6 Ways to Survive the First Trimester {And a Giveaway!}

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6 Ways to Survive the First Trimester! | themodestmomblog.com

Now that I’m just coming out of the first trimester of pregnancy I can clearly look back and see what was essential to surviving through this time. Enduring the weeks of the first trimester is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to go through, but here are 6 things that definitely helped along the way.

Praying through the first trimester helps!

1. Prayer

There were several times when I was so sick and so discouraged that I asked Sean to stop and pray for me. It was very hard to stay cheerful and upbeat when I was so fatigued that I could barely move. I was given the strength to keep enduring through those prayers, and could feel the love of my husband when he prayed for me. I also knew that my church family was praying hard for me, and that was a strength to me.

2. Letting go of Expectations 

Seriously, I had to just let go of everything. The house, the meals, homeschooling, how I looked, what people thought. Most days I looked really horrible, the house looked horrible, and honestly…it’s still that way! My children have pitched in and helped a lot, our 10 year old does all the dishes, our 8 year old sweeps the floors, helps tidy up and set the table, our 6 year old has been doing a light bathroom cleaning and keeping her room clean. But with five children in a small house, it all goes back to messy very fast! When you are sick and extremely fatigued you can’t keep it up. It’s as simple as that. Making yourself feel guilty about it isn’t going to help.

It is hard for me to look run down for weeks on end. Sean bought two pairs of yoga pants for me to wear in bed. I was determined to get dressed in a skirt everyday, but after awhile I stopped caring. Being comfortable is the most important thing, and soft, stretchy yoga pants were wonderful. When I actually do go out, Maxi skirts are what I reach for the most.

3. Using a body pillow

You might think it’s strange that this made my list, but I’m so glad I have one of these. While body pillows and pregnancy are associated with the later stages of pregnancy, I’ve found that using a body pillow helps me sleep better. Sean bought me one at Costco and it is really soft and fluffy. When I was sick and fatigued, just being able to snuggle up to this pillow helped somehow.

Essential Oils that Help During the First Trimester!

4. Essential Oils

There is no miracle cure for morning sickness. At least not for me. Essential oils helped me during certain times, but I’m not going to tell you that they transformed my morning sickness. Peppermint has been a great help for headaches (actually headaches in my neck) and is safe for pregnancy.

Digize is good for morning sickness, and there were times it really helped me a lot. Just smelling it, or infusing it is great. During a few desperate moments I put a drop in my mouth, and loved the taste of it, but my midwife has asked that I not ingest essential oils during my pregnancy.

Peppermint was another oil that I smelled and it helped clear some nausea, especially when I was riding in the car.

When I would travel 45 minutes away to go get my progesterone shots at my doctor’s office, I found myself getting anxious the closer we got. I hated getting those shots! I used Peace and Calming, breathing it in deeply from the bottle and putting it on my wrists. At night it helps me sleep, I’ve put it on my neck, shoulders (especially if I’m tense there), wrist, and put a tiny dab right under my nose to just keep smelling it while I lay there. Other times I’ve put a drop in my hand and just held it close to my nose as I go to sleep.

I want to be super safe about what oils I use during pregnancy, so the Gentle Baby book has been on my nightstand for weeks. It’s a great reference book!

I started my essential oil collection with the Premium Starter set from Young Living. Since I purchased mine, they have made the starter kit even more awesome! Through the end of September, If you join with the Premium Starter Kit I’ll send you a copy of the Gentle Baby book for free! 

Young Living Starter Kit!

5. Eat Whatever Sounds Good

This is kind of a no brainer, but you need to eat whatever sounds good to you at the moment. This pregnancy has been quite different –  I’ve craved salads and baked potatoes! Not together mind you; they have to be separate. Sean has gone to Wendy’s countless times to get me baked potatoes, and one time I even had him get french fries, chicken nuggets, and a baked potato! Whew boy, talk about overload! :)

I struggle to eat any sort of protein when I’m sick, and while I know all the theories (bean diet, high protein/meat diet) that can help morning sickness, I just can’t do it. So I eat what I can. I learned it’s not good to stock up on food at Costco, because you might eat it once and love it, and then hate it the next day. So we got smaller quantities of different items at our regular grocery store.

Just plan that your food bill will go up during your pregnancy, but especially during your first trimester if you get really sick! You have to eat, and again let go of the guilt of eating something special while your children eat a PBJ sandwich. There is no way we can afford to get food out for every child whenever I need it.

