How We Prepared To Welcome Our 5th Baby

I can’t believe we’re one day away from delivering our 5th baby! When I go out with my preggo belly, people tend to ask me if this would be my first, and I really enjoyed letting them know that it would be my fifth because of the shock in their faces.

I realize that people might think we’re on the crazy side for having so many kiddos, but we’ve really loved raising our kids and seeing them grow into the little individuals they’re becoming.

We know that bringing another baby to our family of 6 isn’t going to be a small task. So we’ve been very thoughtful in preparing our family, our kids, our lifestyle to welcome our 5th baby without getting into too much anxiety.

HOW WE PREPARED OUR FINANCES

Making extra and saving! We’ve had to ramp up our woodworking side gig, months prior to our due date. There have been long weeks of pushing through after our day job, making, building, painting to make extra cash to save up for a cushion in our finances. We did this through our Facebook marketplace sales and made quite a bit more to save.

HOW WE PREPARED OUR KIDS

Getting them used to chores and a reward system! We know that with our time taken up with work and making extra money, we would need some help to maintain and keep our house in order. And this is why you have multiple kids! So you can put them to work : D

Since they’ve been out of school for summer break, we’ve implemented the reward system again. They’ve been helping with washing the dishes, watering the plants, folding their own laundry, vacuuming and sweeping, sometimes even making their own meal. With me anticipating being busy with the new baby, I’ve taught Hannah to give Sara a bath and Sara LOVES having her sister to play with during bath time. Gabe has also helped with sanding planters when we had to get more of them done.

We’ve been very proud of how much they’ve stepped up to help keep up with all the demands of our busy lifestyle. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

HOW WE PREPARED FOR BABY’S COMING

Our littlest Sara has been sleeping with us in our bed. So one of the things that must happen before baby gets here is to move her out of our bed and into her own room. We’ve set up her play room to be her room as well, but since she’s still not used to sleeping on her own, we’ve decided to let her sleep with Hannah and it’s been working out well.

We also remember how much diapers babies go through! So with any extra money we bring in, Patrick’s been really good at stocking up our diaper and wipes supply. This would help us not to stress about this stuff once baby arrives.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL

In the midst of all the work and preparation, we also made sure that we keep checking in with the kids on how they feel about the new baby coming. We talk about our expectations, their feelings about it, things they would love to do for baby when she gets here, etc. We also want to make sure they know how much we love each one of them. When we come home with the new baby, I’m planning on giving them a special shirt gift each that says “Big Sister” or “Leveling Up to Big Bro Again” to give them a sense of ownership in their roles. Here’s what I got them.

But as much as we’ve planned and prepared, we would not have been able to do this without the prayers and support of our family and friends. We’ve been praying for my health and the baby’s health just about every day since we found out we’re pregnant. The medical field is so good at reminding you of your “advanced age” and the risks involved in carrying a baby at a later age, enough to make any mom worry or depressed. I’ve always had hypertension with every pregnancy and we’ve had to do a lot of close monitoring and avoiding any additional stress on my part. But God has been watching over us, and reminding us that He’s got this, and has helped us overcome many of the worries and health concerns. We trust that she would come at His perfect timing and the way He intended.

Unique Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

If you are a mom of school-aged kiddos who have been through some kind of virtual learning or hybrid learning or in-person learning that involved going back and forth in quarantine, you KNOW how important these teachers are!! I can’t imagine the headache it must have been for them to prepare for all the scenarios possible this past year.

So this year, I think it’s especially important to show our appreciation to these teachers for all they do for our kids. And if you have been their sole teacher this past year, kudos to you! Maybe you should get yourself something nice, too!

I wanted to show a little extra thoughtfulness to these teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. So I’ve put together some of my favorite things that I found that I think they would enjoy.

TOP 5 THOUGHTFUL GIFTS FOR TEACHERS

Here are my top picks!

  1. The Assignment Tumbler – $50

What teachers won’t like drinking their morning coffee from one of these adorable tumbler! One side features a pencil design and the other side features the quote “The influence of a Good Teacher can never be erased”. Ain’t that the truth! And I love that each one is uniquely handmade.

