Yay! 27 weeks pregnant today. Only 13 weeks (give or take a month) to go. I say give or take a month, because there seems to be some confusion as to when this baby will actually come. According to my cycle, we should be due in the middle of March. The ultrasounds put us in the middle of April. My measurements put us at the end of March, beginning of April (in the middle of the other two)… so my thinking is that sometime around Easter, we’ll be having a baby, LOL!

I love babies. They are adorable. They smell good (most of the time!) They cuddle and coo, and all they care is that they aren’t tired or hungry or uncomfortable. So easy! At least for a few months, hehe. They are so small and cute and mmm I can hardly wait to meet this little girl.

One of my favorite things about having girl babies is I get to play dress up. Girls get frills and ruffles and lace and bows and sparkles and pretty colors. We can do hair and nails and even jewelry (still need to get my toddler’s ears done! oy!) I love dressing my girls up to the T, with princess dresses, bows in their hair, their nails painted up pretty and sparklies in their ears, right down to the shoes! I love matching them, so they are all color coordinated — makes it easy to keep track of them too!

Girls give me lots of chances to enjoy my girly side — since I wasn’t much of a “princess” when I was a child. I can’t wait to show them how to wear make up, to have high heels and jewelry, to enjoy all things feminine! We’re already trying to ease our oldest into the mindset of being presentable with proper behaviour that will be attractive at all times, with the idea that eventually she will be married.

We want to train our girls in godly womanhood, with the assumption that they will be married — and that they need to remain pure until then! I want to prepare my girls for marriage, far beyond what I was prepared (or not prepared, as the case may be!). We plan on using purity rings to reinforce how special they are, and hope chests to keep the idea of right relationships in sight. I want to prepare them, not just physically or financially, with the right skills to run a home efficiently or tangible items to help get set up, but emotionally and spiritually, with the right attitudes towards marriage.

I want my girls to dream of romance, but be realistic about love. Love, especially in marriage, requires work! It’s hard, sometimes. It is a constant choice to act loving, even when the warm fuzzy feelings have long since faded to cool hardness. It requires a commitment to remain faithful, not just physically, but to not check out emotionally, and just go through the motions.

But marriage isn’t all about the hard work either. It should be about the warm fuzzy feelings and the fluttery anticipation and the excitement. I want my girls to know how to graciously accept a compliment, to respond warmly to romance, to enjoy being courted and wooed. Independence and strength are desirable in a woman, but so is the softness and vulnerability of being feminine. And marriage requires both.

So.. I have all girls! I hope to raise capable, attractive, strong, feminine, gentle, captivating women, who will go on to be living examples of what God created woman to be, in life, in love and in family.


I’m really on this organizing kick lately. Must be “new year syndrome” lol, and if I wait long enough, it’ll go away.. ¬†Anyways, my newest thoughts have been on organizing my time. Last spring I bought “Managers of their Home” by the Maxwells at a homeschooling conference. I spent the summer reading and diligently working on a tentative schedule for the fall.. until August, that is, when we discovered that our family was going to grow (again!). And all thoughts of stricter scheduling went down the toilet.. along with my breakfast..

So I’m revisiting that book, and looking into being more deliberate about scheduling my time. I have my daily housekeeping checklist (which is working so-so — energy being an issue, but at least some things are getting done!) I have created a list of things I need to do in a day, along with things I’d like to do, sleep being one of them! Some things are daily, some are weekly, but I just wrote down everything I need or want to do on any particular day, knowing that I can’t do everything!

I’ve discovered some blogs that talk a lot about family scheduling. One of the things that came up on one of them is scheduling a baby, a la Babywise. And that is something I really don’t want to do. Most of my babies have fallen into a routine within a few months, but I’ve also had high needs babies that require way more mama time than what a schedule would allow for. There’s a lot of things about “scheduling” babies that makes me uncomfortable. Like.. just because they ate a full meal 20 minutes ago doesn’t mean I can’t feed them again now. I’ve had that happen — baby breastfeed for 30 minutes (full meal) and 20 minutes later did the exact same thing. I really really don’t like the idea that because the schedule says it’s nap time, I shouldn’t be picking up my crying baby or I’ll “spoil” him. I don’t know that babies have that level of conscious thought.. to be that manipulative! At least, not in the early few months at least. I think the independence of will that kind of thinking requires doesn’t develop until they start moving around on their own (crawling or rolling towards a goal, etc), which is when we usually start training for obedience around here. But before that, I want to foster a sense of security and trust in my babies, that when they need something and let me know (by the only way they know how, crying!) I will be there immediately. Or someone will. Which…makes for a certain amount of unpredictability for a while. I can deal. So can the rest of the family.

