Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Days 21-30 & Debrief

Day 21: Today I am thankful for girlfriends to hang out with this evening. And also thankful that the swelling in my hands and feet from yesterday has gone down this morning.

Day 22: Thankful to have Daniel and that he is such a wonderful father to Leeland. Nothing like waking up this morning to my boys talking football and touchdowns. 

Day 23: Thankful that we have made it to the 3rd trimester with our baby boy Hayden.

Day 24: Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! Here I am so thankful for Daniel, Leeland and Hayden (on the way.) So blessed to have a roof over our heads & food on the table. And most importantly, thankful for my God who is the provider of it all.

Day 25: Today I am thankful that we have everything that we NEED. It's no secret that when you drop to one income, it gets a little tighter, but I can honestly sit here and say that I am content with what we have. Feels weird to not be shopping on black Friday like I usually do, but there's nothing that I want or need. Happy at home.

Day 26: So thankful today and everyday for the men and women who serve our country in the military. But on this day, I'm especially thankful for my brother-in-law Nate! We love you buddy and miss you so much, look forward to having you back on this side of the pond. Happy birthday buddy- there will be a cake ready for you when you get back.

Day 27: I'm so thankful that I have such awesome in-laws. It's really great to have such selfless, loving, and supportive adults for Daniel and I to go to. Love you guys and I know that Leeland really loves his G-Ma and PaPa too.

Day 28: Today I am thankful for the ability to create. I love dabbling in crocheting, sewing and baking- I do not consider myself a pro at any of them and am always learning new techniques but I must say that I really enjoy my crafting hobbies. And it makes me feel even better when I can save us a little money by making things myself.

Day 29: Today I am thankful for MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers)! Adult interaction and fellowship for Mommy, and lots of fun, cool toys and children for Leeland to play with for a couple hours.

Day 30: Thankful today for free guest passes to the Natural Science Center that were passed along to me. Looking forward to taking Leeland for the 1st time and also spending time with friends and their children. What a blessing that person gave us and they have no idea how much it means to me.

Just to say a little bit about this Thanksgiving project-- it has been incredibly fun, challenging and also eye opening.  All of us like to think that we are innately good and that as "good people" we are of course gracious, courteous and thankful.  But I'm not afraid to admit what this project truly was-- this was a CHALLENGE.  Coming up with something new each day to be thankful for aside from the hum drum food, clothes, shelter was kind of difficult.  What an eye opener to truly sit and reflect and open my eyes to the MANY blessings that we have as a family! And what a perfect time for my eyes to be opened: 1) During this season of mass consumerism, I am now so much more focused on what the season is truly about and 2) Money has never been more tight around here than it is now.  I can sit around and mope about it and be depressed about it, or I can think about all that we DO have.  

Hope you all have enjoyed your season of Thanksgiving-- Christmas is coming next.  I encourage each of you to focus on the reason for the season.  Don't get caught up in the "me, me, me" "buy, buy, buy" attitude of our society.  Blessings!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crocheted blanket.

After being sidetracked by other projects, the regular household duties, and just plain laziness, I have finally finished crocheting the project that I first spoke about here in.... ummm... September.  This took much longer than it should have for sure and I really don't have much of an excuse. 

The end result is a blanket for Hayden.  (So really I didn't have to finish for another 3 months :D)  It's a little bit bigger than I expected so it will be a blanket that he can grow into.  I found the pattern out of a crochet book called "Cuddly Crochet."  I bought the book at a local craft store last year and have gotten a lot of use out of it, had some fun, had a little stress, and learned some new techniques.  Most of the patterns in the book are classified as "easy" and would be suitable for a somewhat beginner crocheter.  Going into this book, I only knew how to crochet a "single crochet stitch," and I now know many more stitches.  The book goes over some of the how-to's in the beginning with diagrams and pictures, it breaks down yarn weights and also gauges.  There is also a very handy glossary in the back that breaks down all the crochet abbreviations in the patterns.  The hardest thing from this book when I first started was making the hats.  My stitches tend to be a little bit larger than the author's and therefore if I made a hat with the amount of stitches she suggests, my hat was far too big-- it took some tweaking for me to figure out the edits to accommodate my stitches but I have successfully made hats for Leeland, and also for some friends' babies.  Without further ado, here is Hayden's hand crocheted sheep blanket.

