Photo of the Day – 12/2/14

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Our ornament of 2014, a wedding gift from my sister, June.
I love how our picture looks like a stock photo! 📷

Photo of the Day – 12/1/14

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Today we got our tree in the stand! Even though most of my Christmas decorations are back in New Jersey, the star managed to make its way in my boxes! We are just waiting for the branches to settle so we can start decorating.

Our First Thanksgiving

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2014 was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple and as such, my first time cooking a Thanksgiving dinner.
My years of watching and/or helping my mom, sisters, and various cooking shows paid off (thankfully!)
My only real obstacle that was non-pregnancy related was my lack of an oven. My way around this was making sure that we had a large toaster oven and slow cooker (Crock-Pot) when we moved in this past May.  Pinterest provided the idea of cooking turkey breast in the Crock-Pot and internet searches helped me pin down an ambrosia recipe.

My mom had a Thanksgiving week routine that was rarely (if ever) altered. Monday she would finish up any shopping that hadn’t been completed yet, Tuesday we would start on apple pies, and Wednesday we would make pumpkin pies. She would always make her own pie dough and we would most likely bake about 2-4 pies a day. Those were the days when we had over 10+ people at our dinner table.

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Crochet Projects “Dump”

The pregnancy has been going well, but I’m still trying to take it easy and help prevent high blood pressure. What better way to relax then working on crochet projects! My fingers have been flying through as many projects as I can crank out. I’ve only just started slowing down as I am experiencing some pain in my hands (believed to be a result of sleeping funny on my arms).

All of the photos I post are completed projects and I have tried to include the link of where to find/purchase the patterns. I do tend to put my own little twists/changes with almost any pattern I work with (i.e. crochet “buttons” instead of real ones).

First up: Hats

Newsboys Hat - Roy

Grey Newsboys Hat made for Roy
https://www.etsy.com/shop/adrienneengar

I also did a light blue hat with a white beard and a teal hat with a brown beard, but I forgot to take pictures before I delivered them!

Maggie Newsboys Hat - Mandy

Teal Newsboys Hat for my sister-in-law
https://www.etsy.com/shop/adrienneengar

 

And some amigurumi:

Disney Princesses - Danielle Group

Rapunzel, Elsa, Jasmine, Ariel, and Belle
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Sahrit

Again, I do make some minor changes when I work with certain patterns. The original patterns are credited to each creator and I do not distribute these patterns or claim them as my own.

There are plenty more projects coming since Christmas is so soon. I’m working on as many orders and presents as I can!

Baby Registries – Part 1

Last year at this time I was working on our Wedding Registry. This year I am working on our Baby Registries!

This fun little journey started a few months ago when I was just looking for something to do while stuck in bed. Of course I had no idea if we were having a girl or a boy so I stuck to picking out a crib and mattress. When we went into the store to look around I scanned in a bunch of items, mainly girl items but some boy items too. My theory was once we found out the baby’s gender I would simply login to the registry and remove the items we didn’t need. And it worked!

After we found out we are have a girl, my sister April and I did a Skype call to go over the Babies “R” Us website and figure out what I would need to add to the registry. Since she just went through this 3 year ago when she had my niece, I could think of no one better to advise me. We went through every item from sheets to lotion, crib bumpers to nail clippers.

Now initially I was going to do the Babies “R” Us registry and a Target registry, but I realized that they have almost the same items but at Babies “R” Us you have better benefits for “after baby”.  Instead I signed up for a Kohls’ baby registry, which earned me a $25 “Kohl’s Cash” type coupon! And Kohl’s is known for putting baby clothes on clearance up to 90% off not including the coupons you can use on top of the clearance.

Let me take a moment to give you a little background here. We live in a one bedroom apartment with limited storage space (i.e. one “walk in” closet). Our bedroom is big enough so the crib, changing table, and a rocking chair will fit nicely. With a little rearranging in the closet and a “cube storage” shelf that I bought when we moved here, all of the baby’s clothes and the cloth diapers will have plenty of space.

You might be thinking, if you have such limited space why get a changing table? It certainly could be left off the list and we would change the baby on the bed, counter, or table. However my husband has no use of his right hand due to his disability, so having a proper changing table with a safety belt will make it easier on him (and my nerves). Also the model we chose gives us extra storage shelves.

Now for my favorite part of this post! I am going to link up some of the items on our registries and give a brief explanation why I chose them. 🙂

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Babies “R” Us 
Registry # 54000961

The Crib

Thompson 4-in-1 Convertible CRIB With Toddler Rail - Cherry
Thompson 4-in-1 Convertible CRIB With Toddler Rail – Cherry

DaVinci Baby company is one that I dealt with during my time with an online furniture store. Being a convertible crib allows the crib to “grow” with the baby from newborn up to a full size bed (with rails to be purchased separately). The appeal of this particular crib is the toddler rail that is included with the original crib and not needed to be purchased later. In the reviews it seems that the biggest “complaint” is the finish color (which I am not picky about) and the “knicks” (whoop-dee-doo).

The Changing Table

Dream On Me Jessica Changing Table - Cherry
Dream On Me Jessica Changing Table – Cherry 

A nice and simple changing table that will be easy to move when needed (it will be living in front of the door to the water heater). The shelves provide extra storage for diapers, wipes, socks, and anything small that can be put in baskets or mini cubes. Having the finish labeled “Cherry” is a plus, but I’m also not a “matchy-matchy” kind of girl. Meaning all the baby furniture doesn’t need to have the same finish, not even our bedroom furniture all matches.

Bouncer
Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer
Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer

How adorable is this little bouncer? Since space is an issue, April and I determined that just the bouncer would work for us. A swing would be too bulky and if our baby is anything like my niece, she may not be a big fan of it at times. The bouncer you can set on the table and feed the baby or on the floor while you’re watching TV. Also it would be easily transported up to see the grandparents if needed.

Walker
Babies R Us VW Beetle Walker
Babies R Us VW Beetle Walker

When I saw this walker in the store, I knew our baby had to have it! Even since the new VW Beetle was released I have been wishing I could own one. And yes, I am jealous of my brother owning one. Real car wishes aside, a walker is good for the baby to “get around” and burn off some extra energy. I can just see her now… chasing the cat around the living room! If only I could find a way to paint it pink…

Baby Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor with Controlled Nightlight & Two-Way Communication
Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor with Controlled Nightlight & Two-Way Communication

Two new shops!

Today has been a busy day for me so far! My friend from back in New Jersey, Lindy, has been talking with me about joining her team as a Thirty-One sales consultant. 

Thirty One Gifts

After discussing it with my husband, doing research, and asking lots of questions; I have decided to join Lindy’s team!
Now some of you who have known me for awhile know I have tried my hand at catalog sales before including putting myself into debt (over $10,000) with a well-known makeup company. Trust me when I say a lot of my questions were based around my previous experience with MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). 

What made you join after what you had been through? 

1. God. The biggest thing for me (and Roy) was that Thirty-One is a Christian based company. The name itself is based on Proverbs 31:10-31; this part of the passage talks about a wife of “noble character”(NIV) or who “fears the LORD” (ESV). 

2. No inventory. You don’t have to buy any inventory, ever. Especially since a lot of the products can be personalized (i.e. monogrammed) so everything is “special ordered”.

3.  Lindy. Lindy has known me since I was little. She attended the same church as my family for years and was always one of the cool kids to me. But it wasn’t till 2012 when my sister June recruited me to help with Awana Clubs at her church that Lindy and I started becoming friends. Her encouragement as a sister-in-Christ, a stay-at-home-mom, and a homeschooling mom has been a big help to me! She answered all of my questions and let me know that not only would she be there to help but that the company has a great support system as well. 

4. I ❤ Thirty-One. Okay, I admit it. I’m a bit of a Thirty-One fanatic. And the opportunity to make a little money selling the product I love on top of getting free product made this sound like a winner! 

5. If it doesn’t work, that’s okay. If down the road I find that this just isn’t working, it is so easy to stop selling! No inventory to return. 

6. Starter Kit/”Samples”. The starter kit (for $99 + tax and shipping) gives you over $300 worth of product. These bags and things you can use personally or keep to the side to use only as show “samples”. And all of the products I got for my bridal shower are other great samples/ideas! 

I am so excited to be working not only with this great company, but also with Lindy and her growing team!

My Thirty-One website is up and running:

https://www.mythirtyone.com/strawberrysusie

You can stop by and place an order outside of using a party or you can contact me if you are interested in hosting a party! Keep in mind parties can be done as catalog parties or online/Facebook parties! 

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My second new shop is my Etsy shop! 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/astrawberrylife

I am still putting together inventory to list so there isn’t much up right now. But I will be selling my crochet projects (baby shoes, scarves, shawls, cowls, etc.) My goal is to sell the items at fair prices. A lot of people try to charge for not only the price of the yarn, but also a “per hour fee” for how long it took them to make the item. That isn’t a concern for me! I crochet because I like it and it relaxes me, not because I want to charge $25 for a pair of shoes that only cost me $7 to make! 

Right now I will take special orders/requests on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). A pregnancy condition I had no idea existed until I ended up in the hospital at 8 weeks pregnant. So what exactly is HG?
According to the paperwork both the hospital and my OB provided, HG is a severe form of “morning sickness” found in 1% of pregnancies. In my opinion. “morning sickness” is a gross understatement! It is a condition where nausea and vomiting are constant, dehydration and malnutrition are almost guaranteed to happen, along with a trip or two to the ER. Due to the excessive amounts of vomiting; weight loss is another “symptom” of HG. 5-20% of your pre-pregnancy weight (depending on who you talk to.) 

I personally dealt with HG from about week 6 to week 13 and lost over 40lbs in the process. There were days I threw up anywhere from 1-8 times and couldn’t even keep water down. How I can best describe what it feels like to have HG; imagine the worst flu you’ve had, take away the fever, and that’s maybe half of what it was like for me. 

PregnancyWeightLoss4to13

40lb difference. First picture take 5/16/14, second picture taken 7/10/14.

In the beginning I was able to function a bit more being able to attend Sunday morning church, but as my pregnancy progressed so did my HG. June 11th I ended up in the ER with severe dehydration and again on June 30th. There was hardly any food that I could eat that didn’t burn or hurt coming back up. All the advice that was coming to me from friends and family were to try crackers, pretzels, beans, ginger ale, and all the usual upset stomach helpers. Unfortunately they did not work at all. 

For a while I ate ice pops, then I moved on to watermelon, strawberries, apple sauce, yogurt, and anything else I could eat that didn’t require much (if any) chewing. To drink I tried to stick with water and gatorade at first before trying grape juice and apple juice. But the juices were too thick and syrup like for my stomach. 

As far as treatments went; the hospital prescribed Zofran (an anti nausea medication) which helped in the tiniest way. My OB advised that if I had been able to come to her sooner they would have done a slightly different administration. HG is really something you have to just keep plugging through and praying for the first trimester to be over. 

Thank God for getting me through this and teaching me patience and perseverance in the process. There were a lot of people praying for me both here in Michigan and back in New Jersey, and they still are praying! I won’t deny there were days I asked God, “why?” Then I would stop and think about holding that little baby in my arms as the reward for my suffering. 
Thank God for my husband! He truly loves me and had to put the “in sickness” part of our vows to use already! I don’t know what I would have done with out him here to care for me through this whole ordeal. 

Now the wait is on… will it be a boy or a girl? 

My guess is girl because:
>HG is commonly found in women who are carrying girls. My aunt had HG with both my cousins (both girls). 
>The baby’s heartbeat is about 170bmp. Boy heartbeats are in the low 100s. 
>Chinese Pregnancy charts show based on my due date that I should be carrying a girl (okay, this was just for fun, I don’t really believe they can tell me what I’m having!)
>I’ve felt it was a girl from the beginning.

If I’m wrong then let me apologize now to my future son 🙂 Roy and I both are really hoping it is a girl! 

 

We’re having a baby

May 17th, 2014 was our first Saturday in Lansing, Michigan as husband and wife. The night before the church threw us a reception for the congregation to celebrate with us.
After noticing my period wasn’t showing up, regardless of the weak cramps I had been feeling all week, I texted April saying I thought I needed a test. She told me to head to the Dollar Tree for a home pregnancy test since they work just as well at the $15 name brand ones. Then she told me I couldn’t take it till I was on the phone with her.
Roy was the only other person I told my suspicion to in which he shared that he thought the same thing all week. From there we set out to the store and to pick up lunch.
I will admit I was a mean sister. While eating I found a picture of a positive pregnancy test and texted it to April. At the time she had been napping so when she woke up she called me asking why I took it already, then hung up when I said, “Gotcha!”
Well I called her right back and we got ready for me to take it. Thankfully someone gave us a Dixie cup dispenser for the bathroom since I needed to collect the sample. My phone was on speaker sitting on the sink and Roy was standing in the doorway. Just a few drops and the control strip started darkening.
The very short wait began.
On the phone, April kept asking if the test line was appearing yet. I was staring at it trying to figure out if the line that was appearing was for real and said, “I don’t know if this is the other line.” “Suz, are there two lines??” April asked. When I said yes she exclaimed, “Suz!! You’re pregnant!!”
My sister in New Jersey knew before I did!
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Of course because she was just about screaming with excitement that told Jimmy and Anya.

So we’re having a baby, my baby and me!

My first trimester has knocked me down and we can’t wait to hit the second trimester soon! But that’s a post for another day!

Wedding set up and Rehearsal

Friday, April 25th 2014 was one of the busiest days for me in a long time. It was wedding set up and rehearsal day! 

The church were we held the reception had a large gym along with all the tables and chairs we needed. So first thing that morning I set off to BJ’s Wholesale club with my Maid of Honor, Ellen, to pick up the last minute things we needed. 
Thankfully a lot of Roy’s family had arrived and offered to help us with the set up. Some of my family (including Paula/Lala and her crew) was able to come and help out as well. And thank God for them all! It was a huge load off my mind to have so many hands for helping, including the kids!

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Setting up the gym.

 

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Can you tell the wedding colors are pink?

Since I was on a very tight budget for the wedding I kept things simple, yet nice. Disposable table cloths, paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups, and the centerpieces are my favorite. 

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Simple, yet lovely.

The centerpieces were Pinterest inspired, various glass vases of different textures/heights with just a flower or two in each. My brother Phil and I (okay, mainly Phil) shopped at Good Will and other thrift shops and purchased the vases for $1 or less each. Then that afternoon my sister-in-law Tory and I went to Costco to buy the flowers. She was my angel that day with setting up the center pieces!

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After we finished setting up I got to meet even more in-laws for lunch before heading to the chiropractor for a quick adjustment. 

The rehearsal that night was a very interesting circus.
Note for future brides: do not expect your rehearsal to go smoothly. Someone will show up late (even by accident), no one will know where to stand, people will goof around, someone will cause drama, and things may go wrong. But it is okay, this is why you are going through rehearsal and not going at it blind. Maybe do like I did and lighten the mood a bit with some props from the nursery. 

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Photo credit: Dorothy Haines

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I had everyone laughing with my baby blanket “train”. 🙂 Photo credit: Dorothy Haines

The part that was my favorite is when the pastor (my father-in-law, Dave) had the groomsmen gather around Roy to pray and the bridesmaids around me with my mother-in-law (Momma) to pray. 

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Photo credit: Mandy McCartney

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Photo credit: Mandy McCartney

We had a lovely dinner at Denny’s afterwards and we all have a terrific time together. 

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The cake my in-laws picked out for the rehearsal dinner.

All in all it was a good day where we accomplished a lot!

 

Oh, one last thing:

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My oldest nephew, Scotty, in his tux. Yes ladies, he is single.

So I got married

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All that time and planning, the wedding day has come and gone.
Would I do it all again? Yes.
Would I do anything different? Yes.
Do I have some of the most awesome family and friends ever? You better believe it!!

I’ll post details at a later time.

Right now my concentration is on packing the last boxes and saying “see you next time” to my New Jersey peoples. (“Goodbye” is too final.)

Once we get to Michigan and settle I’m thinking of blogging (if there is time) so non-Facebook people can keep up with us. Also for some folks who don’t do computers (i.e. Grandparents) we might do a quarterly newsletter as well.