DIY Giant Moss Letters

I needed something festive for above the fireplace and I love the look of moss letters.
We had a few big cardboard boxes laying around so I decided to try to make my own.
It ended up being super easy! 
You will need:
Glue Gun, lots of glue sticks
Sheets of Moss (Hobby Lobby)
 I just free handed the letters, it doesn't matter how sloppy it looks because you are going to cover it with the moss. So draw as messy as you like. 
 Cut the moss and glue, glue, glue!!! Let it overlay and then wrap it around the edges and glue MORE. 
It won't look so hot on the back but no one will see it.
Finished product. They are indeed very messy to make but I love the look of them!
I think I will make more, maybe do our family monogram and make a larger D in the center with a smaller A & J to the outsides. It was definetely easy enough to want to do it again.

Hanging below is the DIY Advent Calendar I made for the kids this year. Holy DIY magic around here, aka my pregnancy nesting gave me some crafting nesting skills! haha!

The Name Game....

I must say this is the first time that we have went into this without a for sure name.
We have always had the name picked out months in advance.
I think it must be because we do not know the gender that the name is still up in the air.
Early on we had decided on William and Charlotte.
Gosh to be 17 weeks and not as huge again. hahaha.
Anyways we were set on those 2 names until recently.

We have always picked strong names and tried to keep it in the family. 
This time is no different. We chose William, my great grandfathers name and Charlotte my great aunts name.
But something happened with William, you know how a name can be ruined by one bad egg, well that is kinda sorta what happened. Let's just say Jordan referred to someone with the name he knows and it truly tainted it for us. I hate when you hear a name and get a bad taste so right now William is not on the top of my list, Jordan still loves it but I just cant not think of that person, darn them!!!

Charlotte is still my fave. Charlotte Rose. I love it and everything about it. It is after my great aunt who was hands down the coolest person alive. She had red hair and was a complete southern spit fire. Rose is also a family name from Jordan's grandmother's side so our girl name is pretty rock solid. BUT Jordan walked in the other night saying he really liked Catherine. I love the name too and know the MOST amazing girl named Catherine so I am honestly fine with either Charlotte or Catherine at the moment but more leaning towards Charlotte.

The other boy name that is floating around is Samuel. Samuel is also a family name, my great great grandfathers. So right now going into the home stretch we are between William and Samuel for a boy. I have never known a bad Samuel so that is why I am obsessed with the name. It's funny because Jordan loves William but I love Samuel. The middle name we have chosen at the moment is Clarence, a family name from Jordan's grandmother's side. Its such an old school name and I love it. My mom knew the sweetest older man with the name Clarence and I always remember her talking so fondly of him, so I am good with our middle name for a boy.

In a few short weeks you will be meeting....
I also included the first name meaning under..

William Clarence or Samuel Clarence
(will, desire)                         (name of God)
Charlotte Rose or Catherine Rose
(tiny, feminine)                           (innocent)

Obviously Samuel dominates all the names. Baller.

PS I totally think it's another boy. I think we are totally good at raising the madness that is boys. I honestly think I will be a tad overwhelmed by a girl after 4 years of boy. Obviously I would GO CRAZY over all the pink and clothing but I just have a gut feeling we are destined to have all boys. If that is the case you better believe I am raising them to pick the most fabulous daughter in laws. Which most of these marriages have already been arranged with friends and bloggers. We know what's best for them, right? 
That or we will need them to be priests. Either or.
So my mind is set going into this that Jordan will announce "It's a BOY!" and holy smokes if he doesn't say that I will probably pass out on the table! A few short, short weeks my friends.

Which names do you like best??

37 Weeks

I am still in shock we are at 37 weeks. It felt like this pregnancy was dragging around week 30 and then BAM, here we are, weeks away from meeting our newest blessing. So surreal. Having this baby mixed in with the holidays is sheer insanity! Lots more planning to get done and make happen. 
The baby will be here Dec 13 or 14 whether he/she likes it or not! haha! I am so excited to have an actual date to plan for. We are choosing to induce because of how quickly Jude arrived. He came in less than 45 minutes of my first real pain. We barely made it to the hospital, so having enough time to make it is very important. If it were just Jordan and I this would be so much easier but with 3 other kids a sudden labor like that is not so easy. We have to orchestrate a whole game plan and have people here. I really pray he or she doesn't come sooner or else I may be the woman giving birth on the side of the road. Eeeek. Better safe than sorry. Also this is not my first rodeo with "induction", Vincent and Luke were also induced, by induced I mean breaking waters. That is all the interventions we have ever had thankfully. I really pray the same happens with this labor. So much stress thinking about the what-ifs for delivery. Trying to stay positive.

Anyways enough about that. Onto the 37 week stats!
 Yes, I swallowed a watermelon haha. I think the white shirt makes me look even bigger! 
How far along are you? 
37 weeks

Total weight gain: 
33 lbs. Woops :) 

How big is baby?:  
Over 6lbs and around 19 inches. 

Maternity clothes: 
Still not happening thanks to the jeggings, sorry to you all who may hate seeing pregnant women in jeggings, the only comfortable thing! 

