Monday, June 4, 2018

Preparing for Baby on a Budget

We weren’t planning to have any more children after G. I got rid of everything. Then we decided to have 1 more. Our friends and family were super generous and bought us everything you could imagine for G. The child has never wanted for anything.  I had every baby gadget imaginable. 

I decided this round we didn’t need everything. There are so many things you use for a few months. I decided there were 2 things I felt had to be brand new - a car seat and crib. Car seats are non-negotiable for me. Amazon sells open box car seats. They are brand new but the box could be damaged. I was able to buy one for less than $50. The box was fine too. The car seat was completely wrapped up, box unopened and in great condition. The same car seat cost $150 at Target. 

I wanted a gray crib. I added 2 of them to my Amazon wishlist and watched the prices. I was able to get one for $100. I bought a brand new mattress at Babies r Us with a coupon when they were going out of business for $40. It was when they still accepted coupons. 

I wanted to show you were you look for the used & new options on Amazon. If you are using your Amazon App you will find it below the Add to Cart. If you click on the Used & New option it will show everything available at different price points. Be aware you may have to pay for shipping with some of the sellers. I always look for items Amazon is selling with Prime. Sometimes they get returns or the boxes just get banged up. As long as the product is fine I don't care if the box isn't perfect. 

I wanted a Rock n Play, bouncy seat, swing, play mat and double stroller. All these things I didn’t need brand new. I started looking on Facebook groups early on, so I had plenty of time to wait for a deal. I found a bouncy seat and baby gate for free. I got a Rock n Play and play may for $5 each. I REALLY wanted a 4Moms swing. This was a want not a need. I kept watching for one and found one for $50 in perfect condition. I was able to get a sit n stand Joovy stroller for $40 and a snap n go car seat stroller for $20. 

G still uses the stroller a lot. I feel we will need a double stroller. I will want to go on walks, to the zoo and outings. So the Joovy has an option to sit, stand and for a baby. There are so many double stroller options out there. I make Art crazy with how many strollers we have. All of them serve a purpose. You can't use an umbrella stroller on a hike and I don't want to use my Bob stroller when I am going shopping. 

A friend has a bumbo, bassinet, and exersaucer for us. Friends have given us clothes, bedding, blankets and swaddles. 

I have watched stores/online for diaper and wipe sales. I’ve been stocking up when I find a good deal. I don’t want to buy too many newborn diapers only because I don’t know how big the baby will be. 

We’ve really shopped on a budget for this baby. He won’t be using this stuff that long, so I don’t feel we need brand new stuff. We also are for sure done with having anymore babies after this little guy.  Physically I just can’t handle another pregnancy. This one has been really hard on me. I’m soooooo thankful for this little guy and I would happily do it all over again. 

What are your must have baby items?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What actually is Grace?

I feel this year I have been learning the actual meaning of grace in my life and what the Bible actually teaches. I feel mans teaching has been so wrong over the years. I went to see Jen Hatmaker in February. She talked about the Good Samaritan helping the certain man in Luke 10. One thing that really got to me was how the Bible talked about this certain man. In the Bible it doesn't talk at ALL about what this man had done. It doesn't mention if he was homeless, drug addict, a great man, provoked the thieves etc. It just talks about the people who didn't help him and the one man who did. WOW! To me that was so powerful. There are so many times we don't help people because we don't think they deserve to be helped. I don't think that is what God wants from us. To make a judgment or determination who needs to be helped. Well I helped them one time, they screwed up and they don't deserve to be helped again. Think if God treated us that way? 

God is gracious and loves to give us good gifts. We do not have to strive in life for anything. We do not have to be good enough or do the right thing in order for God to give us grace, the desires of our heart or to be there for us. His grace is undeserving, unwarranted and something we can't earn. His grace is freely given to us. So often I was taught the reasons I went through trials were because I did something to deserve these trials. That I won't see God's grace through trials because I haven't earned his grace. Yikes! This is a horrible teaching and it isn't what the Bible teaches at all. You get to the point you don't want to even try anymore because what's the point. 

