10 steps of pregnancy distraction {a.k.a. our weekend}

In an effort to distract myself from being so hugely pregnant ;) , I'm making a random list of things we've done to keep busy for the last few days! :)

1. A fun matinee with the family.
We rarely go to the movies, and I was shocked- even with matinee prices, we paid $37! No wonder we love the library so much. ;) I think the kids always feel like it's a special treat when we do go, and it was last weekend too. I figure we probably won't remember how much it costs either. :)


2. Dating and enjoying more Mexican food.
yes, I'm eating salsa from the bowl...it was spicy so I had to eat it straight!  And then!.....nothing happened.
I've tried eating spicy foods with almost every pregnancy with absolutely zero results. I believe I have a uterus of steel... {now that's a special gift isn't it?}

But hey, at least the salsa was good.

3. Slow grocery shopping just for fun! :)

All of my kids LOVE those little carts. We make quite the scene when all four of them have one. It's a challenge, but I'm ridiculously happy they're all still little enough to want to drive one. :)

4. Sharing baguettes, bananas, and dried papaya with the girls while the boys are at praise camp. :)



5. Rollerblading/walking/biking on the park trail as a family and ending up with broken arm #2. :(

6. Doctor appointments to deal with #5. {insert sad face...again}

7. Experimenting with cutting my own heavy side-swept bangs.
no headband!
It's not a drastic change, but I'm liking it so far. {here's a helpful video on cutting your own hair here: the biggest tips- hold your scissors vertically, and don't close them all the way when you cut!}
and of course, with headband!
8. Re-washing and ironing the curtains.
You might have seen this one over on IG! In addition to ironing, I've actually found a number of other cleaning-related things to do that no one will ever care about, like scrubbing underneath the cabinets and doors, sweeping the house in the middle of the night, and cleaning out the freezer. Those are good signs right? ;)



8. Anniversary shopping at the mall.
I went to buy something specifically for Rob {and found it!}, and I found my own little present while I was there...hahahah! :) It was on clearance for a great deal, and I'm already loving the hands-free aspect!

I have a feeling my husband is secretly relieved when I find my own presents....hehehee!
9. Being fascinated by aqua dryer lint.
I joked over on the fb page that you know you've been a homemaker for a while when you're amazed by colorful dryer lint and wonder what you could do with it! :)

{btw- thank you for all your ideas!! here are 11 great uses for it!!}

10. Watching Rob redo the tiny bathroom. 
This is the "before" pic I took on Saturday morning- I still need one more thing to finish reorganizing it before the "after" pic will be ready. I need to replace that plastic drawer system or get rid of it entirely, but I want it to be cute, cheap, and fit {of course}.


And the distract Mandy from the fact that her baby keeps growing and is going to weigh 10 lbs. plan continues: on the agenda for the rest of the week are more appointments, a trip to the library, exercising {after a few days off, I can't take not going to the gym!}, and maybe I'll get the motivation to start a new DIY project. We will see! :)

What are you up to this week? 

Moms of boys- how common is it for your boys to break their limbs? I feel like I'm being initiated into the yearly club! And to think I have two more boys to go! ;)

Have you done any DIY projects recently? I'd love to see them!!

pregnancy update: baby #5, 39+ weeks

39. weeks. pregnant. This is the end! 

{right? right? please say yes...?}

Last week was rough on my body- I woke up several nights at crazy times because my uterus was exercising in the middle of the night. ;) And a lack of sleep + a huge baby + end of pregnancy hormones = a less than fun week, you know? It was hard.

But God has been teaching me so much in this not-so-fun time- it's been a huge lesson in waiting on Him, and trusting Him. He's given me specific passages of Scripture for comfort over the last few weeks, and I can't wait to share them here. He is SO good- He never fails to encourage your heart when you are weary!