So, yeah.. back to scheduling. I can definitely see where we need to tweak ourselves into a more predictable routine around here. At least I need to, hehe. One of the things I think I will be doing is more structured activity time for my under-5 crowd. Free play seems to equal free-for-all fighting/chaos. I think I will look for organization storage for toys and activities that allows me to more adequately control exactly when and what each child is playing with where. Free play is all well and good, but too much of a good thing is well.. too much! We definitely need more structured time for the under-5 crowd.

One idea that has come up is restricted play areas. I really really like this one. Having a playpen set up and limiting the amount of activities that are accessible to a child in a particular area may help cut down on the toy clutter and disorganization we have around here. Table time, blanket time, room time.. etc all have the same basic idea behind them. Child stays in one area, with a limited amount of choices, for a certain amount of time. It’s the idea of training the girls to stay in that area, for that amount of time that scares me, lol! Do I have that much energy/patience?

So look for those ideas in upcoming blogs. I may just post of list of all the preschool activities we can do, so I myself can see them/divide them up into appropriate time slots and places. I could see that kind of list being useful just for myself.. and who knows what I’ll discover when I actually sit down and think about it.

Scary concept — sitting down and thinking about anything means undiscovered territory..

I was discussing my plans to rearrange my house (switch three rooms around) before our baby comes, and we nearly got into a major fight. Of course, with us, that’s typical. But I think most of his problem wasn’t with my plans but being overwhelmed with the changes, and not being able to see it.

I had brought up the idea of changing around what is currently our dining and living rooms a few months ago, and his reaction was typical == absolutely not! LOL. I began throwing ideas out for the last couple of weeks, and slowly he’s been coming around. Now he’s the one who is bringing up benefits of switching them around and asking me where I want things, and what I want here or there. It always takes some time for him to come around, but he usually does.

Now he’s getting really helpful in discussing things to help out with our storage/organization issue. One of our issues is that our toddler is currently using the room we have set up as a nursery, and we will have to switch her to a toddler bed in with her sisters. However, that room is smaller, and already has bunkbeds and two dressers in it. I was having a hard time figuring out how we were going to fit a toddler bed + dresser/shelving unit in that already cramped space. Leave it to the man.. He asked me what we were going to do with a nine-cubby shelving unit currently used as toy storage in our playroom, as I wanted to switch all the toys to cabinets with drawers or doors. (In hopes to tame the “everything on the floor” mess we currently deal with!) He gave me a great idea. We’ll put that in the girls’ room, to use for their clothes, and take the two dressers currently there out, to use as craft and toy storage. Saves me from having to find new furniture for cheap/free, and solves the problem of space in that room.

So now all I really need to get is an old solid wood (preferably) dresser I can remake into a wardrobe for dress-up clothes (a la pinterest board) and perhaps another bookshelf, and some media cabinets for our movies and things. There are a couple other things I’d like — another play table for the playroom, and some storage carts on weeks, along with a train trundle — but not absolutely necessary for storage.

I’m really glad he’s getting on board, as.. well who gets to do all the heavy lifting? Can’t be me — I’m carrying a baby, and this one seems to be giving me more braxton-hicks contractions than the others, earlier than the others too. I’m kind of concerned about early labour symptoms really. But anyways, I need him to be ok with this so he will make the changes I want.


First day of school!! Went great.. lol, now I feel like I should wait for the other shoe to drop. L did great with her new books, and seemed to really enjoy some of the new stuff we got for this semester. And Z and H were awesome with preschool. Kept asking for more, and were they ever excited over some of the little activities I had them do.

I’m using a new planner/chore organizer too. It is a daily check-off thing, which is exactly how my brain works. Found it at http://www.confidentmom.com ($14!! and there are coupons available at motherhoodonadime.com for $2 off it too!), so we’ll see how it works long-term. So far, I’m liking. Space to put dinner plans, add extra chores/errands/special events in each day, even a reminder to take my vitamins and drink more water… haven’t managed that yet, but I like the reminder.

I’m using Homeschool Tracker (downloadable program) to keep track of school stuff for L. I used a binder/notepad last year, but so far this is working. I may go back to last years tactic, simply for the ease of planning, but I kinda like being able to print off a day at a time, and not have to flip through a subject section to find the next assignment. Imputing was a bit of a pain, but I can definitely see the plus in getting reports and things out of it.