I love how all the hexagons put together give the blanket a more unique shape than the typical square.  I also love (though the pictures don't show it) that the sheep are 3D.  The little sheep heads and ears are pretty fluffy and kind of pop out of the blanket-- I can totally see our baby boy sitting on this blanket very amused by that and possibly trying to yank them off.  Daniel's critique of the blanket is that he says the sheep need legs, but I think it's meant to be a bit more abstract.  Plus I would think the legs of the sheep would need to be black and I don't know that black yarn stitched onto the navy blue would show up very well. 

I am very pleased with it, and it feels good to have it completed.  Now on to figuring out what my next project will be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Days 11-20

Day 11: As we head out to Leeland's check-up appointment later, I am thankful for healthcare professionals.  *His check up went great this day by the way. At 19 months old he is 23 pounds, 1 ounce and a little over 33 inches tall.  Still very high on the scale for his height and low for his weight but he's staying consistent. 

Day 12: Today I am so thankful to know so many excellent photographers. Talented men and women who help us capture special memories as a family. Family photo session this morning with Alisa. Thanks Alisa!

Day 13: Thankful today for family.

Day 14: Today I am so thankful to have a working washing machine and dryer. They aren't anything fancy, but they sure do get the job done.

Day 15: I am incredibly thankful for coupons! It's always been tight around the Kroh house and it's so nice to have a little extra help to decrease the grocery budget. Every little bit adds up to make a big difference.

Day 16: I am extremely thankful today and everyday for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don't deserve the many blessings he continues to provide us with. It's hard to think about my life before I knew Him, but I am SO happy that he brought me out of that life and made me new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Day 17: Thankful for this "challenge" that has definitely put some things in perspective.

Day 18: Very thankful for my AWESOME sister Paige who helped me clean the carpets today. Thanks sis! I love you tons! *A toddler and a dog can do A LOT of damage to carpets and it probably doesn't help that our carpets are white.  Unbelievably excited to have them clean!

Day 19: Thankful for my Granny. She is so selfless and loving of others. Enjoyed hanging out today with the family over some of Granny's delicious brunswick stew. (A yearly tradition to enjoy this yummy yummy food the weekend before Thanksgiving.)

Day 20: Thankful for more family time. Celebrating thanksgiving a wee bit early with my family today. Excited for all the good eats too--being pregnant during the holidays is the best!!! *On this day, we celebrated Thanksgiving early with my family because my sister would be out of town on Thanksgiving day. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New foods.

Leeland is starting to develop an excellent palate for food. He went through a stage in the past few months where he refused to eat several different things but mostly vegetables.  I offered him vegetables every night at dinner anyways but they unfortunately typically got thrown to the dog. But now he's starting to come around to them and can be found scarfing down carrots and corn and squash at the dinner table.  And we also recently discovered that he likes things that are a bit spicy!  He downed several bowls of chili that his Grandmother (Daniel's mom) made us last week, and he was surprisingly very in to some spicy BBQ chips that Daniel was eating last week. Here are some messy chili photos--

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Family Photos 2011.

We had our family photos taken this past weekend! I am so excited to share a little sneak peek. Photos taken by Alisa at the Old Guilford Mill.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 1-10

I'm not sure entirely where this idea came from.  I feel like there was something similar done over the radio on KLove last year during the month of November, this year I have noticed lots of friends sharing in the fun on Facebook so I decided to join them.  I have been posting daily on Facebook in my status something that I am thankful for, for each day of this lovely month of November.  For recording purposes, and reflecting on later I guess, I would like to post those on the blog as well-- so here's what I came up with for Days 1 through 10.

Day 1- SO thankful to be at home everyday with our little Leeland. Cherishing all these moments with him and memories made.

Day 2- Thankful for awesome Christian musicians and Christian radio broadcasting-- songs that are encouraging and uplifting to me, and that I love to hear Leeland singing along to. 

Day 3- Thankful for a healthy pregnancy thus far and to have 24 weeks behind us. Also thankful for my midwife appointment this afternoon, and hoping Leeland can hang through it because I didn't get a baby-sitter. 

