Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lake Effect Creations

This is the "creative" side of me. I've been running a very small crochet business for a few years. I invite you to check out my business facebook page here. I started selling crocheted goods back when I worked in the daycare, 2008 I think. I have improved that skill by leaps and bounds since then. All I used to sell were beanies.
Pinterest has been a great help for inspiration. In fact, I'm pretty sure I never would have come up with 99% of the things I have made with out it. I am currently working on my first pattern. I've been buying more and more patterns lately instead of being a copy-cat.

I highly recommend if you have a craft to try selling on Etsy. That's where I've been lately. Crocheting and selling like crazy! View my shop here.

The sport-sy hats:

Order Requests:


And my favorite pictures, the ones with adorable models:

 And then there's this awesome huntress cowl, inspired by the Hunger Games:

So if you've wondered where I've been. Chances are if I'm not entertaining my children, or taking care of them, I'm probably working on something like the above. If you're interested, all my readers can get a 10% coupon for my Etsy shop using this code: CHSWREADER It's good through 7/28/16, my birthday!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why I Won't be Fat and Happy

Recently I was with a group of ladies when they started talking about a popular diet. No one in the group was currently doing the diet discussed, but several had tried and given up for various reasons. Then the discussion turned to "Eh, who cares if I'm fat. I'll die fat and happy!" Of course, none of them were really "fat" but just perhaps a little "fluffier" than they once were. While yes, we should be happy in the skin we're in, maybe we shouldn't always settle. I'm not saying this to make women mad, but more to defend why I am working on my own appearance. Many compliment how great I look, especially after twins, but only two people see what I really look like, and one of these people has an opinion far more important to me than anyone else to me. {By the way, those two people are my husband and myself. just to be clear. lol} When my husband married me, I looked different than now. Yes, I've been pregnant, and my body has several times since our wedding day. I started out at 110 pounds three months after our wedding. {My first prenatal appointment} At the end of my pregnancy I was 170. I've fluctuated between 125-175 with three pregnancies. I have been stuck at 135 for the last five months. While most would be okay with it and just learn to live with it, this is not the body my husband married. I know he wouldn't complain about my body, but why shouldn't I do what I can? After all, he works out five days a week for me. He woke up from a bad dream one night over a year ago that I had left him for someone with a better body, and he's gone to the gym ever since. Just for me. Why shouldn't I do the same for him? Isn't he worth fighting for? With all the scandals lately with Christian men being caught cheating, shouldn't I do everything in my power to keep him interested?

I've recently become a BeachBody coach. I drink Shakeology every morning and work out {most} every day. The shakes are ridiculously delicious. Even my super picky husband thinks so. They come with recipes to switch up the flavors. Just the other day I added a banana and peanut butter to my chocolate shake. Mmmm. They're also filling. I have a shake at 8 am and I don't get my normal mid-morning munchies. Usually around noon I start to get hungry again. They're so good I crave them for an evening snack, but I try to save them for breakfast so I don't run out too soon. The workouts are usually only about 30 minutes, depending on the program you choose. Programs include, P90x, PiYo, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, and Brazilian Butt Lift.

If you are happy with your body the way it is, great for you! I am not. My husband works every day to better himself for me, so why shouldn't I do the same for him? I don't expect to ever see 110 again, but I'm interested to see what my body can do. Parts have shifted, expanded, grown, shrunk, whatever. I'm ready to see what my new body will look like. Join me?

I'd love to know your own opinions on this. Please be kind. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Diary of an Unborn Baby

I came across this as a young girl. My church had a booth at the county fair every year supporting the Lifesaver's Ministries. If you've never heard of them, they are a pro-life pregnancy ministry. I remember at our booth we always had models of babies in the womb, and tons of literature. I later found out that the man I eventually would marry was adopted through that very same ministry. The following is the same thing I read from that booth as a little girl, found online from this website. I thought I would share it after all that's been going on in our country lately. It's hard to read, especially as a mother now, but it renews my determination and opposition in this area.

October 5: Today my life began. My parents don’t know it yet, but I am here. I’m a girl; I’ll have blond hair and blue eyes. All my genetic imprints are present, also that I will have a weakness for flowers.

October 19: Some say I am not even a real person yet, and only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just like a crumb of bread is bread. My mother exists, and I do, too.

October 23: Now my mouth opens. In about a year I will be able to laugh and speak. I know what my first word will be: Mommy.

October 25: Today my heart began to beat. From now on it will beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to take a break. Only after many years will it stop beating and I will die.

November 2: Every day I grow more. My arms and legs are forming, but it will be a long time until I can stand on those tiny legs and run into the arms of my mother, until I can pick flowers with those tiny arms and hug my father.

November 12: Tiny fingers are starting to grow on my hands. How small they still are! One day I will be able to stroke my mother’s hair.

November 20: Just today the doctor told my mother that I live beneath her heart. Oh, how happy she must be. Are you happy, Mommy?

