Friday, September 22, 2017

Week 31

How far along? 31 weeks

Weight Gain: 15 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! I have really popped the past few weeks. Even the rubber bands won't work with regular jeans now.

Best moment this week: Joining a new church this week. I loved the people at the church we have gone to this past year, but it was really hard to connect since we live in the next town over. It was what we needed at the time: peace and rest. But it is time for us to become more involved and leaders in our community. We have such a peace about joining the church in our town, and a fire and excitement we have not felt in years. I am praying for God to do something special through our little church for our town. 

Miss Anything?
 Running and working out. I have BH really bad, to the point of almost going to the hospital a few times. Not to worry, though. My doctor said since this is my 4th, the BH will be a lot worse...but since I have gone the distance with my previous pregnancies, I should be fine with this one, too. 

Movement: TONS all the time! This is the first baby who has woken me up moving at night! 

Food cravings: Not really. I really haven't been hungry lately. 

Have you started to show yet: I feel huge! 

Gender: We aren't finding out!!!

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly on. 

Belly Button in or out? Pretty much OUT! You can see it no matter what outfit I have on or how many layers I'm wearing. 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Not moody this week. I'm pretty mellow and chill....except during football games.

My life revolves around football, doctor's visits, Trades of Hope, LipSense, and spending time with the family! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Raising Littles on the Field - Taking Your Babies to Games

As most of you know, I am mommy to three beautiful handfuls - ages 5, 3, 1...with one due in November! I am also married to a Head Football and Head Baseball coach in a small, Oklahoma town. I have been married 7 years, all of those have featured football coaching and playing in some way, but this is only the 4th as a coach's wife in the states.

One question I see all the time in my Coach's Wife's Facebook groups from new moms (or a new coach's wife) is, "How can I do it all???" How do I raise my kids while being away from Coach? How can I take my kids to games while maintaining a schedule and normal routine? How can I face the loneliness without being bitter and resentful of the players and other coaches?

This will be the start to answering a lot of those questions. I don't have all the answers, but I do have a little experience having multiple littles on the field. Please, feel free to ask me anything! I love talking about my family!

I will be honest, I feel really blessed. I stay at home with my littles...or at least the two who aren't in school. So, we can go to practices and games and have players over to the house and make up for the lack of sleep in the mornings or at nap times. Now that the oldest is in school and playing flag football, things are a little different as far as his sleep schedule. He HATES naps, and we have had to implement an early bedtime -- something we've NEVER had! But still, we make it work!

This year, we are trying something different. Since I am SOOOO pregnant, I am trying to find a babysitter for ALL of the games. It is so difficult for me to watch all of the kids and enjoy myself. So, with the kids at a babysitter's, I might be able to be MORE involved with keeping stats. :-) **Here's hoping I can find a babysitter. :-) **

There are many, many ideas of ways to cope and thrive being married to a coach. This post focuses on how to take your kids to the games:

1. Be Flexible
Like I stated above, I have never been a big routine mom. As babies, my kids sleep when they're sleepy. They eat when they're hungry. This has allowed me to be involved with football, and before that being available to minister and hang out with friends while in Portugal. The Portuguese culture is soooo late! Football practice didn't start until 9 or 10 pm, and since I was on bed rest the toddler had to go with Coach. Parties and dinners also didn't start until 8 or 9pm, and lasted several hours. Our kids have fallen asleep in trains, cars, buses, strollers, and in people's arms. (I know not all kids will sleep anywhere...) When we first moved back overseas, neither of our kids would be comforted by other people when they were sleepy. That meant that I had to swaddle my 5 month and bounce her in the car seat on one arm while holding my 2 year old in the other. It was a funny sight, I'm sure!
I have had to leave games because of grumpy kids...and sit in the truck listening to the rest of the game or watching it from outside the fence. I know some families who did bedtime routines before the games and brought babies in their jammies! Whatever works for your family! I know it is so hard with other sports that are throughout the week! Even just staying for 15-20 minutes and saying hi to Coach before the game. I know he would be so happy to see you!

