Handling Birthday’s During Holiday Season


photo credit

We are very blessed to be expecting baby #5 in early December. I love this time of year, with all the decorations and festive spirit and Christmas music playing every where I go. I enjoy the cold weather and bundling up to go outside. It makes me happy to have a fire going to keep the house warm, and to have our tree all lit up with lights. I especially love how easy it is to talk about Jesus at this time of year without getting sideways looks from people.

What I wasn’t sure about was having a baby at this time of year. Would my child feel like their birthday was always overshadowed by the season? Would we never be able to have a party because everyone is so busy with everything else? Would we even be able to afford to make a special deal of birthday’s in December with Christmas right around the corner?

Luckily, I know the answer to most of those questions, or at least answers that work for my family. You see, this is our 3rd baby to be born at this time. Our 4-year-old was born a day after Thanksgiving (in fact her birthday is on Thanksgiving this year), and our 2-year-old was born on December 20. So we do have a few years practice at dealing with birthday’s during the holidays. And so far we have managed to make each one special. I will give you some pointers and ideas that have worked well for us.

    1.  We don’t do birthday parties every year. This isn’t just for our children born during Christmas, it is also for our 2 children born in the summer. Our birthday party years are 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 18. We’ve only gone up to 13 so far, but 16 and 18 are the plan for the future. As a family we decided that these are the “special” years. Don’t get me wrong, we still celebrate our child on their birthday each and every year, they just only get a party with friends on these years. On the “off” years, we still have a special dinner and cake with just family, and we either go somewhere fun, like the beach for our summer babies, or I take the birthday child on a special shopping trip where they get to pick out their birthday present (within a given budget.) Our children have always felt super special and enjoyed these years just as much as the party years, and it has saved us the time and money it takes to throw a party. And I think it makes the birthday parties that much more special!
    2. We combine parties. I’m sure there are some people out there that think this is a big no-no, but it has worked surprisingly well for us. Our girls are only 2 years apart, so they have many of the same friends, or at least family’s with their children spaced 2 years apart as well. And they have many of the same interests (Disney Princesses!) so throwing a combined party just makes sense. Another idea is to have a Santa Claus party for a child whose birthday is in December. We did this for one of my daughter’s one year. My dad dressed up like Santa and handed out little gifts to all the guests, and the children got to decorate a miniature tree. And for my Thanksgiving baby, when it isn’t a party year we combine her birthday with Thanksgiving dinner, that way family only has one event to go to. We just throw in an extra cake. Who doesn’t want extra cake at Thanksgiving anyway, right?

Santa Claus , Picture,

  1. We move the parties up a few weeks. Since we know everyone will be busy Thanksgiving week, we usually have our turkey baby’s party a week or two before. And the same with our December 20 baby. If we aren’t combining the parties, hers also gets moved up a week or two so it isn’t so close to Christmas. If we are combining their birthdays, we will usually move our Thanksgiving baby’s party back a couple weeks and have the double party right in  between both their birthdays.
  2. We don’t go crazy with birthday gifts. Our children usually only get one gift from us on their birthdays. Especially if it is a party year, because we know they will be getting gifts from their friends and family as well. Their one gift is something that they want, not something that they need, so that makes it special. And like I mentioned before, when it isn’t a party year they get to choose the gift themselves. This saves us money, especially for the birthdays around the holidays, because we don’t have to buy a ton of presents so close to Christmas. Our children get spoiled enough by grandparents that they don’t even notice if we got them one or five. Even if they didn’t, getting one gift they really want makes them appreciate things more than if they got a bunch of stuff, in my opinion, and makes it more special.

This year is a little bit different though. It happens to be a party year for both my turkey baby and my Christmas baby, and I am due with another little bundle right smack dab in the middle of their birthdays! I really want them to still have their parties, but I don’t want to schedule them and then have to cancel because I’m in labor. I also don’t want to host a party shortly after I have given birth, not only because I will be recovering but because I really don’t want any germs our guests might bring over, making my newborn sick. So this year they are having a combined party the weekend before Thanksgiving. Sure, it is a whole month before my December 20th birthday girl, but I don’t think that will make much difference. She is only turning 3, after all.