Over the years I have been through a lot in my life. I have always seen God take care of me. I have been through a lot of crap in life. There is so much of my life that I have not shared on my blog. I have shared some of the crappy parts here. Growing up my parents didn't shelter us from the trials of life. Instead we all prayed about them as a family and tried to trust God. People can say well children shouldn't experience that stress. I can see that point. I have to say that experiencing the trials life threw at us as a family from a young age has helped me deal with trials as an adult. Some times trials happen because of bad decisions or because there aren't boundaries in place, but that does not mean God's grace isn't there for us!!!!!! Those are lessons you have to learn in life. 

I love the song Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. It really has spoke to me while we have been going through some rough times in life. Sometimes we need to just stop and let God love us. Let Him show us his grace! 

Reckless Love Lyrics

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me

You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me

You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me
And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
There's no shadow You won't light up

Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
Songwriters: Caleb Culver / Cory Asbury / Ran Jackson

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Colic Game Changer!

I have been thinking about writing a post on colic for over a year. Long before I ever got pregnant with baby #2. When G was a baby I remember when his colic started so vividly. It was on Halloween. My mom had left on October 30 after being with us the month. I spent the entire day holding him as he cried. Finally in the evening he was able to release some gas and was so happy. I was exhausted! Over the next few months the colic only got worse. 

He would be colicky in the evening from around 4pm through 7 or 8pm. It was rough! Once I had gone back to work I would come home and hold him for hours. I would try not to move him once I would get him in a position where he wasn't crying. Occasionally the colic would let us if he sat in the Bumbo chair. Whatever position relieved his pain I would try to leave him as long as possible. 

I tried numerous gripe drops. Colic Calm was my favorite. It helped some times to help relieve the colic for G. It would help the colic from screaming to just fussing, but it didn't take the colic away for him.

I started taking him to the chiropractor maybe when he was about 2.5 months. At 3 months old I added a probiotic to a bottle once a day. I bought Flora Infant's Probiotic at Whole Foods or Sprout's. It was in the refrigerated section by the vitamins. I would not recommend buying this online. I would go to a store and buy it from the fridge section and keep it in your fridge at home. I started off with maybe a 1/8 of a teaspoon once a day and worked up to 1/4 teaspoon. Between taking him to the chiropractor and the probiotics it was a TOTAL game changer!!! 

We went from screaming between 3-4 hours a night to laughing and cooing within 1-2 days. If he skipped a day or two without probiotics his poor little tummy was in trouble. Once he was a year old he didn't require it anymore, but I still continued to give it to him. I noticed what a change in his health. If he didn't have a probiotic he would get sick. Probiotics are so important for a healthy gut! I will be starting the new baby out on a probiotic from day 1. I will have Art bring some to the hospital after he is born. I will add the probiotic to a bottle of breast milk each day. I also take a daily probiotic myself.

I wonder at times if maybe he had a reaction when I ate dairy. I am not sure. I didn't even know that I should try to eliminate foods from my diet to see if it made a difference. Looking back now that I eat Paleo grains and dairy cause me a lot of problems. I had asked his pediatrician if he had reflux which the doctor didn't think he had. 

This is my recommendation for anyone dealing with colic or any type of stomach issues with their infant. A probiotic won't hurt anyone. If you have to give other medicine the doctor recommends a probiotic is always helpful too! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

It’s a BOY!

We are getting another son!!!  

When I first got pregnant I really wanted a boy. Then G realized I was having a baby he insisted it was a sister. For months I heard it was a girl. I started to think we were having a girl. I was a little shocked to hear it was a boy lol

I asked G the other day what should we name the baby? He said "ummmm how about we name him Jesus? I really like Jesus. He so nice." He has been calling the baby Jesus. 

We can't wait for our little boy to get here! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Last week I announced on social media that we are expecting a baby in July! We are so very excited! 

