March 30, 2010

Baby Martin: Month 8 & Baby Tips

Well my friends, can you believe we're into the 8 month?! (You like how I say "we" like this is a group effort? I mean, really, it is, because y'all are the best at moral support and helping me with decision making!) Anyway, I know I sure can't believe I'm almost 34 weeks. Time has absolutely flown by and I'm just blown away when people ask me how much longer I have and I respond with "6 weeks?" like it's a question. And then I'm like, "holy crap - 6 weeks!!" and drop whatever I'm doing to rush home and try to get my house organized. But usually end up sitting on the couch eating Starburst or Sweetarts Jelly Beans instead. Easter candy, be gone already. You are not my friend when it comes to the weigh-ins. Don't kid yourself though - if mama finds an after-Easter clearance sale where I can snag a bag for 50 cents, you better believe we'll be storing up for the winter. But I digress.

Pregnancy wise? Still feeling great, sleeping well...have I mentioned I feel so blessed to have had such a great pregnancy?! Cause I do! As far as the little guy goes, he is extremely active and I felt my first hiccups night before last...too cute! Unfortunately at this point he is footling breech, which I had no clue what that meant, but apparently it's like he's doing a squat in my womb. So as of now, we're looking at a c-section, unless he turns pretty soon. We'll do an ultrasound at 36 weeks to see how his position is and plan from there. I honestly don't care just as long as we get him here safe & healthy...I have so much to be thankful for!! Here is my 8 month collage...please excuse my flat hair in my 8 month picture...I was out of hairspray - oh the horror!
I also thought I'd share something that gave me a little laugh. Patrick brought this home from work the other day and some of them totally cracked me up! I scanned it in so it's a little hard to see, but hopefully when you click on the image itself it will be large enough that you can read them. I will say...as I'm about to be a first-time mom, I found this incredibly beneficial. :)
So which tip is your favorite? :)


March 28, 2010

Great Weekend & a Giveaway!


We are home from a wonderful weekend! We took a road trip to Branson to go to a marriage conference called "Weekend to Remember." We had such a great time! This was our 2nd time to attend one of their conferences. When Patrick graduated residency, one of his attending's paid for us to go to one of these as a graduation gift. At first I was like - "Wait! Does he think our marriage is in trouble?!" And acted all silly and paranoid. But then Patrick explained to me that he had basically told him this is a good thing to go to no matter where your marriage is. And he was right! First of all, it's just good to get away and spend time together. But it also really gets you talking about things you probably wouldn't otherwise. We really enjoyed it (both times) and think it's a great investment in our marriage. I would encourage you to do the same and try to attend a marriage conference every year (or 2...time got away from us!). They hold this conference all over the US, so you can check out their site here if you're interested, or just find one locally or through your church...I promise it's worth the time & money! :)

And the coolest thing happened while I was there! After one of the Saturday sessions we were walking out through the crowd (there were over 700 people there!) and Patrick and I were talking about how great it was and then he asked how I was feeling. I said good, except my butt was feeling bruised from all the sitting. (What can I say, I keep it real here.) The next thing you know, this sweet girl behind me says, "I just have to ask - are you Sarah Martin?" I said yes, but at this time am thinking she just saw my name tag and probably has me mixed up with another Sarah Martin since it's a very common name. She then proceeds to tell me she reads my blog! And I squeal like a little kid on Christmas morning...don't you just love blogging?! So Laurie, I'm so glad you came and said hi...it was so fun to meet you and chat with you! And I'm so sorry if you heard the comment about my butt being sore. And I guess if you didn't, I just told on myself anyway, so oh well! :) (Please excuse the fact that I look tired, puffy, and blah in this picture...I really was having a great time! Just a little worn out I guess.)
And now for a giveaway! (This is not the one related to my Etsy shop - check back Tuesday for that one.) I carry a burden for those of you who have traveled and are traveling the road of infertility. I forget how fresh it is sometimes, but even this weekend at the conference I cried the few times they mentioned infertility simply because my heart aches for those of you who are still walking that path. I saw this book, and though I haven't personally read it, the reviews are wonderful and from just flipping through it I can see where it would be a really good read! So I decided to pick up a copy to share with one of my lovely blog readers. (As a sidenote, I know when I became pregnant I lost a group of readers who simply couldn't read/comment anymore because of the pain of hearing about my pregnancy. I completely understand and have no hard feelings if that was you. For those of you who were able to stick around, it means a lot to me because I know it can be a struggle. My hope is simply that when you read my blog, you will be reminded that He will never leave you or forsake you, and your day will come!) So here's the book - it's called "Hannah's Hope" and is written by Jennifer Saake.
The book is summarized as this: Hannah's Hope is intended as a guide to assist you in making wise decisions as you struggle through your grief of not yet conceiving, losing a child, or struggling through the adoption process.

