Rejoicing in God’s Gift of Baptism

1 Peter 3:21

Today, our family rejoices as Nathan Reagan becomes God’s child in baptism. What a precious gift! God gave us this child and now we give him back to a Heavenly Father who loves Nathan even more than his earthly parents do.

Many of my school children are singing today, teaching our congregation at Ascension the beautiful truths found in the hymn, “God’s Own Child I Gladly Say It.” It is found in our Lutheran Service Book 594, for those of you wondering. This beautiful hymn shares the theology of baptism more eloquently than I ever could.

God’s own child I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ! He because I could not pay it, gave my full redemption price. Do I need earth’s treasures many? I have one worth more than any, that brought me salvation free – lasting to eternity.

Sin disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ! I have comfort even stronger, Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice. Should a guilty conscience seize me, since my baptism did realize me in a dear forgiving flood – sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood?

Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ! Drop your ugly accusation, I am not so soon enticed. Now that to the font I’ve traveled, all your might has come unraveled, and against your tyranny, God, my Lord unites with me. 

Again, it a special day for our family. We are thankful to have Nathan’s sponsors, Joel and Saydi Rempfer, here with us today. His other sponsors, Jose and Liesl Beaton, are represented by proxy today since they are still in Okinawa. We are thankful that Nathan has 3 of his 4 Grandparents here on this special day as well as 6 of his 8 Aunt and Uncles present. We are also thankful for many of our Whirrett, Schiffli, Barz and Lehenbauer family who are rejoicing with us in person – and from long distances – today.

Rejoice in your baptism! Remember the day God wrote His name on your heart!

At Home with Nathan

I know my last update was from the hospital so I wanted to stop by with the joyful news that we brought Nathan home from the hospital last Friday. My discharge and his actually were on the same day which was wonderful, because I didn’t want to leave him there alone. It is so good to have Nathan home with us!

Coming Home from the Hospital

As I mentioned before, Nathan’s stay in the NICU was necessary due to respiratory issues. The hospital ran lots of tests on Nathan and feel confident there will be no lasting effects from this rocky start. We are very thankful for the care Nathan received from Dr. Pebble and his nurses. It’s amazing to think that a week ago, this was our first view of Nathan.

Nathan in the NICU

Now, this is the how our sweet baby boy looks only one week later. God is indeed good!

One Week Old Nathan

We thank God for covering Nathan with his healing touch. There were so many other precious babies in the NICU that were smaller than Nathan, and will not be leaving nearly as quickly. My heart goes out to all mothers and fathers – but especially those who sit beside the hospital bed of their babies. Nathan’s story didn’t begin as we planned – in so many ways – but God’s way continues to teach us that He is with us through it all.

As I said before, we are thankful to be home together! Nathan and I were sad to see Andy return to school on Monday, but Nathan saved lots of cuddles for his Daddy when he returned. My mom is here to help us for the next week, and my mother-in-law is only a phone call away. It’s lovely to have their help! For now, we are adjusting to new sleeping and feeding schedules and planning for company this weekend as we celebrate Nathan’s baptism. I pray all is well with you and your families!

Introducing Nathan Reagan

Hello, everyone! I’m still at the hospital but am pleased to share with you the arrival of our son, Nathan Reagan Whirrett on Monday, March 31st at 11:25. He weighs 8 pounds, 2 ounces, with a head full of dark hair. Unfortunately, labor and delivery did not go as planned, resulting in a surprise c-section, and Nathan is currently in the NICU.

Nathan Reagan - In the NICU and Improving

Long story short, it turns out that he had swallowed quite a bit of meconium (probably over the last week or so) which caused him to have trouble breathing. We have a wonderful staff at the NICU who is taking good care of him. Andy and I were finally able to hold our son yesterday evening, and we are thanking God for the improvement we are already seeing!

I will be at the hospital another couple of days, as will Nathan. For now, we give thanks for Nathan’s arrival, and thank you for your prayers! I’ll leave you with our first family picture!

