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26 Weeks- Pregnancy Update and Favorites!

It has been awhile! Life is crazy. Things happen and the next thing you know, you look up, and months have passed. But I am going to do better! Small things have even taken a back seat. I JUST painted my nails last night, at like 2 am. I haven’t had a chance to in months. Sheesh. The craziness! But anyway, I am here to update you guys on my pregnancy! I don’t even think I have posted here about it! I totally meant to. But, again, life!

I am 26 weeks pregnant with an actively kicking little prince! I am due August 3rd (no matter if I LOOK like I am due any day now!).

From 20 to 25 weeks, it seemed as if I wasn’t having any major symptoms. But this week: whew! It is as if everything hit me at once! I tried thinking back to my two previous pregnancies wondering if I had experienced any of these symptoms to this magnitude; but it’s been so long…my baby is going to be six next month! So my memory is a bit faded.

Although I am enjoying the journey, here is what I have been experiencing:

26 Week Update

Lack of energy- I have been extremely tired; like literally exhausted. By 1pm, I need a nap. I am no more good to anyone. I have been drinking my Herbalife NRG tea to help keep my energy up when doing work or other important activities. But if I have nothing going on, to bed I go! After getting the kids from school in the evenings, dinner, homework, baths, and them to bed; it’s definitely all she wrote for me.

Heartburn- Yikes! I can’t stand it. Some nights, I am propped up on tons of pillows, sitting straight as a board, barely able to sleep. I sometimes just want to burst open my chest! It’s bad…I do remember having heartburn before, but I didn’t think it was to this level. Let’s hope he has a head full of hair so I won’t feel as though all of this is not in vain! I will share what helps best in my favs list below.

Swelling of feet and hands- Yes! It has started. I am can be cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry and the next thing I know, I have puffy fat hands and feet. I admit, I don’t always elevate my feet as told, but I do when I have the time to actually sit down with nothing to do. I’m sure that’s not enough. I will definitely be working on that.

TMI Warning!

Constipation- Oh my goodness! I haven’t had this issue since the very beginning of my pregnancy and it has returned with a vengeance. I have been eating more fiber, as well as taking my Herbalife fiber supplement and aloe to help with constipation. These have really helped greatly to keep things moving as they should be!

Lastly, I have just had an overall feeling of heaviness, which I am sure will only get worse from here on out! But I am looking forward to the gift that will be given at the end of it all!

Now, my favs!!

My favorite thing to use for heartburn is the Bragg’s brand of organic raw apple cider vinegar. I will add in about 1 tablespoon into my water about 4 hours before bed and that will help subside it best. I started out with Tums for instant relief but I have read that too many can cause issues so I decided to lay off those! I feel better using something organic. You can find this at your local grocery store.

braggs vinegar

Comfort is key; especially at night! I am a belly sleeper, so having to sleep on my side has been a struggle. I have been using a body pillow I purchased from Wal-Mart that has come in handy perfectly! It helps me to stay on my side and also is more comfortable for a restful sleep. There are all kinds available in stores as well as online, even pillows that contour to your body. I just have a simple one and it works fine for me.

body pillow

My skin has been going through it from the beginning until now. I have had the worst breakouts, almost makes me believe I am really having a girl (hmmm). I have been trying to stay moisturized and my favorite lotion is my Herbalife Hand and Body Cream. It has also helped reduce my breakouts. I use it daily and it keeps my skin feeling soft and smelling fresh!

herbalife cream

My favorite app is The Bump! I check it each week to see what is going on in my bump. They have cute videos each week that provide insight, suggestions for any symptoms you may be experiencing, and weekly conversation boards with other moms to be in the same week. You can also post photos of your bump and keep up with doctor visits and updates. They also provide a weekly checklist of things to do, such as when to choose a pediatrician.

the bump

 

There are other things I like that I use daily, but these are definitely my favorites and help me the most!

My other favorites right now are popsicles and my favorite thing to watch right now is Everybody Loves Raymond, which I am watching on Netflix. So random, I know!

Looking forward to sharing my favorites with my next update! What were some of your pregnancy favorites mamas? Share in the comments!

That One Time I Lost A Best Friend

I know that this kind of thing happens as you grow older. You lose people along the way; it’s expected. I get that. I have been friends with only a handful of people since high school and maybe one or two since middle school. We keep in contact via Facebook and other social media and text a few times every few months, yada yada. I know most of you have these types of connections so there’s no need to go into a long mantra about it. But then there are those you consider best friends. I only have very few of those. I don’t even need to use my entire hand to count them. But this particular best friend, I never thought would end up no longer being a friend at all.

She was always there for me when I needed her, was there for my kids in ways their own father wasn’t and no matter what she supported me and I supported her. She was one of those people I would call first because I knew whatever I needed or was going through, she’d talk me through it. I cherished the bond we had and were continuing to build over the years. I felt as though I had been given a rarity with the friendship that we shared. Then unexpectedly, she stopped returning my calls and wasn’t responding to my messages. In my mind, I thought something was wrong so I took to Facebook and could clearly see she was active there so there was nothing wrong with her, she was okay; but she was ignoring me. I continued to try to reach out to her over a span of a few weeks to no avail. I kept wondering what was it that I had done or could have done to make her want to cut me off completely.

I recently moved to another city and trying to rebuild my life and give me children a better life as well. In the midst of all the moving and getting settled, I had yet to share the news with any of my close friends or family. They only people who knew of my decision were my parents and brother. After getting settled, my intentions were to share the good news with those I cared about and wanted to know. She was at the top of my list. But my mother told her before I had the chance to. And instead of my best friend being happy for me, she felt as though I had left her in the dark and decided to distance herself from me. After sharing my news and goals with my other close friends, they were happy for me and wanted the best for me and my children. I could not understand why my best friend did not share those same sentiments.

Should I have told her sooner? Probably. But should my best friend still support me and be there for me? Yes, she should. The fact that she could so easily walk away from years of friendship left me wondering and feeling hurt. There are times when I miss her so much and wish I could just call her and talk about all the great things going on in my life as well as find out about what is going on in hers. I miss our impromptu lunches and moments together. I don’t have closure on this friendship and it simply boggles me that it is over.

I am praying and praying that we can mend our broken ties. I know how important true Christian friendship is; and it’s not something that I have a lot of so having it, is important to me.

Whether she realizes it or not, I need her and I know she needs me.

And I miss my best friend.

Trust Me.

It has been quite awhile since I have last posted. My life was in a state of transition and my blog took the back burner while I had to get everything back on track.

Transition. The state I was in that it seemed as though I wasn’t producing any fruit. To be honest, I had been transitioning for the past two years. Knowing in my heart that I should have moved on long before now.

But great things are in store for 2016. My past has a funny way of popping up, trying to remind me of where I was and who I used to be. There have been moments when I have allowed those reminders to set me back. But I declare no more. I know what I deserve out of life and I intend to go after it. I have been praying more and reading more. I have heard God tell me time and time again to trust  Him. I admit, it has been hard to completely do so; until now.

I experienced a loss recently that affected me much more than I expected it to. I shut people and things I once loved out and was unable to communicate with those who cared about me. While I was going through this period of pain and depression, I was faced with myself and my God. He revealed to me who He is and how He could do so much more with me if I only trusted Him. Trust. Something I tried to do with other people but they failed me time and time again. Trust. How could I? I was hurting so much, and I knew in my heart that I could never get through this without Him. I gave Him my hand and my heart and I began to trust Him.

Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

I had been empty, lost and focusing on what I wanted and what I had envisioned for my life. But He stepped in at the very moment I needed Him most to take over the reigns of this crazy ride of life and guide me where He called me, purposed for me.

I still do not know what the future holds, but I am leaning and depending on my Father to take care of me and to protect me.

I am not reminded of a story my father likes to tell from the pulpit. He describes a father, a son, and a daughter. The daughter became ill and the father had to take her to the doctor. It was in the middle of the night and they had to travel through the woods to get to town. The father carried the daughter in his arms and the son trailed behind holding a light in the darkness. The son was soon unable to keep up and the father knew he had to hurry to get the little girl to the doctor. They soon came to a tree stump in a small clearing and the father had the son stand on the stump. He told him not to move and to hold that light until he came back for him. The son did as he was told. A bear came towards him, but he remained still, holding the light. A wolf came along, but the son stood there waiting, holding the light. All through the night, the boy stayed on that stump holding the light waiting for his father’s return. As soon as the day began to break, he saw his father coming through the woods. And the boy exclaimed how he stood on that stump with the light and nothing harmed him.

The boy trusted his father would return. He trusted the light would protect him from all that tried to destroy him. Trust. God only wants our trust and faith in what He can and will do for us.

I will trust Him.

 

 

Finding Balance

Such a powerful two words when you think about it.

Harder than I thought it would be when I had the opportunity to go back to work. One of the hardest decisions I had to make. Although I have been working from home for quite some time, I knew in order to get even further ahead and give my children a more comfortable life, I needed to produce a greater income.

What a feat.

It has been two weeks and finding balance seems like the hardest thing to do. I imagine finding balance much like the journey witnessed in Lord of the Rings. (Just a tad bit of humor there, it is okay to laugh. )

So how does a single homeschooling mama find balance in working a full time job and taking care of her children?

When you find out, let me know!

We sometimes confuse finding balance with having a perfect life; doing everything just right every day. Having your whole day planned out down to the second. I am usually a stickler for planning. But I admit, I haven’t even looked in my planner in the past week, much less written anything down in it. And let’s not talk about the mountain of laundry on my couch waiting to be folded and actually put away instead of me rummaging through the pile each morning to put together an outfit. But do those things actually matter in the grand scheme of things? Who is to say, household perfection equates to balance?

I am just now realizing how precious time is. When I pick up my children after work, I am elated to see them. Overjoyed to hug them and kiss them. Grateful to sit down and teach my 1st grader cursive, and my kindergartner his reading lesson. Weeks ago when I was on the verge of pulling out my hair during these moments, I now find so much peace and happiness in them.

I know we as mothers all face these times where it seems like we just don’t have enough time in the day to do it all. I am reminded of a quote from Colleen Kessler who blogs at Raising Lifelong Learners who said, “Every single day you need to figure out which ball you are willing to drop.”

Each day is not perfect. I have to pray a lot, read my Bible, and depend on Christ to guide my steps because it is not by any means easy. I am grateful for my parents who help me and watch my kiddos while I work and I am thankful to have their support when deciding going back to work was best.

I want to continue homeschooling my children; it was a calling for a reason. I trust that God will provide and make a way.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find yest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

This speaks to any parent, not just homeschooling parents. He will restore you even in your weakest moments. Trust in Him to carry you through to the end.

In this season, I am having to juggle many balls. But each day I may drop a few here and there in order to do what is required of me at this time.

Finding balance, for me, has been about finding peace and being grateful for each day, good or bad.

Renewed: Found My Focus

I remember being in Target one Saturday morning and my 6 year old, who was about three then, was walking next to me. I turned to look at something on the shelf and when I looked back, she was gone. I remember the anxiety and the overwhelming feeling of fear not knowing where she was and her feeling of not knowing where I was. I left my cart, purse and all, and began frantically looking down the closest aisles thinking she couldn’t have gone too far from me. After what seemed like forever, I finally found her sitting in the pet aisle crying for me. I scooped her up and held her so tight. After we both calmed down, there was such a peace and comfort that I had finally found her.

Life can sometimes be just like this.

That lost feeling. Stepping away from our purpose, from God, and realizing suddenly that you are nowhere close to the path you were once on or need to be on. That has been me! So real. I have been reading my Bible, and praying and trying to live a “Christian life” but I haven’t been walking in my calling. I have honestly, been avoiding it; steering far from it. But that day will come when you can no longer run. Continue Reading →

Apple Unit Study & Lapbook! Free Printable!

What an amazing week of apples! Here is a small glimpse into all we accomplished this week for our apple unit study!

 

Monday

We journeyed to the library in hopes of finding some Fall and apple related books. But that was a total bust! We found two books that were Fall related:

A Holiday Book: Halloween  

When Autumn Falls 

Both books were really great. The Halloween holiday book allowed us to see the history of the holiday and how it all began and how it is celebrated in different cultures. When Autumn Falls was a cute story of various things we observe when Fall arrives!

I introduced the story of John Chapman, or Johnny Appleseed to the kids by showing them two videos on YouTube. I love using the awesome resources on YouTube for the kids. They get excited to not hear me teaching and talking but instead watch a video. It aids in their learning experience as well, especially for our morning circle time. I will post those video links in another blog for you, but for now, Johnny Appleseed! Continue Reading →

In Our Homeschool Room!

…well more like our homeschool nook! We don’t have an official homeschool room but we make it work! This is our very 1st year homeschooling and we make everywhere we go our classroom. It has been about a month and a half and no, not every day has been a cakewalk, but we have really enjoyed our journey so far! But I will have to post an update on our progress at a later date. I have actually posted a video of our homeschool nook on YouTube and you can watch that video here. But for you readers, here is another perspective. I will also provide the links to where you can purchase some of the items I use. If I can’t find the exact one, I will link it to something just as good in quality and around the same price. I am a stickler for only using affordable items unless it is a necessity. I am also big on using what you have. So some things I have re-purposed from somewhere else in my home to be used for our homeschool corner. Continue Reading →

Fall Lapbook!

Happy Wednesday!

We are finally done with our Fall lapbook! This was our very 1st lapbook and it was very fun and informational. Thanks goes to Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus, which is where we found the printables and information needed to create this lapbook. There is so much that goes into this unit study that we actually did not do more so because the kids weren’t very interested. But this would be great for older elementary or even middle schoolers.

Last week we had other activities that went along with the lapbook such as purchasing our 1st pumpkin which we were able to link with the pumpkin life cycle. You can go to Tina’s blog post to get the full unit study, which I will link below. But I will only share what we included in our lapbook!

So of course we used this as the cover page. I used a normal file folder that I had laying around the house. I am a stickler for using what you have unless you really have to go out and buy something. This particular file folder was pink so we covered it with a sheet of yellow construction paper and cut it in half along the edges of the folder. So because this file folder had a tab, we simply cut along that edge as well.

DSCF6075[1]

 

 

In the top left of our lapbook, you will find our pumpkin life cycle:

Minibook Pumpkin Life Cycle @ Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus                    fall lapbook Continue Reading →

De-Clutter Your Life: What Happens When You Lose Your Cellphone

Happy Monday!

I have had the wildest weekend! Great things and wild things, but mostly great things! I was able to revive some old friendships, build some new, and create some awesome networking opportunities for my business and the blog. There are some things that I can not wait to reveal what is bubbling in the pot for The Official ceoMom Blog & Store!

So one of the wildest things that happened to me this weekend is losing my cellphone! I was at an important event supporting a girlfriend of mine when I somehow misplaced it and we were unable to find it. Now during the moments of frantic searching, in my mind I was thinking, “What am I going to do!?” My entire life is on my phone, photos, videos, memories, calendars, to do lists, like everything dealing with my family, kids, business, school, etc. I actually shed quite a few tears when I inevitably arrived at the conclusion that it was gone. I had lost my cellphone.

download lost cellphone Continue Reading →

Ancient Egypt Wrap-Up: Mummy Style!

Happy Wednesday!

So happy we wrapped up our Ancient Egypt unit study yesterday; literally!

Thanks to a cute little activity from Education.com, the kids were able to create a mummy and learn the process of burying a mummy within a sarcophagus. Even I learned a thing or two!

This activity is called “Make a Mummy”. I will include the free printables link below!

PicsArt_1442955483108 Continue Reading →