Friday, May 30, 2014

The Word: Persecution? I'm All In

One of our associate pastors preached a message on Easter Sunday that has stuck with me.  So much so, that it started the prompting of this blog.  He preached on the reality of what happened Easter Sunday.  To prove that Jesus did die and then live again, he used the illustration of the apostles.  

You see, no one dies for a lie.  And all but one of the twelve (I believe) were killed because they were proclaiming the reality of what happened, because they were living out their faith.  They didn't die of old age or disease, they were killed, ruthlessly.  We're not talking an injection or even a quick gun shot.  They were stoned, crucified, tortured to death - one was even thrown in a boiling vat of oil!  The one that didn't die?  He was still brutally tortured, they tried to kill him, and when he didn't die - he was exiled.

The pastor went through every single man's tragic death and I sat there in awe.  The thought that popped into my head - "We don't know what persecution is."  We really don't.

Sure, we are ridiculed for our beliefs - occasionally.  Sometimes we are labeled as extremists.  But no one is tying me to a stake and threatening to burn me to death if I don't give up my faith.  No one is nailing my arms to a cross to watch me die a slow and painful death.  I haven't been tortured to the point of being unable to move or speak.  I don't know, as an American in the 21st century, what it means to be persecuted.

Then, just a couple of days after hearing this sermon, my reading plan leads me to 2 Timothy 3:12 - "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

Again, the thoughts bubbled forth - "Why aren't we being persecuted then?  If all who desire to live godly, Christ-like, lives will be persecuted, why aren't we (the American church) being persecuted?"

Are we not living our lives the way we ought to?

Are we not being bold enough?

The apostles weren't afraid to die.  So they lived to the extreme.  Everyone they talked to, everyone they met - heard what they had to say.  They didn't sit idly by while the preacher and the missionaries did all of the work.  They didn't separate their personal lives from their "Sunday lives."  And with all of this talk about the truth and the Christ - they offended people!  The Gospel is offensive!  It should offend you and me and anyone else that reads it.  Because, honestly, none of us are perfect and there is something in that Bible for every person to hear, something that doesn't agree with how you are currently living and begs for you to change.  Sure you might not murder people or steal from others, but do you have issues with pride?  Or maybe you don't tithe?  Or how often do your material possessions and things come before the church or your family? Do you always treat your spouse and your children with the love God calls for?  I could go on...  If you are really reading what the Bible has to say it is going to offend you.

Which is why the apostles were tortured and killed.  They preached the Gospel.  And it offended people.  It offended people so much that throwing the apostles into boiling vats of oil seemed like a good solution.  

Did you know that the Chinese church, the church that has to meet underground, that often only has a page or two of the Bible to share - that church - is praying for our persecution?  Why?  Because then our faith will have to be real.  We won't have "Sunday Christians."  You will either be all in or all out because somewhere in-between just won't cut it anymore.  Would you die for something you were on the fence about?  I don't think so!

While I am thankful that the threat of being stoned to death is not imminent, I will be striving to live such a Christ-like and Godly life that people will want me dead.  And I pray that you will do the same.  Let's start being all-in before the persecution starts we won't even have to make the choice.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bump Update: Week 20

I found myself this week being a little fearful of the future and all the changes that a baby brings.  Don't get me wrong - we are more than ecstatic to be having a little one!  But I'm going to miss it being just the two of us - able to leave on a whim without calling the grandparents to babysit, camping without the added stuff a baby brings, and just being able to relax when I get home and I need a break.  

I wouldn't trade this step in our lives for the world, but for every new chapter, another chapter has to end.  I'm allowed to be a little sad right?  

But one day I will look back and be able to see all of the new adventures we were able to have because of our children.  And now, instead of just the two of us - we will be a little family - just the 3 of us!  ;)  And man, oh man, it is going to be here faster than we think!