And this is from the back cover:

Hannah's heart beat with a mother's love long before she was blessed with a child. Through the years of waiting and longing, her gentle heart was nearly crushed under the weight of grief. You can meet Hannah in the pages of 1 Samuel, chapters 1 and 2. The Bible says she was "barren," and we know she suffered heartache, anguish, and grief because of her empty arms. Perhaps you do too. Hannah's Hope is for all who long for a child yet to be conceived, grieve for a baby too soon passed from the womb, or have lived through the no-man's-land of failed adoption. It is intended as a guide to assist you in making wise decisions as you struggle through your grief. And by the end of the journey, God may surprise you by the ways He uses to answer your heart's cry. Compassionately written by a woman who knows well these painful struggles, Hannah's Hope will direct you to the Source of strength, whose name is "the God of all comfort."

If you (or someone you know) could benefit from this book, I would love for you to have it. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below. Giveaway is open until Thursday, April 1st, at midnight, and the winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Friday.

Again, I want to encourage all of you who are still walking this road in any way. I pray often for those of you who have shared your story and/or blog with me, and I have no doubt the Lord will guide you through this time if you lean fully on Him.


March 25, 2010

What I've Been Up To: iPhone Photos

I've been one busy girl lately, and have enjoyed going & doing lots of things since quitting my full-time job in February. I'm now doing some contract/consulting work and preparing our house for the arrival of the bambino, which has been ideal. I'm really close to being done with the nursery, and I cannot wait to share the pictures of it! In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few pictures from my phone of what I've been up to.

First things first, I want to congratulate my sweet friend Kellie on becoming a mommy at the beginning of February! You might remember Kellie and I met through blogging as we were starting the adoption journey about the same time, and then found out we lived like 45 minutes from each other...so fun. :) We became great friends and I was so sad that they recently moved away for her husband's job. Luckily I got to love on her sweet son some before they left. :)Last week I was busy busy busy because I had a special guest with me for the week...my adorable niece Ellie. We had SO much fun together and now my house is quiet and I'm sad she had to go back to Dallas. :( Here is a picture of her ready to head out to lunch one day...I was wearing a scarf, so she wanted to also. :)

And this is what was waiting on me when I got home last night. My sweet husband surprised me with a Flip video camera and some yummy jelly beans! We've been talking about getting one before E's arrival, but hadn't fully made a decision yet on what kind & when we'd get it. I am so excited to have it and have read & heard great feedback on it. Anybody else have one?
Oh, one last picture to leave you with. Yesterday I wanted to make a quick run into Michael's to get supplies for a project I am working on. Well the parking lot was insane and I couldn't figure out what was going on...until I spotted this. Books-a-Million is next door to Michael's, and apparently "The Dog" and his wife were there for a book signing. Total chaos, I tell you. People were rushing just to get pictures with the bus! Too bad I had a meeting to get to or I surely could've wasted the day away with all the people watching.
Well that's all for now. Be sure to stop by the beginning of next week...I'm finally getting around to starting an Etsy shop, and will have a giveaway to celebrate the occasion!