November 25: Mommy and Daddy are probably trying to come up with a name for me. But they don’t know that I am a little girl. I would love to be called Susie. My, I have already grown so much!

December 10: My hair is starting to grow. It is soft and with a beautiful shine. Wonder what kind of hair Mommy has.

December 13: Soon I will be able to see. It is dark around me. When Mommy gives birth to me I will see sunshine and flowers. But the best will be to see my Mommy. I wonder what you look like.

December 24: I wonder if Mommy hears the whispers of my heart. Some children are born ill. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats evenly: bum-bum, bum-bum. Mommy, you will have a healthy little daughter!

December 28: Today my mother killed me. She just killed me.

Dear Mommy,   
I am in Heaven now, sitting on Jesus’ lap. He loves me and is close to me. I would have loved to be your little girl and don’t quite understand what has happened. I was so excited to find out that I came to be. I was in a dark but cozy place. I realized that I had fingers and toes. I was quite developed, although not quite ready to leave that cozy place. Mostly I just thought and slept. From the very beginning I felt so connected with you.... Sometimes I heard you cry and I cried with you. Sometimes you yelled really loud and then you cried. And I heard how Daddy yelled back at you. I was so sad and hoped that you would feel better soon. I have always wondered why you cried so much. One day you cried all day long. My soul was hurting so much. I could not imagine that it was I who made you so unhappy.

It was this very day that something terrible happened. A mean monster came into this warm cozy place that I lived in. I was petrified and began to scream, but no sound came over my lips. The monster came closer and closer and I kept screaming, “Mommy, Mommy, help me, please help me!” All I felt was horrendous fear. I screamed and screamed till I could no longer scream. Then the monster ripped my arm off. It hurt so much, what excruciating pain. And it would not stop. Oh, I begged and begged for it to stop. I screamed with horrific pain when that monster ripped out my leg. Despite inexplicable pain I knew I was dying. I knew that I would never see your face or hear from you how much you loved me. I wanted to stop all your tears, and had so many plans to make you happy - now I couldn’t do this anymore; my dreams were shattered. Although I felt inconceivable pain and terrible fear, I felt mainly my heart breaking. More than anything I wanted to be your daughter.

But it was all in vain because I died a horrific death!

I could only guess what they did to you. Before I went I wanted to tell you how much I loved you, but I didn’t know the words you could understand. And soon afterwards I did not have the breath to say them. I was dead!

I felt how I rose. I was carried by a giant angel to a large, glorious place. I still cried, but the physical pain was gone. An angel brought me to Jesus and sat me on His lap. Jesus said to me that He loved me and that God is my Father. I was happy. I asked Him what this thing was that killed me. He answered, “It was the abortionist.” Then He said, “I am so sorry, my child, I know what that feels like.”

I am writing to tell you that I love you, and how much I would have loved to be your little girl. I have done all in my power to live. I wanted to live. I had the will, but I couldn’t. The monster was too strong. It was impossible to live. I just wanted you to know that I tried to stay with you. I did not want to die! So, Mommy, please stay away from this monster called abortion. Mommy, I love you and I don’t want you to go through the hell I went through.

Please take care of yourself!
your Baby.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Confessions of a {SAHM}

You would think that staying at home all day every day, my house would be in immaculate condition and there would always be a hot meal ready. Oh, and why not throw in a fresh batch of cookies right out of the oven! There's no excuse not to have the time for that. Well. Try keeping four small children alive and on top of that, nurturing their minds and teaching them how to be a respectable person. In other words, I need a maid. I still aim for the pristine house and nice home-cooked meals. But it can wait a few years. Then I'll see if it's a reality yet.

  • My boys {frequently} pee through the bars on the railing, outside, onto the stones.
  • I've rinsed out the bowl of the small potty in the sink.
  • My house can go a month between vaccumings.
  • Most days I don't eat real food until 2 PM. {nap time}
  • If I do eat breakfast, it's because I'm super starving and it's usually leftover dinner because that's all I have time for.
  • Sometimes my boys go a week {or more} between baths.
  • I watch one or more Toy Story movies on an average of every three days.
  • My boys eat yogurt for breakfast 90% of the time.
  • I vegetate in front of the t.v. or the computer more than I should when my boys are sleeping.
  • Today I let my two-year-old go bottom-less outside for about an hour.
  • I think I've actually cooked a dinner maybe once or twice a week for the last two months.
  • My three-year-old is excellent at running errands around the house for me.
  • My boys eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch 95% of the time.
  • I've watched all three Toy Story movies in the same day at least 15 times.
  • My two-year-old {who barely talks} can recognize almost any quotation or beginning of a song from Frozen.
  • I really don't like taking my boys to play on their swing set. It's too far from the house.
  • I start potty training early because I'm lazy.
  • When my baby spits up I don't use a burp cloth. I use my own clothing.
  • Sometimes when I take a shower my t.v. is the babysitter.
  • I seriously love nap time!
  • But even more than that I love my crazy boys, and even though everyone always says it, I really wouldn't change it for the world!