I've been trying to take these pics in the same pants to show how much I've grown.  I even have a mole on my belly where I line up the top of my pants. haha.  But I just had to show you my bump in the outfit I wore today - loved it!

This week, baby is the size of a: Sprout is as long as a banana.  And I think my body can tell!  I swear he/she was laying straight across my abdomen, all stretched out - toes toward my belly and head towards my back.  I could feel this awful pressure in my lower back for quite awhile yesterday.  Pushed on my abdomen and it would hurt back there.  Had me down and out for a little bit.  Eventually it just went away.  

Next appointment: Besides today?  haha.  Another month now.  

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained another pound!  I didn't even bring up weight and the doctor said she was happy with my weight gain so we're doing good!  :)

Exercise: Since we finally got to go camping this weekend, I actually did get a good bit of exercise in - hikes, kayaking, and even a bike ride!  Plus I've gotten to take a couple of walks this week at work.  :)

Maternity Clothes: No need yet!  We shall see how long this lasts....

Sleep: Depends on the day.  While camping, I woke up every hour, I swear.  But I think that had more to do with the fact that it was a teensy bit chilly outside than anything baby related.  Overall, still sleeping fairly well.  I have upgraded to 2 pillows though - one for my head and one between my knees.   

Food Cravings/Aversions: Not really.  Sometimes when I see a commercial for something I feel like I have to have it.  But other than that, nothing.

Movement: Feeling that little miracle more and more often!  Usually about once a day.  Sometimes not at all.  Saturday morning while we were hiking, Sprout was all over the place.  It was the most I've felt and lasted for almost an hour.  It must love the outdoors as much as we do.  :)

What I Miss: Sushi.  Enough said.  

What I'm Loving: Feeling Sprout move!    

What I'm Looking Forward To: Our gender reveal party!  Just a couple more days until we know!  I am BEYOND excited!! :)

Best Moment This Week: Hmmm.  Probably all that movement on Saturday.  

Milestones: Almost half way!  Eek!

Goals: We got our bedroom painted this past week (with a little bit lot of help from my mom)!  Now we just have to do the trim and the ceiling and we'll be ready to paint the baby's room! But I'm not sure what goals this next week really holds.  Probably rest a bit before we start to get ready for our trip to Michigan.  And I have a blog review to do!  

Giveaway: Highlight for the Week

I've decided, in an effort to post a little more often that I would highlight one giveaway from another blog each week. This week I chose a giveaway over at Trying to Go Green for Balm Baby Diaper Balm.   

Since I have decided to cloth diaper (a post on why coming soon), I have learned that normal diaper rash cream like Desitin can be harmful to cloth.  So I'm always on the lookout for creams that are cloth diaper friendly such as this one!  Theses are some of the reasons why I really like Balm Baby Diaper Balm:

  • It is organic!  (I would love to get Sprout all organic everything if our finances allowed it...)
  • It can be used for more than just baby's bum - for sun burn, cradle cap, and more!
  • It's made in the USA - Hawaii to be exact! 
For more awesome info on Balm Baby Diaper Balm and to enter the giveaway, head on over to Trying to Go Green here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blogger Opp: Summer Cash Giveaway

Summer Giveaway
Mama Foster will be hosting a Summer Cash giveaway during the month of June. I will be giving away $100 dollars cash via Paypal. This will be worldwide as long as you have a valid paypal email address! I am looking for Co-hosts and there are other opportunities as well! I will only be accepting a limited number of people/links. Dates: June 9 – June 30 Prize: $100 Amazon or Paypal Gift Card Who Can Enter: Open Worldwide 1st Link: FREE with Announcement Post (anything except Google+ or Personal Facebook Pages) Co-Host: $20 Want to be a co-host for this blogger sponsored event? A co-host gets 4 links, a comment page, and a nofollow backlink. This is a great option for businesses or blogs looking for getting their name out there! 1 125 x 125 button, provided by you, on the post and blog will be shared on all the other co-hosts and link host blog. Only 4 co-host spots will be sold. Host Pages: None. Everything will be on the Rafflecopter. Extra Links: $3 Links can include anything EXCEPT Google+ or Personal Facebook Pages. Comments Pages: $5 for daily comment or $3 for a one time comment. Terms:
  • Promote giveaway with an announcement post
  • Announce giveaway on social networks at least twice during entry period.
  If you are interested in please fill out the form here and send your payment via paypal to In the notes of the payment, please put weather you are co-host or just paid links. Giveaway html will be emailed to all co-hosts and link participants.