6. Drink liquid – any liquid! 

I can’t do water in my first trimester. It’s horrible.  If I was able to drink a mug of water a day, I felt so proud of myself.  I tried lots of different things, and had to rotate through what I could get down. I tried Sierra Mist and that was ok until I threw it up (ouch!). I finally settled on whole chocolate milk from a local dairy. I still can’t believe I was able to get it down as it was rich, but somehow I could. I’m just now trying to get back into drinking liquids better, and have started making chilled Red Raspberry tea and putting it in my water bottle every day. It is tasting great!

Some other helpful posts are

How to Spiritually Survive Morning Sickness in Pregnancy 

How to Physically Survive Morning Sickness

The Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness Resources 

**Totally off topic, but Lilla Rose just surprised everyone with a one day, 20% off sale!! I’m going to make it even sweeter, and everyone who orders $45 (before shipping) or more will receive a FREE flexi clip of my choice from me in the mail! This is good for my current and new customers, only while the sale is active today!! Hurry, the sale is only on half of the day!!**

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Twenty Percent off all Lilla Rose Items!!

Peppermint Essential Oil Giveaway!

I’m giving away a 5 ml bottle of Peppermint Essential Oil! Enter using the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win! USA and Canada only please.

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How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom

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How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom In A Two Income Society. | themodestmomblog.com

It’s a common concern. In a day where it is extremely common for both parents to be working full time jobs, the question frequently arises. “How in the world can you afford to be a stay at home mom?”

I never considered working outside the home. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and even after we got married I stayed at home instead of getting a job. We knew we wanted a family right away, so three months after getting married we found ourselves expecting our first child! It was an exciting time, but finances were very, very tight our first few years of marriage. During the most difficult times I offered to go get a part time job, but Sean was insistent I stay home with our children.

The answer of how I afford to be a stay at home mom is pretty basic. It’s because we make that choice, and always have. We make sacrifices so I can be a homeschooling mom. We didn’t enter marriage and base our house and car expenses on a two income family, it was always based on getting income from my husband.

Things we choose to do without:

~ We have never had a brand new house. There is nothing wrong with a brand new house, it’s just never been in our budget.

~ We don’t drive brand new cars. We have made the decision to not drive super old cars either though, after realizing we spend a lot of money in repairs.

~ We don’t have cable.

~ We don’t eat out very often. When we do go out as a family it is normally to Chick-Fil-A. Our oldest child has been somewhere like Olive Garden 2-3 times in their life. The food court at Costco is a favorite (wow, that sounds really uptown doesn’t it?) :)

~ We don’t have nice furniture. Seriously. Right now our couch is falling apart (like, one of the cushions has a hole in it and every time you sit back it shoots batting into the air!), our fake leather chair (“pleather” they call it) is literally shedding itself all over our living room floor (a toddler stuck a fork in it and things unraveled from there), and our dining room table is a mix-match of wood and painted chairs that are really sad looking. We hope to get newer furniture when we move, but for now we just are trying to be content.

~ We don’t go shopping all the time. My husband is hard to find clothes for in his size, so we buy all of his clothes brand new. I like to get my clothes from Deborah & Co., thrift stores, ThredUP and department store clearance and sales racks. The children’s clothes come from local Kid’s Closet Consignment sales and ThredUP.

~ We don’t go to the movies. If we actually want to see a movie that has come out (which is rare to find a decent one), we wait until it is on DVD and get it from RedBox or the library.

~ We don’t have expensive hobbies. We keep our hobbies on a cheaper scale. For example, I’d love for my boys to take bow and arrow classes, but weekly classes and investing in a bow is not cheap.

However that doesn’t mean we don’t spend any money at all. We just carefully think through if it is a good investment for our family.

Enjoying a Princess party with my daughterEnjoying a special Princess party with my daughter.

Things We Do Spend Money On:

Music Lessons – We have our daughter in violin lessons. I feel this is a good skill for her to learn, and she seems to be learning it fairly well. This is an investment in her life, as she could possibly teach lessons when she is older.

Good computers – When we first were married we didn’t even have a computer for a year or two. Now with my husband in graphic design, the only computer he will buy is a Mac. They are not cheap, but they have held up extremely well.

Homeschool books – I know some people don’t spend much money at all on homeschool materials. You can’t spend it if you just don’t have it. There are ways around buying curriculum, but I make it a point to find the money for the curriculum I want. I don’t spend $1000 a year on materials, but I know I spend around $400-$500 a year on curriculum. I love to use Heart of Dakota with my boys, and while I find it used it still isn’t cheap. Then I have new math workbooks, etc. and it all adds up. I look at places like Ebay, HomeschoolClassifieds.com and local used book sales.