2. Carry Snacks
No. Seriously. Carry snacks everywhere! This really didn't occur to me until my second or third toddler. So many bad moods are caused because little one is hungry. (Or thirsty) I am not a health mommy. So, my bag has cereal bars, cereal, apples, bananas, cut up grapes, yogurt raisins, as well as gummies and suckers (for treats). Bottled waters and powerades are great for us...let's face it. Football weather (and baseball weather) is stinking HOT in Oklahoma. I'd rather powerades than cokes any day. ;-) (Now, momma's only Dr Pepper for the week is at the game!) I also tried to pack a bottle or two when I was nursing. If that wasn't possible, I went to the coach's office or back in the car when baby was hungry. (Sorry, I don't nurse in public that often...)

3. Game Bag
I have a bag of toys and books and coloring books and pens that ONLY comes out during games. I really dislike pushing electronics on my babies...but once my oldest got to be 3 or 4, we got him a LeapPad and a Kindle. Those come out if he has been good for the first half. (I do want my kids to watch the games and love football as much as we do! But, yes, bribes work with my kids!)

4. Ask for HELP!

Like I mentioned above...during this season, I might not even take my kids to the games. But if I do, I don't shy away from asking other parents or teenagers at the games for help. There have been some girls who saw me with my middle baby and would automatically take her for the game. I might have seen her once or twice the whole time! It was wonderful! I have had to ask for help watching my others while going to the bathroom, taking others to the bathroom, or nursing babies in the field house (or in the car). When you have a couple - or several! - kids, people are more than willing to help you out! Don't be afraid to say "YES!" when they ask!

5. Strollers or baby carriers are your friend 
Seriously. I usually stand on the if baby is fussy, it is easy to walk back and forth with baby in the stroller. I also bounce my kids in the carrier. (I really never sit in the stands...a lot of small OK schools don't even have stands! Or have really tiny ones. You have to bring lawn chairs!) Also, strollers are great for snacks or containing bigger kids when they are playing the Kindle.

6. Be as Involved as Possible
This will look completely different for every family. We go to a few practices a week, plus have game film at the house once a week, plus go to every game. NOT EVERY FAMILY CAN DO THAT! Nor does every family WANT to do that! My kids have literally grown up on the football field. All three of my kids have learned to crawl and walk on the sidelines. If you can't go to games, go to a practice or two a week. Even if it is at the tail end just to see and smooch your Coach. He will love it, and the kids will love seeing Daddy...even if it is only for a second. (I will write another blog on how to be more involved besides just going to games!)

What are your go-to's to make games fun (or bearable) for you and your littles?

#4 Week 27.5

I am so bad at keeping up with this pregnancy!

How far along? 27.5 weeks

Weight Gain: 13 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! I have really popped the past few weeks. Even the rubber bands won't work with regular jeans now. 

Best moment this week: I know it's not tomorrow, but FOOTBALL starts tomorrow!!! Our oldest had his first flag game last weekend. He pulled TWO flags, and tried really hard! That does this football momma's heart proud. 

Miss Anything? Not having indigestion. Bleah! It's not as bad as #3, yet, so I am thankful for that! 

Movement: TONS all the time! This is the first baby who has woken me up moving at night! 

Food cravings: Salt & Vinegar chips with caramel m&m's.

Have you started to show yet: Finally! 

Gender: We aren't finding out!!!

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly on. 

Belly Button in or out? Pretty much OUT! 

Happy or Moody most of the time: This week has been pretty good! School has started for the Kindergartner, Flag football started last week, and High School football starts TOMORROW!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Baby #4 Week 18

I haven't done a maternity countdown in a while! I guess I better start again!

How far along? 18 weeks
Weight Gain: I weighed yesterday, and I have lost a half a pound. (I had lost 5 lbs since I got pregnant, so I am almost to pre-pregnancy weight...)
Maternity clothes? I bought a bunch of maternity shirts and a few pair of jeans a size too large, so I should be good for a little while. :-)
Stretch marks? A couple this time. I haven't had any on my stomach with any of the others, so this is new...and not welcome!
Best moment this week: Going on a family date and taking my oldest shopping. <3
Miss Anything? Being able to run without stopping. I can make it about a mile without needing to walk. But I make it work, and I lift a little still. I want to be fit, and not gain 100lbs with this pregnancy!
Movement: A little at night, and when I drink a (rare) coke or eat a (not so rare) mini chocolate bar.
Food cravings: Salt & Vinegar chips with caramel m&m's.
Have you started to show yet: A little, yes! But it's mostly looking pudgy, not preggo. :-(
Gender: We aren't finding out!!!
Wedding rings on or off? On some days, Off because of swelling other days.
Belly Button in or out? Still in...for now!
Happy or Moody most of the time: I've been moody for a few years, now.