This is a great way to introduce new readers to your blog!  :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bump Update: Week 19

So I know I've mentioned before about my desire to be a stay at home and my inability to grasp how that will ever happen.  Well, God has been working on my heart.

First, He is continually reminding me to have faith.  We saw God's Not Dead (if you haven't, you should) and there is a part where the missionary says "Put the suitcases in the car" to show God that they have faith He will work out their dilemma.  I have constantly been barraging my parents with the question: "What are you doing to put your suitcases in the car?"

Well, I think I need to ask myself that question as well.  And I don't know the answer...yet.  But for one, I'm not worrying.  I am confident He will work it out in His timing.

Some days I still struggle and wonder how it will ever work out.  Sunday, as we were leaving the church, I noticed our sign out front.  The message is changed each week and, to be honest, it has become a part of the scenery for me and most of the time I don't even look at it.  But, for some reason, I did this week and the words were as follows:

"God is not controlled by what you know.  Keep praying."

Is that not the most awesome truth?  We get so overwhelmed by what we know, by what we can see...that we forget He knows and sees SO much more!  He isn't controlled, by any means, by what I know.  So I will keep praying.  :)

Now for the questions: 

This week, baby is the size of a: Mango! Love it!  We are big fans of mangoes so I can just picture the weight and size.  And now I want to go to the grocery store and get a few mangoes and some lime juice.  Yum!

Next appointment: The 29th.  One more week!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I don't think I've gained much, if any.  BUT, I have been much more active with the nice weather than I was all winter and I've been eating a lot healthier (most days).  I don't feel or look ill and I'm eating more and more every day I think.  Trying to squeeze in as much protein as I can.  I think Sprout is just taking it all right now.  :)  We shall see what the doc has to say next week.

Exercise: More and more with the weather cooperating.  We usually walk between 2 and 2.5 miles when it is really nice.  If it looks like rain - it is probably more like a half mile.  But I'm trying to get out every day!

Maternity Clothes: No need for them now.  Though some of my shorts are a little tighter than they were last maybe soon??  My tops came in that I ordered last week.  They are SUPER adorable - can't wait until I actually have an excuse to wear them!

Sleep: Pretty good.  So no complaining here.    

Food Cravings/Aversions: Nope. I haven't even really touched the mountain of jelly beans I bought that one time...

Movement: Pretty sure what I felt last week was Sprout.  Felt it twice since then.  Always weird and very brief.  But so fun!

What I Miss: My ability to handle stress.  I went to a new Giant Eagle this week - a HUGE one.  It was supposed to be a quick trip but I couldn't find half of the things on my list.  It was so overwhelming that my chest started to hurt.  I left in a rush without getting everything I had planned on.  That isn't all.  

What I'm Loving: Getting baby stuff!!  My parents went to a few yard sales on Saturday and got some great deals on some awesome stuff!  We now have a crib, stroller, pack and play, exersaucer, and a walker!  Just need to get the nursery painted!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: Our gender reveal party!  I cannot wait until we see what color that cake is!  :D  Only 10 more days!

Best Moment This Week: Seeing our little one!  Our ultrasound was SO much fun!  Sprout was not cooperating at all - moving too much and then never the way the tech needed.  haha.  We were there for an hour and even got to see he/she reach around and grab its toes.  Coolest thing ever!  And because Sprout wouldn't cooperate - we just have to have another ultrasound.  Yay!