Food – Ok I know everyone spends money on this! We are not purists, but I try to buy healthy food for my family. We shop at Aldi’s and Costco a lot. I avoid the processed food at Aldi’s (besides cold cereal), and I get fruit, veggies, and dairy products there. I also get my canned food like beans, tomato sauces, and pasta there. I get my lettuce and organic carrots and spinach from Costco, and get greek yogurt and organic hamburger at Costco as well. I’m not an all organic shopper (we just don’t have the budget for it) but I pick and choose what is most important to me.

There are times that no matter how badly you want to be a stay at home mom, it’s just not possible. Your husband might be ill, you might be a single mom, or your husband lost his job and you have to work. Those are valid reasons, and this post is not meant to discourage you.

However there are many other families who say they could never afford to let the wife stay at home, yet they have brand new houses, drive brand new cars, and want the very best of everything. If you want to be a stay at home mom, you have to sacrifice something!

I’ve been blessed to stay home, homeschool my children, and still be able to earn some money to help our family out. Besides Deborah & Co., Lilla Rose has been an amazing blessing to our family! If you are needing to earn some money from home, don’t miss out in this chance to join a very unique company and earn up to 45% each month. The only requirement is to sell or purchase $29 a year. There are no monthly party requirements or inventory that you are required to purchase. I love this company, and love the owners and people that work for them! The free shipping special ends July 31st, so don’t delay!

Join Lilla Rose during the free shipping enrollment special!

I’d love to hear how what sacrifices your family makes so you can be a stay at home mom! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Six Week Journey To Better Health {Week One!}

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My six week journey towards better! Week one of the journey as a busy mom of five children! | themodestmomblog.com

I’ve started a new journey towards better health. I’m excited to see what will happen at the end of the six weeks, but I’m already thrilled at the end of day two!

Last Christmas I was getting discouraged because I knew I needed to exercise but just couldn’t make the time. I told myself to just let go of the guilt until after Sean finished college in May. Between homeschooling and keeping up with the online work I wasn’t able to add something else at that point.

I was slowly starting to get more serious about working on exercising, but when I saw a six week summer slim down challenge start with Fit Yummy Mummy I decided to jump in and join after we decided to enjoy a longer summer break from school. Monday was the first day of the challenge, and life has dramatically changed for me already!

I’ve struggled with my health since high school. Adrenal fatigue from stress outside of my control, thyroid problems and low blood sugar issues all cause fatigue, anxiety like symptoms (really it’s just adrenaline racing through my body, but the symptoms are like anxiety), my muscles can really burn, and did I mention fatigue? I get so tired of being tired! Good health comes and goes, but the last two years have not been easy on my health. It’s time to refocus and work harder on feeling better.

My goals are:

To tighten my mommy tummy and lose some inches.

To lose 10 pounds (but I’m happy with loss of inches over pounds).

Have more energy. For me this means giving myself the grace to take some afternoon naps, and work harder on resting my adrenal glands.

Be in bed by 10 PM every night (I’m an hour past this tonight, so I clearly have some work to do!).

Do the online videos from Fit Yummy Mummy 2-3 times a week,  do walk/run intervals at the track 1-2 times a week, and swim 1 time each week.

To drastically reduce the sugar intake. Plan my indulgences and stick with only a few things with sugar in it a week, and keep those healthy.

I want to be strong. I want to be full of energy. If the Lord blesses us with more children, I want to have healthy pregnancies.

Yes You can Exercise With Children! My Six Week Journey Towards Better Health | themodestmomblog.comYou can read my review of my modest exercise skirt here.

So I’m on a mission. This week I’ve been ditching the sugar and white carbs. I’m a huge chocolate girl. I’m guilty of walking by the freezer and grabbing a handful of chocolate chips. About every day. Maybe even more than once! I’m not committing to never having sugar again, but I need a season of majorly cutting back.

And (this is said ever so sweetly!), yes I know all about the natural sugar options such as stevia, truvia, erythritol, etc. I can’t use stevia, I tried and it gives me major headaches as I have a ragweed allergy. I’m still  not totally comfortable using the other options, I might try the erythritol, but I want to do more research. I know honey is mentioned in the Bible, and honestly seems the most natural to me. :)

My Favorite Supplements

I have finally found some supplements that seem to be working well. Finally! 

I take Armour Thyroid (prescription) twice a day.

Two capsules of Thyromin at night, and two in the morning. The two pills in the morning are to help boost my adrenals, and I’ve been feeling better once I started doing this. This is a supplement that Young Living sells and it is a special blend of bovine glandular extracts, herbs, amino acids, minerals, and therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Thyromin From Young Living has really been helping my adrenal and thyroid problems!