This baby is a true miracle and our rainbow baby. I haven't shared on my blog about wanting another child or our struggle. We had been told by numerous doctors G was a miracle and we probably never would be able to have another one. I went through a period of where I was grieving. It was a very difficult time for me. I feel I haven't been able to make very many choices when it comes to my health. They have all been made for me over the past 5 years. 

I am so very thankful for little G. He is seriously the brightest miracle in my life! 

I found out I was pregnant right before Thanksgiving. I honestly didn't have much hope this pregnancy would continue.  A lot was going on right then. I had my sister coming to visit. I was going with my mom to Mayo Clinic for some health issues. I just tried to continue with life and I would go to the doctor after to see what was going on with the pregnancy. I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant. I just didn't want people worrying or giving me their opinion on things. This one wasn't planned at all and was a surprise. Yes, Yes, I know where babies come from and how they can happen. lol  I am not going into the details of the 6+ months before, but there wasn't much hope. 

We waited awhile to tell family and even longer to tell our friends. 

G felt he had to tell everyone! He was with us at a doctor appointments when the doctor was talking about the baby and we could hear the heartbeat. G says momma open your mouf let me see that baby? He thinks the baby is the hangy thing in the back of your throat. lol

He then went to school and told everyone he was having a baby sister. He told the people at Sonic when we got our soda water he is having a baby sister. I had my friends little girl with me the day I picked up G from school, so his teachers thought that is who he was talking about. 

He has been so excited. He keeps asking hasn't the baby been in your belly long enough?

At night he will pat my belly. He said I need to pat the baby, so it won't cry and go to sleep. 

What will little Post be? Boy or Girl? We will find out later today!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday Thrive!

I know I haven't blogged in ages! I had a lot of stuff going over the past few months. I just needed to take a break.

1) I thought I would share a couple of recent purchases from Amazon. Who hates bra shopping? It kills me to spend $40-100 on a bra that will last for about 6 months. Ugh! Not only do they not last that long, but the process of trying to find one to fit is the biggest pain ever! I usually buy my bras from Lane Bryant. They fit me the best, quality is great and you can find a sale most of the time.

Well I decided to take a chance with Amazon and order this bra for $16.99. The nice thing with Amazon Prime is you can return things if they don't work. Well this bra is AMAZING!!!! I noticed the price keeps changing. Watch it and you can get it for under $20. Once the first one fit great I ordered a second one!

2) I don't think it's a secret how much I love coconut oil! I use that stuff all the time. I use it to take my eye make up off every night. I have been using it over my eczema before I put the other cream on it. It really has helped heal my skin nicely! I use it to cook the majority of the time. 

Amazon had a full gallon on for $17.99. Normally I buy it at Costco where it is $17.99 for half that amount. I was sooooo excited when my sister told me about this deal. I quickly ordered a gallon! I think this should last us for a few months. 

3) I have spent the past 3 months going through every closet, cupboard, dresser, shelf in this house getting rid of stuff. I decided in 2018 we were going to live simpler. Why do we have so much stuff sitting in cupboards just taking up space? Stuff we never ever use. I have taken sooooo much stuff to the thrift store lately. I think I have taken about 10 car loads. That is just awful! I have sold some things. Just the thought of trying to deal with a garage sale was exhausting. I haven't missed one thing that I have donated. I mean can you really miss things that have sat in the back of a closet for years? It is also so nice to open a cupboard or closet and see space.

4) I have been following Emily Ley on Facebook and Instagram. She has such great tips to simply life. Normally I do all our laundry on the weekend. I sort piles and do 3-5 loads on Saturday. I hate this and have for awhile. I mean the last thing I want to do on the weekend is laundry. I don't know why it's more irritating to me on the weekend then during the week. Well Emily suggested doing 1 load of laundry a day. Just grab whatever clothes are dirty, don't sort, use color safe detergent, put the washer on a short load and do 1 load a day. I started doing this around the first of the year. I don't have enough laundry with 3 people to do a load a day. I try to do it when the basket is looking a little full. It's so nice not to have this take up my weekend. Art doesn't ever run out of work shirts. G doesn't run out of pants. That boy goes through a lot of pants during the week.