Stretch marks?:  
No more than before! 

Yeah right. 
Best moment this week?:
I got to meet my nephew. It got me all excited for all the wonderfulness of newborns!! 

TONS, mostly some giant kicks and punches, probably trying to break out! 

Food cravings?:
The normal nothing good for me. Panera's Fontina grilled cheese and tomato soup top the list at the moment, then all the desserts that are to come for the holidays. 

Food aversions?:
Not really 

Labor signs?: 
I am 2cm dilated, and the baby is getting nice and low!
Just the wonderful feeling of the baby falling out of me.
Braxton Hicks.

Belly button in or out?: 
Still in, it has never popped 

What I miss: 
My normal sized clothing, so excited to get back to normal Allie size! 

What I'm looking forward to: 
Snuggling our new bear! 

What I'm not looking forward to: 
Delivery, OUCH, OUCH, OUCH....
and after labor when they push on your belly to get rid of the clots, 
hands down worst thing ever. I cannot stand it. Grosssssssss. 

Still up in the air. As is the name (post to come)
We had decided on Charlotte and William early on but not too sure now.
This is the first time we have not had the exact name picked out.
It's so weird. haha.

So there you have it! 37 weekeroos!
2cm down, only 8 to go!!! Praying to dilate as much as possible before we induce!

DIY Hanging Advent Calendar & Activities List

I have been wanting to to a Advent chart or something similar but I have never found one that I absolutely love and when I do find something cute it's small or not exactly what I envisioned. The best way to get something you want is to make it! I have seen the hanging advent bags and knew that was what I wanted. It was seriously so easy. The only thing I wish I would have done different is a different colored bag. It looks too much like the color of the wall. Or maybe we need to paint the walls. Ah, whatever the case, I still love it and how it turned out. I know the boys will love it!
All you need is:
25 Bags (I chose 5x7 canvas bags)
Red Paint
Paint Brush
Number Stencils
 Pretty self explanatory. Place the stencil and paint away.
Inside the bags I was going to put trinkets and items to explain the activities but there is no way the bags would stay up on the wall. I am going to print out the daily activities on card stock and place the card inside.

Here is the list of activities I came up with for the cards.
Here is what it looks like on the wall. This room has barely been touched since we moved in so it is kind of blah, I made the giant JOY letters out of moss, I have a little DIY on that to come soon!!! It still looks small compared to the room. I still think we need a mantle or something, the fireplace is just not doing it for me. 
Now to print off the activities and follow through with them!! haha!!!
A tad nerve wracking with the baby coming at any moment! 
I am going to try my best to make these all happen!! 
Wish me luck!!!

Avoid the Holiday Drama...

Are holidays a tad stressful for you with fitting everyone in and making everyone happy??
Funny Mike's holiday Ecard: Let's shake things up over the holidays by not constantly complaining about the holidays.
Jordan and I have both sets of parents divorced so have the ultimate hurdle to hop through on making it to all the holiday events and trying to fit it all in, while fitting in the needs of our children.

Before we had kids it would not phase us to just jump in the car and run here and there and everywhere, we could cover so much ground and didn't mind doing so. But throw in 1, 2, 3 and now 4 kids and things get trickier. We have learned a few things through the years and now the holidays are a breeze for us and also I think we do a good job of trying to get all our visits in! Here are a few tips to making the holidays not so stressful.

Holiday DATES.
This is one that I really do not get. I understand Thanksgiving is on a Thursday and Christmas is always the 25th, BUT, will it really make your time less important if you celebrate on a Friday or Saturday near those holidays? If your answer is yes, no offense you may need to rethink some things. Holidays are about spending time together with your loved ones, no matter how many hours or which date the calendar reads. We celebrate whenever we can, shoot I think we may even be celebrating "Christmas" with my parents when they are here when baby #4 arrives. And guess what, that is amazing to me. Having my parents here with our family and celebrating the love we all share and a good meal. Nothing gets better than that, no date or day of the week can change that. Therefore look at the calender and talk about other dates that may work other than the actual holiday date for you and your family to celebrate.

This doesn't just go for you and your husband, although that is the most important but also for your extended family. Switch off years for holidays if people are not willing to switch dates. Host the holiday at your house and invite both sides and knock it all out. I know this can be tricky with divorced families but for Easter we invite everyone, all our sets of parents and just go with it. It has yet to end with any drama, because thankfully our parents do well! haha! But hosting at your own home allows you to call all the shots, if you are not a great cook, ask people to bring things. Not every holiday has to be out of a Martha Stewart Living magazine. 

This really is so important for you and your husband. This topic can make people very bitter and resentful which is why having a game plan is key. Holidays are NOT WORTH fighting over. There are so many ways to avoid the drama. The last person you want to be arguing with is your husband and at the end of the day, some people are just arguing over a day or date. Hence why I mention celebrating on different days. You also need to keep lines of communication open with your parents and in-laws, let them know your ideas and struggles and they should help. My parents have been so fabulous about holidays and really helped us because at the end of the day they do not care when they see us, they just want to see us. So keep the lines of communication open with everyone.

Be Honest.
I guess this goes with communicate and shouldn't be too hard but for things to go smooth, be honest. If you really don't want to spend the night away from your home on Christmas, tell your husband, don't just go along with it and be pissy the whole day. No one wants to be around a couple who is arguing on the holidays. Buzz kill. Speak up at the start when you guys discuss the holiday plans, don't just brush it off. Being honest, not just in this aspect but in your marriage is so key. Your husband can not always read your mind. So, be sure to speak up....or at least don't complain when the plans go how you discussed because you did not choose to speak up and be honest. Trust me, I used to be the timid girl who never spoke up! 

Stick together.
Do not throw your spouse under the bus and say "this was his idea" or make snide remarks. Communicate from the start and stick to the plan. You are a united front together and made the decisions together. You did it in attempts to make everyone included happy so please do not throw your husband or wife under the bus. You are doing the best you can and trying to fit everyone in.

Those are really the tips we stick to. We plan early and give everyone heads up to make sure everyone knows our plans. I am very happy with our holiday game plan. We have been following the same one for the past few years and it works. This year is obviously kind of a cluster with throw baby #4 in right before Christmas but we will make it to as many events as humanly possible. 

What are your tips for making everyone happy?? Or avoiding the drama??

Hospital Pack List....

I guess since we are about a month away from baby #4 I should pack for the hospital!
Last time I literally barely packed and was cramming stuff in my bag a mere 30 minutes before Jude arrived, so this time I think I might pack ahead of time. 
I remember the first time, Jordan and I had everything packed and ready and by the door.
We had every little thing you could possibly think of and MORE. 
I remember I did not use half of what we took.

Here is a more simplified list of what I actually use and need for the hospital.
Hopefully its a good starting place or just what you will need!!!

Underwear (not anything fancy), you want lots of room for the monster pads they give you and also the ice pack pads (those are heaven) but honestly I always buy a large size cotton panty, or granny panty! They will most likely be stained so don't break the bank, I always throw mine away after the wonderful postpartum bleeding stops.

Slippers/Socks. It gets chilly in the hospital!! So don't forget these. Try to make sure they have slip grips on them so you don't face plant in the middle of the night! 

Toiletries Bag- Think of everything you need to get ready and pack it, hair ties, brush, toothbrush and paste, shower stuff, make up, hair dryer, straighter, after labor you will definitely want to get prettied up! 

Camera, Video Camera, Laptops, iPads- any electronic you will need to capture the moments! Bring along any power cords you will need also! I am THAT mom who stays up editing pictures of my sweet newborn so you won't want to forget any of those goodies! 

Granola Bars/Snacks- Depending how long your labor is you might want a quick snack, hidden from the doctors of course!! Labor is no joke and you will want some energy. Also snacks from after delivery are great! 

Loose going home outfit- Keep in mind your body will still look pregnant, so you will want to be comfy, especially with the giant pad in your pants, so nothing too tight or restricting is good!! 

Robe/Night gown- If you aren't a fan of wearing the hospitals gowns I suggest bringing your own. Plus it's always nice to have some cute and cozy stuff to lounge around in! 

Nursing Tanks/Bras- Oh my heavens nursing tanks are the best, I get mine at Target! They make breastfeeding so much easier and manageable. 

Rice socks/Labor items/Birth Plan- The rice sock was a HUGE help in my first labor, my doula pressed it on my lower back when I was in transition and it helped tons. We also used the exercise ball at the hospital to help aid in labor. You can also bring your birth plan but keep in mind it is just a plan and sometimes can not be followed perfectly. 

Now onto your sweet baby....
Coming Home outfit- We will be bringing pink and blue, since we do not know the gender. But newborn size is the best, everything else has been too big at the start.

Swaddle Blanket- Sometimes the hospital blankets are a bit bulky so swaddle blankets come in handy!

Car Seat- It should already be installed in your car and ready to go, just un-clip and bring it in when you are getting ready to discharge from the hospital. 

Boppy Pillow- If you plan on breast feeding this always comes in handy. I use it every time at the start, it's shocking how frustrating it can be trying to hold and position your newborn AND try to get them to breastfeed. No regular pillow will come close to the boppy!

Hats/Headbands- I am a sucker for newborn hats. We have a little bear one that we always bring and I just love the personal touch it gives our little bears. Headbands are also an amazing touch! 

Warm outfit- We have used the same outfit (pram) to bring home all of babies, it's a brown fleece bear, yes, I love babies dressed as bears clearly! haha but it keeps them toasty as can be! It will be perfect for our December babe. 

Some other things you may need:
Pacifiers- I think they give you some at the hospital though but some people pack them
Bottles- I am not 100% sure but I think they give you bottles for newborns but you might want to pack some just to be covered.
Diapers and Wipes- They usually give you a pack of newborn diapers and also wipes but if you want back up bring a few of each!

Now, let's see if this actually motivates me to PACK!?!?! hahaha!
If you can think of something I missed please let me know!
Pregnancy brain sometimes causes me to forget. A. LOT.