March 24, 2010

Baby Shower!

I had my first baby shower last weekend, and it was absolutely perfect! There was the slight misfortune of a winter storm dumping about 12 inches of snow that day -- when it had been 73 and beautiful the day before -- only in Oklahoma! Regardless, almost everyone we invited was able to make it and I was so beyond touched that they got out in the nasty weather to come celebrate this special time. And I only cried like 3 times...which was much better than I thought I'd do! I just feel so incredibly blessed. :)

Now for some pictures! As I shared last week, here are the adorable invitations Candice made...beyond cute!!
Here is the entryway of the house where the shower was held. Patrick is part Brazilian, so she had the word "Welcome" displayed in Portuguese -- isn't that neat?! She also had a couple of palm trees out...you can see the snow that had accumulated on one of them towards the end of the shower. (It started snowing about 10 minutes into the shower.)
She made the cutest banners -- one with his name displayed above the sweets table, and the other was a banner of my monthly pregnancy pictures displayed over where the gifts were.She also made THE most amazing cupcakes and cookies with a fondant E on them. There were lots of other great sweets too...cheesecake bites, m&m's, powdered donuts...yum!! While the sweets table was where I spent most of my time (shocker!), she had a variety of other yummy things, too - fruit chicken salad on croissants, fresh fruit & dip, Mediterranean chips...it was all so good! For drinks, they served banana punch (delish!), lemonade, and cucumber water, all in cute cups with little monkey stir sticks.
The favors were amazing as well! Little baby food jars filled with bananas and/or peanut m&m's. She decorated the jars with scrapbook paper and the cutest googly-eyed monkey on top!
I can't believe how many wonderful gifts I got!! I got some great practical stuff, as well as many things we registered for. It is seriously SO much stuff that I won't post pictures of it all, but here is a collage of some of the most unique & fun gifts I received. I won't make you look at pictures of all the practical stuff, even though I'm thrilled we got those essentials, too! :)
And my FAVORITE gift of all...a pair of scrubs my mom made that match the ones Patrick wears!! Are these not precious?! I cannot wait to see daddy carrying around the little guy while he's wearing them. :)
And finally, a picture of me and the hostess with the mostess herself. :) This was outside after the shower - the idea was to get a picture of all the snow behind us, but it was so bright it washed it out unfortunately.
Every detail was absolutely perfect, and I can't thank Candice enough for traveling in to throw this special day for me. Best friends since 3rd grade, and still all these years later! :)


March 23, 2010

DIY Decorative Light Switch Plate

This isn't a new idea, but I still wanted to share because I've had several people mention they'd never thought to do this. Basically I decided to Mod Podge scrapbook paper on to the light switch plates in the nursery. It was super easy, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out! I really think it's a nice decorative accent, and a cheap way to coordinate with your room decor.
I didn't take pictures as I went, but here are the basic instructions.

What you'll need:
-light switch plate
-Mod Podge (I used the gloss kind)
-scrapbook paper (wrapping paper would probably work, too)
-foam brush
-exacto knife or scissors
-pencil

1. Lay your light switch plate on the scrapbook paper, and trace around it with extra room on each side. I didn't worry so much about my tracing being straight because the excess is being folded around the back or can be cut off later if need be. Also be sure to account for extra space for the inside of the plate, not just the outer edges, since you'll be folding it in towards the center as well.

2. Cut out your shape, as well as the center part for the switch. I'm sure an exacto knife would work great for this, but I just used a small pair of scissors. I also cut a small slit at each corner where I was going to be folding the paper around the cover to make for an easier and cleaner fold.

3. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the front of the light switch plate as well as a layer to the back of the paper. My mom taught me that tip, and it seems to make the paper lay better when both surfaces have Mod Podge on them rather than just one.