Emily also says complete the entire load of laundry. You can just wash & dry it and leave it in a basket for week. You do everything all at one time. When it's done washing move it to the drier and as soon as it's dry fold and put it away! I have always been good about folding it right out of the drier. I do not like to iron or steam stuff. If I take it right from the drier it is very unlikely I have to iron or steam things.

5) I have a large closet that is FULL of clothes. When I worked I always wanted TONS of options. After I lost weight I bought a lot of clothes. It was soooo nice to be able to just go into any store and buy clothes. This was a new exciting thing for me. Now I stay home and I wear jeans almost every day. I have been going through my closet and getting rid of stuff. Stuff I know I don't even like, doesn't fit right and stuff I am just over. I have gotten rid of a TON of stuff.

I turned all my hangers around with all my shirts. When I wear one of them I put the hanger back in the correct way. It has helped me wear stuff I don't always wear. It is also helping me to see things I probably won't ever wear again. I want to give it a good 6 months before I decide on things. With the different seasons I can't get rid of short sleeve shirts in the winter.

When I have less clothes it is easier to get dressed. There is less stuff distracting me as to what to wear. I also sort all my clothes by colors. All my tshirts are in one section, all my button up or dressier tops in another section and my cardigans in one section. I keep everything sorted.

I am not including my dresses or skirts in the backward hanger challenge. I only wear them when it's warm. I have so few that I don't feel I need to get rid of any right now. I have gotten rid of a TON of dresses and skirts lately. Stuff that I wore to business meetings at work. Thing I don't see myself wearing. Even if I went back to work I would need to update somethings.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sesame Street Live!

I recently took G and one of his friends to Sesame Street Live! He was sooooo excited to go see Cookie Monster! As you can see from the picture below he was so excited he couldn't sit still for a picture! 

The show was about an hour and a half. He sat there the entire time! 
A couple times he did get up to dance to some of the songs. 

Ok Mom I will smile for one picture since you gave me a sucker!

Cookie Monster is G fav Sesame Street character! I didn't even realize this until the show.
We love going to these shows! He had to tell his grandparents all about going to see Cookie Monster and Melmo! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Years!!!!

It is really hard to believe that it has been 5 years since surgery and this whole cancer thing started! I feel so good about hitting the 5 year mark! No, I am not in remission. No, I am not cancer free. My cancer numbers are higher than they were after surgery. My tumors legions haven't really grown much in 5 years. They are still there! They haven't gone away. 

I have tried I feel almost everything I can to make those legions go away, but nothing seems to make them want to leave. However! I am thankful they have stayed stable! When you have cancer stable is always a refreshing thing to hear. I am very faithful about getting my blood work done every 3 months. I have done this for 5 years now. It's just part of my new normal. One of my doctors suggested we could move to getting blood work every 6 months. Nope! I like to see the trends. It might not mean much now, but down the road this information could be very helpful. She is a fabulous doctor and listens to me. 

In 5 years I have learned so much! I have learned so much about thyroid cancers and thyroid issues. Recently my mom had to go to the doctors about thyroid issues. I was able to go in there understand what the doctors were talking about and ask a lot of questions for all of us to understand exactly what was going on. Five years ago all of that would have gone over my head. 

I have always felt that my cancer diagnosis helped bring me G. We struggled for so long to have a baby. It was about a year after surgery that I was able to get pregnant with him. It also wasn't at my healthiest time either. I took the chance of getting pregnant with him. Some of my doctors at the time didn't agree with it. I am thankful I didn't listen to them. If I had I might not have him. It seems that MTC affects women and infertility really bad. My numbers were very low a year after surgery. I am thankful I took that chance and that I get to celebrate with him every year. We will eat paleo cookies today in honor of 5 years of life after cancer. 