Must-Have Baby Products {Twin Edition}

We've all seen posts for what is really needed for a baby. {My version} You've also seen what not to get. {Also my Version} But, {usually} only if you've had or are about to have twins have you seen a lost of must-haves for twins. Trust me, there are a lot out there. I looked at so many mostly to compare the lists to see what products matched. Some are very similar to my singleton {I'm a twin mom, I'm allowed to use that term now} while others are brand new to this mama.

  1.  Co-sleeper. Some moms have used one before, but I haven't. I used to just use a rocking bassinet. {Which I LOVED} Two weren't going to fit in it, and it rocked when they moved, so one might roll onto the other in his sleep and it just seemed too dangerous. Almost every twin-mommy-blogger recommended one. Not just the mini one, either. The big ol' grand-daddy original. The mini is only rated for 15 pounds. The bigger one can hold up to 30 pounds. We thought maybe we could get away with using the bassinet part of a regular pack 'n play, but those aren't rated for the higher weight either. It is truly worth the investment! We used it for about four months before we moved them to their own rooms. Now it serves as an extra pack 'n play. We found ours on Craigslist, but it took a long time!

     2. Nosefrida. This one is useful no matter how many babies you have. It was wonderful for one, and it was even better for two. As long as you can get over the ick factor. {My husband can't even be in the same room when I use it.} You get much better suction, and your babies are mad at you for a fraction of the time. In fact, when the twins had RSV last winter, it definitely was worth it! I've used it for four children and not once has a booger made it even to the tube. No worries.
     3. Vibrating Seats. These are great for any baby, but it seems that the necessity of a lot of things becomes even more so when there's more than one baby. In the beginning, when we were still trying to figure out how to keep everyone alive, we tried the babies sleeping in these. It just so happened that our babies just didn't like sleeping anywhere in general. But they definitely are great throughout the day. There's just something about the vibrating. I keep the bar of toys off while they're real little, but when they're ready for entertainment, just pop it back on. My ultimate favorite way I used this in the first few months was during my shower. I'd try to sneak in the shower when only one twin was awake. He'd sit in his little chair in the bathroom and I could peek in on him as needed. Very rarely did they cry at this time. Eventually I brought both chairs and both babies in with me. The downside to using these with twins is that they're not as easy {as with one} to just take into the other room. Two trips. But then again, nothing is easy with twins.

4. Rock 'n Play Sleepers. Thank you, Jesus for allowing these to be invented. Best. Invention. Ever. {!!!!!} I don't know how I had two other babies before without using one of these! Seriously! From the time we brought them home, we put them in their "rockers." They are so portable. These bad boys went all over the place with us. Eating dinner? Bring the babies in their rockers. Watching a movie? Bring 'em. Big boys in the playroom? Rockers came along. Giving the big boys a bath? You know it! They finally out-grew them at about 6 months. They'd stiffen out, roll over, and just be too wiggly. But these things were so wonderful. Also, for the newborns, they kind of provided a snuggle-feel. We'd swaddle them and place them in, and they'd be nice and cozy. Love, Love, Love this!! Oh, by the way, the big boys love these, too. They'd sit in them next to each other to watch movies. I always joked that we needed four.

5. Jumpy Seats. My boys love their jumpers. They jump away until their hearts are content. It's real fun when they get in sync with each other. We don't have an optimal doorway to use the Johnny-Jump-up version, so we have the stationary one(s). Even still, at almost 11 months old they LOVE them!


6. Boppy Pillow. I had never really needed to use a pillow during nursing. It wasn't any more comfortable to me. When I had my twins, though, it was a different story. I really wanted to use the Twin Double Z, but really didn't want to pay the $99. (Even though my husband assured me I could get it.) My sister has a handmade children's goods business, so I asked her if she was up for the challenge as my baby gift. She made a look-alike, {she's really good, I might add.} See for yourself. Sometimes a good, old fashioned, regular boppy was easier. I definitely used them more with my twins than my "singletons." {I always feel silly using that term.} And to quote one of my boys' favorite movies, "If you don't have one, get one!" {Toy Story, you know...}

7. Snap 'n Go Stroller. Another lifesaver. It's in the name. Just snap it in and go! I've used this at the doctor's, the mall, or anywhere you don't want to carry two heavy buckets. It's useful for as long as your babies are in those car seats. It is very long, though, and I feel like I'm driving a semi-truck, backwards. It's fine once you get used to it.

Another product that was super handy more this time around was my pump but usually you can get a prescription and insurance will cover it.
Things I didn't need two of are: swings, and bumbo seats. Neither of mine cared for them. Of course that is totally depending on the baby. I know lots of people who swear by them!
What products could you absolutely not live without for your twins?