I’m beginning to ruminate about having a family closet. Where all the clothes are in one place, and everyone goes to the same room(s) to get dressed, and laundry is all in the same spot too. I dunno if it would work here, since in order to have laundry facilities, it would have to be in the basement, and I’m just thinking that’s too cold a place to get dressed and too damp to store clothes long-term. I love the idea behind it, but perhaps not now or here.

My new favorite site is ana-white.com. She’s a mom who is a diy-er, and plans and builds furniture! I’ve seen crafters and seamstresses, decorators and scrapbookers, but some of her stuff looks downright professional. Bonus? She publishes a lot of her step-by-step plans online free. Complete with dimensions, materials and diagrams. I love it, and I so want to make some of her stuff. It looks awesome.

I just wish she had plans for a triple bunkbed. I was looking at my little girls’ room today, trying to picture toddler bed in with the bunks, and realized that there’s no way we’re getting another twin in there with the bunkbeds. Just not happening. So we will need to get a triple, I think, but triples tend to be really tall dimension wise, and really expensive. With our income the expensive part already puts it out of our reach, but even if money were no object, how do you get around slanted ceilings and lack of wall space, and young kids and height?? I’ve seen a triple I love (can’t find it now for the life of me! lol!) where it was lower to the ground, yet each bunk seemed to have plenty of space, and it had stairs instead of a ladder. It looked really cute. The middle bunk was perpendicular to the upper and lower, which were parallel. L-shaped bunks we could do, I think.

So many things to think about when you have kids. I love it! I’m having so much fun — I’m not sure there’s a corporate career that would compare to the endless variety, challenge and sheer work having a larger family involves, or that would be as satisfying as a toddler falling asleep in your arms or the sticky kisses of your 2 yr old or the cheery “good-morning” from your preschooler.. Life is beautiful, is it not?

Tomorrow is our first day of school. First day of a new semester. First day of a new school year! It’s also another very special first. It’s the first day of preschool for my two preschoolers. Z is 4 and H is 2, almost 3. I’m excited and nervous, because it will be the first time for me to be schooling more than one child.

We school year round, divided into 3 semesters, with about a month’s break in between. So, school from January to March, taking off April, from May to July, taking off August, and from September to November, and off December. It works really well for us, because we hit most of the major holidays, and in the summer, we get the best weather in August, typically. So the first semester of the year is usually intensive, the 2nd lighter, and the 3rd review. This year, it will really work well, because of our new baby coming in April. The timing should be perfect, or close to it! I hope, LOL.

This semester we are going back to Student of the Word (SOW) for Bible, which I really really like. It teaches inductive study, as well as giving ample opportunity for exploring topics and biographies. We are not doing the writing response this year though, like we did last year, as I found it difficult for my oldest, L (who is just 9) to really make the connections yet. I think she needs more time before we do that more. We are using a couple of old-fashioned texts (written in the early 1900s!) for writing and math, and Grammarland for grammar, spelling and vocabulary. This is an old story I found introducing the parts of speech, that I adapted for the basis of language arts, that my daughter is really enjoying. Then we are using Tapestry of Grace for history, Abeka World Geography for geography and Apologia’s Exploring God’s Creation series for science. Whew. I know it’s intensive, but as I said, we do lighter in the spring, and review in the fall, so it really works.

For my preschoolers, I’m using an online preschool, Chalk Preschool (www.chalkpreschool.com). From what I’ve seen, it looks quite thorough and has a lot of entertaining videos and songs. I think all I’ll need to add is a Bible lesson, since it is secular-based. But one of the reasons I was attracted to it is because it offers lots of hands-on opportunities for the kids to play and explore, without me having to do much prep besides grab all the materials. I don’t have to look it up, tweak for age-and-stage and match to the lesson — it’s all done for me. It’s designed for ages 2-5, so both my kiddos should be able to get a lot out of it.

Hopefully the toddler (V) cooperates! Thankfully Daddy’s still home right now, so I’m hoping I can get him to keep her occupied while I’m with the preschoolers, and then they can all play together when I’m with L. Plus the usual chores and cooking… it’s going to be a busy day. Frankly, I hope I’m up to it! Energy has been in short supply this pregnancy.

So.. off to bed for this tired mama, after a bedtime snack. G’nite all…

Why in the world do children’s toys seem to multiply over night? I swear there are more in the morning than there were the night before. Of course, it is right after Christmas, so there really are more toys than there used to be last month, but still..