I take G to the majority of my doctor appointments. At times I wonder if this is good or not. I want him to realize this is normal for our family. One day he will hear that one of his friends parents has cancer and he might think well doesn't everyone have a parent with cancer? He also isn't afraid of going to the doctor. He is brave when he has to get blood drawn. He comes with me most of the time to get mine done every 3 months. He isn't a fan of shots! He doesn't see me get shots lol.  He sees me get ultrasounds, checked by the doctors, trying to be as healthy as I possibly can be and this is his normal. G had to get an ultrasound of his heart recently. He has born with 2 super small holes in his heart. Something that the doctors or us haven't been concerned about, but it's monitored every 3-5 years. He didn't flinch when he had to get checked or the ultrasound. I told the doctor he sees me go through a lot, so he thinks this is normal. 

You may not agree with how I parent my child when it comes to cancer. For us this works. For me it's important he is comfortable with all this. I don't want him to worry about things that none of us have control over. 

In 5 years I have seen some friends with MTC go quickly. It's always heartbreaking when you lose someone. There is something that hits you in your core. Then you have to remind yourself your MTC journey is different than theirs. MTC affects every single person differently. 

Five years out I am probably at my healthiest I have been in my adult life even with 2 major illnesses. I work really hard to eat healthy and do the best self care I possibly can do! My pray since G was born is that God would give me 30 years with him. I will happily take way more than 30 years. 

Today we celebrate life! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bentology Bento Box Review

George is really into having a lunch box and he wants to start eating at school with the other kids. He goes to preschool 2 half days a week. I pick him up before lunch, so he usually eats lunch in the car. The kid is starving when I pick him up. I learned very quickly he needs a full lunch to eat on the way home. Otherwise he was asking for 100 snacks. A pouch just wasn't cutting it. I think he burns a lot of energy at school and even though he has a snack there is isn't enough. 

When Bentology gave us the opportunity to review one of their bento boxes I jumped at the chance! George likes to have different things for lunch, so little containers are perfect! Also when he starts going to a full day of preschool this will be a great way to pack his lunch for him.

The bento box comes in a cloth container with emoji's. 
There are different designs you can pick from here

I like the plastic containers. These can easily be put in the dishwasher or you can wash them out quickly. The box holds 4 containers. It comes with 5 containers. One of the containers is very small, so it's great for putting a gummy snack or dip for veggies. On the side you can put some silverware, yogurt packet, or a string cheese. 

Here is what I was able to all fit in the box. 

1 mini cucumber - I could have easily added another one or added some baby carrots.
1/2 cup of yogurt 
1 cup of pasta - he only ate about half of this with all the other food.
1 cutie
small amount of homemade gummy snacks! We recently made these with kombucha and vital proteins. I don't care if G eats a ton of these because there is no artificial anything or sugar in them. 

He LOVED this set up! He had me show him a couple times how to open the box. It can be a little tricky for a 3 year old to open, but he got it after I showed him about 3 times. 

I really like that there are separate containers. I was able to put the lid back on the pasta and put it in the fridge for later. The other stuff he ate all of it right away. I easily washed the containers when I washed my pots & pans after making dinner. 

If you would like to win your very own Bentology Bento Box I am giving one away on my Instagram account! Go check out the giveaway for your change to win! 

If you would like to order your’s you can do so here: and use code: ihelp25 for a 25% off discount between 1/15/18-1/22/18

*I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!!! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

OOTD - Traveling & Winter

Winter has arrived in California! It has been around the 60's, so that means we can pull out sweaters. I am sure any of you Midwesterners reading this are rolling your eyes. I plan to wear some of these outfits when I go to my parents. I need some warm, comfy clothes while I am traveling. If I think I am cold at 50 degrees in California I am going to die with the 10-30 degrees in North Dakota.  