I know I certainly don't have any right to complain about the hard last few weeks of pregnancy- having a healthy pregnancy itself is a great blessing, and my body is still working just fine. :) 

I've just been reminded that the old saying is true- that God makes your body prepare for having a baby by waking you up every few hours a night until you deliver. ;)

I won't lie- I'm really hoping that delivery comes soon! I'm ready!! In the meantime, though, I figured I'd do another pregnancy update since it's been over a week now. :)

How far along: 39 weeks + a few days? I can't believe I'm typing that...

Baby size: fully grown. And large. LOL!

Gender: Boy.

Weight gain: Still average, and I'm hoping to lose at least 10 lbs. this week! heheh.

Belly: looks like a watermelon, and not one of those wimpy seedless ones- one of the full grown, oval-shaped, right off the farm truck ones. ;)

Sleep: I'm not sure what that is?? I nap for a couple hours at a time when it's dark outside...

Clothes: Oh, man- I can't wait to be able to wear regular clothes again.

Movement: Much tighter, smaller, strong movements- you can tell he's pretty squished these days! :)

Food aversions: Gone except for coffee, and as of a couple of weeks ago, I can eat salad again!! Hallelujah!!! I've been so excited about that! :)

Food cravings: I'm mostly thirsty all of the time- but I've really wanted carbs for the last few weeks too. The hunger kicked in again last week, and I've been raiding the kitchen in the middle of the night. I'm HUNGRY too these days! :)

Labor signs: Contractions wake me up on a regular basis now, but I can usually tell they aren't going anywhere. They've been too light. And no pain = no gain! ;) When I wake up with very strong ones, I know it's close to D-Day. 

What I miss: Moving around/bending over like a normal person, sleeping comfortably, and not waddling?

Preparing for birth: I think we're completely ready, and have been for several days now. We had another fun Friday with special kid activities and even repainted a whole room this weekend, which I'll update you on soon! :)

Comparison shots:
19, 22, 26 weeks:


31, 34, 36 weeks:

37, 38, 39 weeks:

So the big question on my mind right now is this: will there be a 40 week update on Friday?? 

Oh my. I might need some kind of serious distraction to get through the next few days! :)


Non-preggo people, do you usually wake up in the middle of the night or do you sleep straight through? 
I rarely had a night I slept without waking up several times. My arms fall asleep a lot, and I toss and turn, even when I'm not pregnant! I remember going to bed and waking up and it was morning back when I was a teenager. I miss that feeling! :)

Any tricks for keeping yourself sane in the last few days? :)

Any ideas for healthy low-calorie bedtime snacks that aren't dairy products? 
I have been eating a protein bar in the middle of the night to tide me over 'til morning, and I have a feeling nursing will make me even more hungry! 

homemaking hack #9: repurposing chipped or broken bowls


When we first moved in our house, I spotted this lovely aqua polka-dot mixing bowl at Ross for around $8:


I actually had a really hard time deciding whether to spend that much money on a "pretty" mixing bowl, but I talked myself into it. ;) I had great plans for it to be on display on our kitchen shelf in between being the chip holder/ life of every party we hosted. :) 

You can imagine how heartbroken I was when it got a huge chip in it after only a couple of uses... turns out it wasn't such a great purchase decision after all. :(


But I wouldn't give up on it. I kept it anyway {I mean, I'd spent money on it!!}, and lined it with tissue paper to serve food in at parties. But the perfectionist in me secretly hated the big ugly chip that always became visible at some point during the party, so I stopped using it altogether. 

After a couple years of it taking up cabinet space, I finally came up with a different use for my favorite bowl when I saw these ready-made succulent pots in the garden center of Lowe's:


In two minutes, added a little extra potting soil to that old chipped mixing bowl and bam! :)


Sweet gorgeousness, right on my counter that perfectly hides that nasty chip. :)


I so love that I get to see my favorite mixing bowl every day now, and that it's lovely polka-dots {and my $7} didn't go to waste! :)

How do you repurpose your broken or chipped dishes? :D
Any creative ideas? I'd love to hear! 