Also.. why do kids insist on dragging every single toy out in one day?? The floor gets covered in playfood, dress up clothes, baby dolls, magnetic dress up dolls, colored balls, toy horses, and assorted fairies and princesses. Can you tell I have girls?? We do have blocks and trucks and things too, but that was the last rotation.

One thing I’ve done to save my sanity and tame the toy monster is to rotate toys. I do it about about every 4-5 months or so — approximately whenever I get tired of picking up and sorting the same damn things every week. It’s just like Christmas for my kids then. New stuff!! I can hardly get everything out fast enough before they are diving in with renewed enthusiastic play. Another thing we’ve done is to only buy toys in “sets”. We don’t buy the latest and greatest electronic gadget or craze. I stick to tried and true sets — dress up clothes, wooden blocks, play dishes and food, etc. It seems to get the most mileage anyway. I try for quality, not quantity, but with 4 kids (soon to be 5)… there’s definitely quantity too.

That brings me to storage. I’ve tried a toy box/bin. And all that does is wind up with everything on the floor and a lot of broken stuff and missing pieces. I’ve tried shelves and boxes for each set, but at this point, it isn’t working well either. I’m still getting a lot of stuff on the floor, broken pieces (though it’s easier to find the broken stuff early) and I’m the one that has to sort through it. Maybe its an age and stage thing? I’m thinking what I need is cabinets with doors so they can’t see everything at once, and have to pick and choose their toy for the moment. And then make it a rule that it goes back before they get a new one. Perhaps locks on those doors might also help this mom’s toy craziness.

So I’m shopping for cabinets. Low ones, with big enough shelves to hold boxes, but doors on them that I can at least latch (so they aren’t playing with the doors instead of the toys!) Preferably heavy enough to withstand tugs and pulls and climbers too, without getting damaged or falling over (although we will secure them to the wall too.. safety first!) I’d also like some dresser-like storage for craft and school supplies, and these definitely with a lock or a way to install a lock. I have some pretty creative kids, but I don’t need their creativity to result in “face painting” with marker again, or stickers and crayon all over my walls..

You’d think from what I write here that I don’t supervise my kids. I do, honest. But when you’re changing the baby’s diaper, and directing the 9 yr old’s school work, plus trying to keep an eye on the pot on the stove, and still manage to gulp down a bite of lunch.. well some things slip through the cracks. My kids are loud, creative and very active.. and I adore them! They are so much fun!!

So I was thinking about this new year, and wondering what kind of year I’ll have. A year with changes, but for me, that’s pretty much par for the course. Having a new baby will do that, of course, but I know other things will change too.

I want to make some changes regarding my house, and how it flows. We have a formal dining room and a living room, that are connected through an archway (but have doors that close in each room to the rest of the house). They are filled with big windows.. and awkward spaces, lol! I think I want to switch them around — put the living room where the dining room is, and vice versa. Maybe add a low dresser for craft/school/office supplies (to keep them out of little hands!) and a media cabinet that locks would be awesome too. We have a piano I would love to use more, but where it is right now just isn’t working for me.

I also want to reorganize my kids’ playroom. The toy storage situation just is NOT working and I’m so freaking tired of seeing the floor literally covered from one end to the next, where it’s actually unsafe to let the baby in there. I know toys out everywhere is pretty much going to happen, but we need to do something different.. Maybe a dresser or cabinet that has doors? So that they aren’t tempted to bring everything off the shelf all at once..

My husband thinks its the beginning of nesting stage, and it probably is. I am cringing everytime I see the dust bunnies and cobwebs, and I know there are a million toys reproducing under the furniture. My kids love their books too, and it’s hard for them to keep them off the floor where their shelf is. Again, it’s becoming a safety hazard.. I keep slipping on little kid picture books!

I want to rip all the wallpaper off the front entry way (I HATE!! Hate hate hate wallpaper! Whoever thought *that* was a good idea??) and repaint, so I’m dreaming of paint swatches and perusing decorating blogs. I so admire those women that can decorate, but every time I see a perfectly-put-together living room, with cushions on the couches and chairs and every side table filled with little decorative knick-knacks, I gotta think … they don’t have 2 yr olds, or if they do, they aren’t allowed in that room. I can barely keep the sofa cushions on, let alone any throw pillows. And throw pillows here live up to their name — thrown!

What is it about a new year, a turning of the calendar page that makes people want to reorganize and re-evaluate? I always do, and its funny, I didn’t think I was going to feel like this leading up to New Year’s. But now that is actually is a new year, all I want to do is have a clean slate.. or at least a clean house!