I hope some of these ideas were helpful to you. Let me know in the comments if you have any holiday babies in your family and how you handle birthdays.

linked up at The Modest Mom Blog,  The Weekend Brew,  Fellowship Fridays,  Serving Joyfully,  Whole Hearted Home, Wedded Wednesdays, and  So Much At Home

Pregnancy Back Support


I am pregnant right now with baby #5, and I don’t know if it is because I am older (not old, just older!) or if maybe the baby is in a weird position, but my back pain has been worse than any other pregnancy. I have started setting my kitchen timer for 10 minutes just to get stuff done around the house, and even then my back is in so much pain before the timer even runs out.

I was getting desperate, so I tried 2 things I have never done before. A prenatal support belt, as you see in the picture, and chiropractic care.

A couple weeks ago I ordered the belt, and was very excited when I received it in the mail. Immediately after I put it on I felt relief. It forced me to stand up straighter, which I know relieved much of the strain on my lower back. And the top strap that goes over the belly helped to hold it in place and up where it needed to be. The back of the belt gets wider than in the front and has boning in it, which gives it structure and makes it more supportive.

It even stays in place when I sit down. It has Velcro openings, so I can tighten it or loosen it as needed. The baby also doesn’t seem to mind. I was worried that it would restrict her movements, but it doesn’t. I prefer to wear it over my clothes, because otherwise I would have to wear a camisole so it doesn’t rub up against my skin, and that’s just not happening every day with this belly! Although I do have a couple maternity cami’s, so there are times I can wear it in a more discreet way.

I mainly just wear it around the house, because my teenager has let me know how extremely unfashionable it is to go out in public this way. I got her last week though when I went to pick her up from class a few minutes early and walked in, forgetting I had it on. The look of pure shock and embarrassment on her face was totally worth my little fashion faux pas. (Don’t worry, I quickly ducked into an open door and removed it. She is not scarred for life. Yet. I still have four more teenage years for that!)

I would highly recommend this for any pregnant lady! I would recommend going up a size if you are unsure, especially if it is earlier in your pregnancy, so you have room to grow. I was right between two sizes and am very happy I chose the bigger one.

I also just finished 2 weeks worth of chiropractic care. I have never been to a chiropractor before this, so I was a little nervous and hesitant. I got my midwife to recommend a good, local chiropractor and made the appointment. When I went in, the first thing he did was check my posture and the curve of my spine with some weird bar and rope thing. I think they would normally do an x-ray on an initial appointment, but that was way out of the question due to the bun baking in my oven.

Turns out my spine was off more than an inch around my neck and shoulders, and an inch the other way down by my hips. Imagine an s-shaped curve, just not as dramatic as an s. Makes sense since I have not had the best posture since I was a tall teenager who was always trying to make myself appear shorter than I actually was. (Girls! Don’t do this! Be proud of your height. A girl who stands tall is much more appealing than a girl who hunches over. Even if she stand a head taller than anyone else in the room.)

After deciding where the adjustments needed to happen, I lied down sideways on the table and he made some adjustments that caused me to pop more than hot corn. I felt better right away, but he warned I might have some pain that evening, just as you would the first time after you started a new exercise routine. And boy did I! But it was nothing an ice-pack couldn’t help. Plus, the next day I felt so much better, and had more energy. As a bonus, I noticed my baby started moving around more. I was getting worried because her movements had decreased recently, but apparently she just needed the chiropractor to free up some extra space in there for her. Like a womb remodel. Ha!

The chiropractor scheduled me to come back 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks. It seemed like a lot at first, but I am glad I stuck with it. I’m now going once a week for the rest of my pregnancy, and then plan to go after the birth to get straightened out again. My back still hurts at times, but it is nothing like it was before the support belt and the chiropractor. I also started applying Valor to my back before my appointments, and I never had any more pain like after the first time. I would also highly recommend chiropractic care during pregnancy. It has made a tremendous difference!