Some of these items are new and some are oldies. I will try to link up to what I can find. 

Tee: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Nordstrom
Jeans: American Eagle similar
Booties: Nordstrom Rack

Button up: Gap
Vest: Old Navy similar
Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: Lucky

Tee: Nordstrom
Vest: Old Navy 
Leggings: Old Navy
Scarf: Express (old)
Booties: Nordstrom Rack

I am struggling to find a utility vest right now at Old Navy or Gap. I guess it isn't the season for them. They do carry them very often! I think everyone has more holiday things out right now. Watch Old Navy for the fur vests. Last year I bought mine for 50% off during Thanksgiving time. I recently started a Pinterest board just for fur vest inspiration. I don't wear it other than the holiday season. I am going to try to wear it more this winter. I really love it! 

The outfit above is really comfortable! It would be really good for traveling. There are plenty of pockets to put things especially when you are traveling with a toddler. I always need pockets when I am getting on and off planes. I need like 4 arms for getting on a plane. I really have a good system down, but still any mother could use a few more arms. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas Decor

I usually decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year though I wanted my house decorated before my sister arrived a week before Thanksgiving. I think going forward I am going to decorate before Thanksgiving. I LOVE having the decorations up. It just makes things so much more festive. G helped me decorate the tree! He has a blast putting the ornaments on the tree! 

G did a great job helping me put the ribbon around the tree! 

A lot of the ornaments were put in one place. I had to move a couple, so we didn't have clumps of ornaments. lol I tried to just let him do it himself or suggest other areas so they were spread out. Next year I would like to put a little tree up in his room. I will let him do all the decorating himself, however he wants it done. 

I bought this white Santa after the holidays one year. It is one of my favorite items. I just love that it is one solid color. The little white house on my shelf came from the dollar bin at Target. Depending on the Target some had a lot and others had none. I had to hunt for these. 

I added a few decorations above the toys. 

G knows we don't touch the decorations. One of his friends was playing with a bell. He said C that is a decoration we don't play with those. YES! I am glad he knows he shouldn't play with them and tells others not to play with decorations too!

When do you decorate your house for the holidays? 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Grandparents Gift Guide

One of the best things ever invented was the Amazon Wish Lists!!!! My side of the family we all have a running wish list. It's wonderful to be able to go to the list and buy something the person actually wants. It's also fun to just send them a gift expectantly too! 

What do you buy grandparents for Christmas? I am all about not buying "stuff" people are going to end up throwing in a corner or in a closet until they decide to donate it. 

Have the grand kids make a video for the grandparents. You could do one for each. Here are some cute questions you could ask the kids to answer. 

  • What makes Grandma/Grandpa happy?
  • What is Grandma/Grandpa favorite food?
  • How old is Grandma/Grandpa?
  • What does Grandma/Grandpa do when you aren't at their house?
  • What makes Grandma/Grandpa laugh?
  • What do you and Grandma/Grandpa do together?
  • What do you love most about Grandma/Grandpa?

My mother in law loves the Shutterfly calendars. I take pictures from over the past year and make her one every year. This helps because it is one item I know she will love it!

Who doesn't love a wonderful massage? Most people do! A spa day would be amazing. A massage, pedicure and/or facial. Everyone needs to relax and especially after the holidays!!!

Gift Cards! 
  • Amazon Gift Cards!!! These are great for everyone! That way they can buy what they want. Some grandparents love their Kindle, so they can buy more books. Amazon offers every thing imaginable, so this is a great idea for anyone. 
  • My dad always needs things and wants things from Tractor Supply. We bought him a gift card for his birthday. He called to tell us everything he bought with it. He liked being able to buy what he wanted and getting deals on things. If you know of your families favorite store this would be a great option.
  • Coffee or restaurant gift cards
The possibilities are endless when it comes to gift cards! 

I hope this gives you some different ideas for your parents. Start making your list to get your Christmas shopping completed!