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5 Things To Be Thankful For In August

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August is my birthday month and my husband’s birthday month so there are lots to be thankful for in August. Besides our birthdays here are 5 August related things I am grateful for:

1. Thankful for NO snow!

I am not a cold weather person at all so I soak up the heat as much as I can while it lasts. I would rather be sweating then freezing cold plus nothing beats the feeling of the sun shining down on you.

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2. Thankful for living near the shore!

Yes, I am from Jersey so I don’t call the beach the beach but I call it the Shore. Before you even get the image in your mind, I don’t mean the Jersey shore as seen on MTV because families don’t party and get drunk on the beach. We have only had the chance to have one shore trip this summer but we had a great time until our sunblock failed and suffered through a week of sunbun. (Maybe I should do a review of sunblocks that fail for super pale skinned peeps like my family??!)

3. Sunday Family Hiking Days

To help ease my body back into working out, we started a family hiking day almost every Sunday since Father’s Day. In addition to helping my body work out, it is a chance for us to bond as family since we are dealing with the stepdaughter/stepfather resentment situation right now. It has been great to get into nature and explore our surroundings. I always feel at ease being outdoors just hate the bugs and bug bites. Evie loves being in the carrier and looking at everything that passes her by.

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4. Getting Ready For Back To School

This year is even more exciting…. for me at least because Danyella is going back to public school! She is not a happy camper to stop homeschooling but I just can’t do it mentally, physically or emotionally anymore. At least she is going back to a school that she attended in the past (not the school I pulled her from!) and will have her best friend to enjoy her 6th grade year. (This will be a more in-depth post in the future)

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5. Pumpkin Everything is Coming Soon!

Yes! Yes! Yes! I am one of the crazy pumpkin loving people who if the world would let me, I would enjoy pumpkin everything all year round! Typically, the end of August brings back my much-loved Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. My local DD, next the dance studio, will sneak pumpkin flavoring from other locations just for me and “Christina” to enjoy as much as we can. Pumpkin season here I come!!

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What are you thankful for in August?

 

 

 

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ABC Your Positive Life with this Gratitude Starter List

SpringInspiration

If you are anything like me, you can fall into a funk with keep a positive life all of the time. Things happen that can cause stress in your life which can lead to negative thoughts. It can be easy for your mind to get distracted by negative thoughts and forget everything we should be grateful for.

The other funk I fall into is being grateful for the same things over and over. Yes, I am thankful for my house, my children, my husband, my family etc… you get where I am going with this. Now, it is time to find the details of those general things that I am grateful for not just my kids, etc.

One way that helps me sort through these funks is to use my ABC list. This allows my brain to open up and think outside of the box for the things that I am grateful for in my life. Some of the letters make me get very creative which helps in exercising my brain as well.

Such as… A: I am grateful for apples and that my baby girl is big enough to start eating applesauce now.

You can start off with one letter a day or a few at a time. You can go in order or skip around. In the end all that matters is that you are working on your positive life and gratitude towards what is in your life.

I created the sheets in yellow and purple to brighten your day while you write, the first link is the pdf to download, the second is a jpg:

Yellow ABC’s of Gratitude

ABC's of Gratitude

Purple ABC’s of Gratitude

ABC's of Gratitude (1)

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Thankful That I Enjoy Cooking Now

Thankfulthat I Enjoy Cooking Now

For most of my life I was intimidated by cooking because it seemed so complicated to make a meal worth eating and tasted good. So many pots and pans and other kitchen gadgets to use and I didn’t know what I was doing. Which pot was the correct one? Which utensil was correct? How did you use this gadget or that? Plus, it seemed to take me FOREVER to cook a single dinner.

For years, I have had a couple of key meals that I knew how to make and they tasted great like my chicken paprikash. Pasta was a weekly, sometimes more than once a week, staple meal in my house because it was easy and you really can’t fail at it. Add that to my breakfast for dinner like pancakes or eggs with a side meat. That was 2 simple meals that were fast and edible. The rest of the time we would eat out… we have kept our local pizza and chinese places busy for many years now.

Since I barely ate through my pregnancy with Evie because of my hyperemesis gravidarum, I wanted to eat everything in sight after I gave birth. The thing was, I no longer wanted to eat the quick meals that I was used to cooking everday. I wanted foods with more flavor. I wanted the meals that they cook on my favorite cooking show… The Chew!

All of the cooking shows that Danyella and I watch make cooking look soooo easy! So, I decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone and start cooking real meals. I have come up with some really delicious chicken and pork meals like my Mushroom Pork Chops  and Baked Lemon Chicken Printable Recipe . 

My Instant Pot has made it so easy to make delicious meals without getting completely overwhelmed. I love to experiment with different veggies and flavors. I can’t wait until my herb garden grows so I can start adding fresh herbs rather than dried herbs to my dishes. Plus, once we have our veggies grow over the Summer, I can incorporate even more fresh veggies into our meals.

Not only have we been able to put the take out menus away (ok we eat out about once every 2 weeks because somedays its just easier to let someone else cook!) but we have saved money because it costs us less to eat in then out. I try to cook at least 5 times a week with one night for leftovers (I hate wasting the food) and one free night where I don’t cook (aka find a box of cereal and be happy!).  I hope that I can continue to enjoy cooking and learn new skills to make delicious meals for my friends and family.

Drop a link to your favorite recipes for me to try in the comments below!

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Thankful for My Healthy Baby

Thankful for my healthy baby girlAs Evelynne turns 2 months today, I am thankful for our healthy baby girl. Our dear, sweet Evie was a miracle, our rare unicorn because I had a hard time keeping a pregnancy to stick. Before Evie’s pregnancy I had miscarriages and was told that as I age, the harder it was going to be to get a pregnancy to stick. When the lines appeared that I was pregnant, I was skeptical and assumed I would miscarry again.

