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Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic pre-schooler, my spunky toddler, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sayings from my kiddos

Preserving memories here.

(We shop at one particular grocery store because my younger brother is a clerk there. We like to get in his grocery line and have him walk us out to the car.)

M: do you know what cereal and cool whip make?
Me: nope. I don't.
M: well, cereal is like sprinkles and cool whip is like snow. So it makes snow whip!

Me: what do you want to be when you grow up?
M: ummmmm, a robot.

Me: today, you're going to the dentist. He'll want to look in your mouth at your shiny teeth.
M: ok, I will open my mouth and say "ahhh" and I will let him look at my teeth, but I'm not going to take my socks off.



M: frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul with a corn cob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of cold

N: (very first thing he said one morning) hey, where's your purple vacuum mommy?



Michael says this:
Cousin = cousint
Avalanche = apple-lanch
State = stadium
Cinnamon rolls= cinnamon warms
Hospital= hossa pill
Cinnamon toast crunch= cereal crunch



Noah says this:
Avalanche= apple ranch
Slinky= springy
Bulldozer= boulder
Cinnamon toast crunch= square cereal



Years from now, I hope to look back at this post and remember how cute their little sayings and mis-pronunciations were. And then I'll probably cry since they won't be this little again.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pins of the South

It's funny to hear stereotypes of some places- especially if you live there or have visited and know the real story.  I've pinned a few things about "The South"-- things I have found to be accurate. 

My parents did not grow up here.  My mom grew up in the northeast and Midwest- namely Michigan most of the years.  My dad was born in Alabama but moved very early on to Maryland and he lived there until college when he went to Auburn. My mom also went to Auburn and that's where they met & married.

My dad's job as a pastor has moved us around every few years while I grew up.  I was born in Virginia while we lived there during his time in seminary.  We lived a few places in Alabama while he pastored different churches. When I was 12, we moved to Hawaii for another church pastoring job.  Since my parents didn't have southern accents, we didn't really pick up a southern accent ourselves- and if we did, we lost it in Hawaii.  We moved back to Alabama in 2005 when my oldest brother was about to start college at Auburn.  My dad got a pastoring job about an hour away from Auburn and that's where we are today. He's not still with the same church because he started a church plant in 2008 and that's where we go to church instead.

I met my husband here (who is also not from Alabama- he's from Washington State).  We have chosen to make this area our home and start our family here. 

So we're used to seeing and hearing stereotypes about the South but we don't get offended by them. We also give credit where it's due and have acknowledged that some stereotypes are true. I've compiled some here. Enjoy.

Driving down the roads here, you will see people wave while still holding onto the steering wheel.  This meme breaks it down:


Aaron & I joke that this is the uniform of "bros"- aka fraternity brothers. I saw guys in this "uniform" quite often while attending Auburn.



And in the winter, we might get one to two inches of snow.  Otherwise, this is our "winter wonderland."


And because we don't get much or any snow, Southern natives don't know how to drive in it.  Fortunately, my husband does since he's from Washington State. And my parents know how to drive in snow since they grew up in the northeast and Midwest. Schools and businesses really do close down if 'alot' of snow is predicted (aka 1 or 2 inches).


This meme made us laugh since we're expecting a little girl in August.  Truth be told, this is how most southern daddies feel when their little girls get boyfriends.


The title of this pin is about problems curly haired girls have. In the South, you don't need to have curly hair to have this problem. My hair is not curly, but I could fool you most days of the summer simply due to humidity.


If you visit down here, do expect doors to be opened for you at restaurants and stores. 


When this meme says "I watch sports" it means we girls watch football. The Auburn v Alabama rivalry runs DEEP down here. You're pretty much born into a family that chooses for you what you'll be: an Auburn fan or a Bama fan.



Auburn' s mascot is the Tiger and our battle cry is "War Eagle!" (a different post for a different day).  Alabama's (Bama's) mascot is an elephant and their battle cry is "Roll Tide!" (Again, another post for another day).


Auburn's colors are deep orange and navy. Bama's colors are crimson & white.


Hope you've enjoyed this little educational enjoyment of the South shown through the eyes of an Auburn fan.  We do wear shoes down here and we do have traffic lights. :)

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Change of Pace and a Hopeful Family Benefit


So, after much prayer and deliberation, I am pursuing another dream—a real intentional career move. 



I have applied and been accepted into a university in the state to pursue my graduate degree.  I am enrolled in classes to obtain my Masters of Education—with the intent to become a middle/high school teacher in the subject of Social Science and English.  At the moment, my degree will be just concentrated in Social Science, but once I get closer to graduation, I can take the Highly-qualified test for English and receive an honorary degree in that field as well which will enable me to teach either English or Social Sciences in the public school system. Most private middle/high schools around here do not require secondary education teachers to have a state certification in the field where they want to teach, so it would give me a leg-up if I decided to teach in private schools instead. 



