My Girls + A Few Baby Things

Y'all, we are having the best week! Baby Caroline is the sweetest. My mom is here helping and even though she broke my coffee pot of eight years, I'm glad she's staying for a couple more days. We couldn't survive (or thrive) without her!

The baby is easy. It's the older kids that challenge me to my wits end.

Regardless, I've nothing but love for these girlies! And the boys, too. These are sweet times that I'll long for the rest of my life.

A few things you might need to know about...

It's not like me to mention unmentionables on my blog, but this nursing bra is by far the best I've ever owned. It's so soft and comfortable you could sleep in it, and it gives a lot of support and provides a natural shape under your clothes. And the price! $14.99

This set of Carter's onesies is working great as Caroline's daily uniform. I really like the colors.

One of my readers mentioned how she likes to have a lot of places to set her baby down safely around the house. I have a rock n' play in our bedroom, but also got this bouncy seat to keep in the kitchen. Except my kids keep moving it to other rooms. It's driving me CRAZY. That and the constant removal of sofa cushions.



Caroline Frances Spooner
8:19 a.m.
7 lbs 5oz 20in

She's here, and she is a she, and she is the sweetest, little thing you have ever seen! At 7 lbs 5 oz, she is our smallest baby, and it is a foreign experience after my nearly 10 pounder, George.

Things have gone so smoothly - the delivery, hospital stay, nursing, etc. God exceedingly answered all our prayers for health and safety. The kids are Caroline's biggest fans, and they are feeling so big and proud their new sister.

I took this verse into surgery with me...

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you. 
Isaiah 26:3

We are deeply grateful for the precious, undeserved gift we have in our new daughter, Caroline.


First Day of First Grade

Officially, we have a first grader!

Stephen was eager to start a new year. I love this picture with his good buddy, Townes.

Here's last year

His love language is physical touch, can you tell?

One of my favorite things about Stephen's school is the elementary age kids are dismissed at 12:30. I love this unusual schedule, and I think it is a real gift to the families. The idea is you have time to do your homework, rest, be with family, and do extra curricular activities- unhurried. 

Three cheers for a new year!

A tip from my friend, Beth, about school uniforms...come home and change right away. This will prolong the life of the uniform. They ain't cheap.

We are trying to start and keep this habit. We are 1 for 1, so far.  

P.S. Tomorrow is baby day! Will keep you posted.


Dinner Idea: Taco Salad

I forget about taco salad. Do you?

Do you ever make it?


We had it the other night, and it was a win win all the way around. For the children, I served it deconstructed

I love meals like this that don't involve a full blown recipe. You merely have to assemble.

Make taco meat. Open and drain a can of beans. Wash and chop lettuce. Pile on some tortilla chips. Grate cheese. Top with diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos. The end.

Also, I love to add black olives. None are pictured here because we ate them all, and this salad was one I made for lunch the next day.


P. S. Several of you have told me that Zulily is having a great sale on Magna-Tiles. Awesome!


A Toy Worth Investing In: Magna-Tiles

I can officially attest that Magna-Tiles are the BEST toy. Are you familiar with them?! They are colorful shaped building magnets with endless possibilities.

A couple weeks ago, my mom asked if she could buy my children something to get us through these last few weeks of summer and home stretch of pregnancy. Thank you, Mama!

I immediately thought of Magna-Tiles.

They have been on my Amazon wishlist for awhile. I was planing on buying a set for Christmas, but they have come in so handy right now.

They day they arrived, we had a Magna-Tile marathon. Hours of fun.

And ever since, we've just been going and going. Cousins and friends love them, too - all ages and stages.

The end of summer is SO hot where we live. Think jungle of Vietnam. That hot.

It has been wonderful to have an inside activity to keep their hands busy.

This last picture, Laurie is lining up all her creations before bedtime.

Though they are a little pricy on the front end, this toy is totally worth the investment.


Also, I notice if they begin to lose interest, all I have to do is start building something myself and they jump right in.

Along those lines, this blog post, Self Entertainment and Settling In, was helpful and inspiring.


Baby Ready + Dreams of Non-Maternity Clothes

I'm dreaming of non-maternity clothes.

And sleeping on my stomach again.

Most of all, I'm dreaming of meeting the little guy or gal who is about to join our inner family circle.

I'm one week out! School supplies are bought. Food is in the freezer. Nursery is done. House is stocked with paper plates, dog food, laundry detergent, etc. We are ready!

Unfortunately, insomnia is here in full effect, and so this morning I asked Stephen if he would take the morning shift and get up with kids. Not that I was sleeping in, but at least I could lounge in bed a little longer. He made me scrambled eggs and toast, and like a lady of leisure I had breakfast in bed.

As history tells it, I overdo things close to big life events. But this time I've planned ahead and I'm taking it easy. Last week, my goal was to be productive before noon and after that I let myself to take the afternoon "off." Of course I was still a mother after noon, but I didn't push myself to clean, cook, or take on any major task....unless I felt like it.

In my down time, I've had plenty of time to pin outfits to my what to wear Pinterest board. And as a result I've had some fashion revelations about myself.

I've learned that I really really like over sized, grey sweaters and/or sweat shirts with skinny jeans.
I'm all about all black outfits.
I'm totally intrigued by the sneaker look.

These will be fun things to experiment with in due time.

1 / 2 / 3

I've also realized how much I'm drawn to accessories but never wear any myself. I think as I attend to my post baby wardrobe, I need to slowly acquire some nice accessories....like a watch, cool shoes, some scarves, etc.