Milestones: Well, Sprout has vernix now!  I've been reading a lot about that stuff - wondering if we should wait to give the first bath (if the hospital will allow it of course).  Has anyone had any experience with this?  Thoughts?

Goals: I did finish organizing...mostly.  But I didn't get to any of our other projects.  I've really got to have our gender reveal stuff together before this time next week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Journey to Health - from Chronic Illness to No Pain & No Meds

Towards the end of my sophomore year in college I started to get sick pretty often – I couldn't eat, horrible nausea, horrible pain.  And it progressively became an issue that was happening more and more often.  I was missing class, missing work, canceling plans with friends.  It was affecting my work life, my grades, and, unfortunately, some friendships.  Towards the end I lost a total of about 30 pounds – My 5’9” frame weighed a mere 95 pounds.  Test after test, specialist after specialist, brought no answers.  I had so much blood taken I wasn't sure how there could be any left to take.  ;) 

Finally, almost two years after going to the doctor initially, they decided it was my gallbladder.  No sludge or stones but it didn't seem to be working properly.  So they scheduled surgery for right after my finals week, May 10th.  And out came my gallbladder.  According to the surgeon it was off color and horribly scarred.  We were beyond ecstatic to have the problem solved.

Except it wasn’t.

Shortly after surgery all of my symptoms returned.  Back to more testing and another specialist or two.  This was the routine that had become my life.  Go to class on the good days, work (occasionally from home when I was having a bad day), doctor's appointment, trip to the hospital for blood work, doctor's appointment, trip to a different hospital for a specialized test, and so on.  

By October, only 5 months later, we discovered that I had what is called Gastroparesis.  Essentially, without using big words, my stomach muscles were rendered paralyzed because the nerves in my stomach didn’t work right.  I wasn’t really digesting my food which was causing nausea, lack of appetite, pain, inability to keep much down, and weight loss.  If we fixed this, we fixed the problem at hand.

The solution? A pill.

No more surgery.  No more testing.  I’ll take it! 

Well that pill caused some side effects and I ended up on two other pills as a result...daily (sometimes multiple times a day)...for the rest of my life.  And the kicker?  I still had some pretty bad days.  Yeah, I was back to life as normal for the most part, which was beyond satisfying.  And I gained all of my weight back.  But I still had horrible awful days on occasion – days where I couldn’t get out of bed because I was in so much pain.  And eating?  Well, forget that.
And I was reminded constantly that this was just the nature of the beast when it comes to chronic illnesses.  So I resolved myself to the fact that this was my life now and I moved forward.

My sister-in-law, knowing I was still struggling, mentioned this product she was selling that she thought might help.  Something called Greens from the same company that sold this crazy wrap thing she was talking about on her Facebook all the time.  I wasn’t interested.  Call me a skeptic, but I just didn’t think anything natural could fix the problems that modern medicine wasn’t able to.

Fast forward another year…or two maybe??  I needed some extra income.  So I decide to start selling this Crazy Wrap Thing as well.  I had seen how it worked for my sis-in-law as well as a couple of friends, so I hopped on board and decided that the first product I wanted to try were the Greens that I had so adamantly avoided before.

Just TWO days after our shipment arrived, I noticed a difference in my overall health.  And the energy!  My goodness!  It was like I was a whole new person!  The afternoon slumps were gone.  I no longer felt like I needed a nap while the kids I were watching napped.

But the best part?  After about a week, I felt better.  I hadn't had any stomach issues - which was a phenomenal feat!  I could barely go a day without some pretty intense pain or nausea or combination of the two.  Now I was at a week without any problems...and then another week.  At my next specialist appointment I was given permission to use my meds as needed instead of daily.  Over the next month, I used them once.  Just once.  My next appointment, I was given the clear to stop my meds altogether and to come back if I had any other issues.  I haven't been back.  Not once. 

