Friday, August 24, 2012

42 Days to Fit

It is almost 7 weeks since Reed was born and Brandy is starting a challenge over on The Marathon Mom and I am trying to join in. I did the fitness test and the first circuit today. Sadly, my heart rate was up just from the fitness test. I nearly cried during the core strength part of the test and the workout. Let's just say that there is A LOT of room for improvement!!!

Before 42 Days to Fit

What I ate: 
  • granola w/almond milk, rip's big bowl, muffins or pancakes, eggs
  • small snack and some sort of chocolate
  • peanut butter and jelly or honey for lunch with fruit 
  • a couple of pieces of chocolate or a small handful of m&ms
  • meat and some sort of veggies but a lot more carbs
  • chocolate
How I exercised:
  • carrying baby and toddler around
  • going up and down the stairs in our house doing chores
  • chores
  • minimal walking since Reed was born
  • basic household movement (cooking, cleaning, caring for children)
How I felt:
  • sad 
  • shaky from major blood sugar drops
  • I'd rather just sit
  • weak abs
  • out of breath easily
  • low energy towards the end of the day
  • floppy, not in control of my muscles
How I looked:
  • poor posture from poor muscle tone in back and stomach
  • big hips, legs, and tummy
  • flabby
What I weighed:
  • 15 to 20 pounds over my ideal weight
How I measured:
  • shockingly
  • waist and thighs were a big wake-up call
  • most of my shirts are more snug than I am comfortable with
  • can only wear a couple of pairs of maternity shorts and my "big girl" pants fit in the morning and are terribly uncomfortable by the afternoon

How do I know I will succeed?

To be honest, I don't. I am tired of looking this way and wishing I were strong again. It is time to work on making my body strong for the tasks at hand.

The Bottom Line

My boys need me to be strong and energized to keep up with them. My little lady needs an example of a woman who fears the Lord that she will want to be like. My husband works hard to look good for me and I want to look good for him!

You can join in too! So far I have not had chocolate since Sunday night. This is the longest stretch ever!! I have gone back and forth over doing the workouts now or waiting until nursing is a bit more established. The truth is, if I don't start now, I may never start. So, now is the perfect time. I did the fitness test and week 1 workout today. I plan to do the week 1 workout again on Sunday and go for a good walk, possibly a jog, this afternoon. I did go for a good walk one other day this week. I have never been more out of shape than now, and I am concerned about how long it could take me to be strong again. Do my muscles remember what it is like to be strong or is it just an image in my brain? We will see!

Friday, July 27, 2012


I don't think there is anyone who reads this blog who is not a friend on facebook, but just in case....... We have a new baby boy!!!! Praise the Lord for our sweet little Albert Reed. We are calling him Reed. Actually, our bigger little people call him "our newborn baby". They know his name, but Albert and I were calling him different names at first, so they couldn't figure out what to call him. They are each coming up with their own special names now. So, here are the stats:

7 lbs 9 oz
18 1/2 inches (though he was 20 1/4 in at his appointment 3 days later)
Born July 8th at 11:13 p.m.

Birth Story
Albert had a fever Saturday and Sunday. He slept most of the day on Sunday and went to bed early. I was working on getting the children ready for bed. We had just a few chapters left of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, so we decided to finish it up. While reading, I started to have contractions. Now, I had been contracting for weeks, but they were always irregular and across the top of my belly. This time they were close enough for me to remember the last one (my first indicator to start timing them) and they were across the lower part of my belly. We finished reading and I tucked everyone in, then started marking the time. The first few were about 3 minutes apart. This was a bit alarming as my contractions usually are not closer than five minutes apart until it is time to push. Right when I started timing things, my friend texted me, encouraging Baby Duck to come soon. I called her and told her that I might actually be in labor, I was trying to evaluate the situation. I also called my midwife and our other friend who would be staying with the children. I told both ladies that I was not sure if it was the real thing (we had a "false alarm" with the last two pregnancy and were sent home from the hospital) but I wanted to give them a heads up before it was the middle of the night. This was all at about 9:15 p.m. I continued contracting every three minutes and washed the dishes and tidied up our house. I went to the bathroom to start getting ready and told Albert that I might actually be in labor. You see, we thought this little one would come during the previous week. So, Albert often asked me how I was feeling and if I thought labor was coming soon. I was starting to feel like labor may never come!

He got up and took some Ibuprofen for all of our well being. I called Amy and asked her to meet us at the hospital, told my midwife I thought I really was in labor and we were headed to the hospital, and asked Nancy if she would come over so we could leave. I finished packing my bag and we were off. I think it was about 9:45ish when we left the house. Along the drive, Jenny (my midwife) called to see if we were stranded on the side of the road and if she needed to come rescue me. I assured her that we were on our way and we be there in a couple of minutes. Jenny and Amy met us in the parking lot. It must have been about 10:25 p.m. Jenny walked us up and straight to a labor room.