4. Place the paper on the light switch plate, and fold and position accordingly. This is also when I made the holes for where the screws would be inserted. For me, it was easier to do it with the paper on already (and Mod Podge still wet) then trying to line it up perfectly before gluing it on. I just used an ink pen to punch the holes through the paper.

5. Once it is dry, apply a layer of Mod Podge on top of the scrapbook paper. If desired, you can apply a second coat once the first coat dries. (I just did one coat.) Be sure to punch the screw holes through after each layer so the Mod Podge doesn't fill in the holes.

That is pretty much it! Just an FYI if you haven't worked with Mod Podge before: I would recommend doing this with a plastic bag underneath as the Mod Podge won't stick to that in such a way that it would cause your dried product to tear. It will with newspaper and paper towels...trust me on this one. :)

And a few more pictures...

I hope these directions make sense - some parts were a little hard to explain, but I think this should give you a general idea. If you make some, I'd love to see pictures! :)

March 18, 2010

Diaper Bag

What would I do without you guys?! Thank you SO much for all the wonderful feedback on the car seat situation. So many excellent points and I even learned a thing or two...y'all are the best! I definitely feel better that the majority of you felt it is gender neutral, so I'm just leaving it as is. And no, I absolutely do not feel like I'm in middle school again and need validation from my friends...nope, not at all.

Y'all did so good with the car seat advice, I've decided to have you weigh in on the current hot topic...diaper bag. This one was somewhat on hold until I decided what I was doing with the car seat, because I did want that to at least semi-coordinate. Now that we have that decision behind us, (we're such a good team!) I'd like to settle on a diaper bag, and I think I've narrowed it down to a few...unless someone else has another suggestion. :) And get ready because the finalists are all very different.

I have heard laminated/oilcloth diaper bags are the way to go because they are so easy to wipe spills off, etc. So far, this is the one I like the best in that finish. And FYI, the bows can be removed.

Diaper Bag A - Blue Paisley Oilcloth
This is the next option, which I love how stylish it is...but it's not laminate finish...but if that doesn't really matter...then maybe I should go for it?

Diaper Bag B - Pewter Dot
And finally, I am just in love with houndstooth right now. So this caught my eye. It's probably the least durable finish (but also by far the cheapest!) as far as cleaning since it's canvas. I would most likely monogram this, too.

Diaper Bag C - Black Houndstooth
So please sound off below with your thoughts! If you'd rather not comment, I've included a poll for your convenience. :) Thanks again for your help!

March 17, 2010

Baby Shower Invites & Month 7

My first shower is this Saturday and I am SO excited!! My best friend since 3rd grade (the one I did the Sip & See for) is heading this up and I know it will be awesome because she is event planner extraordinaire! Exhibit A: Check out these invites...are they not THE cutest?!

In case you can't tell, that's a little box and she filled the inside with banana runts...how cute is that?! I'm so looking forward to seeing friends that I haven't seen in awhile. I will definitely share pictures next week!

And even though I'll be 8 months on Sunday, here's my 7 month picture. I've really popped out the last few weeks, so I'll try to post my 8 month picture early next week. Things are still going great...feeling really good, and just can't believe that he'll be here in about 8 weeks. We did our 3d/4d ultrasound last week and it was SO fun to see him! I will share pictures of that as soon as I have them - he had a lot of cord in his face so they're cleaning up the pictures (from the video) a little first. The nursery is coming along wonderfully and I'll also post pictures of it soon, too. Happy Wednesday! :)

March 9, 2010

Car Seat Question

No, this isn't anything like last time I asked about car seats...I'm older and wiser, and have learned from that experience. This comes down to the "looks" of the car seat. Yes, the looks. Silly, right? I know. But I can't move past it, and am driving those around me crazy with my indecisiveness on the matter, so I thought I'd take it to the masses. And by masses, I mean both of you that read my blog. Hi, mom & dad! (I kid, I kid...my readers are the best...thanks to those of you who are still hanging with me!)