Without a doubt, the Greens changed my health.  They gave my body the essentials that it needed in order to heal itself.  In just one short month I was able to stop taking my medicine completely – the medicine I was supposed to be on for the rest of my life!  I don’t have horrid days where I’m stuck in bed anymore.  And the only pills I take are vitamins!  My life is so much better.  I can't imagine where I would be today if I had settled in my chronic illness - sick in bed I suppose.  ;)

I just wish I had listened to my sister-in-law sooner.  :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

House Project: Antiquing Bathroom Cabinet & Vanity

I promised a very, very long time ago that I would write this post.  And I keep my promises!  Even if it takes a couple of months...  I can blame it on the pregnancy right??  ;)

For quick instructions, jump to the bottom of the post - I condensed it all without the personal jargon.  :)

When we started talking about the house redo, we had to start thinking about what our "style" was.  We aren't modern.  We aren't primitive.  But we are somewhere in-between.  After a lot of time on Pinterest and then Houzz, we settled on "Rustic Contemporary."  We like things a bit earthy - leaves, trees, earth tone colors - which is pretty contemporary.  But we also enjoy the occasional antique and love a "worn" look - which brings us to the rustic half.  :)  

So, Hubby wanted to make sure, as a designer, that we had a cohesive look throughout the house.  Since our large bathroom was set to be fairly contemporary in color and style, we wanted to bring in something a little more rustic.  That's when we decided to antique the vanity.  The knobs were already vintage and I thought antiquing the vanity would be the prefect solution!

Well, it turns out that whatever the vanity is made of (not wood), didn't take well to the Valspar Antiquing Glaze** we purchased at Lowe's.  I did change the color of the vanity to make the vintage knobs pop but that is for another post.

Thankfully, because of an unfortunate leak, the smaller bathroom became a priority.  And I actually tried the glaze on the vanity and cabinet there first!  It turned out wonderfully!  :)

Here is what I started with (along with a matching vanity):

When we first looked at the house, I loved these - they just have SO much potential!  So I took the doors off and went to work.  The first step was to paint these cream instead of white.  Pretty uneventful....well, except for the fact that I forgot to remove the hardware.  Eek!

So don't forget to do that first when you're painting.  

To start the antiquing process (an optional step...though one I highly recommend) I sanded over everything, paying special attention to the edges and where the handles were located.  Here's a comparison of one drawer sanded and one not:

The drawer on the top is not sanded and the one on the bottom is.  The original white paint is showing through as well as the wood beneath that.  I was stoked that it was working so well.

Then I got out the rest of what I needed to finish the antiquing process:

Yep, that's it - a vacuum, a terry cloth, and Valspar Antiquing Glaze**. 

First vacuum off the sand.  Using a tac cloth here would probably be good, but we didn't have one and I wanted to get this done, so I just vacuumed over everything a few times and went to work.

Applying the glaze - intimidating right??  I was SO nervous about this...and just consoled myself by reminding me that another coat of paint would fix it if I messed up.  But it was SO easy.  Dab a terry cloth in the glaze (just a little goes a long way) and then rub it on to the surface.  It will stick more to the areas you sanded more.  But you can keep working with it until you get the desired look.  Here is one door done and one waiting:

Close up:

Crazy difference right??  I kept getting Hubbies attention (he was working on something else in our temporary work space...trim maybe??) to show him how awesome it was coming.  This was, by far, one of my favorite projects.  Because we are using that same cream color in a couple of other rooms - I have a few other antiquing projects in my future!  :)

Here is the finished project:

Here is a comparison photo just so you can get a better idea:

And here are some of the up close and personal details that I just love!