Our First Picture as a Family of 3

An Update on My Before Baby-Checklist

My Before Baby Checklist - Projects to Accomplish in the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

A month ago, I shared my list of all I had yet to accomplish before the baby arrives. The baby isn’t due for another week and a half but I am happy to report that I have completed everything I wanted to do on my list – before the baby has arrived! Here’s a picture update to prove what I’ve accomplished!

1. Buy and install a new dishwasher. (DONE) 

On one of our snow days, we went out and bought a new dishwasher. We had it narrowed down to a couple of options and then compared prices at a couple of stores. We purchased a new Whirlpool dishwasher that very day and Andy’s helpful Dad installed it later that week. It is so nice to have a working dishwasher again! While he was at it, he went ahead and installed a bathtub in our main bathroom. Yes, we actually have a bathtub in our house now – just in time for baby. I’ve been enjoying baths in these final weeks of pregnancy as well!

Bathtub and Dishwasher

2. Set up the baby’s room. (DONE)

We didn’t do much to the baby’s room, other than add the crib and rearrange furniture to make the most of this small room. The closet is full of clothes (binned by size and month) and diapers. Extra wipes and diapers are stored under the bed, with blankets in the drawer at the foot of the bed. Of course, the dresser has current sized clothes for the baby. I’d like to add a curtain yet but am counting on my Mom to help with that when she’s here after the baby arrives. Still, we are happy with the way it turned out so far. Now, we just need to add the baby!

Baby's Room

3. Finish my preschool plans through March and plan for maternity subs. (DONE)

I finished my lesson plans for the entire month of March before the month started. Then, I gathered all the books I could and would use for March and the rest of the year and bagged them by weekly theme. Any copies that I needed to make, I went ahead and ran to include in the theme bags. Then, I met with all three of the ladies covering my different responsibilities over these past two weeks and tried to give them everything I could think of that they possibly might need. Should any of my subs need to step in this month, everything is ready to go! I also went ahead and wrote my lesson plans for the final two weeks of school when I return from my maternity leave. I don’t label myself an overachiever, but I do like to be prepared!

Maternity Lesson Plans

4. Prepare for and direct the school musical. (DONE)

I admit that I was nervous last week. I wasn’t nervous about how my students would do. They’ve worked very hard over the past months and learned “Rescue in the Night” well. I simply wanted to be there to direct our two performances on Friday. A snow day on Wednesday gave me extra time to relax at home but I became more nervous the closer we got to the performances. I went in for my weekly check-up on Friday morning (maybe my final one?)  before our matinee at 1:30 and our evening performance at 7:00. It all went well so now I can relax. This was the biggest item on my to-do list so I am thankful it is checked off!

5. Cook freezer meals and organize the freezer. (DONE)

I’ve been on a bread making kick so I have loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread and orange almond poppy-seed bread in the freezer. I also have diced chicken and cooked hamburger ready to be made into meals. I also have pork cooked and shredded for the baby’s baptism dinner, as well as a couple different desserts. I made sure to have frozen pizzas on hand for my husband in the busy baby days ahead.

6. Buy the baby’s car seat and install it in my car. (DONE)

I waited until the beginning of March, after our various showers, to purchase the baby’s carseat, as we did receive some gifts for this purpose. We decided to buy a stroller and car seat travel system from Babies R Us. When I finally went in to pick it up, they were out of stock! Thanks to great customer service and a nice coupon, I saved a third of the cost – and the entire box was delivered to school just two days later. Andy installed the bases in our two cars over the weekend so we can easily click the car seat in when we’re ready to bring the baby home from the hospital!

Baby's Carseat in Car

7. Make website plans for during my maternity leave. (DONE)

After feedback from many of you, I’ve decided to  take a maternity leave from my website (as well as my classr0om) after the baby is born. I do have some posts scheduled to run but I am going to enjoy this time with our baby. I will let you know when the baby arrives and stop by with an occasional baby update or two. I trust you won’t mind! And if you notice that my posting suddenly pauses, it must mean Baby Whirrett has arrived!