Also, how do you keep these things alive long-term? 
The vine looking one keeps shedding all over my counter... ;)

Do you tend to hang on to broken items or throw/give them away?
I usually have no problem getting rid of broken things, but I couldn't let go of that polka-dot pot...lol!

how to slow down time + being content with now

I think I have a new way to slow down time: be 38 weeks pregnant. Every day and night will last longer than you can possibly imagine. :)

This morning my news-watching brother texted me and asked if Princess Kate and I had planned to have our babies on the same day. :P I told him I wish... at least for the part of this baby coming today, anyway. :) Even more hilarious than that, when I told Rob what my brother texted me he responded with, "who's Kate again?" :)

I don't know if Princess Kate enjoyed her last weekend, but I did. :) It started with Panera and garage sales with the family on Saturday {we bought a bag of 1/2 dozen bagels there- the most brilliant idea for eating breakfast out I stole from Ruth who has 6 little boys!}.


Then we went for a long walk on the trail on Saturday night, which started out grand and ended up with us running back in a thunderstorm...and that was the moment I learned this very pregnant girl can only run about 100 yards at a time at this point. So we all got soaked. The boys loved it; mama not so much. ;)

Noah holding a 10 inch worm on the trail.
Even with all that walking and running I did, there still were no signs of labor. It's still early, but that doesn't mean a girl can't try a little...hahaha! 

Oh you guys, I'm trying to wait patiently on the Lord for the birth of this baby. I know it's getting closer and will be here so, so very soon, but I'm not very good at waiting. :) I know beyond a doubt that God's timing is better than mine- He's shown it to me over and over- even in my previous births! I know His will is what is important, and trusting Him is the very best thing I can do right now. He knows when it is time for this little one to come.

Today I want to focus on the great blessings I have right now instead of waiting to be content later. You know what I mean? I get so caught up in the future I forget to remember I only have now.

Today, I'm so thankful for this MAN. He shows us all such great love on a daily basis:


I'm thankful for sunny weather, and the chance to see gorgeous creations of God like this giant gerbera we spotted on our date last night.


I'm thankful for parents who watch our kiddos and give us time alone as a couple. It's been so very good for our marriage! Yesterday while my dad took the kids, we had the chance to drive around for an hour, walk a few stores, and eat at Chuy's on a long date. {bumpy car ride, walking, Mexican food...check ;)}

I'm thankful for a fully stocked freezer and yummy real food snacks. These are so good:


I'm thankful for the distraction of all your baby guesses over here... they are so much fun to read- so far, the biggest weight guess is 10 lbs. 4 ounces! Oh my! If this baby is that big when he comes out, I should get a medal of some kind! :) Phew!

After our busy week, I took off from making goals last Monday, so this week I figure I'll make a few just to keep me distracted in the midst of long days. :) This morning I had a great desire to repaint the bathroom and clean out the fridge, but I haven't made a list quite yet, so I'll keep you posted! :)

Do dates freak you out or do you love them too? 
I admit they look a lot like a gross insect we all despise here... ;)

How big was your biggest baby? :) Any double digits out there?

Any verses of encouragement that helped you through uncomfortable days?

pregnancy update: 38 weeks, baby #5, and the baby poll with prizes!

Oh. my. goodness. The full-term pregnancy switch has flipped on this week- I'm SO ready for this baby to come! :) 

In only a few days, I went from fairly comfortable to uncomfortable, and from patient to really READY to have this baby. I think he must be getting huge these days- he takes up all of my abdomen and sticks straight out. It's a hilarious sight, I tell you! :) I've gotten the most comments and questions this week as to when I'm due or how much longer I have left, {oh, and "girl, you're about to pop!!!"} and I think this is probably why:



I do kind of feel like I'm about to pop. :) I can't believe how extremely ROUND that belly is!

