Our Special Christmas Announcement!

It feels so special to be able to share this news during the Christmas season when you are dwelling on the birth of baby Jesus.

We are expecting a baby!

*Insert squeals and shouts for joy*

Baby Allen #7 is due in August and we are all so excited to welcome a new little baby into our home!

We tried to let Sophia announce it to family by wearing this shirt, but they totally didn’t get it. They thought it was just a hand me down shirt she was wearing. Ha! Our children finally sang them a cute little song they had made up about the baby coming. It was really sweet!

For those of you who remember my pregnancy journey with Sophia, I am on Progesterone again. We have come to realize it’s the only way that I can carry a baby now. I had my first ever really early miscarriage earlier this year, and after testing my progesterone levels they were horribly low and just unable to sustain a pregnancy.

I’m incredibly thankful for the Doctor that takes care of me (he works along with my midwife but he is my care provider managing my medicine). I have been going for weekly blood draws and we have had to tweak my medicine and add more, but so far I’ve managed to avoid doing the Progesterone shots. Praise God! I wasn’t sure if I could go through another pregnancy doing those horribly painful shots.

For those of you who are curious, or think we have totally lost our mind to be adding a 7th baby to our family, here are some fun facts. 

We already have a 12 passenger Ford Transit van, so we have plenty of room to add another car seat!

Since we just moved to a larger house, 2 children are in each bedroom. We have a huge unfinished basement and plan on finishing a bedroom downstairs at some point, and will probably move our boys down there when they are little older. So we have plenty of room for one more!

I always wanted a large family. All through high school I said I wanted 12 children (not my current goal!). Sean never once thought about how many children he wanted, but I’m so thankful that he loves children and wants a large family as well!

We don’t have children based on our finances. This is such common concern and a big reason behind why families don’t have more children. Our children have so many more things compared to what I had growing up, and they are happy and healthy. We don’t plan on paying their way through college, but besides that every need is provided for and lots of extras.

Yes, we really wanted this child. It wasn’t an accident or a surprise.

The children are all hoping it’s a boy, but we are ok either way!


All Babies Deserve A Baby Shower!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that women love having good friends and eating chocolate.

Ok, so not every single woman out there loves chocolate, and there are those super private ladies who just want to stay home and never talk to anyone.

But I think those are few and far between.

For the large majority of ladies, we love to get together and visit, eat food, and celebrate life with each other.

I’ve always thought it was sad that after the 1st baby, there really isn’t a celebration with girlfriends over other babies coming. I know ladies don’t need a huge baby shower after the first baby, but every baby is such a precious gift! Whether it’s your 1st baby or your 6th, there is cause to celebrate.

If you are a mom of several children (or maybe a mom of many!), the budget is always tight. Throwing a huge baby shower for your best friend might not be financially possible, let alone the thought of buying gifts for all the baby showers you could attend!

But what if it didn’t have to be terribly expensive to celebrate a new baby with a friend?

What about just throwing a diaper party? Any mom can use diapers for a new baby, and it could be such a blessing for her to be surrounded by her friends, celebrating the life of her 4th, 5th….you get the idea.

Here are some ideas of how you could do this and keep it super affordable and relaxed.

(This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers and Luvs at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.)

Throw your best friend a diaper shower! It can be so easy to get together and make that mom having her 2nd, 4th, or 5th baby feel loved and spoiled on!

If you have tea cups or a china set collecting dust, pull it out and spoil your friends with it!

There are so many different beverages you can serve. If it’s during the cold months, definitely serve a warm tea or hot cider.

During the hot months, you can serve a chilled tea, like the Passion Lemonade tea recipe I shared recently. Growing up I didn’t like tea at all, so my mom served juice or chocolate milk at our tea parties. 😉

If you don’t have tea cups, just use some pretty glasses or cute paper cups!

You can’t have girlfriends over without serving a few treats! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Forget about buying an expensive cake; just bake some brownies, maybe grab some fruit, and put it in a nice dish or arrange it neatly on a platter! Sometimes we feel the pressure to have an elaborate display of foods for any party we put together, but it’s really ok to keep it simple!

I grabbed the paper plates and napkins in the photos for $1.00 each! I’m telling you, throwing a baby shower for a friend does not need to blow your grocery budget.

Super yummy brownies! I found this stand last year and it’s a favorite of mine.