8. Attend baby showers and write thank you’s. (DONE)

The teachers from Ascension threw us a lovely baby shower brunch at the home of my friend, Allison. Then, Andy’s sister Kara threw us a lovely afternoon shower with Andy’s extended family. The teachers from St. Paul’s threw us a joint shower with one of the other pregnant teachers at school, and even my piano students surprised with a baby shower after school one day. We were so blessed by everyone’s thoughtfulness and generosity! I’m proud of myself that I have managed to stay on top of all the thank you notes for all the lovely baby gifts we have received so far.

A Staff Baby Shower

9. Pack for the hospital and keep the camera charged. (DONE)

There are so many differing opinions on what to pack for the hospital and since it is my first time at this, I didn’t know quite what to pack. I went with the simplest of the lists for both myself and the baby. All that is left to do is add my toiletries and I’m ready to go! I charged both batteries for my camera again over the weekend so we’re ready for all those first moment pictures.

10. Update my pregnancy photo book and start our 2014 family album. (DONE)

My pregnancy book is as complete as it can be to this point in time. I have all my weekly bump pictures in the Shutterfly album as well as the shower pictures. I left a couple of pages empty for when we head to the hospital and have the baby. As for our yearly album, I do have the January and February pages already complete. I do love electronic scrapbooking!

Well, that’s that. I think we’re as ready as we can be for the arrival of our baby. Otherwise, I’ve been keeping busy teaching and trying to get some sleep at night without over analyzing  every ache and Braxton Hicks contraction, as we wait eagerly for this baby to make his arrival! Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday, and the 27th is my Mother-in-law’s birthday. We think it would be lovely if the baby arrived between the birthday’s of his two Grandma’s. Will that happen? We’ll keep waiting to see!

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow…Especially in Pregnancy

Do not worry about tomorrow...especially in pregnancy!

Matthew 6:34 has long been a verse that I need to hear – over and over again. I am learning this still holds true (maybe even more so) in pregnancy. I should know better – and this is probably part of being a Mom – but I’m already learning how easy it is to worry, especially about your baby.

You see, my baby appointments have been going fine until just a couple weeks ago when two minor concerns arose. It was then that we learned the baby was breech. My doctor wasn’t concerned and told me there was plenty of time for the baby to flip yet. Still, at my last two appointments, the baby hadn’t flipped head down yet. My doctor kept telling me not to worry, but it’s easier said than done – even as a Christian.

In addition to that, for as big as I look and feel, the baby was measuring small. My weight has fluctuated up and down throughout the last two months of pregnancy, even though my eating habits haven’t changed. My doctor took the first small measurement without any concern, but when it happened again, I saw him pause for the first time this pregnancy. That made me worry a bit. He ordered a growth ultrasound which we had on Friday at my 36 week appointment.

I worried while waiting for that ultrasound until I realized that the outcome wouldn’t change anything. God already knows what is going on and He is bigger than all my worries. At the ultrasound, we were pleased to discover that the baby had flipped head down and was measuring a solid 7 pounds already. I cried a couple tears of quiet joy and said thank you to God, even as the ultrasound technician continued her measurements.

Once again, God reminded me that my worries don’t change anything – only He does! God loves this baby even more than I do and our lives are in His hands. Our baby will arrive in God’s timing and in God’s way and in God’s size. Now…what are you worrying about right now and how can I pray for you?

My Before-Baby Checklist

My Before Baby Checklist - Projects to Accomplish in the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

It’s hard to believe I’m in the final weeks of pregnancy already. This pregnancy continues to pass so quickly. Every day is drawing us closer to the day when we hold our baby in our arms!

My doctor told me at my last appointment that once I reach the 34 week mark (which comes in 2 more days), if my labor starts, they won’t stop it. Of course, we obviously want the baby to stay put until the full-term 39 week mark but that comment from the doctor made Andy and I both think. We have quite a bit to get done yet!

For a little bit of extra motivation, I thought I’d share my ongoing “Before Baby” checklist. I am hoping that the nesting urge helps me accomplish everything on my list. I know the baby will arrive whether we are ready or not…ready being a relative term, of course! Planner that I am, I am still doing what I can to make sure we are as ready as can be.