Day 4- Today I am so very thankful for my best friend and husband, Daniel. He's the man of my dreams and I am so happy to be married to him! :D Thank you Daniel for all your hard work for our family, can't wait to snap green beans with you when we're old. ♥

Day 5- Though I am really missing my Mommy today, I am thankful for the almost 8 years of my life that she was here. Thankful for the love and memories that we shared. (17 years today, love and miss you Mommy)

Day 6- Thankful for the weekends and quality time with my family. With our previous jobs, Daniel and I hardly ever saw each other, we were always "tagging in and tagging out" to care for Leeland. Now we get 2 full days a week to rest and relax! 

Day 7- Thankful for the roof over our heads and the food on the table.

Day 8- Today I am thankful for loving, caring and supportive friends. Friends who I don't see near often enough (sorry about that) but are always there.

Day 9- Today I am thankful for the knowledge shared to me by a dear friend about cloth diapers and for our stash of cloth diapers. They have saved us SO much money and have been super fun to use too. 

Day 10- Today I am thankful for Leeland and that he lets me sleep in every morning. Very appreciative of my sleep these days, as I know that I will be greatly deprived of it in about 15 weeks or so.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A pregnancy update.

I am now 25 weeks pregnant and seem to be chugging right along.  This pregnancy has gone by SO much faster than when I was pregnant with Leeland.  I think in large part, I felt like time was crawling by with my 1st pregnancy because of all the excitement and anticipation. It's like when you're a little kid, anxiously awaiting Christmas or a rare vacation to the beach.  Not to say that I'm not excited about the 2nd pregnancy, but I am nervous, anxious and unsure.  I look forward to meeting our 2nd son, but at the same time I am very scared about raising 2 very young children, and am worried about finances and supporting them.

I have been feeling baby Hayden's movements in my belly for quite some time now-- when I was pregnant with Leeland, I didn't feel him move until around 16/17 weeks, but this time around I started feeling some fluttering around 14 weeks.  Daniel even got to feel baby Hayden kicking and wiggling around for the first time a few weeks ago.  He seems to be a very active little boy and should fit right in with his older brother Leeland.

The morning sickness and nausea finally subsided around 19 weeks which I am very thankful for, and I have started getting my energy back-- though I will admit I still enjoy an occasional afternoon nap while Leeland naps.  All of those who know me pretty well, are well aware that I LOVE my sleep. (Just ask my past room mates.)

I mentioned in a previous post that we are going to a different OB office this pregnancy.  Not to say that I was disappointed in the care that I received at the previous office I was going to, but we are wanting to go a more natural route this time around.  The office we are going to has 5 midwives on staff, and I look forward to having a non-medicated, natural vaginal childbirth this time around.  We are attending a class in December on water birth and are leaning towards that.

My emotions this pregnancy have been sort of up and down which is pretty typical for a pregnant person I guess- Haha! In a lot of ways I feel very prepared, full of knowledge from all the books I read and classes I attended when I was expecting Leeland.  But on the other hand I feel absolutely terrified and completely unprepared.  So unsure about the labor of caring for 2 children, I feel it's so difficult to get to the grocery store with just Leeland.  I'm unsure about being capable of giving Leeland my best as a Mom, when I will be so sleep deprived with night feedings for Hayden.  Though we have much of what we need for Hayden such as some of Leeland's baby clothes, Leeland's infant car seat, and such. There is still much that we do need, like another crib along with mattress and bedding, small size cloth diapers (because we started Leeland around 5/6 months), another booster chair and some random odds and ends for baby's hygiene needs.  I know my family will probably provide me with a baby shower, but I go back and forth about whether I agree with it-- when we have most of the things taken care of, and people just gave us SO much a year and a half ago, I feel bad about "asking" them to give to us again.  But at the same time, when money is already tight, it's hard to calculate where the stuff will come from on our own.

So much to take in and sort out over the next 15 weeks.  One thing I am sure of, is that I look forward to this journey with Daniel.  We are a team, and we are in this together! I know that he shares the same excitement and also woes that I do which from conversations with other parents are completely normal.

It's an exciting time in our life, and the Lord continues to show us how bogus our plans are, and how we should be following after Him and giving over to His plans.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wonder Pets Cake

Yesterday was my nephew's 1st birthday and here are a few photos of his Wonder Pets themed cake that I made, a sheet cake, and his own personal "smash cake."

I'd say that's the look of a satisfied customer!