I take 1-2 Super B pills each day. It contains 8 different B vitamins. This is also from Young Living.

I’m also taking Alfalfa pills from T-Tapp, as she uses this with her skin tightening set.

Because I have a thing about swallowing a huge amount of pills, I decided to get the chewable Vitamin C pills from Young Living. :) Vitamin C is really good for adrenal health, so I just chew a few of these throughout the day.

Super C Chewable

I am still using the magnesium lotion I have previously shared about.

I’m also using my skin brush and my goal is to do that a few times a week to help tighten my mommy tummy.

I’m about ready to mix up this weight loss protocol using Young Living Essential Oils and take that daily. I’ve heard it is really helpful and I have all the oils! The good thing about this blend is that the fruit oils are normally on the less expensive side. I’ve been taking essential oils internally for awhile now, and really like the results I’ve seen.

Use this blend of Young Living Oils for a natural weight loss boost!

I purchase my oils at wholesale price, just by signing up as a wholesale member (like a Costco membership!). I get my oils 24% off in price because of this.

Please remember that I’m just a mom who tries to find things that works for my body. I’m not a Dr. and these are only my suggestions of what is currently working for me. :) I’ve tried so many different forms of adrenal and thyroid support, so I’m happy to be using something that works for me right now.

Reduce Work Related Stress

The last thing I’m working on is to try and reduce some work related stress! I knew once Sean graduated that I would get more help with the business. The first step towards new help is that I’ve hired a friend of mine to help out with the Deborah & Co. Facebook page. Jessica blogs at Candle in the Night blog, and she is a mom of three young children. We both attend church together, so she knows my heart behind my business and blog pretty well. I will still be on the page a lot, but when she is interacting with you all she will sign her name as Jessica, just so you know it’s her! I’m pretty excited to have help, as I know a lot of you mamas know it’s easy to be on the computer too much! When we start school I need to be serious about staying off during school hours. Knowing that Jessica will be around on Facebook is a huge help.

Jessica is a new helper for the Deborah and Co. Facebook page! (Jessica was a model for our Midnight Maternity Stretch Skirt!)

About The Workout Program

The Fit Yummy Mummy plan has always been what I’ve been drawn to the most. I like the concept of T-Tapp, and I understand the reasoning behind Fit 2 B. Everyone has a different personality though. I like sweating in a workout, and I don’t have time for long workouts. I want to know the workout is actually doing something in a short amount of time! Fit Yummy Mummy has 15 minute videos, and when you join the forum you get 2 new videos each month to follow along and do.

The best place to start is her ebook, which is included with her new member plan (you get the ebook for 50% off, plus one month of the forum and her workout videos for $19.99!).

Fit Yummy Mummy does not have modest advertising, you will see a lot of bikini’s on her page. I just do my workouts downstairs in the mornings while my children are doing their chores upstairs.

I have a friend who just had a baby in her 40’s. She went through the Fit Yummy Mummy program and was exercising and eating really healthy before she got pregnant again. She had a much better pregnancy and her birth sounded like it went really good! That inspired me even more to jump in and just start. You can’t hurt anything by starting, but sitting around and just researching everything for months on end can hurt you. No progress is being made as you take forever to decide what workout program you want to use!

I’m going to blog each week with how my progress is going, and what I’m finding works best for me. This will help keep me even more accountable!

I’d love to hear if you exercise, or do you consider chasing children your exercise? 

 

How to Parent A Two Year Old With Joy!

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How to Parent a Two Year Old With Joy! | themodestmomblog.com

Frequently, when I’m talking to another parent of a two year old I hear groans, moans, grumbling, and of the course the famous line “they’re going through the terrible twos.”

I don’t really believe in the terrible twos. I try to not use that expression because I don’t think a two year old has to be terrible. Can it be a busy, challenging, and yes, even a trying time raising a two year old? Yes! But it certainly does not have to be terrible. You really can learn how to parent a two year old with joy!

Right now I’m in the midst of parenting our fifth two year old. She’s probably been the easiest as far as temperament, but she is super active! I don’t remember any of our children climbing all over everything quite as much as Deborah does!

After trying out a lot of different parenting methods, I don’t tend towards some of the conservative child training principles taught in regards to toddlers. Some books teach that if you start training at the first sign of will being shown (before the age of one) by the time they are two they should be sitting still in church and restaurants, they will be quiet when they are told, they should always come to you when you call their name, etc.

Have your two year old look at your when you are talking to them!