1. Buy and install a new dishwasher. (DONE)

Our dishwasher stopped working last summer. Well, it worked but left my dishes so spotty that I was rewashing almost everything. For the last six months, I’ve been washing our dishes by hand as we set aside money for a replacement. We took advantage of our last snow day to venture out and purchase a new dishwasher. My handy father-in-law installed it later that week. Yay! It’s nice to have this household project accomplished before the baby.

2. Set up the baby’s room. 

I’ve already washed and sorted all the hand-me-down baby clothes we were given, and organized all the diapers and wipes. We still need to get the baby’s crib put together and hang some things on the walls. We are borrowing a bassinet from a friend for the first few weeks and have a Pack ‘n Play ready to go but the baby’s actual room needs finishing touches.

3. Finish my preschool plans through March and plan for maternity subs. 

I already know all my themes for the rest of the year and have my religion plans finished through March. I still need to fill in books and activities. I plan to spend the next couple of nap times at school finishing up my plans for February and March. This way, if the baby comes early, my plans will still be finished.

I also need to plan for and meet with my maternity subs. I have three different subs covering my various roles at school. One teacher (Christa) is teaching my four-year-old class, while another teacher (Jeni) is teaching my three-year-old class. The former music teacher (Elaine) is coming back to teach my music class. They will do most of the planning necessary but I still need to meet with all of them in preparation. I also need to go through my library and lay out picture pictures for the rest of my preschool themes this year.

4. Prepare for and direct the school musical. 

This is a key one for me! We moved our music date up two weeks (to March 14th) with the hopes that I can direct the musical before the baby is born. If not, I have capable fellow teachers who will step in for me – and the show will go on. Until then, I am busy teaching all the songs from “Rescue in the Night” to the Kindergarteners through 8th grade. With so many snow days in January, we’ve already lost quite a bit of practice time so we are staying quite busy in music class!

5. Cook freezer meals and organize the freezer. 

My mom is flying up after the baby is born, and my mother-in-law is minutes away in town. I know the two of them will help me keep the house running smoothly in my first weeks home with the baby. Still, I want to have some freezer meals ready so Andy can help me cook dinner. I plan to cook baked oatmeal, poppy seed chicken, and a couple other freezer recipes to be determined. I already have sloppy joes, chili and cooked hamburger meat in the freezer, so that’s a nice start. Any suggestions on what else I should cook? In addition to cooking freezer meals, I need to clean out and organize my upright freezer.

6. Buy the baby’s car seat and install it in my car. 

Obviously, we can’t leave the hospital without a car seat so this is certainly high on our list in importance. The local hospital where I will be delivering has car seat checks so I need to stop by and get the car seat checked by them, after we install it. We are planning on getting an extra base for Andy’s car so we can easily switch the baby between our cars depending where we are going.

7. Make website plans for during my maternity leave. 

I haven’t quite decided what to do on this one yet. I’m debating whether I schedule some advance posts or whether I take the time completely off from blogging. I know you, my faithful readers, will be supportive either way. Still, do you want to weigh in on this topic?

8. Attend baby showers and write thank you’s. 

Two teacher friends from school, Allison and Tonya, graciously threw me a baby shower last Saturday. The gifts are lovely, but it is even more lovely to know that everyone shares our excitement for this baby! My sister-in-law, Kara, is hosting a family baby shower for us at the beginning of March. I am a firm believer in the importance of promptly written thank you notes, so I will endeavor to stay on top of this task.

9. Pack for the hospital and keep the camera charged. 

I know there is still plenty of time but I am the type who would rather pack sooner than later. Of course, I don’t quite know all of what I should truly pack since everyone seems to have so many different opinions on this. The easier task is to keep our camera charged. I also have a back-up battery but I am committed to recharging the camera battery every other week because I don’t want to miss any of those new baby moments!

10. Update my pregnancy photo book and start our 2014 family album. 

Speaking of pictures, I have decided to continue with my online photo albums. I’ve been creating a pregnancy journal at Shutterfly with my weekly bump pictures and journaling about this pregnancy. I want to keep that updated by adding pictures every other week or so.

I’ve also decided to create one large yearly photo album for our family. I still plan to create smaller vacation albums since those free codes abound. However, I’d like to create one large 12 by 12 album for all our family pictures in the year. I have January’s snow pictures in the album and plan to add to the album monthly.