Every week that we gained, I became a little more excited that this baby would stick. We reached 16 weeks and the doctors started me on a shot to help prevent preterm delivery which I had with both my oldest 2 kids. I began contracting at 17 weeks and put on bedrest. Every week until she reached 24 weeks was a blessing because we needed her to be at least 24 weeks to be delivered and have a chance at survival. My baby girl lasted until 39 weeks!

In my baby mom group, there is the sweetest little boy that is struggling for his life. He was born premature with complications. When he was born, the doctors told the parents he wouldn’t survive more then a few days and that was in October. My heart broke for her as she struggled with this news but that little boy has proved those doctors wrong because today is March 1st and he is still with his mom and dad. Recently, his parents were told he has a heart condition which normally could have surgery to correct and help it but due to his size and condition, they refused to do the surgery. The doctors told the parents that the baby wouldn’t survive. I have cried reading the updates from his mom because I couldn’t image going through this with my kids.

I have seen other parents struggle with diseases their children are suffering from either from knowing them personally, reading their stories on the internet or watching a heart wrenching movie based on their story. This morning, I was participating in my blog sharing with other bloggers and someone posted a video of a little girl making the best of her life though she lives with a rare disease. These kids and families are so strong and inspiring for other to be grateful for everything they have in their lives, especially their health.

In a world filled with scary situations, diseases and people, I am holding my children a little tighter because they are safe and healthy. Today and everyday, I am so grateful that my Evie was born healthy and has continued to stay healthy. I am thankful for the smiles and coos that she gives us. I am thankful for the joy she brings to every moment of everyday for the past 2 months. My baby girl is getting so big so fast!

Please say an extra Prayer for Baby Braydon today because he can use every prayer right now.

Thankful for my HealthyBaby

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Thankful for my Loving Puppy

Thankfulfor my Puppy

We adopted our puppy Max in February after my miscarriage, not thinking that I would get pregnant just a few months later and have both a puppy and a baby in the house. Max is a Plott Hound mix that we adopted from our local animal shelter when he was just shy of 3 months old. His mom was rescued when she was pregnant from the south and brought to New Jersey to be cared for and deliver her pups.

Danyella had been asking for a dog for so long, but I always refused because I am not an animal person. I despise animal fur but I have come a long way with dealing with the fur since having a rabbit that shed for 2 years. One random day, Doug decided to stop by Common Sense for Animals and we both fell in love with Max. We took him home that moment without having any puppy supplies so we had to stop to get him the basics. I surprised Danyella, which I got on tape, by having Max in the car when she got out of school. She cried and held that puppy all the way home.

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Since we have brought him home, he has been the life of our house. Getting himself into trouble all the time but then giving you those sad, “I am sorry” eyes and kisses that make you feel bad for having to discipline him. He loves to bark at everything he sees outside though he is getting better at not barking at the neighbors and the school kids that walk by everyday. He loves to play with his “sissy” and follow his daddy around the house. Max has daddy wrapped around his paw because when Max wants to go out a million times through the night, he will go to Doug’s side of the bed and wake him up… he knows not to bother Mommy until morning. One smart dog!

Max is the bestest cuddler ever (as Danyella likes to say). He will jump at every chance to cuddle with Danyella, Doug or myself. As my belly has been growing, he tries to cuddle with it but Evelynne is not having it. She loves to kick and hit at his head when he lays next to it. With dealing with my anxiety and depression lately, I have been crying a lot lately. Max comes over to me when he sees me cry and places his paw on me and then snuggles right up to me. He does not like to see his Mommy cry at all.

Max has been such a comfort with his cuddles and kisses. As much as I say I am not an animal person, I am Max’ Mommy which is the best thing to be. I couldn’t image our family without Max, even in his bad moments. Do you have a pet that you love like a child?

 

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Thankful for my OB Nurse #thankfulthursday

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Wednesdays are my baby doctor appointment days which since July my rear end has been seen by my high risk OB nurse every week. Why you ask am I showing my OB nurse my rear end every week?

Well since I have had 2 preemie babies, my doctors wanted me on weekly progesterone shots that are administered by Maternal Fetal Medicine office. So every Wednesday, I walk into the office, Nurse Charlie gets my shot ready and then I expose my back end. It can be quite embarassing the bigger that I get and the bigger my pants and panties get.

I am sure that Nurse Charlie sees many rear ends every week and it is just another day to her but as a self conscious pregnant woman it is a HUGE (not just my rear end) deal to me. The plan is that I continue my weekly shots until I am 38 weeks (if I make it that long) so I will be exposing myself weekly to Nurse Charlie for another 12 weeks. Oh boy!

Something that I have learned in my pregnancies, is that it is really the nurses that make sure that us hormonal, pregnant are doing what we need to do for our babies and are really good while we grow a human inside of us. When I switched my insurances, my copay for the progesterone shots were over $1000 a month which just wasn’t going to happen now that we are on one full time income. When I brought this up to Nurse Charlie, she is the one that has bent over backwards to make sure that I got the shots that I needed and at a price that I could afford. She is the one that has checked on me at home when I have gone in with bad side effects of the pregnancy like low blood pressure that has been making me light headed and have fainting spells.

I truly can’t thank Nurse Charlie enough for going above and beyond for myself and my baby girl while she is still growing inside my big ole belly. If you are pregnant, make sure you thank your OB nurse because they truly care about their patients, the big ones and little ones.

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