Those are wonderful goals, but for our family we tried the methods presented along with those goals and we did not see the blessings that came from it. Our first child was a strong willed toddler, and after having read so many parenting books that talk about breaking the child’s will, we attempted to train our toddler accordingly. We had those 1-2 hour sessions of attempting to get our 1 year old to come to us when we called him. The child never came, and we only grew very frustrated. What was worse – he grew very frustrated. We looked at our young child through the eyes of his will, instead of through the eyes of his innocence.

We still regret how we parented our first toddler, and we believe we’re dealing with it’s effects even today. I actually have a hard time recommending child training books to people because I’ve gotten rid of a lot of them. Don’t get me wrong, we are not at all in the mindset to just let our children be children. We are still training them, but it’s not through the mindset of following someone’s parenting rules down to XY and Z.

Here is my list of what I attempt to teach my two year olds (and remember, it’s just the list *our* family works on!).  

A boy and his toy gun! (We have one son who started very young with wanting to play with toy guns. He still to this day adores his toy guns and history stories!)

To respond saying ‘Yes Mama, Yes Papa’. 

I’ve worked hard with our youngest in teaching her to respond to us in this way. She is 2 ½, and I still have to remind her a lot to say it. But I’m teaching her to acknowledge that Mama or Papa has told her something to do.

This has been very helpful with our youngest because it has pulled her out of quite a few crying spells. She will be upset and crying, and I will look at her and tell her (calmly) that she needs to stop crying, and then I tell her to say “Yes Mama.” Most of the time she will instantly say “Yes Mama” (with a cute little sob) and then stop crying. Literally, it’s like there is an on and off switch! I know this probably has a large part to do with her personality (none of our other children have ever reacted so swiftly to this request) but I also know that training her to respond to obedience in this way has helped.

It is so much fun to parent a two year old! My girls in their princess dresses!

 To look at me when I speak to them. 

This is another huge thing I work on with our two year old, and we started this before she was two. If I’m trying to tell her something to do, or tell her that she needs to calm down, I first have to get her attention! I see dramatic results when I have her look at me. When I first started training her to do this, I would gently take her face and tell her to look at Mama. I really don’t have to do that now, but it’s funny because sometimes she will hide her face in my shoulder if she doesn’t want to do what I’m telling her. Why? Because she knows that when she looks in my eyes (that’s the important part, eye contact!), that she will then need to obey.

You can raise two years olds and be joyful about it! Our oldest daughter when she was two!

Sitting still in Church

We are not strict on this one, and know that she could probably be sitting still right now in church if we practiced sit time at home more often. For a long time I had to take her out, not because she wouldn’t sit still but because she just wanted to talk! Deborah is very vocal and loves to sing and talk all the time (it’s hilarious and exasperating all at the same time!). When we take her out we don’t go to the nursery and let her play with toys. The goal is that she sit on our lap and looks at books. We’re still working on this, but we also are not going to beat ourselves up over it. The main thing is that she learn to sit quietly as soon as she is able. In the meantime, we try to be as respectful as possible to the people around us in the service until she learns. In other words, we’re not going to have it out right there in the middle of church while people are trying to worship. Please don’t do this! Take your child out and try to instruct her somewhere else. Better yet, work on sit time in the comfort of your own home. Your brothers and sisters will thank you!

Enjoy the little years, they go by so quickly!

Do Simple Chores

I don’t assign chores to our 2 year old. :) I do have her try to help me with a few simple things, but the one thing I’m consistent on is that she throw her diaper away in the trash after I change her. Sometimes she doesn’t like to do this, but once again we go back to the ‘look at me and say “yes Mama”‘ rule, and then she will stop whining (95% of the time) and cheerfully go throw it away. Part of training your children is just learning what you can be consistent in as a parent, so for me I knew I would be consistent in training her to throw away her diaper.

We enjoy our two year olds. They are so adorable and so funny! We laugh at them and with them, and I think we cherish each two year old more and more because we see how fast time goes. When my oldest was two I couldn’t wait for him to be a little bit older. Now I want to put the breaks on and stop Deborah from growing! Right now she is still our baby, and everyone loves on her accordingly :).

I do have days where I get exhausted from keeping her out of things. If the older children are doing an activity she wants to be right there with them and make a mess! That’s when I look forward to nap time, which she still has right after lunch. She sleeps in a pack-n-play in the girl’s room, and just recently learned how to climb out of it. For about a week I had to correct her and put her back in her bed, sometimes several times a day. Now she is pretty good about staying in there to sleep. She has a special blanket that she is very attached (it was a lap blanket of my moms, who Deborah is named after, so that makes it very special to me!). It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer, this warm blanket must be beside her to sleep!

How do you feel about two year olds? Are they terrible or terrific for you?