2. Lavender Vanilla Purple Amethyst Collection – $55

Teachers can use a good self-care routine to unwind. Give your favorite teacher this collection to put their body and mind at ease after a long day of teaching. The set comes with a mini soap bar, salve, whipped soap, shea butter lotion, pillow/room spray and body/facial oil. The vitamin E oil was infused with purple amethyst stone for added calmness and stability, encouraging clarity of mind and self control.

3. Liquid Peace – $18

After all the craziness of teaching during Covid, every teacher is going to need one of these in their desk drawer. The proprietary blend has hints of vetiver and ylang ylang and infused with fluorite, which eases frustration and removes fixed behavioral patterns. Apply for a calming effect on emotions. Yes, please!

4. Teachers Need a Snack / Apple Earrings – $20

Whether they are teaching virtually or in person, these cute leather earrings in the shape of an apple can bring a smile to the class any day. Handmade with reclaimed leather from local upholstery companies, I love how light and versatile these earrings are. I’ve personally owned some of her other designs and they’re my favorite earrings! Check out the other styles in her Teacher Collection: Globe earrings, Pencil earrings and Musical Note earrings.

5. Whipped Lavender Body Butter – $14

With all the hand washing in the classroom, these teachers could use something moisturizing for their hands. And who doesn’t love the smell of lavender?! Just rub it in for the luxurious moisturizing and calming benefits. Pair it with one of their beautiful lavender soap for the perfect gift.

I hope you find these gift ideas useful. Whether you decide to get one of these gifts or have your kids make a handmade card, I hope you take the time to thank them and let them know the huge role they play in our kids’ lives and make them feel truly loved and appreciated. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

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Creative Printable Mother’s Day Card Project for Kids

Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because that’s usually when we see our kids bring home some of the sweetest, heartfelt handmade gifts and cards from school. I’ve always appreciated teachers for doing these projects in class for moms, because let’s face it…our husbands probably wouldn’t be looking up Pinterest for ideas on handmade cards for Mother’s Day : D

This year I decided to give teachers another fun and creative idea to choose from–A Mother’s Day Agamograph Card! Agamo-whaaat? Okay, okay, I hear ya. I’ve never heard of this term agamograph until about 2 weeks ago either.

So what is an Agamograph? It is an art form that uses optical illusion to create that changes when you look at it from different angles. It’s a cool way to have 2 different images in one art (see pictures below).

I’ve created 2 different designs for kids to choose from. The first design says “I love you Mom” and the second angle has an art with potted flowers and hearts. The second design says “Mom is the best” and the second angle has an art with stars and hearts.

It’s a super fun activity for kids ages 7-11, because it’s engaging for the kids to color and the finished product has a high “wow” factor. So let’s get started, shall we?

HOW TO MAKE THE MOTHER’S DAY AGAMOGRAPH CARD ACTIVITY

* This post contains affiliate links *

What you need:

• crayons, markers or colored pencils

copy paper

construction paper (9” x 12”)

• glue sticks

• scissors

• ruler

• “MOM IS THE BEST / STAR” design #1 (included in PDF)

• “I LOVE YOU MOM / FLOWER” design #2 (included in PDF)

• message template for inside of card (included in PDF)

Directions:

1. Print out the design on copy paper.

2. Have kids color the design they like.

3. Cut around the outline of the design.

4. Accordion fold along the lines. You can use a ruler to help make straighter folds.

5. Get a construction paper and fold in half for the card.

6. Glue the folded design on top of the front of the card.

7. Print out the message template for inside the card.

8. Cut out the message template.

9. Have kids write their message to Mom.

10. Glue their message on the inside of the card.

Voila! The Mother’s Day Card is ready for gifting!

I would love to see pictures of how your Mother’s day cards turn out. If you are on Instagram, please tag me @thishenmama! Thank you and have fun creating!

Mother's Day Agamograph Card Activity

Who Am I?

