Will is Here!

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of our sweet baby boy Will!  He’s here… he’s precious… he’s healthy… and we couldn’t be more thrilled!  Here are a few pics: Here’s our sweet, BIG (8 lbs. 5 oz.) boy.          Joey holding his baby brother who he has affectionately nicknamed “Wookie Will” (he was really gunning for “Obi Wan Kinobe” or “Chewbacca” for his name, so when we named him Will, he quickly turned it into a Star Wars name).     Kate holding Will.  She is absolutely smitten.  I’m pretty sure she could hold him all day if we let...

Finally (Sortof) a Name (or Four)…and a chance to win a $5 Starbucks Card

It’s official:  This baby is coming tomorrow.  I have a c-section scheduled at 7:30 am.  Yay! And, it’s also official:  We still don’t have a name for this little guy. But, I did manage to corner my husband last night and get him to at least discuss baby names.  Which, was a feat in and of itself considering the fact that as of last week, we hadn’t discussed names at all because it was “too early”. Anyway, we’ve now officially chosen four names for this baby boy… I like all of them so I told my husband he can choose tomorrow morning and I’ll be happy with whichever he choose. (And, I really will be happy with any of them.) So, for those of you who like to play the guessing game, here are the 8 initials we’ll be working with (4 first names, 4 middle names, in no particular order)… let’s see who can guess this baby’s REAL name… if you get it, I’ll send you a $5 Starbucks Card. Z, G, A, W, A, F, G, A Happy Guessing!  And, I’ll update my blog soon with a picture and name… or check my Facebook page for updates....

Mommy Guilt: Needing Your Advice

Please help: I’ve come down with a bad case of mommy guilt. A little background info: I’m due with my third baby in 2 days (yay!) I know that the next few weeks (months) of my life will be crazy and hectic. And, I also know that I will probably not be able to give my older children the attention they need and deserve when I’m dealing with a newborn. Enter my parents: They’ve offered to take my five-year-old son on an amazing 11-day vacation to Oregon in three weeks. They’ve planned for him to spend time with my husband’s family as well as aquarium outings and sand castle construction and dinners out and it sounds like a wonderful trip for my son—especially in light of the fact that he knows my parents and his other grandparents well and they are amazing spiritual mentors to him in his life. And, life at home will probably be less than exciting. Enter mommy guilt. I know he’ll have a wonderful time on the trip—and I know all of his grandparents love him dearly and will give him loads of love, care, attention and prayer.  Yet, I don’t want him to go. I don’t want him to be gone for eleven whole days. I’ll miss him. And, I feel like by sending him, I’m sending the message that I’m sending him away. So, please help me. Is it crazy to send my baby (okay, my five-year-old baby) away for eleven whole days? Is it too long for him? Or, am I doing the right thing by allowing him to enjoy special heritage-building...

Easiest, 5-Minute, No-Cook, Kid-Friendly Dinner EVER

Seeing as how I’m 9 months pregnant and it’s already a billion degrees in Texas, I’ve been doing my best to find yummy, healthy dinner recipes that don’t require me a) to work or b) to cook. I found one. PLUS, my whole family– even my superpicky 5-year-old– LOVED these. Shrimp Salad Tacos 3 limes 1 lb cooked, deveined salad shrimp 1 avocado, chopped 1 carton grape tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted salt and pepper corn tortillas shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or Pepper Jack if you like it spicy) 1. Zest limes into a large bowl, then juice them. 2. Add shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and corn 3. Add salt and pepper to taste 4. Let sit in fridge for 5-30 minutes. 5. Scoop onto warm corn tortillas and top with cheese 6. Enjoy. Want to make it preschooler-friendly? Here’s what I did last night: 1.  I gave each of my kids a small bowl at the counter as I mixed the shrimp salad. 2. As I added each ingredient, I asked them if they’d like it. Both of my kids wanted lime, shrimp and cilantro. My daughter also wanted tomatoes and avocado. My son also wanted corn. Neither wanted pepper. I allowed them to add as much of each ingredient as they wanted and to stir their own. 3. My kids both ate their entire bowl because they “made”...

Ways to Induce Labor According to the Old Wives

There comes a point in every mama’s pregnancy that–no matter how terrified of labor– the mama decides that she wants to and NEEDS to get that baby out.  And FAST. I’m at that point. And, suddenly, I’m feeling the urge to google things like “Do jumping jacks make your water break?” and (worse) I’ve even considered (considered) doing insane things like going for a long walk or attempting to have sex.  There’s desperation for you. Since I’ve thoroughly researched the topic, both recently and for my book, I thought I’d share some of my “expertise” with you.  (DISCLAIMER:  I actually wrote this section for my book and in the end, the lawyers took it out because “Old Wive’s Tales aren’t always medically accurate” so please take everything I say here with an ENORMOUS grain of salt.) Ways to Induce Labor According to the Old Wives Somewhere between 34 and 41 weeks of pregnancy, you might decide to take matters into your own hands and try to induce labor at home. I fully support this. Not because I think it will work—it probably won’t—but because the diversion of trying to induce labor at home will probably keep you from destroying the still-dirty baseboards in your nursery or wasting more gas on another trip to the hospital. Here are the old wives’ best labor-inducing tricks: 1.    Eating spicy food. The story goes that eating a spicy burrito will get your whole digestive track moving and doing the Macarena, and your cervix will want to join the fun. The only effect I ever felt from eating spicy food was heartburn, but it’s...
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