Because a baby is only a baby once, I decided to create a smaller 8 by 8 album with one large monthly picture and a page of journaling about the baby’s monthly growth. I spent some time creating the entire format for this album already so now I just have to add the picture and journal each month. I hope this will make it easier to complete this book for the baby.

There you have it. That is my to-do list that I want to accomplish before the baby is born. I’m sure there will be lots of other tasks that keep me busy in the evenings when I’m not teaching preschool or piano. I’m trying to get what sleep I can but this active baby of ours makes it a challenge some nights. I guess it really is true that this final trimester of sleeplessness eases you into getting up to feed the baby? Are there any other pre-baby projects that you found helpful to accomplish? I’ll keep you updated with my progress!

Planning for Baby & Learning How God Provides

Preparing for Baby & Learning How God Provides

March – and the due date of our baby – is quickly approaching. Each passing day and each passing week brings us closer to meeting our baby. This is a baby for whom we have waited and prayed. There have been times when the planner in me is overwhelmed because we are venturing into uncharted territory. Thankful, my husband and I are both teachers (with 22 years of combined teaching experience) so we are well acquainted with children. Plus, I’m an early childhood teacher and he’s a junior high teacher – and we both have taught elementary school. That helps us cover the full spectrum!

Still, there are baby car seats to purchase and insurance companies to call. There are lesson plans to write and meals to be made. There are classes to be taught and doctors appointments to attend. We are having a baby in a matter of weeks, and not only that, but I am transitioning from being a full-time teacher to a stay-at-home Mom. I’m preparing my students for maternity subs and preparing our home for one income.

It can be overwhelming at times, but I mostly feel joy. I feel joy because our life is changing with the birth of this baby. I also feel joy because I am seeing clearly how God is providing for us. God is providing for us in so many ways! Our income is soon going to be cut dramatically but God is already providing for us and this baby. I want to share how God is working – not to brag – but to encourage. I want to remind us all that even when we don’t know what is around the corner, God knows. And God provides. Here are some examples from our life to share with you.

  • Our hairdresser gave us a gently used crib and a crib mattress. It’s a Jenny Lind style wood crib that fits perfectly in the baby’s room.
  • A preschool Mom gave us four large diaper boxes full of adorable clothes for the baby’s first 12 months. Her son was born in March so the sizes and seasons match up perfectly.
  • A school Mom gave us a set of baby monitors that she had scarcely used with her children. I don’t care that they don’t have the video option because I just want to hear the baby.
  • My Mom brought up a like-new baby carrier and sun shield for the car that someone had discarded after a rummage sale at their church.
  • A fellow teacher friend passed on three dozen newborn diapers that her daughter outgrew before they were used. Diapers are diapers and I’m always thankful for those! She’s also loaning us her baby bassinet for the first couple weeks when we need one.
  • Both our families gave us cute baby clothes for Christmas. In addition to providing us with more outfits for the baby, the clothes were also in larger sizes that the baby has plenty of time to grow into.
  • My principal gave us a pack-n-play as well as an infant car seat that she used for her granddaughter. My in-laws are keeping these thoughtful gifts at their house for when they watch the baby.

We didn’t seek any of these gifts out. These families asked and blessed us with their generosity. God has provided for us so much already – and I know He will continue to provide. Even on the days when pennies seem tight (and I know they will feel tighter yet when I am at home), I know God is providing. God is in control. I know God is God – and I am not.

I encourage you to take a look at your own life today. How is God providing for you? How has God blessed you recently? Large or small, blessings are blessings. Rejoice in His provision!

Stockpiling Diapers for the Baby

How I Built a Stockpile of over 2000 diapers for under $50 for our baby - Encouragement that anyone can do it!

It’s official. I’m in my third trimester, and my husband and I are both eagerly awaiting the birth of our baby. This whole pregnancy is passing by quickly so I am trying to take advantage of all the quiet moments as we prepare for our baby. Of course, I have quite a few projects I’d like to accomplish in the next couple months as well. One of the things I’ve been working on is building a stockpile of diapers. I want to share with you my reasoning and how I’ve gone about this task.

First, we had to make the decision of cloth diapers verse disposables. I realize this is a heated discussion but I don’t think it needs to be. If you want to cloth diaper, go for it! If you want to use disposables, that’s fine too.

I have nothing against cloth diapers but here is why we are going to use disposables. We live in a small town where our water bill is very high. By very high, I mean that we pay triple what most people in the city of Fort Wayne pay. It’s unfortunate but it is our reality. For that reason, I don’t need to be adding more loads of laundry to my weekly schedule. Yes, I’ll soon have baby clothes to wash but I don’t want to add diapers if I don’t have to do so.

Second, I researched the topic of stockpiling diapers quite thoroughly before I began this process. Money Saving Mom has some great articles in her Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank. I also read through all the comments and opinions on Crystal’s Q&A regarding Diaper Stockpiling. Then, I compared the costs on the Diaper Decisions website, as they have a very handy chart estimating the cost of various cloth diapers as well as disposables. I appreciated that this chart took into account the energy costs as well as out-of-pocket costs for the diapers.

Finally, it was time to begin stockpiling diapers. I did it slowly without a set time frame and bought diapers when the deals were good. I have been stockpiling diapers for over two years now, ever since we started trying to get pregnant.

How did I do it? I watched for good diaper deals at CVS, Walgreens, Meijer and Kroger. I used money from my monthly grocery budget as well as ECBs (at CVS) and Amazon gift cards (earned via Swagbucks and Bing). Some weeks I bought diapers, and some weeks I didn’t. I was patient and watched for the best deals. My goal was always to stay under $0.10 a diaper.

I didn’t stay brand specific when purchasing diapers. I know that some babies could react to different brands of diapers so I have a wide variety of diapers in my stockpile – Luvs, Pampers, Huggies, Up & Up, Comforts, as well as the CVS and Walgreens brands of diapers. While I do not anticipate problems, if there are problems, I will exchange or donate the diapers in that particular brand.

I clipped coupons and tried to combine deals as best I could. For example, Meijer has recently been running great Mperks deals where you can earn $5 or $7 when you spend a certain amount in a certain area. I would use the “free” money and a coupon to pick up another bag of Luvs for for free. CVS regularly runs diapers deals to get $10 in ECBs when you spend $30. By combining coupons and ECBs, I added to my stockpile quite easily. I also found some great deals on Amazon, which I was able to pay for with my Swagbucks and Bing earnings. Again, no money out of pocket for those diapers!

When all was said and done, I have accumulated quite the diaper stockpile. Are you ready for a picture and specifics? Here you go!

My stockpile of diapers so far! Joyfully Thriving

I currently have over 2080 diapers in the baby’s closet, of various brands and sizes. The breakdown is as follows. I currently have 22 Newborn diapers (anticipating I’ll get some at showers), 862 Size 1 diapers, 704 Size 2 diapers, and 472 Size 3 diapers. For all of these diapers, I have spent $46.60 – which breaks down to $0.02 a diaper. The list price for all these diapers is $434.62 which means I have saved 91% on diapers so far.

I’ve had the time to stockpile diapers and I am quite thankful that I have done so. I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. If the baby outgrows a particular size (or brand) or diapers, I’ll pass them onto a friend who can use them or donate them to a Hope Center (our local Crisis Pregnancy Center). This is one I have done already to save us a lot of money for the baby. 

This is one thing I have done to get ready for the baby. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer! Did you stockpile diapers when you were awaiting the birth of your baby?

Third Trimester Update

It has come to my attention that some of you might be interested in a baby update so I thought I’d share a bit about my pregnancy so far. Let’s start with a picture. As you can see, I’m growing quite a bit! Here’s a picture from the beginning of my second trimester as compared to the beginning of my third trimester. I’m actually 29 weeks today, but I thought it was good to compare the beginning trimester pictures.

2nd & 3rd Trimester Pictures

I feel like I’m growing daily, and my preschoolers comment on it frequently, so it must be true! My doctor is very pleased with how well I and the baby are doing. The baby has been active with flips and kicks and turns since Week 19 on the dot. It was Week 22 before Andy felt the kicks I’d been feeling, but now we both enjoy watching and feeling the baby move. Still, I wonder why babies are most active at night?