You can keep decorations simple. Everything on this table I already had around the house. I’ve had this picture over Sophia’s changing table.

And of course you can’t forget the diapers! One friend could bring a small package of diapers, or several friends could go in on a big box of diapers! Right now at Sam’s Club you can save $10 off two boxes of Pampers or Luvs, or save $18 when you purchase 3 boxes! Plus you can get free shipping when you order through Sam’s Club online, which saves you time. I love ordering anything I possibly can online! I know other moms love to use Sam’s Club pickup, and the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app to save time! This diaper deal is only available through August 22nd. Order one for you, and one for a friend (you can find my reasons on why I only order name brand diapers here!).

Don’t forget how fast babies grow. You don’t want every friend bringing newborn and size 1 diapers to the shower. It’s so helpful to have the larger sizes to pull out as well!

One last idea for the baby shower – set out some pretty notecard paper and have each friend write an encouraging note to the new mom. Even if she has several children, those first few months of having a baby can be challenging and those words of encouragement could be so helpful!

I can’t wait to host some tea parties at our new house with my girlfriends! I’ve already promised my daughters they can invite some friends over for a tea party in September, so I know one will be happening soon. There is something magical feeling about a pretty teacup. It’s calming to the spirit and helps you unwind!

To the Mom With a Baby Who Cries All Day…

To the Mom with a Baby Who cries All Day. I get it. I've been there before. I'm there again.

I get it. I’ve been there before. I’m there again. You waited 9 months for this miracle. You might have fought hard battles to get pregnant, or to just stay pregnant. Your birth might have been difficult, but it was all worth it to have this beautiful baby lying in your arms.

Life was bliss. A baby to snuggle and love on.

Until the crying started. It might be from an allergy, colic, teething, reflux, or just a fussy baby that can’t be diagnosed. Whatever the cause, the crying causes distress to the entire family. But for mom, it can cause a lot of mommy guilt.

You might be a first time mom. Or you might be an experienced mom of 4. It really doesn’t matter. Mommy guilt can come because you can’t fix the problem. The crying continues. Some babies cry even when you hold them, others cry all day long unless you hold them.

I’m currently a mom of six children, homeschooling, running a business and this blog, and I’ve been given a baby who often cries if I am not holding her. Her siblings are seldom good enough, and sometimes daddy isn’t either.

The exersaucer sits in the corner of the room, mocking me because I know it doesn’t amuse her. Rocking her is a joke, the only thing that works is standing up and holding her, so I thank the Lord for my Tula baby carrier, and the fact that she does actually nap in her crib. Being out in public seems to distract her more, so people seldom see what she really is like here at home.
The Tula Baby Carrier is my favorite baby carrier ever! I love how comfortable it is to hold my baby in it!

I worked extra hard to get this baby here. She is the sweetest thing, giving me lots of smiles and giggles, but there are times I’m just so exhausted from being up half the night with her that I complain about how much work she is. Then the guilt comes on. Thick and hard. I can’t believe I complained about my precious baby.

You know what? A fussy baby IS a lot of work! It’s overwhelming and stressful when you have been given a not so calm baby. We moms worry about sharing the struggle, because we don’t want people to think we don’t want our baby. Especially in a society that does not value children like they should.

Do you have a fussy baby? Here are some tips to help you get through this season of life!

A fussy baby is not a bad baby. When people ask you if your baby is good, it’s not like that child is choosing to be that way. You love your fussy baby just as much as that baby who was practically perfect.

So how do you survive this season? Remember that it’s just that, a season of life that will pass. The teeth will eventually come in, the colic will go away. Here are some ways I survive though.

1. Sleep in later than normal. Take a nap if at all possible. Don’t feel guilty over this! You can only survive so long on a few hours of sleep each night. The other night I was up until 2:00 AM with my baby, and I just couldn’t get up at the normal time. I woke up several times after that to nurse, and finally slept in until 9:00 AM. I was finally dressed at 11:00 AM.

Is that normal life?


Should I feel guilty over days like that?

Not really.

It can be frustrating, but it’s totally out of my control.

I will say, I don’t sleep in every day. There are many days I get up even though I’m tired and get going on the day. However on days when I’m up so late with my baby, I do sleep in.

2. Cry a little. Cry a lot. Just release some stress though tears if needed. Hormones don’t go away just because the baby comes. If I’m super tired and getting stressed (normally around dinner time!), sometimes I do just cry for a few minutes and then pull myself out of it and go on my day. Again, it’s not every day, but there is no shame in a few tears.

