I have a confession. I have a hypocritical view on candy.

This has caused such frustration and inner turmoil as a parent and particularly a mom that reads and researches exhaustively about wellness and nutrition. I’m selective and choosy. It’s annoying, but I’d like to think it’s paid off in our general well-being. But, one can never take too much credit in their own abilities to maintain or establish better health. Genetics, resources to good health care, and medical history play a huge role and sometimes just can’t be circumnavigated!

But back to the sweet talk …

Candy is certainly a yummy way to moderately treat yourself to something sweet every once in a while, but I CRINGE when I’m asked, “Mommy, can I have a piece of candy?” Up to several weeks ago, I had internal moments of going all craze-eyed and wanting to stick my fingers in my ears and sing  ‘la-la-la-la-la-la … I can’t hear you’  very loudly every time I was (super politely) asked for a piece of candy.

My husband, bless him, pointed out the good in our 6-yr-old’s asking us for a piece of candy. She IS being obedient and NOT sneaking and hoarding candy, then gorging herself silly to the point of sickness. I may have done this as a child a time or two. I have heard this sometimes happens with kids who can’t get enough of their candy stash. So, I am super thankful that our Cakes knows to ask first! (And I’m thankful for my husband’s insight and wisdom. I adore that fella.)

As for me, I particularly love the chocolate variety and can nibble M&Ms while sipping coffee for hours. Buzzed much?!  With the exception of pink Starburst chews, all the sweet and sour fruity candies, lollipops, and tangy stuff can just be labeled as garbage. Especially Nerds. Yuck!

But, I have two all-candy lovin’ aficionados under my roof and we have to keep a reign on consumption, lest we destroy our bodies immunity and crash our health all for the love of sugar, artificial flavorings, and chemical dyes. Not to mention the dentistry offices we could support with rotten teeth! However, we’ve put into practice good habits for when we do choose to indulge, like limiting consumption, good brushing and flossing, and some simple candy economics.

But when the autumn winds blow in cooler temps, leaves go ablaze with colors, and trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell, the overwhelming urge to stuff your cheeks full of mini-wrapped goodness is hard to resist!

Enter the candy bank, rather the Daily Candy Bag. All you need is:

  • zipper food bags
  • labels
  • CANDY!

*I honestly prayed for wisdom on how to make this visual for Cakes (definitely her learning style), allow for sweet treats, and eliminate my having to be asked for candy. (Again, imagine my maniacal reaction to hearing the question asked several times a day. Cra-zy!)

Here’s what we put together …



*Click to enlarge and view the labels!

I gave Cakes 8 snack-size bags, labels for every day of the week (Monday’s Candy Bag and so on) plus one Bonus Candy Bag, her candy pail, and a larger zip bag to store all the bags together in one place. I used different fun fonts for each day of the week’s label, asked her to choose two pieces to put in every bag, and 7 pieces to put in the bonus bag.

The rules for consuming the daily candy are: you don’t have to ask, but no candy before breakfast or school, no candy when you’re ill or have a fever, and no asking for bonus candy. The bonus candy are pieces that we can grant her when we want to reward a certain behavior (extra helpfulness, patience, awesome listening, etc.) If she asks for a bonus piece, it’s an automatic no! We explained that bonuses may not always be paid in candy, as two pieces a day is certainly plenty, but we may treat with other options like playing at the park, screen time, a trip to the library, etc.

*Occasionally, we do grant a third piece of candy and I’ve found a particularly personally enjoyable sensible way to say ‘yes.’ Cakes is allowed a third piece, maybe once or twice a week, as the usual two pieces per day adequately satisfy her sweet tooth, if she gets super active and revs up her calorie and sugar-burning engine. Most commonly, she has to do jumping jacks, run in place on the rebounder, circle the kitchen island 5 or 6 times, and brush her teeth immediately after crunching on the extra piece.

How do you allow for treats but put limits on enjoying it for your kiddos? Any one else driven bonkers with the mere asking for candy? 😉


Filling In the Blanks

Hello to friends near and far! I’m struggling with what to say because I’ve become so accustomed to my extended break from (most) media that I can’t think of what to share or why anyone would want to ‘hear’ it. I’m far from a recluse, but if you’re not a neighbor or a local friend in one of several busy circles I’m involved with, I guess it may seem like I’ve dropped off the planet.

I shared the amazing news of our surprise pregnancy after 14 years of fertility struggles, then poof! … I was gone. My whole entire second trimester was free from media sharing on the blog and Facebook (unless you follow me on Instagram, where I only share a little via picture update from time to time). That’s how I prefer it and how it will mostly remain. But, I also had the amazing experience this past weekend of being honored with a baby shower and so many sweet friends said they had no idea the story or details … some even showed up thinking this was a shower for another adoption. That tickled me a little bit, but it also made me feel badly for going off the grid. (When they saw my swelling belly, it all made sense!)

But I’m not blogging to explain my absence necessarily, but really just to give an update. Most will be in pictures, as they explain the past several months so much better than my words can.

To fill in the blanks from my last post (at around 14-weeks) I started feeling the baby move around 16 to 18 wks (little pulses of movement, much like muscle spasms with a slight sense of having an electrical charge). The anatomy scan at 20 weeks wasn’t greatly successful (measurability-wise) as baby decided to stay facing the back of its cozy home and quite sleepy as far as movement. Two weeks later, baby was showing off some new skills and hamming it up for ultrasound tech. They’ve been able to identify our baby’s sex since around 18 weeks, but we’ve remained steadfast on not finding out and it’s nowhere in our charts, so the doctor and staff are totally game and are excited to find out along with us at birth!

There were no findings or measurements to raise any concern for the baby’s health–everything has checked out great! We know all too well how precious hearing this news truly is. Our hearts are heavily burdened for close friends who have not heard the “everything is normal” report and it has changed our perspective greatly. When your darkest days of parenthood were supposed to be the most thrilling, it gives you permanent lenses through which to view life and its circumstances. No parent should ever take one moment of their child’s life, health, and well-being for granted. Likewise, no person should ever take their fertility for granted, either.

These days, my belly is bulging, jumping, and aching, and my feet are still swelling, though the cooler weather is helping. I’m experiencing normal changes for the third trimester–and I love every bit of it! A few weeks ago, baby was just under 2.5lb, now closer to 3lb. Momma has experienced a weight neutral pregnancy in that I’ve gained zero thus far and have actually lost. They are doing ultrasounds every 3-4 weeks to make sure baby is growing right along and the doctor says there’s no concern for my lack of gaining. Being a larger mama, that’s actually a good thing. Also, my glucose test showed no signs of gestational diabetes which was a great relief!

That brings me to now, 70 days until due date. I’m not fixated on that estimated date at all. Baby comes when baby comes! God is in control and has a perfect plan in which I can wholly rest. I’m perfectly fine with not rushing the timeline! We still have lots to do to prepare. Painting party, anyone? 🙂

As I mentioned earlier, our family was tremendously blessed by the presence of so many sweet friends that came to celebrate this amazing miracle at last weekend’s baby shower. And my–they were so generous, too! We can’t believe our eyes when we see our home filling up with baby gear once again. It’s truly incredible!

I’m just going to go straight to sharing some pictures with little captions. I’ve shared more than I thought I had to offer, but feel free to comment or email me if I left anything out!

30 Weeks! (Nov 1, 2014)

30 Weeks! (Nov 1, 2014)

I had so much fun crafting and thinking of ways to bless these women who gave of their time and resources so sacrificially to etch this sweet day forever in my memory! I’ll have to post another time about their goodies, because it really was so much fun to create for them!

Six of the sweetest friends and baby shower hostesses! I love my small group!

Six of the sweetest friends and baby shower hostesses! I love my small group!

Here’s a collage of the 22-wk scan. Sweet, amazing details!

22-wk anatomy scan

22-wk anatomy scan

Just keeping it real. Real puffy, that is!

Swollen piggies!

Swollen piggies!

20-wk scan

20-wk scan

I wrote this note in my Bible in mid-May as I prayed for how God would grow our family as we sought our next steps toward a second adoption. ‘Harvest Song’ leapt in my heart as a an anchor for what God would do next. I had no idea we were 4-weeks (expectant) into that journey to meet that precious life. After 14-years of unexplained infertility, we were given a glimpse into pain with a purpose. In the face of adversity, we had received the gift of His no’s and yes’s–all demonstrating His power and grace as being fully sufficient. His silence did not equate his absence. He was not and is not apathetic.

This scripture framed my heart on the Truth and promises of His word: there was joy ahead; a song of harvest! God will use the fields we labor and suffer in to bear fruit–HIS abundant blessings! The wastelands won’t linger, but they will be restored with living, flowing streams of water; your weeping will be followed with shouts of joy and the return for your trust will be a gathering of harvest!


I’ll wrap up with my utmost thanks for those of you praying, asking my family and closest friends for updates, and being happy for our happiness. I’ve not always been good about that last part when there was so much pain inside, but I’m trying to get better at that! 😉

What the hey, one last picture of daddy and big sister singing You Are My Sunshine to the baby bump. Oozing with sweetness!


From my view!

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

This week, the baby is the size of a lemon (which this post’s title is dedicated to) and we’re growing to an apple over these next several days. Fascinating!

AND … we found out what we are having! It’s a baby that already gave us an indication of a strong will. That’s what we’re having.

What?! You thought I was going to say the gender? Oh, I love teasing things out in case you didn’t already know that.

I’m bad. Sorry I’m not sorry! 😉

So, we went to check in on the wee one this week, just one day shy of starting the second trimester. The doctor began the checkup by using the doppler to hear the heartbeat through my belly. Well … not so much my belly. Lower. Much lower. (The things I’m learning!) That didn’t produce any sounds, so she went for a lower tummy ultrasound. This time, we saw the baby, but again waited to see the heartbeat flickering, movement, or something. Bebé wasn’t into cooperating. After a few minutes, the doctor said she’d need to get a ‘closer’ look, so we had to rely on internal measures. About the time the doctor said that, baby decided to move around for us. Baby was just teasing the whole time! (Like mother, like baby.)

Once we were ‘up close and personal’, about 10 minutes after the first attempt to hear the heartbeat, we did see flickering and hear the beating of one precious little heart. Also, I’m sure my doctor and I both agree that the routine skills of an ultrasound tech are so appreciated. I have chosen a small OB practice and the tech was out on vacation, so the doctor was fumbling her way through brushing up on her sonography skills that morning with us. I’m 100% confident in her delivery skills though!

The only feedback we got that would indicate some type of medical intervention to come later, not even a concern since it’s been discovered and totally treatable, is that I’m RH-negative. Basically, my blood is missing something that the baby’s probably has. When those two bloods mingle, it can lead to a rejection reaction, causing a host of complications–which for the first baby is usually not an issue. It’s just the risk of not treating the ‘mixup’ that could lead to future sensitization and cause problems. I’ve read two small articles on this, so I do NOT know the ins and outs, but we’re not worried. It’s no biggie, because once you know the diagnosis, it’s easily treatable with injections. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

2nd Trimester