I am
more than
a snack distributor
a juice pourer
a candy dispenser
and a meal maker

I am
more than
a mess cleaner
a dirty sock picker
the clean clothes folder
and the trash collector

I am
more than
the person you ask for the phone

I am
more than the shoe finder
the dirty hands washer
a messy face wiper
and a toothpaste squeezer

I am
more than
a water fetcher
a companion sleeper
and a milk boob

Who am I?

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The Day I Learned to Fly

Two months ago, I decided to check out a local professionals networking event. The attendance wasn’t big at all. In fact, I was the third person that showed up and I was almost an hour late. And while I was there meeting new people, in my mind, I kept thinking, oh, let this not be a waste of time. A few more people showed up after me, one of them was a dental hygienist. I barely had a chance to get to know her before it was time for me to go.

The next day, she found me on Facebook and we chatted a bit and turned out that she’s a yoga teacher. I’ve been wanting to go back to doing yoga! She invited me to a yoga at a park event happening the same day my company was doing a walk, so I had to unfortunately decline the invite, but we totally clicked and I loved her energy and found out that we were born in the same year, too! So I checked out her studio website and saw that she also taught aerial yoga. It was the first time I’ve ever heard of it, but after consulting the Google machine, I was totally intrigued! Here’s a picture I grabbed from their site.

aerial_yoga
photo credit: Uprise Yoga

So I told myself then that I must try this. Fast forward to this past weekend, when my hubby was out of town on a fishing trip, I decided to treat myself with some aerial yoga. Continue reading

Why We Left The Beach for the Mountains: Part 3

img_20170615_171003523_hdr.jpgThe next few weeks after our visit to the Springs was a big blur of packing, farewell get-togethers, moving, job tests, closing escrow, unpacking, and settling into our new home. With drama every step of the way. From realizing that we forgot our California storage keys in Colorado the night before we had to load our stuff into the U-Haul truck, to figuring out whether to part with the stuff that we couldn’t fit in the truck or hire a moving truck to pick them up after we leave (which we ended up doing, but the company tried to overcharge us after the fact and that’s a whole other story). The week before we left, Caleb also had a major dental surgery which was absolutely necessary before we lost our insurance. We just felt like we couldn’t catch a break. Continue reading

Why We Left The Beach for the Mountains: Part 2

Not having been to Colorado Springs in person before deciding to move our family was quite the leap of faith. To say I was nervous was an understatement. Yet we keep on. The drive from Tucson, Arizona to Colorado Springs was long with our two little ones in tow. I must say they were quite the champs at long drives, just like the older two, and we are surely grateful for it.

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OUR FIRST NIGHT IN COLORADO SPRINGS. When we finally arrived in the Springs, it was late at night and we were all exhausted. We had gotten a speeding ticket right before we crossed the New Mexico/Colorado border and we were so done with the drive. We checked into this cheap motel we had booked on Expedia, and it certainly reflected the price. It was a dump. Continue reading

Why We Left the Beach for the Mountains: Part 1

Our move from California to Colorado might have come as a surprise to some people. Why would we leave the sunny beach of California for the colder mountains of Colorado? Why would we leave behind our family and the wonderful friendships we’ve developed over 20 years to go to a place where we barely know anyone?

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Well, if you personally know us, you’d know that when we decide something, we move quickly on it. This is evident in multiple cases throughout our marriage, when it came to finding a rug, a TV, a car, a house, even our cat Chloe.

So what drove our decision this time? The answer is actually quite simple. Family time. Continue reading

The Tooth Fairy Has Been Busy

hannahLast week, the Tooth Fairy visited our house quite a bit. Three times to be exact. Our six-year-old lost two more of her top front teeth, leaving her with this big gap (made eating pizza a bit of a challenge). She’s made quite a savings for all the teeth she’s lost (she was able to buy her own Minecraft toy with her tooth fairy money and some of her chores money). Meanwhile, our five-year-old hadn’t lost any…until this past week. We were very excited when he announced that he had his first wiggly tooth. He’s asked each of us to see it and to wiggle it. You can tell he was proud of it.

Continue reading