P.S. My next post will most likely be the quick redo I did on the hardware.  It was black and covered in paint before these pics were taken.  So be on the lookout for that!  :)

So, in the end, I highly recommend Valspar Antiquing Glaze**!  But only when you know you are working with wood...whatever our other vanity is made of, it just looked dirty.  There wasn't a grain for the glaze to find - it just looked smudgey.  Since you only use a tiny bit for each project, I have SO many more project ideas for this wonderful amazingness!  ;)  

Okay, so here is the condensed version:

Items Needed:

- Paint in the desired color(s) 
- Sand Paper
- Vacuum or Tac Cloth (or both)
- Terry Cloth
- Valspar Antiquing Glaze**


1. If working with unpainted wood - paint the edges and easily worn spots (handles, etc.) with a color you would like to show through your finished product (I have a bit of white showing underneath our cream finish).

2. Let dry completely.

3. Paint over the entire piece with the desired finish color.

4. Let dry completely.

5. Sand over the entire piece (a finer grit is probably better, I just used what we had on hand).  Pay extra attention to areas that are easily worn - edges, anywhere there is a handle, etc.  The glaze will stick more where there is more sanding - so keep this in mind.

6. Use a vacuum cleaner or tac cloth or both to remove the debris from sanding.

7. Go back over any areas you think need to look more "worn."

8. Vacuum/tac cloth again.

9. Dip terry cloth in antiquing glaze (a little bit goes a LONG way).

10. Rub over the entire piece.  Get more glaze as needed.  It remains pliable for a while, so keep rubbing it around until you get the desired look.  Again - pay special attention to the "worn" areas.

11. Some sites recommend a sealer.  I suppose this depends on the material you are working with.  The glaze soaked right in to our cabinet and vanity and no matter how much I rubbed, it wasn't coming off, so we skipped this step.

12.  Admire your finished product.

**Another note - I did not receive this product for free.  In fact, I only got it because another blogger recommended it!  In other words, everything I said in this post was said because of how much the product impressed me!  :)


Where could you use the wonderful magic of Valspar Antiquing Glaze??

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bump Update: Week 18

If you haven't noticed, I love blogging - probably because I love writing.  The blog has grown so much since I first started way back when - yes, I know its because of our little Sprout.  But it is so exciting to see that instead of the average 20-30 people reading a post I'm seeing anywhere from 90-200!  And twice this week I had someone tell me how much they loved reading my blog.  The encouragement is so nice.  And I hope, that even with all this baby talk, I'm still able to make a difference in someone's life since that was the whole point when I started this.

Every day I am amazed at how fast this pregnancy is going.  I can't believe we are 18 weeks already!  In JUST 2 weeks we will be approximately half way done!  That's insane!  haha.

Anyways, now for the fun stuff...I feel like I just woke up pregnant today.  My belly was super obvious.  I even wore the pair of pants that tends to make my bump disappear and Hubby made those giant eyeballs of shock when he saw me tonight.  The comparison photos don't show it super well - but it definitely has grown!  

Here are the comparison photos - 12 weeks, 15 weeks, and 18 weeks.  Also note my insane hair growth - appointment next week to get it chopped off again before we go camping!  ;)

This week, baby is the size of a: Sweet Potato or a Bell Pepper - depends on which app I reference.  ;)  How fun is that!?!  Now I'm hungry for a sweet potato...hmmmmm.....

Next appointment: The 29th.  Just a couple weeks from today.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I haven't been paying attention really.  It was stressing me out that I wasn't gaining anything, so now I've just decided to let it be until my next appointment.  :)

Exercise: Still so...much....rain...  But, as I noted last week, I've been much more active around the house.  Plus I did get a walk or two in this week.  My legs are so sore - so I must be doing something!  ;)

Maternity Clothes: I found another thrift store with a maternity section so now I have 2 places where I may be able to find stuff fairly cheap.  I also got on Pink Blush Maternity because some very dear friends of ours got me a gift card for my birthday.  I got 2 tops that would have cost me $86 originally for only $7 total, shipping and all.  VERY excited about this!  And one is also a nursing top so it will last me even longer!

Sleep: I slept SO good last night that I didn't even hear Hubby's alarm go off this morning...and neither did he.  haha.  That made the morning a bit interesting but he got out the door in time and I managed to get the dishes taken care of!    

Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing at all this week.  Smells haven't even really been bothering me.  There are days I wish I had fun cravings but nothing.  

Movement: I swear I felt something today at lunch!  But I'm really not sure if it was the baby or just weird tummy growl.  Haven't felt anything since.  :(

What I Miss: Hot Dogs.  I was told I could have the occasional all beef hot dog, but I'm used to having the cheap-o hot dogs like once a week.  They are quick, easy, and oh so yummy.

What I'm Loving: The energy and brain function that have returned.  I have been able to accomplish SO much this week.  I feel like my brain has returned (most of the time anyways) and it is SO wonderful.  I can focus and accomplish big and little tasks.  Loving it!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: We get to see Sprout tomorrow for our anatomy ultrasound.  Get to make sure that development looks okay and find out the gender (though we won't know until the 1st...oh the waiting...).

Best Moment This Week: Putting all of the baby stuff we have accumulated so far in the nursery closet.  It makes it feel a little more real.  :)

Milestones: We are officially at 4 months.  Only 5 to go!

Goals: As noted a moment ago, I really tackled that whole organization project!  All of the craft stuff, the nursery closet, and most of our storage closet is done!  I just have to organize our camping stuff (which will be using next week anyways) and our office stuff and everything will have its place.  My goals besides that are putting together the rest of the stuff for the gender reveal and a few small painting projects (so long as I am able to open some windows).

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bump Update: Week 17

Due to my ultrasounds and Sprout measuring a little small, they have bumped my due date back to October 16th.  Which I am more than okay with - just means that gives more time for our precious little once to incubate.  :)

With that change, today now marks Week 17 instead of Monday.  Which means the past few weeks I haven't been posting late, I've been posting on time or even early!  ;)  

Not too much going on in general, so we'll get straight to the pictures and questions!

This week, baby is the size of a: Turnip!  Or approximately the size of my palm.  I think we should change Baby's nickname to Turnip instead of Sprout...but I don't think Hubby will agree...

Next appointment: I think it is scheduled for the 29th.  Each appointment we get to meet a new doctor (there are 4 total) and I'm really excited to meet this next one since she is the one everyone raves about.  We've been pretty impressed so far with the others - but 2 more to go!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: According the the doctor's scale I've gained 2 and a half pounds since my last appointment, which is more than I thought.  I had figured it would be about a pound or less - so this was really good news!  The doctor didn't seem concerned about my weight at all, which was a sigh of relief.  Just need to keep this trend going!  And my appetite has increased so that shouldn't be too hard.  ;)

Exercise: All this rain!  Ugh!  There hasn't been any walking.  But I've been doing a lot more around the house.  And I've felt it, so that's good.  Definitely going to go for a walk today - it is too nice not to!  Just need to get some strength exercises squeezed in there somewhere...

Maternity Clothes: Nope.  Still not yet.  And I'm okay with that.  I did get a credit at Zulily for the shorts that were too small.  AND found a super cute pair of shorts at the local Goodwill for just $3!  Going to be stopping there again today.

Sleep: Pretty good lately.  Can't complain.  

Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really this week.  Strong smells still make me a little queasy but not bad.

Movement: How many different ways can I say no?  lol.  Not yet.

What I Miss: Sushi.  This is probably going to top my list on multiple occasions but my wonderful mother decided to send me a scrumptious picture of a scrumptious looking plate of beautiful sushi.  My mouth was watering.  We are going to have to find a place soon where I can at least get a taste of some cooked sushi - but I am going to have to have some real self-control.

What I'm Loving: More and more people actually noticing my bump!  And planning our Gender Reveal party.  Super stoked!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: Going to pick up our invitations today after work!  Hoping they turned out as good as they are on the computer.  And our ultrasound is next week!  One week from tomorrow!  Yay!  Can't wait to see Sprout again.  Is it weird that I'm sad we won't get to see that precious little one again until he/she is born?  Hmf.

Best Moment This Week: Hubby and I are reading through Husband Coached Birthing (the Bradley Method) together...a little bit at a time.  I treasure those moments.  It usually ends with him talk to Sprout which has to be one of the greatest things in the world.  I think it is slowly becoming more real for him.  And we are growing so much together.  :)

Milestones: Sprout's brain now controls the heartbeat so it won't be sporadic or quite as fast, though it still beats twice as fast as mine!  Anxious to hear it again.

Goals: I finally got the bathroom floor sanded.  Hubby should be getting the sealer on this weekend.  I also started organizing my crafts and our office stuff - which is a HUGE task.  But every little thing we do means we are one step closer to getting Sprout's room tackled!  Once the office is organized (which is my goal for the coming week) I'll be able to clear out the nursery closet and actually start putting baby stuff in there!  :)  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

House Project: Removing Wall Paper without Chemicals

I'm not a big fan of chemicals and because of this we make *almost* all of our own cleaners.  I only say almost because I make cleaners as we use up the ones we had previously bought.  And some of those can last a loooooooong time.  We initially started this to save money but the more I did my research and the more we talked about starting a family, I really liked the idea of being chemical free.  In my eyes - if it saves money AND it is better for you, than why not do it??  Sure, it isn't always convenient.  Yeah, it takes a little bit more time.  But for us, it is worth it.  I'm hoping to share some of my favorite home made cleaners with you in the near future! 

The first room we decided to tackle (after a little bit of *ahem* discussion) when we moved in to our home was the larger bathroom.

Here is a before shot:

 Wall border and carpet had to go.  Taking out the carpet will be in another post.  This post is all about the wall paper.  :)  Speaking of, we also ended up having to redo our small bathroom at the same time (discovered a leak) where there was also wall paper:

So, trying to be as chemical free as we can, and with us trying to have a baby - I really did not want to use a chemical-ridden wall paper remover.  So I turned to the internet.  I came across a blog post with a recipe that I have since lost (thought I pinned it, even checked my browser where to be found - sorry I can't give credit where credit is due).  And I just knew we had to give her recipe a try.  And I'm SO glad we did because it turns out the couple days spent removing wall paper would have been part of my first few weeks of pregnancy.  :)

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup of Vinegar
3 cups of Hot Water

After a little bit of trial and error, we found this to be the best process:

1. Score the paper/border with a knife or paint scraper
2. Spray down a small area with the vinegar solution
3. Let it soak for a couple of minutes (but don't let it dry)
4. Spray a little more
5. Scrape away!

Look at Hubby hard at work!  :)

But the real question is, how did it work?  

For the large bathroom, the border was water resistant.  This presented a little bit of difficulty.  The areas that were sprayed and resprayed and sprayed again because we were trying to keep everything moist, came off rather easily.  Unfortunately for us, it also pulled off about 4 layers of textured paint (which led to DIY task 2 - mudding and retexturing...all Hubby).  Look at all of the pretty colors:

 So, that being said, I'm not sure it was any easier with our homemade solution than without it.  And a chemical remover might have actually made it easier.  For this job, I give our home recipe a D.

HOWEVER, the smaller bathroom is a MUCH different story!  The wall paper border in that room was not water resistant.  And the vinegar solution was amazing!  It almost wiped right off!  Check out the mess my mom and I made:

 I honestly think it worked just as well as any store-bought remover would have.

So, for regular old wall paper, I give this home recipe an A+!

And just for fun, here is a pic of the large bathroom wall sans wall paper but before any other improvements.  Pretty isn't it?  ;)

I have taken pictures for almost every step of our remodel.  So stay tuned for more!  And once we actually finish this large bathroom, even though we've slowly been at it for 4 months, I will post a final before and after.  I think you will love it!