I cannot believe this pregnancy is already at 18 weeks!!! Not that I'm disappointed at all! I was so very sick my first trimester...even until 13 or 14 weeks. I couldn't eat hardly anything without throwing it all up. And you could forget about cooking! I also was extremely motion sick. Even to the point I couldn't get on my phone or computer. I would get so dizzy and nauseous. But now, I have enough energy to workout again, chase kids, and not be on the couch the whole day. Plus, I can start blogging and get back to doing facebook parties for Trades of Hope.

Friday, June 16, 2017

My first running watch...

A Mom's Review of the Samsung Gear Fit 2

Does anyone else love eBay??? I have bought so many electronics and toys with boxes that have been opened or have been returned to stores, and I have saved so much money buying this way!

This Mother's Day was no different. I really wanted a GPS watch that can give me message notifications. Simple, right? AND, I didn't want to spend more than $75. Should be easy to find in this age of technology. Ha! I researched and looked at reviews. Did I mention I also wanted it to be feminine and pink/purple/teal? It shouldn't be impossible to find! But it almost was. I saw a couple that I liked, but I would have to sacrifice phone notifications. Which I was totally ready to do. I tried one more search, and I found one!

It was the Samsung Gear Fit 2.

Now, this watch is in no way perfect. But for what I want it to do, it works.

Although I love new tech, I am in no way a Techie. If you want to read a technical review, go to cnet or wareable. This review is just of my opinions, which I couldn't find many mommy reviews out there.

The Good
Let me preface by saying that I am not an avid runner. I love running! But right now, I am not getting in more than a couple of miles at a time. I still wanted a GPS, though. While my last pedometer was pretty accurate, I really like seeing where I run. 
I usually run with Nike+ Run Club. But I hate running with my phone. It is really bulky, and it throws off my stride. I have run a few times with the Gear Fit 2, and it is pretty spot on for me. Others have stated it is off by 0.01 to 0.10 miles. But, for a novice runner like myself who is really only running a mile or two, it works well. The GPS was definitely the selling point for me. 

The music player. Who runs well without music??? Certainly not me! I love how I can stack a ton of music on the watch, pair it with a Bluetooth headset and go! (I got a great pair on ebay for $12.) Again, no need to drain my phone's battery during a workout!

style. I really like the look of the watch. It is sporty, yet still feminine. Did I mention it is PINK??? And there are so many watch faces to choose from! I chose a pink one. Imagine that. Mine just has the time and your steps, but you can have so much more information on the face. (Time, date, steps, HR, calories, floors, battery get the idea.) And, yes, I am old school, and still like to wear an actual watch on my wrist!
One review I read said it was too bulky for her, since she has a small wrist. Maybe I am weird, but I've always loved sporty watches. To me, though, the Gear Fit 2 is not bulky or boxy like other watches. It is curved, which makes it fit on my wrist so well. I have a fairly small wrist, this watch goes up until it only has three holes left. Even so, it doesn't feel clunky or bulky. I would wear it to church, as well as all the football functions...but maybe not to a formal event. (Not that I go to any of those!) Nowadays, though, EVERYONE is wearing fit-watches. So, you would really just be fitting in. <3

The notifications. Who else feels like their phone is attached to your hand...and you HATE it? It can't be just me! I feel like I am missing something if I don't have it near me at all times. Checking Facebook, texting friends...Yes, I have an addiction. This is actually one way I am trying to remove the temptation and not neglect my kids. I get alerted when I have a text message, facebook message, what'sapp message, or call. You can choose to get other alerts from any other app on your phone, but these are the ones I wanted. (I really don't care who "likes" my posts. Haha!) It is also a good way for me to screen my calls without getting up. I also get notifications when I am not active enough or when I have reached a goal! This was not a deal breaker for me, but it does make me feel like one of the cool kids without actually having a smart watch (and forking over $$$!) You do have to have your phone in the vicinity (mine reaches across my house!) So, I can't get notifications on my run if I leave my phone at home or in the car. Which is great for unplugging. It is also nifty to have on during church or during a date. I can leave my phone on silent and still see if the nursery or babysitter needs me. 

Water Tracker. I LOVE that I can track my water intake from my watch. I am trying to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Now that I am pregnant, I can tell when I don't, especially when I work out! I can just press a button, and enter how many glasses I've just finished. It is something so simple, but such a great motivation for me to drink more water. You can do the same thing with caffeine, but I hardly drink any...maybe a can at the most. 

The Blah

The battery life. I am not familiar with other smart watches or other similar devices, so I don't know how the battery compares to them. With the Gear Fit 2 I can go a couple of days without charging it if I don't use the GPS or music player. When I go on a run and/or workout, I can get a day. This really isn't terrible considering it only takes about an hour to charge all the way. 

The screen.  The screen is supposed to activate when you turn your wrist to your face. Sometimes, I have to shake my wrist a few times to get it to turn on. This is pretty inconvenient when running, and you can't get the screen to come on. Also, while running, it only displays one thing at a time. You have to manually swipe the screen to see the difference of how far you've run vs how fast you're running vs your heart rate.

The voice coach. Unlike some other running apps (like the Nike app that I prefer), the voice coach for the Gear Fit 2 is monotone and robotic. I like my coaches with a little more personality. Annoying, but not a big deal, really.

The Ugly

The pedometer. If you are looking for a device to measure your steps, and you count the steps while shopping or pushing a stroller, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU! I noticed the other night while pushing the stroller on our family walk that although I had walked a mile, my steps had not changed. (I had started the "Walking" activity, so it recorded that I had gone a mile on the GPS, though.) I also noticed it when I went shopping for a couple of hours pushing a buggy, it didn't record my steps. This is really disappointing to me. My last no-name pedometer watch counted every step, even those where I pushed the buggy or stroller. So, I would think that a Samsung would have mastered that technology, also. BUT, I really don't count steps. I figure as long as I get in three or four workouts a week doing weights and running, I am doing pretty good. But for those mommies who are avid step counters, don't count on this watch to fulfill that requirement with littles. (I don't even know if it counts steps if you are holding your baby!)

Waterproof. It is not. I am afraid of wearing the watch in the shower, and I definitely wouldn't wear it swimming. (You can read more about that in one of the tech reviews listed above...)


If you are looking for a watch that will count your steps while walking with a stroller, this is not for you! If you want a GPS watch that tells time and holds music, you might want to give it a try. It isn't a smartwatch with tons of apps. It is more a hybrid fitness watch that sends you notifications via Bluetooth. You have to use Samsung Health, which I really don't mind. It does sync with the myfitnessapp, which I think is pretty cool. (Please, add a Nike app soon!) 
For the price, it is fantastic (I got a like new one on eBay for $60, and I think they are on Amazon Marketplace for $90). And I can overlook a lot of its faults because of this. AND it matched all of my qualifications: Under $75 (even with the headphones), has a GPS, PINK! and feminine, holds music, and sends my phone's notifications. 
This watch isn't for everyone. But it is for me!

Do you have a smartwatch or fitness watch you just LOVE???

Saturday, June 10, 2017

...And baby makes SIX!


Coach and I have always wanted a big family. From the very beginning of our relationship (like, first date), we said we wanted 5-6 kids. So, it should be no surprise to anyone that we are pregnant again!!! 

It is funny, though, how this pregnancy happened. I had just weaned Amos at 13 months. Coach and I went to a coach's clinic together. Alone. Together. The first time we had been alone without kids in almost 5 years. So, ever! It was kind of a big deal. It was the first time in almost 6 years that I had my body to myself. I wasn't pregnant. I wasn't nursing. I was free! 

A month later, after a marvelous trip to Boston to see my bestie (by myself with two kids!), I was feeling queezy. I chalked it up to the plane ride. I got horribly motion sick during the plane trip, which I attributed to the stress of being stuck in the blizzard and traveling with two littles by myself. But then I realized that I was over a week late! Apparently, my body wasn't my own.

I was really content with my three littles. This has probably been the first time where I haven't craved another child. But now that I'm pregnant, I am overjoyed! A little nervous about adding another to our mix. And a little terrified of the actual birth (which is also a first for me. You'd think I'd be a pro by now!)

We decided not to find out the gender!!! I would be so happy with either, obviously. And we already have names picked out. Priscilla Lynn for a girl. Jonah Charles for a boy. 

We announced on Facebook on May 4: StarWars Day! I couldn't resist! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My First LLR Outfit!

I recently had an online co-party with a LaLaRoe consultant. I paired Trades of Hope accessories to match her LLR outfits. It was a blast learning about each other's companies, while matching fun patterns with TOH jewelry and bags. <3
I love all the different LuLaRoe options. Plain colors and wild patterns, they have something for every style. I love how modest they are and how many options you have! They have everything from skirts, leggings, shirts, dresses, and even kimonos. And multiple styles of each. The patterns are limited, so if you see something you like, you better buy it before it's gone! (Also great because you know nobody else will be rocking your style!)

What do you think your style is??? I love them all, and can see myself wearing all of these outfits!

I ended up receiving a free pair of leggings and buying an Irma. I liked the combo so much, I bought the TC leggings (I have to roll down the top of them and scrunch up the leggings part, but it is really comfortable, and I don't notice!) and I bought the xs in the Irma. I still need to loose a few pounds a year after my third child, so next time I will probably get the small. But the xs works. (It is a little tight in the arms...)

I was a little worried about buyer's remorse, but I fell in love with them as soon as I opened the package! And if you hear your friends tell you that LLR leggings are like Buttah, they are so right! They are seriously the softest leggings I have ever felt.

I paired it with Trades of Hope Tri-Leaf Earrings, Kenyan Necklace, and Honeybee wrap bracelet. The earrings might look heavy, but they are the lightest pair I have, I think! I don't remember that I have them on unless they hit my neck. <3

I love pairing up with friends for business!

Go check out my Facebook Page and check out the amazing Fair Trade jewelry and accessories that Trades of Hope has for their Spring Line.

For the month of March, handbags (including the leather wallet!) are 20% off! And for every bag purchased, a chick will be donated in your name to a family overseas. <3

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Year In Review

A lot of people have lamented that 2016 was the worst year, yet. And although there were difficult moments, it was a year of joy for our little family.

Last January we welcomed home a little boy. He is a precious, smiley baby who has stolen our hearts. He did have to spend almost a week in the hospital last February for RSV. That was a very difficult time for all of us. He was so sick. It was heartbreaking to see him hooked to so many machines and to see him struggling for every breath. But he is all better, now!

Last April Coach accepted a job in a small town in Eastern Oklahoma. He is now Head Football Coach of the Bulldogs! (And head baseball coach. Lol.) It is a slow process trying to rebuild a program and a culture, but we are giving it our best shot. ;-)

The oldest started school in August. He loves it! He is learning his ABCs and how to interact with other kids his age. He gets to ride the bus in the morning and on his way home. Sister had a hard time with him being gone at first, but we get to snuggle more and play more. And big brother is home when she gets up from her nap. We've adjusted nicely.

We bought our own house in September! Our very first house. I feel almost grown up. I absolutely LOVE it! We also welcomed in a kitten into our house. What were we thinking? It has definitely been an adjustment, but she caught a mouse yesterday, so I guess we will keep her.

I have started a venture with a company called Trades of Hope. It is an awesome company that sells all handmade items from 16 countries around the world. The mission is to empower women out of poverty. I am in LOVE with this mission AND with the products! (Especially since our new line just came out!)

This Christmas was an adventure, to put in lightly. We went to see my parents and coach's parents. I got to drive the whole way because Coach was sick with a virus/flu turned ulcer. It was horrible. He stayed in bed almost the whole time, not able to eat or drink anything for over a week. BUT, we went to see the doctor and got good medicines. He is almost all better, now.

So. That was our year in a nutshell. It had its ups and downs. It held some of best moments, and unfortunately some of our worst moments. I am excited to see what 2017 holds in store for us!