After a few minutes of settling in, she checked me and I was 9.5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I really was in labor! I quickly got out of the bed and sat on the ball for a little bit. I have to have a hep-lock since I am a VBAC. While sitting on the ball, during a contraction, the nurse put it in.

Labor progressed and after less than 10 minutes of pushing, Reed was born at 11:13 p.m. I was so relieved that our sweet baby boy was here! And that labor was over! My labor was about 2 hours and 45 minutes from first contraction to birth. It was crazy. I have had to ask Albert not to call it an easy labor, but a fast one! :)

Albert went home shortly after Reed's birth so that he could rest and try to get over his cold. The next day three of our littles had fevers. Reed and I snuggled at the hospital and visited with my family. Albert came up Monday evening for an hour or so. He and I were both falling asleep, so he went home to take care of our children and I promptly fell asleep. We were discharged on Tuesday and Reed finally got to meet the whole family.

Reed has been a sweet, sweet baby and seems to be very laid back. We are now enjoying having Albert's mom here. She has been a huge help with taking care of everyone and getting ready for a big road trip and move. I wish she could stay with us for about two weeks once we arrive in VA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

baby Duck 5

I was going to post this at the begining of 34 weeks, but our internet has been out due to 15 or so inches of rain. Now is the time to submit your guess! When do you think baby Duck will arrive? You have until June 24 to post your thoughts and their actually will be a small prize this time! Here are the details from the last four Ducks:

Canon: Due date: August 17
Arrived: August 19 (2 days late)
Weight: 9 lbs

Boaz: Due date: January 14 
Arrived: December 22 (23 days early)
Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz

Olivia: Due date: April 17 
Arrived: March 22 (25 days early)
Weight: 7 lb 9 oz

Carson: Due date: September 9 
Arrived: August 18 (22 days early)
Weight: 7 lb 3 oz

Baby Duck 5: Due date: July 23

Please post a comment with what you think the last three details will be for this little one. I can't wait to see your guesses and find out who the winner is! 


Anyone can enter, just hurry!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

a room for her

Here is O's room!

When you first walk in, along the wall with the open door, is this yo-yo quilt. I had a terrible time getting the yo-yos to stay tied together, so I covered a big piece of cardboard with fabric, then spray glued the yo-yo quilt onto the fabric. Done!
Her ballet clothes are stored in the drawer and a few favorite girly books are in the cubby underneath.
The height chart is on the other wall making the corner with the closet. I made this a while ago. There is a stripe for each child, plus some. They are made out of scrapbook page border stickers. The board is 4 feet tall, so four packages worked perfectly! The wreath is a simple rag wreath made with a variety of extra pink fabrics. The rocking chair was my mom's and mine. The bed holds any number of babies, currently Phoebe mouse knit by my aunt and two unfinished sock dollies.

This is my favorite view! this corner is opposite the door. The pompoms are 99 cent packs of gift wrap paper from H.L. The cross is from a little shop in Colorado. The dresser was my mom's, mine, my sister's and for a short time my brother's. The end table matches and we have a headboard to go with them. We will use the headboard if the baby is a boy, if it's a girl, they will share the same bunks as the big boys have.
Here is a close up of the quilt. I am planning to change out the little yellow ties for hot pink ones, but I don't have any hot pink yarn. Soon. On the bed are the three babies that are carried everywhere and often tucked into the neck of O's shirts for easy baby wearing!

This is the third corner, straight right of the door. (The door is on this wall further to the right) This corner will be for the baby. Eventually we will buy a new crib and put it here. If the baby is a girl I will put a letter plaque over the head of the bed and these fabric circles on the wall where the ballet girls are.
If it is a boy, I will make the name board like I have in the boy's room, that you may seem someday..... and put it over the headboard. I may still do the fabric circles, but with boyish fabrics. We will see!

this table

A little of my sewing has gone to the dining room. We are in this room soooo much during the day that I would really like to enjoy it. I made this runner after seeing this one.
I would like to tell you that I made this sign. I did spray paint it black. A friend of ours offered to project the words onto the board for me, then he offered to paint it. I didn't see any plans for completing it myself, so I said yes and thank you! Albert drilled a couple of holes and I twisted up some fabric and tied it through. This is my favorite addition to the room!

The sign is to the right of the hutch. That is the only solid wall in this room. The curtains were a table cloth that I bought at T@rget for less than $10. I cut it in half, ironed it, hemmed the edges and made a little cuff for the top. I would like to put it on those cute rings with the clips, but I don't have any for now, so the cuff works. It is a tad short, but I like it. Now to keep the littles from twisting themselves up in them!


Other quilts that are in the works in my mind, though not in reality yet........

Fireplace room:

B (he really needs a mama made quilt. He is the only one with a store bought quilt on his bed. I made him a quilt when he was a baby, but he isn't using it any more. He is first in line!) :

His will be 6 inch squares of a variety of fabrics that I am in the process of collecting. The main one will be boys chasing paper airplanes. Do you think he will enjoy that fabric when he is older?? The rest will be pretty timeless.