3. Ask for help. This isn’t always possible, but see if your husband can hold the baby so you can have at least 10 minutes alone in your room. When he is home on the weekends, he should get an idea of how difficult your days really are. Call or text your husband, mom, or friend when you need a pick me up. Consider hiring someone to clean your house if you are extremely overwhelmed and behind on things.

4. Pray during the low moments in the day. This is not the time in your life to expect an amazing study time at a scheduled point in your day with the Lord. However cry to the Lord for help, put the scriptures on an App on your phone, and go to church! I skipped Wednesday evening church recently because I had been up until 2:00 AM with her for days in a row, and physically couldn’t keep going on. I normally am encouraged to press on by attending church, and you need the fellowship of others!
Fussy babies can be a lot of work, but oh what a sweet blessing they still are!

5. Realize that parenting your other children might look a little different. Some days I’m the mom that has it all together and we are on a great homeschool schedule. Other days…I’m just going to say it because I think every mom should understand. My children can get by with attitudes I don’t normally allow because I’m distracted by a crying baby, or else I’m so exhausted I can’t think to deal with it. Yes, it’s discouraging to know you aren’t doing the absolute best job as a mother, but God gives grace for these seasons!

6. Sing to your baby! Sometimes if my baby is crying a lot while I change her diaper, I’ll just start singing her hymns. Honestly it hasn’t seemed to calm her down so far, but it calms me down!

7. There are lots of natural things you could try, but I really hesitate to suggest very much here because we are talking about such a young child. If it’s a serious problem like reflux or allergy, find a good doctor to help! For teething, I really like this teething oil from Herbs for Kids (not to ingest, just to rub on their gums).
Every few weeks your baby might change. My little girl did not start out as a really fussy baby, and I don’t anticipate her staying this way forever. It’s a season of life that we are currently in.

 Finally, Step away from your baby if you feel out of control. I’ve never, ever had this happen to me, but I know that the shaken baby syndrome comes from frustrated, angry parents. If you ever feel like hurting your child through your frustration, leave your child crying in the crib and call someone immediately!

Don’t forget, take lots of pictures of you with your baby, even if you look exhausted! It’s what real life is like, and your baby will want pictures with you when he/she grows up!

Sweet Little Blessings Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

Sweet Little Blessings Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

I’ve used cloth diapers on and off with most of my children. While there are many different reasons to use cloth diapers, my biggest reason in wanting to cloth diaper my babies is because of the chemicals found in disposable diapers. Plus, cloth diapers can be so adorable!

With our last baby I didn’t even try cloth. With Sean in college it was a stressful, busy time and we survived on paper plates and Costco pizzas more than I care to remember.

I knew I wanted to try cloth diapering our new baby, but I gave myself strict permission to have lots of freedom and no guilt involved in cloth diapering. I’m going into cloth diapering this baby already knowing that I’m not going to do it full time, but I’ll do it at home as often as I can.

rumparooz one size diapers


Rumparooz cloth diapers

One reason I love to have cloth diapers at home are for those moments when you pull the last diaper out of the bag and realize it’s late at night, and there are no disposable diapers for when the baby wakes up in the morning!

I’m surely not the only mom who has had that happen!

BumGenius Cloth Diapers

BumGenius One Size Cloth Diaper

When looking at cloth diapers, I really love the support and knowledge that can be found at Sweet Little Blessings. Since I’m a homeschooling work at home mom, I love to support other moms who do the same. Coleen is one of those, and having had 13 children she knows a thing or two about cloth diapering!

I have chosen to use AppleCheeks diapers, prefold diapers with Thirsties covers, and Fuzzibunz diapers. My favorite of those are the AppleCheeks. They are the deluxe version of cloth diapers, and if you have a husband who does not like to change cloth diapers, these are just like using disposables!

AppleCheeks DiapersWhile this is a pocket diaper, you don’t even have to take the insert out when it is soiled. It will come out in the washer machine.

I really like how this fits on the baby. There are size 1 and size 2 diapers available, so it’s not a one size fits all (which I really prefer).

Besides cloth diapers you can also find carriers and wraps, my favorite bibs, training pants and more!

You can save 10% off your order at Sweet Little Blessings when you use the code: CLOTH at the checkout! 

Enter to win a $40 gift certificate to Sweet Little Blessings below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway