite tender.  Stir in your choice of the special mix-in veggie(s) and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated or veggies are fork tender.

3.  Combine eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Add veggie mixture and stir to blend.  Scoop into prepared baking dish.  If using a muffin pan, scoop evenly into each cup.

4.  Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30-40 minutes.  (I love brown edges on casseroles and baked dishes, so if you don't like that, then it will probably be closer to 30 min.)  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


This recipe is great to make a day ahead.  To warm up the next day, place in oven at 300°F for 15-20 min. or until hot.  Also, it can be microwaved one slice at a time for 30-45 sec. each.

If you double the recipe, use a 9x13 baking dish or 2 muffin pans. 

I think this would be fabulous if you mixed in either bacon or diced ham as well.  Green peppers would be great too.  If you experiment, let us know what combos you like the best!

I'm linking up here today!

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Spring!

This weekend we enjoyed so much sunshine it should be illegal. I think they said our area hadn't seen a dry weekend since November, so needless to say, we lived outside! The fresh air was so refreshing, and it definitely helps wear the kids down a lot faster.

We broke out some sidewalk chalk and did Abby's new favorite thing - tracing.  We loaded up our driveway with chalk kids. :)

Today, unfortunately, it was rainy again, so we broke out the crayons and had a blast inside.  I babysit Jess' kids on Mondays, and Abby was loving having Josie color with her. Next week I'm hoping to be super creative and make a fun Easter craft - we will see if my 32 week pregnant self can organize that! :)

I am counting down the weeks until our son joins the insanity with Abby and the cousins. Today the girls also were playing dress up and trying to get James involved. Poor little James needs another boy so he can wrestle around with a prince instead of a princess! ;)

Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Bucket List

This winter has been long, cold, snowy ... but it is finally over!  Now that it is April, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm looking forward to springtime fun more than ever before. I can't wait to play outside with the kids and just enjoy the fresh air.

Here is a list I made of fun activities that we can do in the next few months.  Since I'm due with baby #2 in 9 weeks (first week of June), I picked activities that won't take much planning, money, or energy.  It's going to be an wonderful spring!

Today it is raining cats and dogs, but it is also borderline freezing outside, so the 'playing in the rain' will have to wait for another day!  Instead, we colored and put stickers on a cardboard box all morning. It is amazing that it is always the little things that keep Abby entertained the longest!

Any other ideas for springtime fun?

Happy Spring!

I'm linking up here today!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monthly Resolution: No Snooze Button

Resolution:  Have a set time to get up and don’t hit snooze.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but sometimes I hit my snooze button for an hour.  Definitely, at least for 30 minutes.  Basically, until the kids start making noise.  I have good intentions every night, but I end up snoozing through them in the morning.  I really want to stop though.  Right now, I feel so groggy in the morning, and I have no time to myself or to get anything ready before the kids get up.  Our mornings are usually pretty chaotic, which makes everyone in the house feel frazzled.

Getting up as soon as your alarm clock goes off has been called the Heroic Minute.  I see why it’s heroic – because it is so hard to do!  The bed is warm, the pillow is soft, the house is still…just a few more minutes...  But, I should get up and get going. 

My hopes and goals for not snoozing:  I will feel accomplished and ready to meet the day.  It will give me some alone time before the kids get up to take care of myself and to get things around.  And when I am put together and things are in order, I feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed.

I know I’m not the only one who snoozes the morning away…or who also wants less chaos, especially in the mornings.  Why don’t you join me for this adventure?

So here’s the game plan:

  1. In the winter, set your thermostat to warm up to your home’s usual daytime temperature 30 minutes before the time you’re going to get up.  In the summer, set the AC to your home’s daytime temp.  It’s much easier to get up in a temp comfortable house!
  1. Have a robe and comfy slippers right next to the bed to slip on as soon as you get up.  Again, comfort and warmth!
  1. When the alarm goes off, just sit up in bed.  Ease yourself into getting up by doing something simple for 5 minutes to jumpstart your brain: check your email, read a little, make a to-do list for the day, pray, etc.
  1. If you are having a hard time getting up, put your alarm out of reach so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
  1. Make your alarm something you don’t like:  blaring Eh! Eh! Eh!, annoying song, etc.
  1. And who could forget caffeine?  Head straight to the machine and get that coffee rolling!
Please share your tips and ideas on how to follow the Heroic Minute and get up with the alarm!

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