I've still been exercising this week, but even climbing the stairs has suddenly become awkward feeling. He's big and hanging low, with his head on top of my pelvic bone, and his weight feels heavy way down in my lower back. The shape of my belly is so much different than with the girls. Here's a pic of me in labor with #4, and it's hard to tell really, but it didn't seem quite as round even in labor at 38 weeks:


Here are the comparison shots for this pregnancy at 19, 22, 26, 31, 34, 36, 37, and 38 weeks:




I'm hoping the difference between last week and this week just means he changed positions and went higher, and not that he grew that much! Holy moly.

Either way, I guess we'll find out fairly soon! Everything is ready to go- we have all of our supplies and the birthing pool is assembled and ready to go!


At this point last time around, I had a baby in my arms for over 24 hours, so I'm mentally really ready to meet this one. :) But only 1 out of 4 have been more than a day or three early, so.....it could still be a while. {I try not to think about that little fact when I wake up sore every morning! :P}.

We're trying to make the most of each day we have left as a family of 6- we're doing lots of fun activities whenever we can, but when it comes to to-do lists or making real plans for the coming two weeks or months, my brain can't quite focus on anything other than have this baby. :)

Well, except for one thing, that is: from the very beginning of my pregnancy, I've been planning to hold an informal baby poll with prizes! {eee!}

I'm giving away two $15 Target gift cards for the two closest guesses on baby weight {in lbs. and ounces} and date/time {with date, and hours/minutes} of arrival! All you have to do is leave a comment for me with your guesses and hey, if you're the closest to both, you could win both cards! :) 

In the event of a tie, I'll assign the tie-ees {?} an ordered number and pick one of them with a random number selector. I'll announce the winners sometime after the baby's arrival, and will email the winners {please make sure you leave me your email address/contact info in the comment somehow}.

The poll/comments will close on Tuesday, July 23, at 11:59 p.m. CST, or when the baby's arrival is announced if before then. {hopefully? hahah!}

Oh, and here's a reminder so you can make an educated guess: 
My official due date is somewhere around August 1 or 2, and this baby {#5} is a boy {as far as we know!}.

Also a fun hint that might help: my smallest baby was 7 lbs. 8 oz, and my largest one was 9 lbs. 9 ounces. :D

I can't wait to hear your predictions! {oh, please distract me! hehehe!}

a lazy day at our house {in pics}

We are having a very lazy day at our house today. :) I was so tired this morning, I took a bath first thing and then took a nap at 11:30 {!}. I think the baby must be growing or something! {Please don't get too big, little one!}

Instead of what I had planned, I thought I would share a few pics of what life is looking like today {other than me sitting on the couch, hahah!}:

Rob and the boys assembled this bookcase for me last night... I scored it on a big clearance in store at Target several weeks ago, and I was excited to see it come together as our new "hutch". I had to immediately decorate it with our serving dishes before I went to bed. As I was pulling out dishes and moving chairs around, Rob kept asking me what I was doing and I kept telling him I don't know, I just need to re-organize the house! ;)

i love it with my coral globe and instagram poster


I also finished the last of the living room gallery wall last night too. At some point I'll take a few real pictures to share with you! {Probably after I change it three more times. ;)}

butterfly poster
Tonight we're having spaghetti for dinner, and I started the marinara/meat sauce early and made a lunch out of it too. {yum!}
my dutch oven steal- I use it all the time!
Of course, no matter what I do, this little baby stays on my mind as he changes position all day. I feel entire legs rolling around in there and wonder how he manages to stay put in such a tight space. I think I'm going to miss feeling him move in this big belly, but I keep telling him mama's ready to see him. :) 

I washed all the sheets and towels last night too, and his first outfit, diapers, wipes, and blankets are all ready to go on the bassinet:


Now we're just playing the waiting game. :) We're having friends over for dinner, and I have to teach a weightlifting class tonight, but for now I'm intentionally resting more and enjoying a little bit of nothing which includes browsing the newest PB catalogs:


Do you have lazy days too? I'm trying to learn to listen to my body and chill out before the next big thing happens. :) Who knows how much longer I get to rest like this with just four older kids! :)