Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 in 12 Photos

2016 was a good year. It wasn't perfect, but the good outweighed the bad. Here is a look at the highlights. 

In January, I gave up dairy, meat, and caffeine. I hoped to correct some painful inflammation I was experiencing. Within a few weeks, I felt better than I had in over a year. During the evenings I spent several hours knitting and listening to audiobooks. I finished three projects that I had started in 2015.

February was cold and gray, but we kept things upbeat by celebrating the birthdays of five extended family members. Of course, Valentine's day makes life a little sweeter, usually in the form of chocolate!

Early in March, we were happily surprised by a positive pregnancy test. Those early weeks of pregnancy were a little stressful, and I needed two ultrasounds to check the baby's growth and heartbeat, but by Easter, we felt a bit more confident about the months ahead.

April was a busy month! We visited the zoo in Washington D.C. and the aquarium in Baltimore. I turned 40, and Ralph celebrated his First Holy Communion.

In May we traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania for my sister-in-law's graduation from college. I made it to 15 weeks and felt like a pregnancy rock star. I tried on my first piece of LuLaRoe and fell in love with the stretchy patterned comfortable fabrics. Seriously, I wrote about it here. Also, I got my results back from my AncestryDNA test. The results were interesting, and it was a fun experience. My results are here

June 1st marked the 25th anniversary of Chris and my relationship. June is also the birthday month for Holden and Thomas. We celebrated their birthdays with one big family party. Ralph and cousin Hannah spent a lot of time outside in the kiddie pool and on the trampoline. We found out we were having a girl.

During the month of July, we took several trips to the beach, and we celebrated Ralph's birthday. Unfortunately, I dog-sat for a friend, and fell down a short flight of stairs and injured my foot. It took months to heal and still occasionally causes me pain now. July was the only month the boys had off from school. 

In August we made it to the beach a couple more times, went to a pool party with our homeschool group, and toured the Herr's Snack Factory. 

I went to Virginia in early September for the CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference and had a splendid time. Then I had the house to myself for three days while Chris and the boys went to Hershey Park, Gettysburg, and Washington D.C. during Chris' week off from work. Ralph finally took the time to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels. By the end of September, I was put on bed rest because I was having symptoms of preeclampsia. 

Friends and family had a baby shower for me on October 2nd. On October 11th Mary Rose Elizabeth was born a month early. After a week in the NICU, she came home. I wrote about that here. Ralph was the only one that went trick or treating this year. He dressed up as Captain Hook.

We tried to spend most of our days at home during the month of November, but we made sure we voted, went to all of our doctor appointments, and spent Thanksgiving with family in Maryland. 

Early in December, Mary Rose and I went on a girls' trip overnight to the beach to celebrate a couple of 40th birthdays while Chris and Thomas painted the family room. Now the room is a lovely shade of white. The boys and I baked cookies for our homeschool group's cookie exchange. On Christmas Eve we went to the Vigil Mass and then stopped by two family Christmas parties. Christmas day was spent happily at home. 

Now the new year is upon us. One thing that I know I am going try to be better at doing in 2017 is taking more pictures!

Please visit Bobbi at Revolution of Love for more end of the year recaps!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Sunday Best #8, a Milestone, and a Mistake

Yesterday we attended the evening Mass. Chris and the boys prefer to attend the Sunday evening Mass, but it is hard for me to concentrate that late in the day. I am tired, and it is dark outside, so my mind thinks I should be asleep or at least resting on my couch under a warm blanket! Oh well!

Here is what I wore to Mass. 

Last week, I wrote about how much I like LuLaRoe. Well, on Tuesday I purchased a new maxi skirt from Rosie's online pop-up. It arrived on Friday. As soon as I opened it I knew I would wear it to Mass on Sunday. I usually wear a maxi as a dress, but this time I decided to wear it as a skirt. I have always thought that I am too round up top and too short for a maxi to look nice on me, so I have always felt frumpy and self-conscious when I have worn them in the past. Well, not last night. I felt comfortable and happy with how I looked. 

Mary Rose turned two months old yesterday. She is getting big, but she still isn't smiling a lot. She has smiled a couple of times, but most of the time she has a serious expression. She is cooing at us, which is fun and cute. 

Last Thursday I ordered Christmas cards. At first, after placing the order, I felt very accomplished. But by evening, I had started to worry that I had made a mistake while creating the card on the computer. When my oldest son brought them home with him that night, my worry was confirmed. I had made a huge mistake! I signed the card, "Merry Christmas! Love Chris, Erica, Holden, Thomas, and Mary Rose. I had forgotten Ralph! I felt terrible, but Ralph didn't seem bothered by it! Luckily, I was able to cut the bottom of the card off and still send them out. 

For more My Sunday Best, please visit Rosie

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How I Wear LuLaRoe {My Sunday Best #7}

I know it is Tuesday and not Sunday, but it was my goal to have this written and published on Sunday, but today is the first day that I had a few minutes plus enough sleep and coffee to finish all of my thoughts in a way that (I hope) makes sense.

Since the birth of Mary Rose, all of my Sunday outfits have included at least one piece of LuLaRoe. 

I first became aware of LuLaRoe about a year ago. Originally, I was not interested in the clothing. It all seemed to be made of stretchy cotton and included items that I thought would not be flattering on my middle aged chubby body. In March, a friend hosted a Pop-up in her home and invited me to stop by her place to touch and try on different styles. Being newly pregnant, I decided to try on a Nicole dress. I loved it. I bought it, and it was my first and only piece of LuLaRoe for months. As I got closer to my due date, I worried about having nice, comfortable clothes to wear postpartum, and my thoughts turned to LuLaRoe once more. Currently, I own many pairs of leggings, three Maxi skirts, one Azure skirt, two Perfect Tees, one Carly, and two Nicole dresses. I love all of them!

I am 5'4", overweight, apple shaped, and I am exclusively nursing Mary Rose. Deciding which pieces would work best for me in my current state of life took a little time, but I have finally figured out what works for me and what size I need in each style. Thankfully, I have been able to attend a couple of pop-ups to try things on before buying. Plus, I have a wonderful friend who allowed me to try on several pieces from her wardrobe. 

Below is a picture of the outfits I wore the mass the last two Sundays.

I wear a Maxi as a dress in size Large. With a cardigan over it, I think it looks cute, feels comfortable, and is nursing friendly. I wear a Carly in a size Small. It is nursing friendly as long as I wear leggings under it, like it is a large top instead of a dress with a slip underneath of it. 

Now, let's discuss wearing LuLaRoe every day for stylish comfort.

I wear LuLaRoe Leggings in One Size. I tried the Tall and Curvy, at first, but they were too baggy and bunched in my legs. I wear them with long tunics and cardigans that cover everything that needs to be covered. Originally, I didn't think that leggings were appropriate for someone of my age and situation, but honestly, I love wearing LuLaRoe leggings with the right top. The outfit is comfy enough to wear around my house but decent enough to answer the door in and to make a quick run to the grocery store. Don't worry friends; leggings can be modest!

I also wear leggings under nursing-friendly dresses that were part of my wardrobe already. It is fun to combine a bold pattern legging with a solid dress and tall boot for a pop of color! LuLaRoe sells several tops, but the only one that I like is the Perfect Tee. I can wear it in size Small or Medium. I think the Perfect Tee goes well with a cardigan and jeans.  

My Nicole dresses are not currently in my wardrobe rotation because I can not nurse in them.

You probably already know how to purchase LuLaRoe, but in case you don't I will tell you! I think it is best to find a consultant that is local (find here), but if you can't find someone local Facebook is full of LuLaRoe groups. All you need to do is request to join and start asking questions. A few questions that are helpful to ask are about tax and shipping cost, return policy, and about the fabric of the specific pieces that interest you. There are several different fabric types that LuLaRoe uses, and some are softer and stretchier than others. 

One more thing, LuLaRoe is a tad bit more expensive than I like to spend on my clothes, but some consultants do offer coupon codes from time to time, some offer a buy ten items get one item free special, and many consultants host giveaways. Half of the items I have purchased were discounted when I bought them. 

For more My Sunday Best visit Rosie. She just had a sweet baby girl, and she is hosting an online LuLaRoe pop-up tonight! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yarn Along 2016 {two}

Over the weekend I cast on another Ericka scarf. I knit two last year, and I love them (check them out here and here). I probably should not have cast on a new project, as I am already knitting a shawl for myself and a baby blanket for Mary Rose (you can read the details of Mary Rose's birth here if you like that sort of thing). The truth is that I have not been able to sit long enough with my hands-free to make it through one or two rows at a time of either of those projects. I want to knit, but I need a smaller, simpler project to focus on right now, and I also had this beautiful new yarn from Willow Tree Yarn that I was anxious to knit with, so I finally settled on knitting another Ericka scarf. 

After reading about it from several women that I trust, I started reading Hold On to Your Kids. I thought I was done reading parenting books, but having a baby reminded me that I am not too old to up my parenting game. I am enjoying it so far. The ideas that it presents about attachment and peer orientation are fascinating. My sister-in-law and a couple of friends are reading the book, too. I know that we will have a great discussion about it soon. 

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I am not pregnant anymore! {7QT}

1. After almost two weeks on modified bed rest and then full bed rest at home, I delivered Mary Rose Elizabeth at 34 weeks and six days on October 11th by c-section at 8:09 in the morning. She weighed 6 pounds and 7.5 ounces. It was my fourth c-section, and it was by far my hardest to get through. My blood pressure kept fluctuating, which made me feel nauseated, and I ended up vomiting four times.

October 11, 2016, 5:15 am
Mary Rose Elizabeth arrived at 8:09 am

She weighed 6 lbs 7.5 oz and was 19" long

2. After Mary Rose was born, she had trouble breathing, so she had to go to the NICU. She was my first baby to go to the NICU, and it was very hard for me emotionally. Physically, I was out of bed within 9 hours after surgery and visiting Mary Rose in the NICU. According to the nurse grapevine, I was a show-off, insisting on walking to the NICU instead of being pushed in a wheelchair.

3. For two days Mary Rose was on a CPAP machine. On October 13th she came off of the CPAP machine, and she was put on forced air to help her breathing. Mary Rose was off of all air support on October 15th.

4. On October 14th, I was able to start nursing her. It did not go well at first, so I was encouraged to use shields to help her latch. I am a nurse on demand mama, but the NICU put us on a nurse every three-hour schedule because they wanted to monitor Mary Rose's blood glucose levels. I was told that once she passed twelve blood sugar checks in a row, they would start the discharge process. Well, most of the three-hour feedings would get pushed to three and a half or four-hour spacing because the nurse was not available right away to check Mary Rose's blood sugar. There were many times that Mary Rose and I sat together, both of us frustrated, watching the clock tick away the minutes. Despite the delayed feedings, Mary Rose did eventually pass twelve blood glucose checks in a row. About those shields I mentioned, they did help her to latch on correctly, but my certified lactation consultant mother-in-law made sure I knew it would be difficult to break Mary Rose of her need for the shields. It was difficult to get her to latch on without the shields, but every day I continued to try to nurse her without them. I am happy to say that two days before Mary Rose reached four weeks old, we were finally done with the shields!

5. Also on October 14th I was discharged from the hospital late in the afternoon. I didn't go home. I spent two nights in one of the Ronald McDonald rooms at the hospital. I am very thankful for the Ronald rooms. It was important to me to stay close to Mary Rose and be available for every feeding. Then our last night in the hospital Mary Rose and I spent the night together in what the hospital called a transition room.

6. We were finally home by 7:30 pm on October 17th. It took me advocating for myself with the NICU doctor to let us go home that Monday. She wanted Mary Rose to stay for another 48 hours because Mary Rose had one low blood sugar reading after passing the required twelve. I insisted it was because the nurses were not letting me feed her on demand. I explained to the doctor how the feedings were getting pushed well past the three-hour mark. I looked her in the eye and said, "Mary Rose has passed every hurdle you have asked her to pass. I have done everything you have asked me to do. I put my trust in you, and now you need to trust me. We need to be home so that we both can continue to heal and bond." I watched the look on her face change, and then she said she agreed with me. Then nine extra hours and several tests more, we were on the road home. I am very thankful for the all of the doctors and nurses that work in the NICU. It was apparent to me that they care for their patients a lot. Despite my gratitude, I can't help but look back on our time in the NICU as a sort of short-term prison sentence.

Waiting in the transition room.

Finally home!

7. Mary Rose is six weeks old now, and she weighs 7 pounds and 12 ounces. She is still little, but I think she is starting to look like a little butterball. Speaking of turkey, here is a picture of her in her Thanksgiving dress. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your family had an excellent Thanksgiving!

Joining the 7 Quick Takes Crew over at Kelly's.

Monday, September 12, 2016

About the Conference

Last Tuesday I promised to write a post about the CWBN Conference that I attended. Well, friends, this is that post! I had a splendid time. The speakers were excellent, the food was delicious, the babies were cute, and my fellow attendees were friendly and encouraging. There were door prizes, swag bags, and delicious homemade fudge. It was such a pleasure to see several friends from last year's conference and make new friends.

It was nice to spend time with Rita again!


I have read several conference recap posts that are excellent and summarize the day beautifully. This post is not that kind of post. However, I will link to all those lovely posts at the end.

During the talks, I only wrote two things down on my paper. The first was from Mary Lenaburg. Her talk focused on three mothers - the Blessed Mother, Mother Teresa, and Mother Angelica. It was an excellent talk, and I didn't want to miss anything by continuously jotting down notes, so I just sat and listened. Near the end, I wrote "humility, mercy, grace, and fortitude." The three mothers lived lives full of those attributes, and that is how we, as Catholic wives, mothers, and writers, should be living our lives, too. It may seem difficult at times, but the good news is that we have these wonderful mothers to intercede and pray for us.

The second thing I wrote down was "live and love your life." That gem of information came from Elizabeth Foss. She encouraged us to step away from our computers and smart gadgets, to spend time with our family and friends, doing things that make us happy and helping those around us that need care. Only through living the life that God has called us to live are we able to write the stories that He wants us to tell.

Good stuff, right?

Now I want to share with you some more good stuff. Our conference was blessed by many wonderful artisans and sponsors, many of them small businesses run by busy Catholic mothers. As a crafter, I understand the amount of time and money it takes to create beautiful, useful items. I appreciate the dedication these women have to their craft, and it would be remiss of me not to highlight them here. Check out their shops and websites, and please consider supporting them during the upcoming holiday season and treat yourself and those you love to handcrafted items.

A huge "thank you" to all of our sponsors.

Little Praying Hands donated a Rosary Chew (I am excited to tell you that I won it)

Rakstar Designs donated a necklace or print (to be determined by the winner)

Faith and Fabric Design donated a necklace

Annerys Handmade donated Rosary Roses 

A Blog For My Mom (Rosie) donated an item from her Lilla Rose shop

Mary Lenaburg, writer at Passionate Perseverance, donated two lovely Saint quote prints

Colleen Duggan donated a copy of The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion

Jenny Ryan, writer at Mothering Sunshine, donated a copy of her book Love With All My Might

Our swag bag was full of lovely items and coupon codes from Call Her Happy, Dovetail Ink, Tiny Saints, Holy Heroes, and Tan Books (if I am missing anyone, please let me know so I can add them to the list).

Rachel, writer and photographer at Three Little Cupps in a Cupboard, donated her time and talent to taking headshots for any of the attendees that were interested. Initially, I was not going to have my picture taken, but I am so happy that I did because I think it turned out well. Plus she also took a lovely pregnancy picture of me. 

I think the group picture turned out nice, too. 

For more conference recaps please visit Not So Formulaic, Open Window, Laundry, Learning, and Liturgy, and Joy in the Morning

Thursday, September 8, 2016

{JEI} Prayer

Joining the ladies of The Zelie Group again for the weekly link-up Just Enough Info {JEI}

1.What are your favorite devotions? 

For years I have had a devotion to The Divine Mercy Chaplet. When we came back to the church over 12 years ago, the chaplet spoke to me. My oldest and I would pray it almost daily during the first year that I taught him at home. Over the years I have prayed many prayers and novenas to St. Rita, St. Gerard, and St. Anthony. I have also repeatedly asked for Our Lady's intercession by praying the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena and the Our Lady of Lourdes Novena, along with the Hail Mary and the Memorare.  Last year I consecrated myself to Mary, using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. It was a powerful experience.

2.Have any of your prayers been answered? Do you have any prayers that you are glad weren’t answered the way you’d hoped?  

There are many examples that I can share, but I guess the main topic I want to discuss relates to the subject of my fertility issues. 

For the last 18 years, I have prayed to be blessed with many children. In a way, I know I have been, but I have yet to meet most of those precious babies as they were lost through miscarriage. I know that I will never be able to say that I am glad for my miscarriages or any of my hormonal/fertility issues. But as I look back over the years of worry and heartache, I can see that I am a better woman, wife, and mother because of the pain I suffered. 

In February, I prayed the Our Lady of Lourdes Novena. My special intention went something like this, "You know what I want. You know what I need. Do whatever is best." I had no expectations, just a desire to accept God's will for my life. I conceived sometime in February. Most likely the week after Our Lady's feast day. The blessing of this pregnancy is not lost to me, and I can see that it is an answer to a prayer that I was convinced there was no point in praying anymore. 

3. How do you pray with your kids? 

I love the book My Jesus and I for preschool age children. It is beautifully illustrated, and it is very easy for young children to memorize the text. It teaches the Guardian Angel Prayer, Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory Be.  

Now that my children are school age, I like to make printables of prayers that I want to teach them. I put a printed prayer in a frame for each of them, and we incorporate it as part of our school day for a couple of weeks. After that time, they keep the framed prints in their room for them to continue to learn and pray. 

Here are two of the prayers that I have made. They have worked for the boys, and I have framed them and given them as gifts, too. 

find here

find here

For more information about {JEI} and The Zelie Group, please read Alicia's post

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Sunday Best #6

I had every intention of typing up this post yesterday, but it turned out to be a very busy day here in the Saint household.

We spent the morning shopping for a new recliner. I have always slept in our recliner for the first week after we bring a new baby home. Is that weird? It is just more comfortable for me and my healing c-section incision then laying flat on our bed. Anyway, our old recliner broke a few years ago, so we threw it out. The doctor scheduled my c-section last week, so Chris thought yesterday was a good day to buy a new recliner. We found a nice brown leather recliner for an affordable price at our local Sam's Club.

After our furniture shopping excursion, we drove to Maryland for the party of our twin nephews' 2nd birthday. We spent the afternoon there, then we came home feeling happy but exhausted, had a quick dinner, and spent a good hour cleaning and rearranging the family room so that the new recliner would fit!

As for my weekend and Sunday Mass, I left very early Saturday morning for the Catholic Women Blogging Network Mid-Atlantic Conference. It was held in Virginia this year, which is a longer drive for me than the conference last year. I initially thought that I would not be able to go, but a local friend found out about the location of the conference and made the trip happen for both of us! She said she needed some mom time before starting her homeschool year, plus she had some family in the area that could meet for lunch, so she booked us a hotel room and took over all the driving. The conference and the extra time with my friend were just what I needed! I had an enjoyable and fruitful weekend!

Even tough we usually go to the 11:00 am morning Mass on Sunday mornings, Chris and the boys decided to wait for me to get home so that we could attend the 6:00 pm Mass as a family. Before leaving the hotel room Sunday morning, I snapped a quick picture of my outfit because I knew it was going to wear it to church in the evening.

Dress: Old Navy  It is $12 right now, and they have it in blue, too! I am not an affiliate. I just like the dress.
Cardigan: Target
Flip-flops: J.C.Penney 

There is more information that I want to share about the conference, but I am going to have to do that later this week. The boys and I still have some school work to finish and then I need to run to the grocery store.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

For more Sunday fashion, please visit Rosie. She not only hosts My Sunday Best every week, but she also hosted the conference on Saturday. Thank you, Rosie, for all that you do for the Catholic mom blogging community!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

{JEI} A New Link-Up

The other day Alicia, blogger at Sweeping Up Joy, contacted me to let me know about a new link-up that she was hosting along with several other bloggers. It is called Just Enough Info (JEI) and is serving the purpose of building a community for The Zelie Group. I am thankful that she reached out to me because being a part of the online Catholic mom community is one of the main reasons that I continue to update this little blog of mine. If you would like to know more about The Zelie Group, please read this post from Alicia. 

Now on to the questions and answers! 

1. What is your best school memory from your childhood?

My favorite school memories are the four Renaissance feasts that I was a part of during high school. Every year our huge school chorus would put on the feast as a fundraiser. There were a king and queen, their court and jester, traveling players and minstrels. And of course, there were wenches to serve the multiple course meal. Every year I was a wench, and my senior year I was promoted to head wench! Fun times! 

March 1993 - My junior year of high school, wearing the required all black outfit of the wenches. The school provided us with a royal blue apron to wear over our black clothes. 

2. Do you have any back-to-school family traditions? 

Actually no. Unless you count researching curriculum or maybe how I manage to squeeze in one last day trip to the beach and Dairy Queen for a Blizzard before we start the new school year. I should probably start a yearly tradition. It sounds like it could be fun. This year our homeschool support group had an impromptu end-of-summer-vacation pool party. Maybe we could make that our back-to-school tradition. 

Here I am resting my swollen from pregnancy feet at my favorite beach spot. 

3. Markers or colored pencils? 

If I have to choose between markers and colored pencils, my pick is colored pencils. Definitely. The only markers we keep are dry erase markers. Mostly, I am a crayon girl. I have always loved the big, big box of crayons. 

We love crayons!

That was fun! 

Please be sure to check out the other bloggers that are participating in the link-up this week. If you are a blogger, consider joining the link-up. If you are a reader and would like to participate, you can answer the questions in the comment section! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Sunday Best #5 and Pregnancy Updates

I can not believe that it has been a month since I last wrote a blog post. I had made a super easy goal of at least two posts a month. I figured between my favorite link-ups, which are My Sunday Best, Yarn Along, and Seven Quick Takes, my goal would be easy to accomplish. Obviously, I was wrong.

But I am back now, joining Rosie for another My Sunday Best post. Looking through my phone, I am missing pictures from two Sundays. I decided not to take a picture one morning because I wore the blue dress again. I am missing a picture for last Sunday, also. Last Sunday we switched up our Mass time, deciding to skip our usual morning Mass for the Sunday evening Mass. About 30 minutes before it was time for us to leave for Mass, we were hit with a flash flood warning. It rained and rained and rained, but we made it to Mass. Unfortunately, I got pretty wet and was not in the mood for a picture by the time we got home. 

Here are the three pictures that I did get:

Cardigan: Target 
Dress: Torrid
All items non-maternity

Blouse and Cami: Old Navy
Capris: Motherhood
Sandals: Target

Dress: Motherhood (old)
Flip-flops: J.C.Penney

How about a few pregnancy updates! 
I failed my 3-hour glucose test. Yep, I am officially gestational diabetic. I have been following the Trim Healthy Mama diet for about six weeks now. Plus I have been tracking my glucose levels for almost two weeks. I was following THM the true way, by keeping fuels separate and eating every 3 to 4 hours. But since I started using my glucose meter, I quickly realized that keeping my fuels separate was not working for me. When I ate an S meal, my level was too low. When I ate an E meal my level was too high. Now, almost every meal I eat is an S helper or a cross over. Currently, I am eating every 2 to 5 hours, depending on my level of hunger. Now my numbers are almost perfect. I have had two fasting morning numbers that were a little high, but I am blaming those on poor sleep and a shorter fasting time. I am hoping to control my glucose levels through diet the rest of my pregnancy. Also, the first few weeks that I followed THM I gained almost 5 pounds. Since I have been using my glucose monitor and combining my fuels, I have lost 2 pounds. 

I first learned about Trim Healthy Mama a couple of years ago and followed it successfully for a while, but then I stopped because my weight-loss stalled, and I started having issues with inflammation (high meat and dairy diets have a tendency to do that to me). I have not written much about Trim Healthy Mama, but Dwija has been following it (dairy free to boot) to lose the pregnancy weight. She wrote a post about it, so click on over if you are curious and want to know a little more about it.  

I passed my 24-hour collection test, so that was a positive. Plus, my blood pressure readings have all been great (I check twice a day). I had another ultrasound on the 19th. I am happy to report that Mary Rose looked good. She weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces and is in the 48%. My doctor said she doesn't look like a gestational diabetes baby yet. I hope to keep it that way! 

I will start non-stress tests once I reach 32 weeks. I am not looking forward to them. I had to do them with Ralph, and spending time at the hospital starts to feel like a part-time job. Oh well, whatever it takes to make sure Mary Rose is healthy, right? 

Well, that is all the news I have for now. I hope you have a wonderful week! 

To check out outfits that are way more fashionable than mine, please visit A Blog For My Mom

Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Names, Pregnancy, Food, and Boys {7QT}

1. For our girl, we have decided on a double first name with a single middle name for two reasons. The first being that the name Mary wasn't really on our girl name list, but we conceived this baby after finishing a novena to Our Lady of Lourdes after many years of infertility and miscarriage and just six weeks shy of my 40th birthday, so we want to recognize the Blessed Mother in our daughter's name. The second reason is that being that I am 40, and this is probably my first and last daughter, I wanted to use two names that have always appealed to me - Rose and Elizabeth. So we will call her Mary Rose. Her middle name is Elizabeth.

2. I am 25 weeks along now. Next week I have my one-hour glucose test. I did one in my first trimester and passed. I am hoping for the same results this time, but I am not feeling super confident. 

3. And because my doctor loves me so much (or not) I also have to do a 24-hour collection test next week. Sometimes my blood pressure is a bit high at my appointments. Not always, just sometimes. I take my blood pressure twice a day at home (doctor's order), and they are always fine. But I am overweight and 40-years old, so both my regular and my high-risk OB are just waiting for bad results. They have already told me that nonstress tests are in my future. I am enjoying the good results while I can.

4. So far I have only gained 18 pounds. Before conceiving, I lost a little over 20 pounds, so I still have not gained all the weight I lost back. I am considering that a win for my overall health!  

5. Over the last several weeks, I started incorporating Trim Healthy Mama meals and principles into my day to help control blood sugar levels and keep my weight gain at a slower rate. This week is the first week that I have fully stuck to the program. I am not sure how it has affected my weight or my blood sugar levels, but I have not needed as many Tums this week. Wednesday I didn't need Tums at all, and last night I only needed one Tums before bed. I think that is amazing! 

6. I made Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole for the first time this week, and it was a huge hit. 

7. I haven't said much about the boys recently. They are all well and happy. All three of them had birthdays this summer, as I have two June babies and one July baby. Here is a picture of them from last month. 

For more Quick Takes please visit Kelly. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Sunday Best #4

Well, I didn't manage to link up with Rosie last week for My Sunday Best, but do not fear I have a picture and a story to tell from last week. 

Last Sunday I wore a hand-me-down dress from Motherhood Maternity. I have no idea how many years old it is, but I wish I could buy a few more in different colors. I love that it has sleeves. I do not like going sleeveless. I currently own five dresses that I can wear, but only two of them I feel comfortable wearing without a cardigan. It has been so hot that even my summer cardigans are too uncomfortable to wear. And I had to wear flip-flops to Mass again because my foot is still healing! 

Okay, time for the funny story that happened last Sunday. Chris has been dropping Ralph and I close to the entrance of the church because of my sore foot, and then parking the car before he and Thomas join us inside. Let me set this up properly, me a 40-year-old pregnant woman and a cute 8-year-old boy holding hands while walking into Church together. Well, as we were walking into the church, a man approached me and said "Good Morning." I replied with a smile and "Hello." Then he stepped a bit closer to me and asked, "Are you single because if you are, I would like to take you out to breakfast." His question caught me off guard, so all I did was chuckle at first. Then I politely told him I was married. He responded, "Oh well, it was worth a try", and then continued to walk us in while talking about the weather. After we had blessed ourselves with the holy water, we parted ways. It left me feeling bewildered and a bit embarrassed! But the feeling passed, and I was able to laugh about it with Chris after Mass. 

      23 weeks                                                /                                         24 weeks           

Yesterday, I decided to wear capris because of the heat and not wanting to wear a cardigan with a dress (as I explained above). Everything I wore was older Motherhood Maternity. I like the shirt a lot because it has just enough of a sleeve to cover my upper arm, but no so much sleeve that I would have been too hot. I finally got my foot into my brown sandals (from Kohls several years ago), but unfortunately, it is not comfortable to wear my black sandals yet.

Have a happy and relaxing week! 

For more My Sunday Best, please visit A Blog For My Mom
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