His will have a bit more variety in the colors. He has asked for green and red. That makes me think of Christmas, so I am sure I will add in some orange and blue too. I have it all drawn out, just have to find the fabrics and make B's first!


CJ will get a crib sized version of this as soon as B's quilt is done. Then, when he is ready for a twin I will either figure out how to make the crib one a twin, or just make him a new one.

As you can see, I have found all sorts of inspiration from Soulemama. I ordered two of her books and ideas have been swimming in my mind ever since. I have made, or changed a couple of things in our home after finding her blog. The best link is all of her sewing items. Now it is time to snap a few pics of O's room and let you see a bit of what we have been doing.

O's space

O's room is in the process of a redo. I love the look of decorated rooms, but I just cannot dream up ideas on my own. I need something to spark me. I seem to be able to take one image or item and recreate it, possibly change it a little, or simply ask enough questions to find exactly what the other person has and just buy it. For our girly girl, I have been pulling together a few different ideas.

The spark was started first by this room:

I even have this link bookmarked as "O's room." I really like the hot pink, light blue color scheme. I have the board for an "O", it only needs to be painted. I found an awesome pillow sham at Goodwill that is light blue on top and light green on the bottom, the fabrics are quilted and it ties a couple of times on one end. I made the pillowcase for the pillow inside out of one of the fabrics that are framed in the room in the link. The fabric is from H.L. I found a pink pillowcase at Goodwill too. I will probably buy O some new sheets once she moves to a twin bed, but that won't be for a while. We already have a sheer curtain on her window. The boys and I rehung the rod this week. It was pulled off the wall at some pointe by someone short twisting up in it. Hopefully it will stay up this time. Instead of the "reading" section, which I really like! I have an end table with a lamp on it, books in the table and a yo-yo quilt that I made on the wall. It works, though the lamp needs a new shade or some sprucing. I'll keep an eye out. O has a baby bed and rocking chair in her room, all other toys are in our toy closet. These two items are under her window. I had a couple of girls over a couple of weeks ago and made the pom-poms. They are so easy and cheap! I love the sock dollies. I am trying to figure out how to make them. They are fairly simple, but just going by looking at a picture on the internet is proving to be a little tricky for me. It may be a while before they are done. I think that is all I am using from this room.

The next item that inspired me was this quilt:

This mama is a much more time efficient seamstress than I am. It took me two half days to make O's quilt. It isn't perfect, and I will make measurements different when I make a similar one for CJ and possibly the baby, but it was easy enough. It would probably be really quick with a pattern! I'll have to make one up for myself! Once O moves to a twin bed, I have a whole other quilt in mind. I am going to go ahead and make the throw pillow for her and work on the big quilt after I make all of the boy's quilts. Yes, I have many dreams on the brain.

Here is O's future quilt, though the colors will be more hot pink and light blue:

I will clean up O's room and take some pictures of our handiwork soon. Check back for those!


I am here. Well, I haven't been here on the blog, but I do look at it each time I open the Internet. We had little people with fevers for the last week. It was a very long week. Thank they Lord all of our littles are better. Albert and I are not feeling great today..... I suppose that is how it goes.

We went out in public today. It was the first time all of the littles have been out of the house since Tuesday almost two weeks ago. Big C asked if we could go to Chick-fil-A to eat sometime and we thought this morning for breakfast would be the perfect time to go.

It was the most encouraging time I have had in public in maybe forever. We sat at a table right inside the front door. It is sort of a "that's the first table that will hold everyone, sit down quick!" choice. A couple of people walked in a commented on what a good looking bunch we have.

It was one elderly lady that made me think. She stopped and said hello, asked if the children had something good to eat. O responded a bit and they all smiled and said hello. Then she stood there for a minute. After a few seconds she rubbed CJ's head and I noticed her hands. The hands of an older woman have so much woven into them. I couldn't help wondering what work her hands have done all of these years. What brought on all of the lines? Was it years of caring for littles? Years of caring for elderly parents? What is the story behind those hands?

Albert's Granny is very ill. His parents have gone to be with her and we all seem to be waiting.

The lady at Chick-fil-A's hands remind me of Granny's hands. Her's have done the work of two or more women! They have raised six children, 16 grandchildren and so far 12 or more great grand children. They have been farm hands belonging to a farm wife. She has worked hard, fought the good fight and run the race to the end. I wish I knew more of her story.

These hands make me think that my lines are a reward. A lasting sign of the things I spend my days on. A memory for my children. I feel like days spent wiping noses, changing diapers, cleaning dishes, sewing various things, teaching, hugging, cuddling are the things that we remember and value and show love in a tangible way to those we love most.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Praising the Lord that with the new year will come a new life. Little Duck #5 should be arriving some time in July! Happy New Year!