 When I got my job at the VA, it wasn’t because I had dreamed of working at the VA upon graduation from college (let’s be real—whose dream would it be?).  It was due to an attempt to find a full-time job after graduating college and getting married.  God blessed us with this job, and it’s provided a handsome income to us as we’ve started our family.  For a long time, I really wanted to pursue teaching but was too afraid to leave the income from this VA job.  This past February, on the road trip with my mom to Florida, I really got a chance to think about how I could make life work with about half of my current income.  When I realized it’s not practical or healthy to stay in a stressful job just because the money is good, I started making strides towards pursuing what I actually wanted to do.



I came up with some plans on how to pay for school and even had a plan set up where I could leave my current job to pursue schooling at an accelerated rate and finish sooner than what the program called for.  I discussed all of these plans with Aaron and he was on board!  He said that the VA was never intended to be my career and that it’s okay to pursue something else.  I’m still young enough to have a career change and work enough years to receive retirement or pension from the state due to being a school teacher in a public school—although I wouldn’t oppose working for a private school either.


 
I applied to school and began taking the acceptance tests, and getting my background check completed (along with fingerprints), and requesting in my transcripts from undergrad.  I missed a passing score on the Highly Qualified Social Science test by 7 points in March, so I had to wait 21 days to take it again in mid-April.  When I was able to retake, I passed by about 10 points.  One set of my transcripts was lost in the mail (story of my life) in early May, so I had to fix that hurdle and move on.  The first test failure, and the transcript loss made it so I couldn’t begin schooling this May like I was intending.  Instead, I’ll start on June 26th.  I’m a little apprehensive about starting school because I really don’t know what to expect, but at the same time, I’m ready to begin my educational career in order to leave the career I’m currently in.


 
I registered for my courses (I’m taking two to start) and ordered my books.  I was astonished to find the deal of the century on Amazon where I can pay a minimal fee to “rent” the book and then return it at the end of the semester.  This is a huge savings!  I’m hoping most of my other textbooks can be handled this way.  I had to actually buy one book because it comes with an electronic code and Amazon didn’t recommend renting that book just in case the code was already redeemed by a student in the past.  For that book, I was able to use a gift card given to me by one of my best friends for my birthday—with the specific intention that I use it for buying a school book. 


 
I decided to keep working at the VA as long as I can stand the stress.  I can pay for schooling through my paycheck—so the plan is for me to hold on as long as I can in order to pay for schooling out right, and not have to touch our savings.  I’m hoping to finish schooling in the next year to two years.



I worked as a tutor for athletes while in college and I really discovered my love of teaching then.  That job was so awesome, and if we lived closer to Auburn, I’d probably have applied for the Tutor Director position years ago.  Right after getting married, I worked as a substitute teacher in the county we live in now.  Subs don’t make a whole lot of money, but something is better than nothing, and it allowed me to do something I enjoyed (teaching) while looking for full-time work. 


 
Being a teacher would not only let me be around an age group of kids that I don’t mind being around—middle and high schoolers—but it would also enable me to have more time with my own kids during summer and winter breaks!  Knowing that I’m pursuing a career that will benefit my family with the gift of time is a huge blessing.  I’m looking ahead to when Michael is nearly seven, Noah five, and Avery nearly two when I get to have a job that grants me time with my kids when they’re off of school.  This is priceless.


 
Yes, the financial difference is HUGE.  I’m expecting to reduce my current income by at least half.  But the benefit of being with my kids and having more time to soak up my family makes the financial sacrifice worth it for me and Aaron.


 
So, here’s to June 26th when I officially begin my journey to a different career path! 


 
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba






 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

29 Weeks


Today marks 29 weeks and I'm pumped!  I'm ready to be near the final countdown, and I feel like that starts on week 30.  Thirty weeks makes it sound legit and so close!  So, I'm excited for being 29 weeks and T-minus 11 weeks from meeting our little one.

These pictures were taken on Saturday before heading to Costco. 








How far along? 29 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +16lbs  I've maintained my weight for the last two weeks since I’m on super-cautious low carb diet.  My weight gain can fluctuate from a gain of 13lbs to 18lbs over the time span of a couple days—depending on what time of day I check my weight.  My appointment tomorrow is late in the day, so I’m anticipating the weight gain to show closer to the 18lb mark.
Maternity clothes? Yes.  I can still wear some regular t-shirts, but I prefer maternity tops for sure.  All of my “appear out in public” bottoms are maternity-wear.  I have also started borrowing Aaron’s work-out shirts for pajama tops when my pajamas are in the wash.

Stretch marks? Oh yes.  Since I’m out of the first trimester olfactory overload, I’m finally able to use my good-smelling lotion again, and that’s been such a fun treat.  I don’t think it’ll help fade any current stretch marks, but it’s nice to have a soft belly anyway.

Sleep: Pretty horrible.  This whole “sleep on your side then switch when you can’t stand the hip pain anymore” is getting old.  I have such vivid dreams and nightmares now and I often wake up in a panic that I’ve been sleeping on my back!  I haven’t actually slept on my back, but my adrenaline is so high from the dreams and nightmares that I imagine myself having slept in a way that I shouldn’t.  I’m up about every two hours at night, and often fluctuate between being too hot or too cold, and then being irritated that it’s not the weekend and I actually have to wake up in just a few hours for work.

Best moment this week: Reading lots of stories to my boys and knowing Avery can hear me read!  She’s been able to for a while, but our story time at home has dramatically increased this past week or two, and it’s been fun to read stories while knowing she can listen in.

Have you told family and friends: Absolutely.

Miss Anything? I miss being able to snuggle-cuddle my kids without worrying if they’re going to flail their arms or legs towards my belly.  I also miss hugging Aaron close—our feet are several feet apart now when we hug to allow for our upper bodies to actually embrace.  We look like a triangle rather than a stick.

Movement: Avery is still so active which I’m thankful for.  She’s a pretty good napper, which is nice in the evenings when I’m able to catch a snooze.  She moves a lot during the daytime and I’m always glad to feel it! 

Food cravings: Obviously everything I cannot have at the moment, but specifically chocolate chip cookie dough.  Not the ice cream.  Just the actual dough.

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of wet dog.  Ugh.  We’ve had LOTS of rainy days here and I try to let the dogs in as fast as I can (if I’m home), but sometimes the rain comes from out of nowhere and it’s relentless!  We’ve had some VERY wet dogs inside our laundry room the last couple days around mid-afternoon and it’s so stinky!   

Have you started to show yet: Most definitely.   

Gender: GIRL! 

Labor Signs: No—yay!

Belly Button in or out? Out out out.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :(  Still so super sad about this.  

Happy or Moody most of the time: Wanting to be happy 100%, but realistically moody.

Looking forward to: My OB appointment tomorrow where I turn in my blood-sugar charts for the last two weeks and find out the next step of treatment.  I’m at peace with being on medication—anything to keep Avery healthy, so I’m ready to get started and get these numbers where they should be!



Until Next Time,

Much love, Reba


Monday, June 12, 2017

Wait Listed

Some things that I've been craving (or am just randomly thinking of indulging in) will have to wait til after Avery is born. These items include:

-Pecan Pancakes from Cracker Barrel
-pepperoni pizza (specifically Pepperoni Magnifico- 3 kinds of pepperoni) from Marcos
-Crunch Wrap Supreme from Taco Bell
-fish tacos from Bonefish or shrimp tacos from Chappy's
-oreos with cold milk
-Aaron's homemade lasagna (he made this for a church potluck and I had to bypass it in order to stick within my carb gram goals)
-chips & Costco jalapeno cheese dip
-Ben & Jerry's Phish food (I tried this flavor in the 8th grade and haven't looked back! If it's not available, I choose peanut butter fudge core, chocolate brownie or the coffee toffee crunch).
-fat free chocolate frozen yogurt from Costco food court
-Chinese buffet at our favorite local Chinese place where we've been going since before we got married, or Chinese take out at our other favorite local Chinese place. I've found that Asian sauces on meat raise my blood sugar, so I'm putting off any cravings until after Avery is born.
-fun donuts. I can resist a donut fairly easily so this hasn't been a major craving of mine but Aaron did buy fun donuts (cookies-and-cream, maple bacon, & raspberry crumble) from a local shop last week and I was bummed that I couldn't partake. It'll be nice when I can have a fun treat like this again. And yes, we do let Michael have donuts. We bolus insulin appropriately and then let him be a kid!
-lunchables. Technically I could have this now since it falls under the carb count appropriate for meals but I am trying to avoid processed foods since they raise my blood sugar more than natural foods do.
-Peanut butter milkshake from Sonic.  I'm thinking I'll have one of these in the hospital after delivery. :)

I think I'll be able to hold off these indulgences for 11 more weeks. Anything to keep Avery healthy!

This weekend, my mom came over and did an awesome pedicure for me since I can no longer reach my toes (a week 25 and forward issue)!


She says she'll do this as many times as necessary before Baby comes!

I'm counting down the weeks, but I've been doing that since we found out we were pregnant!

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba


Friday, June 9, 2017

Things I Do For My Kids, But Secretly I Hate

There are some things I've run across as a mom that definitely don't make the Favorite Category for me.  I compiled a list of them here.  I'm sure I could think of more, but this is a pretty good starter list.  I also understand in this list that lots of these things will fade away and I'll look back on this time in my life as a mom to a pre-schooler and a pre-kindergartener and WISH that my kids still wanted to do these things.  No longer will they need my help to get lemonade or to open a string cheese.  And I know I'll miss these days.  So although I'm not fond of these "tasks" right now, I understand their importance and will try to embrace them even so. :)


  • Going to playgrounds.  (There’s always other kids around and then I have to stand in the perfect spot to keep an eye on my own kids as they go up and down the slides, etc.  There’s too many entrances and exits to playgrounds.  I dislike them very much).

  • Letting them go on bouncy houses (Ugh, the germs!!! Other family members have told me I’m weird for not liking bouncy houses, but there’s serious evidence of horrible skin rashes that kids have incurred by going in them!  I get SUCH the heebie-jeebies about rashes, so I hate anything that might cause them)

  • Putting the pieces back in Watch Out Scooby Doo! Game (very similar to Don’t Break the Ice)

  • Playing the game Trouble (because Noah can’t press down hard enough to pop the popper, and about a quarter of the way through the game, they decide they’d rather pretend the pieces are alien spaceships, etc.)

  • Watching Justin Time, Watching Phineas and Ferb, Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Watching PAW Patrol

  • Assembling and gathering marbles after every round of Hungry Hungry Hippos

  • Putting in movies in the DVD player (I’d much rather pick a movie off of Netflix or Amazon Prime!  Does this make me lazy?  Maybe so).

  • Bubble baths.  (Are kids even clean after a bubble bath?  When my kids get out of the tub, their whole backsides are covered with bubbles but they HATE to be rinsed off.  I don’t like the idea of soap staying on their skin.  It’s a rare occurrence to get a bubble bath in our house.)

  • Blowing bubbles.  (Does this make me a horrible mom?  I do NOT like blowing bubbles and having the bubble liquid get all over my hands, etc.  Do we blow bubbles at our house?  Yes, we do.  Do I smile while doing it? Yes, I do because it brings my kids such joy to karate chop the bubbles.  But do I enjoy bubble blowing and the stickiness that ensues? No. No I do not.)

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Stations

One thing we really liked when our boys were babies was the idea of "stations" throughout the house.  Basically, we wanted to make sure there was a safe place to lay down the baby in each of the rooms we'd be in during the day.

I didn't register or receive a big tall baby swing, etc. I wanted things that I could easily move from room to room if needed.  This time around, I had already sold some of the "stations" that I really really liked and benefitted from.  During the spring consignment sale, I found a few station replacements.  Then I registered for another station and received it at a recent baby shower (more to come on the baby shower in a future post!)

So, my absolute favorite station when the boys were babies was the Fisher Price Space Saving Seat-n-Swing.

It was quite similar to the one shown in this link.

I could easily move this from room to room, which enabled me to do things (like go to the bathroom, or cook, or take a shower!) when my boys were teeny babes.

So often, we read about new mommies who feel like they can never shower unless someone else is at the home to hold the baby.  We bypassed this situation by buying a clear shower curtain liner and putting it on a separate rod from the shower curtain itself. Then I'd set the baby swing in front of the bathtub and I'd pull back the real shower curtain.  I'd set the baby in the swing, and I'd take a shower and feel very comfortable knowing I could peek through the clear shower curtain liner and see my little one safe and sound in the swing.

I'd also move the swing to the kitchen to cook dinner or to be able to eat somewhere besides my couch.  Having a "station" to set the baby in was super helpful for us.

This time around, I found a similar small swing (ours is probably a year or two older than the one shown in this link here) at the consignment sale for $13.00 so I scooped it up fast!

I also registered for and received a bouncer which is quite similar to one that my mom had at her house when my boys were tiny.  She has since sent hers on to her sister who is a new grandma.  I know how helpful that bouncer was at my mom's house, and I decided to register for one as another easy station to move around the house.

After watching my new niece enjoy her Rock-and-Play so much, I decided to be on the lookout for one at the consignment sale.  I paid about half of retail value for the rock-and-play.  I chose one that can rock itself, and vibrate, and play songs.  I could have easily gotten a lower version one for about $10-$20 but I spent $35 on the one that can rock itself.  Noah was ECSTATIC when he saw that I had bought one of these!  He loves to press the buttons!  So this will be another easy station, and one that can fold flat and fit into the back of our car if I need to take it with me to have a station at some other location (ie, if I coach cheerleading again this fall, I will take this with me to put Avery in during practice).

I'm really happy with the stations we've acquired thus far and think it gives us a good place to put our sweet babe rather than just on a blanket on the floor (which isn't a great idea when you have a 4 year old and 3 year old running around, as well as two dogs who come in at nighttime).  This time, we don't have a shower with a curtain, it's a stall instead, so I'll just bring the swing into the bathroom right in front of the shower stall, and I'll leave the shower door open enough for me to see her as she swings.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba