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The crocheted blanket she's laying on was mine as a baby :)
Here she is! Our precious baby girl.  I can't believe how fast the time since she was born has flown!  She's already 3 and a half months old!

She was born on February 11th,  weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 20 inches long.  She was a big baby for me, since I'm only 4' 9" tall.  But she's so healthy and I'm so thankful.

I was away from my blog longer than I had planned to be, but with good reason.  Just spending time getting to know my little daughter, and getting back to my daily routine while learning how to work taking care of her into it.

I'm now ready to get back to my blog and newsletter, just with less frequency than before.  But I have lots of interesting thoughts and ideas to share with you, as well as getting started on a new book!  I know, I haven't released the first one yet, but I'm working on it.  I hope to have it ready in the next month or two.  

In the meantime, stay tuned and stay in touch as I jump back into blogging.  I was a professional photographer in the past, so I'm sure you'll be seeing lots of photos of my new little one!

 
 
If you ever doubt God's love for you, remember what the Bible says:

"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."

Psalm 139:13-16

 
 
Here I am, a mere 4 days from meeting my baby girl!  While I'm excited, I'm nervous about the struggles that lay ahead.  I was watching an episode of Quints by Surprise the other day and an idea struck me.  I struggled a lot with the sleep deprivation, nursing and constant neediness of my son during his first year.  Now I’m just weeks away from having my daughter, and the fears of those same struggles are haunting me and filling me with dread.  But the idea from the Quints show came to me: no matter how difficult things may get dealing with an infant, at least I only have ONE!  I mean, watching this family deal with 5 little ones, 5 times the crying, 5 times the feedings, 5 times the diaper changes, etc. makes me so thankful for my one little bundle I’ll be bringing home! 

So over the next few months when I feel overwhelmed, I’m going to do my best to remind myself that at least I’ve only got one little baby to take care of.  My prayers go out to those who do have more than one at a time of course.  But I’ll be taking so much comfort in the fact that God has seen fit to give me just the one, and I’ll be doing my best to enjoy as much of it as I can too.


Are you ever overwhelmed by an aspect of motherhood, and then you see someone else’s story who struggles more than you do?  Maybe a family with financial challenges, single parenting or a seriously ill child?  How did it affect your outlook on your own situation?  Let us know in the comments section below.


 
 
In about two weeks, my husband will be driving me to the hospital to have a C-section and deliver our baby girl.  That's the plan anyway.  She could decide to come early, as some babies do.  But assuming everything goes as planned, I'll have a new baby and home recovering in mid-February.  Because of this, you may notice less posts here on my blog.  Ten years ago I gave birth to my son through C-section, and remember the recovery being pretty tough on me.  I'm expecting the same, maybe even worse this time around, me being 10 years older.  So I'm going to give myself plenty of time to rest, which means I'll have less time to devote to my blog. There will still be posts, just less of them, until I'm healed and able to devote more time to it again.  

I'm still hoping to release my book before the baby is born though, so stay tuned!  And remember, if you want special, subscriber-only pricing on my book, you'll need to sign up for my newsletter ASAP. The special pricing will be for a very limited time before the book is released to the public, so don't waste any time getting signed up!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your birth stories.  Please tell us a special experience, a memory, or even a negative experience and/or advice related to childbirth you have for others.  We'd love to hear it!

 
 
Next month, I'll be giving birth to a baby girl!  It's been 10 years since the last time I gave birth, so it's like I'm starting all over.  Needless to say, I didn't have anything from the last time I had a baby, so I'm starting fresh with new items for my daughter.  Here are some of my favorite things on my wishlist for my new baby:
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Moby Wrap Baby Carrier
I used a sling with my son, and loved it!  This one looks even more comfy than the one I used before.
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Nursing Cover
I don't know if nursing covers even existed 10 years ago, but I never saw them.  I used blankets to cover up with, and I was always having trouble keeping them from falling down and exposing myself. This one has a strap that goes around your neck so it falling off won't be a problem.  Love that!
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Jogger Stroller
Can't wait to heal from my c-section and get back in shape.  This is a jogger stroller so I can do just that.  What I love most about this stroller is that the car seat attaches to the stroller with the baby facing me, like in a baby carriage.  I'm so looking forward to using this stroller!
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Baby Memory Book
I think this is the cutest baby book and love that it has a window for a picture of my baby girl.
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Disney Princess Enchanted Convertible Crib
What can I say, except that this bed is every little girly girl's fantasy!  My husband and I were looking at this bed in the store yesterday and he said, "We are getting that bed for our little girl!"  He's even charmed by the fantasy!  So cute!
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My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
I had a regular "Bobby" style nursing pillow 10 years ago, and had so much trouble.  It wasn't very supportive, and made it very difficult for me to be comfortable while nursing.  Not sure if it's just that I have short arms or what, but I can't sit up and nurse without some sort of pillow.  This one looks much more supportive, and it wraps around the mother's back so it will stay in place.  I'm hoping for more success with this style.
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Fisher-Price Deluxe Cradle Swing
This is another "baby girl fantasy" item for me!  Absolutely sweet an adorable!
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Skip Hop Grab & Go Stroller Organizer
Wouldn't this be so handy for when you're out and about with your baby?  Looks like it will make keeping things together and organized so easy.
Well, those are some of my favorites on my wishlist.  What products did you love the best when you had a little one?  Please share them with us on here.  You may have used something that will help me and/or my blog readers, and as a mother, you know we all need all the help we can get!
 
 
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Do you love coffee but don't love how unhealthy it can be with all the sugar added?  I used to drink coffee pretty regularly, adding lots of flavored liquid creamer to it.  These creamers have a lot of sugar in them, as well as artificial flavors, which I'm also not crazy about.  So eventually, I stopped drinking coffee for a while, but got to the point where I wanted to drink it again.  But I was at a loss for how I would enjoy my coffee without lots of sugar and flavor.

What I decided to do was experiment with natural flavorings.  I've pretty much eliminated all artificial sweeteners from my diet, and I don't like the taste of stevia in hot liquids.  Maybe it's just me, but it tastes funny in hot beverages, but I do like it in cold ones.  Anyway, I decided to focus on flavor, so here's what I do now to make my coffee yummy:

I don't like a strong coffee flavor, so I guess what I really like is coffee-flavored milk :)  So I pour a little coffee in my cup and fill the rest with milk and/or milk and cream.  Then I add different natural flavors like vanilla extract, almond extract, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, etc.  You'd be amazed at how good coffee tastes without sugar in it when it is flavored with spices and extracts!  This morning I put vanilla extract, cinnamon and cloves in my coffee, and I didn't miss the sugar one bit.  

So if you're trying to cut back on sugar but love coffee, experiment with different natural flavors.  Some other ideas:
  • peppermint extract
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • raspberry extract
  • banana extract
  • nut extracts

The possibilities are endless!  Take a look through your spices and I'll bet you've already got quite a few things in there to create a really delicious cup of sugar-free coffee.  Let me know how your experiments go and share any new flavors or flavor combinations you discover!

photo credit: enigmachck1 via photopin cc
 
 
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I'm always looking for simple meal ideas, and I've found one that I'm in love with!  First off, I discovered an amazing blog, The Yummy Life, which I've also fallen in love with.  If you love recipes and beautiful photos of food, you must visit Monica Matheny's blog.

I'm pretty lazy most days when it comes to breakfast.  The kids usually get up and help themselves to cold cereal.  When my husband is home, he loves to cook eggs and bacon and pancakes, but the rest of the time breakfast is pretty boring.  On occasion I do make oatmeal and love playing around with the flavors.  That's why I love the idea of the no-cook refrigerator oatmeal!  I can make individual servings with flavors for each of my kids, pop them in the fridge and then pull them out in the morning and breakfast is served!

Here's the link for the full recipe.  Be sure to leave me a comment on what you think and do the same for Monica on her blog.  Thanks!

 
 
I'm so excited to share with you that I have completed writing my book, Simplifying Your Life with Kids!  I'm now working on formatting and proofreading it, adding illustrations, etc. and plan to have it available online within the next few weeks!  If you've contributed a tip for consideration of possible inclusion in the book, I'll let you know soon whether your tip made it or not.

Stay tuned to my blog for more information on when the book will be available.  Better yet, sign up for my newsletter to be notified before everyone else and to get special subscriber-only pricing!  In addition, the book will be available only to subscribers at first, so be sure to sign up ASAP.

Thanks!
 
 
Normally, each year I write down my New Year's Resolutions, but things seem a little different this year.  Don't get me wrong; I do have things I want to change and improve on, but I just have so many things to focus on this year that I haven't had in previous years.  Custody issues, blended family issues, being a newlywed, and the birth of my baby coming up next month.  These are the things my mind is preoccupied with lately, and New Year's Resolutions just don't seem so important in comparison.  But if I were to list some things I want for this year, they would be to

  • strengthen my relationship with my husband and children
  • after the baby's born, lose my baby weight and then some
  • make healthier meals for my family
  • make some new friends in my new town
  • get rid of clutter and get my house organized


I'm sure I'll work on some, if not all, of these, but undoubtedly my focus will be most of the time on the baby.  If you're reading this blog, you've probably had a baby before, and you know how it is.

Do you have New Year's Resolutions?  Or are you like me, with some heavy issues weighing on you that need your focus?  Share them with me in the comments below.
 
 
I've been taking a break from blogging during the holidays, so I'm a little late with this, but I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Day!  I'll be back to blogging regularly soon, and with some exciting announcements, so stay tuned!
 

    Author
    Angela Smith

    I'm just an ordinary mom like you with lots of thoughts and ideas in my head. I'm a "stay-at-home mom", for lack of a better description. I do get out of the house, quite a lot actually, but I do most of my work at home, I guess. 

    Read more about Angela...

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