As you may remember, when we were going through the adoption process the one thing our case worker & agency wanted us to have right away was a car seat. Patrick's dad & aunt were nice enough to buy us the one we picked out. At the time, I was imagining it as gender neutral. Now, however, that I'm getting ready to put a little boy in it, I am questioning myself. Is it too girly?
The other thing I'm a little conflicted about is all the cute blue & brown blankets I've been given. I LOVE them...and I know I'll use them more places than the car seat, but I'm not sure how I would feel about using a brown blanket with blue polka dots or stripes on it in this car seat. (Side note: as I'm typing this, I'm feeling even more stupid for caring & still obsessing over this. But I've already typed this much, so I will finish.)

So I thought maybe I'd just get a car seat cover for it. They range from about $40 to $75, depending on fabrics, etc. I started searching Etsy but got overwhelmed when there were 471 results for "infant car seat cover", so I decided to forget it. But as it turns out, I'm OCD, so after a few days I went back to browse again.

There was one seller whose designs I really liked, so I decided I'd just contact her to get more info on custom orders because though I liked her designs, she didn't have anything in her shop that was exactly what I was looking for. And are you ready for this?? We live in the same town!! No, I don't know her, but still...Etsy is a big place! And what are the odds that the seller I liked lived near me?! So here is one of her designs that I would consider doing...probably light blue minky where it's pink, and maybe something in khaki (or green) where it is green. Because the black base will still show, I don't really want to use any (or much) fabric with chocolate brown in it. And I'm thinking I don't really want anything with much of a pattern on it; just something simple and probably embroider his name or initials.

This is another option...just solid blue minky fabric by itself.

And of course, the final option would just be to leave it alone...as long as you guys don't think it's too girly. :)

So please make this decision for me, as for some reason pregnancy has rendered me unable to make any decisions. Also if you have any other clever ideas or input that would be greatly appreciated...thanks dolls! :)


March 2, 2010

DIY Closet Dividers


I've slooowly been making progress on the nursery. Something I've tried to do is not rush, but take the time and get it done the way I want, and more importantly, organized nicely. My mom is here and we're getting started today, so I'm really excited! Remember the wall in the nursery where I had put the scrapbook paper? Well that is down now, and the plan is to stripe that wall like she did our dining room wall. I'm trying to decide on what I want over his crib, but I'll share that in a separate post.

Anyway, as part of the organizing of the nursery, I decided to make some size dividers for the closet. I have seen some plastic ones for sale for $20 - $30, and really didn't think they were cute enough for that price, so I decided to make my own. Here is how I did it.

Supplies:
-1 12 x 18 foam sheet - the thicker the better (I used 3 mm)
-Mod Podge & brush
-computer/printer to print your designs
-corner rounder (optional)
-hole punch
-ribbon

1. Purchase a sheet of foam in a complimentary color to your design/decor. These won't show much, but still a nice touch if it matches. I got this large piece at Hobby Lobby for 50 cents and still have about half of it left over.
2. Design & print your tags. I made mine 4 x 4, but probably could have made them a little smaller. I went ahead and made the following: newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, and 12+ months. Once I printed the tags, I used my corner rounder to finish them off.
3. Next I used Mod Podge to glue them to the foam, then cut them out. After allowing them to dry, I gave them a top coat of Mod Podge, too.
4. Punch a hole in the top of each one and cut ribbon to the desired length to hang them from your closet rod. That's it!
Here are a few shots of them hanging in his closet. I'm still working on organizing it completely, and will share those pictures soon...I just wanted to give you an idea of how they look. :) I shared a picture of it on Twitter and had some people ask me if I'm left-handed (because of the direction of the tags). No, I'm not...but it's a walk-in closet, so I started at the front, if that makes sense.

I'm really pleased with how they turned out, especially considering it cost me less than a dollar! Please let me know if you have any questions...thanks for stopping by! :)


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