My tendency is to buy dressier pieces after babies because I'm so sick of lounge wear. But really, this is impractical. If I have one "going out" top, I'm good.

From having a summer uniform, I've experienced first hand how nice it is to limit clothing decisions on a day to day basis. It makes it so easy to get dressed. I'm hoping to carry this concept over to the next season and phase of life.

Clothes are my weakness, and I'm prone to impulse buying. I'm hoping that by getting to know my style a little better I can buy less but what I love.


What about you? Are there any looks you are excited to try?


Also, I've heard that skinny jeans are on the wane and flares are all the rage? Don't worry, I've also read that skinny jeans aren't going anywhere for good.


Baby's Teeny Closet Nursery

Long story short, our master bedroom is weird.

It had been cheaply and poorly renovated before we bought the house. No closet, half carpet, half hardwood floors, no bathroom door - total weirdness. So when we moved in, as a solution to all the weird, Stephen made a third of the room into 3 nice size closets, an "office" for me, a master closet, and a hunting/tool closet for himself.

It works. Oh, and we also added a bathroom door. Who doesn't have a bathroom door?!

When we found out baby was on the way, we began converting my "office" into a nursery. I love how this teeny, closet nursery turned out! Sometimes I go in here and soak in the serenity. It's the only space that stays clean (for now).

By baby #4 you think I'd be tired of putting together nurseries? Nope, it never gets old.


I had the alphabet print and Babar print from previous baby rooms.

The crib has been passed along from my cousin to sister and now me. George is still sleeping in his crib, and I was not about to take it away from him and throw off his 3 hour afternoon siestas.

I ordered the storage boxes and changing table from Amazon.

I wanted to find the perfect sized dresser because I don't really like buying such temporary pieces of furniture i.e. changing tables. But after searching high and low around town, I gave it up and got just what I needed with the right dimensions to fit the corner.

The Walter Anderson animal watercolors I've had since Stephen was a baby.

I'm so into coat hooks right now. I'm about to order some for the other kids' rooms. Book bags, jackets, dress up clothes, towels...they can really help a mama out.

This is where the baby's few hanging clothes will live.

As for the day gowns, the pink one was mine and the blue one was Stephen's (I think). As to which one baby will be wearing home from the hospital, I have no clue! The Lord only knows. I have no guess.

Here's my stack of previously loved on, muslin swaddle blankets. 

For the Runaway Bunny illustrations, I ripped out pages from one of our copies and spray painted old, cheap frames yellow.

The curtains are a white sheet, cut to fit the window, and edged with pom pom trim.

Behind one of the curtains are these surprise 3 little birdies. These are Carl Wolfe birds were all given to me as gifts over the years.

The huge stuffed rhino is a gift from my parents. My children love it.

And this fine biggest brother, the leader of our small tribe, is so sweet and excited and generally loves life.

"This is the greatest world," he told me the other day. Glad you see it that way, Stephen. Your glass is always half full. Not a bad way to be when you're six.


Kitchen Tips

When it comes to food, even if you simplify as much as possible... shopping, cooking, etc - on whatever level you do it - takes time and energy. I always have to remind myself that I dislike shopping and cooking on the same day. It's exhausting. I've found that I prefer to round up all the food one day and do my cooking and meal prepping on a day I'm planning to be at home.

Here's my farmer's market goods for this week. $19.50 total. All this would have been twice as much at the grocery store.

I recently learned a tip about cutting boards. If you have one that slides - which I do - put a slightly damp paper towel under it to give it some grip. It holds the board perfectly in place.

I love these Pure Kamachi knives.They were inexpensive and work really well. I've had mine over a year. They are a little lighter weight than your average knife which takes a little getting used to. Costco sells these on big time sale a couple of times a year. I think I bought mine for $30.

Every week or so, I find it helpful to make up a bunch of food in one session and have it all ready and available in the fridge. If I put couple of hours in on a Saturday morning, it gives me the freedom to coast for a few days. This past Saturday I made pimento cheese, chicken salad, homemade granola, chocolate chip cookie dough, and a bunch of sandwiches.

I love this box of sandwiches idea. This time I made turkey with light mayo and some pimento cheese. Between each layer of sandwiches, I placed a barely damp paper towel to prevent the bread from drying out. My box holds 12 whole sandwiches. These were perfect to come home to for Sunday lunch after church. I cut up some fruit and lunch was done!

Later that afternoon, I baked some of the cookies from the already-made dough.

You can add fresh, sliced tomatoes and lettuce right before serving.

Publix started selling my favorite Greek Gods Greek Yogurt. It's THE best. It inspired me to make homemade granola. I think this is a wonderful base recipe/tutorial. There is so much flexibility with homemade granola. I love it.

A while back I caught a really great sale on Ziploc bags at Costco. Because they were there, I found myself defaulting to them for most of my food storage. When we ran out of bags, I never replaced them and have been using plastic containers to store fruits, vegetables, leftovers, etc. I thought the washing of so many containers would be a burden. Turns out it's not at all. This is much more economical!

I would love to invest in some ceramic containers with lids if I found some I liked. 

On the same topic of disposable kitchen products, I did buy a pack of 300 paper plates. With baby coming so soon, it seemed practical. I love getting a rest from constant dishes.

Last but not least, chicken salad with these Rosemary & olive oil Triscuits is a fantastic combination. My mother-in-law served this to me at her house the other day, and I immediately came home and had to re-create the experience.


What about you? Got any tips?


Also, Feeding My Family: How I Deal
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...