If you are experiencing back pain in pregnancy, I hope this post helped. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any other pregnancy posts (or posts in general), subscribe to my weekly newsletter. I will send one a week so I don’t clog up your inbox. You can also find my posts on Facebook.

linked up at The Modest Mom Blog,  Whole Hearted Home,  A Little R&R,  Teaching What Is Good and  Rich Faith Rising

How Pregnant Women Are Like Hobbits

Whoa! Just look at that belly!

Whoa! Just look at that belly!

It’s no secret that pregnancy changes a woman’s body. Well, maybe “changes” is too light a word. How about completely takes over! Your body grows in crazy ways and starts functioning way outside of the normal range and you find yourself with issues you never thought were possible. It’s all good though, because at the end you get to hold a beautiful new life that you’ve already fallen in love with from the first time you saw the positive test. But in the mean time, you may wonder what has taken over your body and if you will ever have it back. (You will, don’t worry-God designed us to grow a life, and He is really good at what He does!)

I am right in the thick of my pregnancy right now (by thick I mean fat!) and feel like I may never get back to normal. I have been so crazy hungry and it hit me the other day that maybe I’m not pregnant, maybe I am turning into a hobbit. Don’t think so? Well let me present you with the evidence here:

  1. Three meals a day are just not enough. I eat breakfast when I wake up and then I’m ready for another full meal by mid-morning. I can totally relate to the hobbits habit of eating first breakfast, then second breakfast, then first and second lunch. And let’s not forget an after dinner snack. And an “after the kids go to bed” snack. Should I feel guilty for eating this much? Maybe. Do I? Usually not. I am a full-time baby making factory, after all. Have to fuel the factory!
  2. Being pregnant causes women to become bare-foot and hairy. Hopefully that doesn’t mean your bare feet are hairy-but if they are-be happy for the body God gave you. (And get some wax, definitely get some wax!) What I do mean is that I would much rather walk around with bare feet, socked feet, or at the very least, some comfy flip-flops. Shoes make my feet scream. Besides, have you seen how swollen some pregnant mama’s feet get? Good luck squeezing those into a nice pair of shoes! As far as the hair goes, I do enjoy how much thicker and fuller my hair is, and how fast it grows. I could do without having to buy stock in razors. And shaving cream. Have you ever tried to shave your legs when you couldn’t even see your feet? I’m surprised I’m still alive to write this!

    Vienna Sausages

    Vienna Sausages

  3. Don’t knock on my door if you’re looking for adventure. Or a journey. Unless it’s a journey from couch to fridge, then I might be interested.
  4. I wish I had a ring that made me invisible. That way you couldn’t see me eat that second piece of cake. Or my swollen feet. Or hairy legs. But instead of an invisible ring, I have no ring because my fingers got so fat I had to take it off. At least the tan line hasn’t faded completely–yet.
Yes, I will take some more cake, thank you!

Yes, I will take some more cake, thank you!

Even so, I really do love being pregnant. I love knowing that there is a little miracle growing inside me. I love feeling the little baby kicks and hiccups and rolls. And I am very excited that in 3 short weeks (give or take) I will be holding a new little baby in my arms. Until then, I’ll just hang out here in my hobbit hole.


                                  photo credit

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linked up at A Little R&R,  Turn It Up Tuesday, The Modest Mom Blog,  Good Morning Mondays and  Fellowship Friday


Creative K Kids

Baby Bumble Bee

This whole pregnancy, bees have been buzzing on my mind. For the first time, we did a gender reveal cake and pictures to let our other children and friends and family know what we were having. I ordered the cake from Nugget Markets bakery-they have THE BEST cakes and if you live in or around the Sacramento, CA area you’re missing out if you’ve never been there. On the cake they wrote “What’s It Going To Bee?” and on the inside put pink frosting for our little girl.

Gender Reveal Cake-Bumble Bee Theme

Gender Reveal Cake-Bumble Bee Theme

Sticking with the bumble bee theme, I found this super cute baby blanket pattern on Pinterest that I am going to start working on this week. I just hope to get it done in the next 3 weeks before baby arrives. Then I have some pretty tall orders from my other little’s for what they want mom to crochet for them. At least I’ll “bee” busy!

Bumble Bee Blanket and Cap

Bumble Bee Blanket and Cap

And it is good that yellow is a gender neutral color, because even though they say the baby is a girl, my son is convinced that it will be a boy. I think it’s probably wishful thinking because he wants a brother so bad, but I know ultrasounds have been wrong before, so we shall see.

Next week my husband and I will be stripping and re-painting a baby cradle that we got for FREE! I am planning on painting it a creamy white color with little bumble bees buzzing all over it. Look for pictures here in the next week or two. Although we’ve never done anything like that before, so fingers crossed that it will turn out how we are hoping!

What do you think of the bumble bee theme? Did you have a theme when you were expecting? Let us know in the comments!

linked up at The Modest Mom Blog,  Good Morning Mondays,  The Deliberate Mom, Serving Joyfully, Raising Homemakers,  A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and  Wedded Wednesdays

Creative K Kids

Pregnancy After Loss


Today, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, I am writing a post about getting pregnant again after a miscarriage. Last year in May I went to a routine prenatal appointment at 15 weeks gestation and discovered that my sweet baby no longer had a heartbeat. He had been taken into the arms of Jesus before I ever got to hold him in mine. The next few months are somewhat a blur as I went through the motions of my day, caring for my other children, while trying to process the loss. I remember the absolute worst things that people could say to me at that time was, “Well, at least you weren’t very far along” or “It’s for the best, there must have been something wrong with the baby anyway.” Yes, I heard those both more times than I care to remember. And each time it felt like a knife through my heart. It’s true I wasn’t very far along, but that little baby already had a place in my heart, in my family, and in my dreams of the future. I spent a lot of time those next few months pouring my heart out to God, reading His Word, and writing down my feelings. I truly believe that all three of those things helped keep me from falling apart.

Fast forward a year, and I’m pregnant again. Although it felt so different at first. Every other pregnancy I have felt joy mingled with excitement and a little bit of nervousness. I’ve wanted to tell everyone and my pregnancy is all I ever want to talk about. I wasn’t prepared for the shift this time in how I would feel. I was more nervous than joyful. I was reserved. I didn’t want to tell anyone right away-because what if it happened again?

I think what took me most by surprise was my inability to bond with this new life growing inside me. It’s like I was holding back so that I wouldn’t get my heart broken again. There was no singing lullabies to my tummy, no rubbing it while murmuring affectionate words and hopes for our new life together. And so much anxiety. Why haven’t I felt movement yet? Is what I’m feeling normal? Did this happen last time or with my “normal” pregnancies? I over-analyzed and over-thought every little thing.

Even now at 8 months pregnant, I’m just beginning to hope. I can feel the baby moving and kicking all throughout the day, so I think that helps to reassure me that everything is good. I still notice a reservation, but I am trying to work through that. I also notice I am more susceptible to becoming depressed. I have to daily look for joy in my life so I don’t get sucked into a black hole of worry, doubt, and hopelessness.

I have to remind myself that God is in control, and no matter what happens He will never leave me nor forsake me. He already knows what tomorrow holds, and as long as I look to Him I will be okay. Although this pregnancy has not been what I’ve expected, I am happy. Happy to once again feel a baby in my womb. And hopeful. Hopeful that in 7 short weeks I will be able to hold this baby in my arms and kiss it’s newborn, glowing face. And hopeful that one day in Heaven I will be able to do the same for my little boy that I never got to meet in this life.

linked up at Darling Downs Diaries,  So Much At Home,  A Wise Woman Builds Her Home , The Deliberate Mom, Christian Mommy Blogger, and Raising Homemakers