I haven’t had any cravings to report. I still love my chocolate but that is nothing new! I have found myself drinking lots more plain water – and it tastes good to me. Since I had to force myself to drink water pre-pregnancy, this is a good change!

Since I’ve reached the third trimester, we’re starting the final count downs to my due date of March 27th. It’s amazing how quickly pregnancy goes! I have been thankful that my energy has stayed high throughout this pregnancy because I still have lots to do.

I had my third trimester blood work  along with my glucose test at my doctor’s appointment last Friday. Lovely! I’ve also been bumped from 3 week appointments to 2 week appointments. Andy and I also took our Childbirth class at the hospital last Saturday so we can check that off the list.

We were blessed with several boxes of hand-me-down baby clothes from one of my preschool families. I spent Christmas break washing all of those clothes and sorting them by sizes. Baby clothes are so cute when they are small! In addition to that, our families gave us lots of adorable baby clothes for Christmas. Andy and I spent time looking at strollers and car seats over break. It’s a little overwhelming to read all the reviews but I think we’ve finally settled on the Chicco car seat.

I’m working on getting the baby’s room organized. It’s Andy’s job to get the crib set up (another thoughtful hand-me down from another friend). I’m still stockpiling diapers and other household necessities for when the baby arrives. Of course, we’ve been trying to get what extra sleep we can, although the baby doesn’t always allow me to do that, it seems!

Well, that is an update on my life as we wait for our baby. Less than 3 months to go, and I’m sure it will continue to hurry by! Any advice for me in the final trimester? Any things I should add to my baby to-do list?

Snow Days = No Grocery Shopping

I had planned to participate in Jessica’s Pantry Challenge this month, and I certainly did so this week! We woke Sunday morning to an inch of snow on the ground but Andy easily drove us to church. By the time we left, it was starting to get a little slippery. By Sunday afternoon, the snow had started to pile up. When all was said and done, I think we ended up with almost 14 inches of snow. It was beautiful!

Then, Monday morning, the temperatures started to drop. The temperature didn’t go above 0 degrees for two days and the wind chills reached chilling temperatures of -40. Snow days were called (as we expected) due to the extreme cold. My husband ventured out to school late on Tuesday and found the roads slick and icy. It had been so cold that there wasn’t any way for the snow to melt. Wednesday got us another snow day due to icy roads. Thursday, we started out with a delay which turned into a cancellation that morning. I’m hoping we are back in school today, but after this cold weather week? Who knows!

I take my snow days very seriously. My opinion is that if there is enough snow to keep us home from school, I’m staying home. So for the past week, I’ve stayed home and not ventured out. I drank hot chocolate and watched the morning news. I organized the baby’s room and reorganized the guest bedroom – since that accumulated a lot of things from what will be the baby’s room. I organized our card box as well as our wrapping paper. I read a couple books, baked homemade bread and did some blog work. I sent a family email, caught up on Facebook and enjoyed some time on Pinterest. I made musical packets for school and scheduled parent / teacher conferences via email. I took down the Christmas decorations and switched over to my snowmen decorations. It was nice to have these surprise snow days to be productive from the comfort of my own home.

Obviously, I did a lot but I didn’t do any grocery shopping. It was a good opportunity to cook from the pantry. Yes, we’ve been out of milk but I still managed to grill us patty melts, make macaroni and cheese (from a box), cook my fancied up version of grilled cheese and make the Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti. We’ve enjoyed zucchini bread (from the freezer) and homemade toast for breakfast. We ate just fine, even if I did have to think a bit harder about our menus.  I’m beginning to see a difference in my freezer and my pantry shelves – which is exciting. I get good deals but they aren’t good deals if I let the food expire or go to waste! So I saved money, gas and time by not going out to grocery shop this week.

Since I don’t have any grocery pictures to share with you, let me leave you with a picture of our house after this most recent snow. Isn’t it lovely? Did you do any grocery shopping this week?

Our House in the Snow - January 2014

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