36 Week Froggie Update


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I’m 36 weeks pregnant and just as tired as I ever was at the beginning of my pregnancy, if not more. The most basic human functions of breathing, walking and sleeping are all more challenging. I’m not sleeping well due to hip joint pain, getting up frequently to pee, heartburn and sudden leg cramps that jolt me out of bed faster than anything else. As unfun as all of that sounds (and is), it’s still totally worth it because I’m just in awe of this kid growing inside of me and the amazing transformation my body is capable of going through. And as I’ve said in my past several updates, I’m totally in love with feeling Isaiah’s movements. I love to interact with him. All of the complaints…I’m positive that it’s part of God’s design when it comes to the end of pregnancy that the mother is so mentally and physically done with being pregnant that she is ready to endure whatever it takes to hold her child in her arms. I have four more weeks until my due date (April 21) but dude is considered full term next week at 37 weeks and all the way up until 42 weeks is considered a healthy pregnancy. Lord, I know your timing is perfect and you have Isaiah’s birth date already picked out. I just pray it’s on the early side and if not, that you would give me lots of patience! Speaking of God’s perfect timing, Jason is a touring musician and he just got a new gig, which is a huge answer to prayer, especially as it pertains to income during a time when I’m about to take a big chunk of unpaid time off work. It also means he will be out of town 7 or 8 days in next three weeks. Again, I’m totally trusting that God has got the timing of all of this worked out perfectly so that Jason will be present for Isaiah’s birth. I think Easter would be a great day to have a baby…just putting that out there. I am so excited to deliver our little guy and start into the next season of our lives. Pregnancy has been harder than I expected and more amazing than I expected. I’m ready to be done now. Speaking of done

Isaiah’s room is officially done. There is nothing I’m waiting to finish. The bouncer will end up in the living room once he arrives, not in front of the closet. And we’ll have him sleep in our room in a Moses basket for the first little while so he’s closer for feedings. I love to sit in this room to pray and dream. The other day Jason came in here to open the window and sighed, “Isaiah’s room is so peaceful.” That’s the best compliment I could get on his nursery design.


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Big sister Ali loves to feel her little brother’s hiccups. (I do too!) She’s always asking me if he’s hiccuping and reminding me to tell her whenever he starts.


The picture below is me giving Ali a bath… I put her in the tub and then I collapse on the nearest couch. “Mommy, I’m done playing. Come wash me!” she calls from the bathroom. “I can’t… I’m stuck on the couch.” Seriously, it feels like I’m pinned down by a small boulder. Thankfully Jason has been jumping in as much as possible to take over my typical mom duties and turns out she likes it better when he does her baths anyway because “you’re more gentle than Mommy.” Win-win. ;)


And now for some pregnancy memes to explain how I really feel:





Our bags are mostly packed. The car seat is installed in the van. Arrangements are in place with family and friends to take care of Ali and our animals. We have plans in place with our jobs. My doctor says everything is on track and looks perfect. In summary, here’s the hashtag I’ve been using frequently on Instagram: #imreadywhenyouarebaby.


Home Tour: Guest Room


In a matter of five minutes our Next Kid’s Room can be converted into a guest room by removing the portable crib, crib storage box, changing pad and diaper changing supply cart.


This little night stand was bought at a yard sale and made over when I was putting together our first kids’ room back in 2011. I like this clock in here because it has a sleep timer with ocean sounds, rain or radio.


I debated about leaving the rocking chair, but it could be moved out easily as well. (It’s currently only $78.25 on Amazon!)


The black acoustic guitar was a gift from my parents on my 16th birthday. My professional guitarist husband thinks it’s trash but I say it’s sentimental. If any of our guests get inspired to bang out some tunes on a cheap old guitar with rusty strings, they can feel free. Otherwise, it’s art.


This mid-century modern dresser was a vintage store score from our first kids’ room as well. I love it because it’s changing table height (which is why I moved it into this room) but also because it’s beautiful, sturdy, solid wood and in great condition. I picked up the bookshelf from a thrift store and gave it a new life with paint to match the nightstand and a stained plywood back.



Home Tour: Next Kid’s (or Kids’) Room (this room with the baby elements added back in)


Home Tour: Next Kid’s (or Kids’) Room


This room makeover is finally complete and ready for our next inhabitants—our next foster placement, baby Froggie due in April or overnight guests. The room includes the rocker I bought when baby Alianna arrived. We replaced the shower curtain we’ve been using in our foster kids’ room for the past 3 years with these textured green light-blocking curtains from Target.


I stuck to my floor plan pretty closely but I decided that a footstool took up unnecessary space.


The double bed is low and close enough to be used in place of a footstool.


A second rug gives a fair amount of soft play space on the floor. The poster is by French Paper Co. and was a gift from my art school bestie, Renata, for our first kids room.


I’m still a very big fan of this crib, which I nominated as The Ideal Crib for Foster Parents last year. It’s smaller than a typical crib and can easily be folded down to move into another room or store flat to about a 6″ depth. The poster and storage toy box are from IKEA.

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That blank spot above the dresser/changing table is begging for some artwork. Both rugs in this room are from IKEA. The vintage metal cart between the bookshelf and dresser holds diaper changing supplies, burp cloths, bibs and receiving blankets. It’s easy to move around as needed and is still stocked from Pumpkin.


The bulletin board above the bookshelf is a collage of family photos, separated by “Who Lives Here” on the left side and photos of our former foster children on the right side. I have temporarily hanging here the first and so far only gift I have bought for our belly baby “Froggie.” It’s such a simple phrase to put on a bib but for foster and adoptive parents it’s always loaded… because we are not the only mom and dad in those cases. With baby Froggie, for the first time, we’re the only Mom and Dad. Our baby can wear this bib without anyone getting offended, feeling left out or jealous, and without raising any questions (unless we’re questioning his or her feelings about Jason and me, I suppose!).


I’ll come back soon with a second part of this room tour when the room is converted into a guest room. I don’t think I mentioned in previous posts that this room is approximately 10′ x 12′. It can accommodate three people with a double bed and crib, night stand, dresser, bookshelf, rocking chair and standard size closet.


A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next (my current mood board and floor plan for this room)

A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next – Part 2 (progress photos)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee, Firefly and Pumpkin.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)


A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next – Part 2


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Yesterday I moved some furniture around to start pulling this room together. The baby side is pretty much set. I am going to sell the green dresser and move Ali’s vintage mid-century modern dresser in here just as soon as we get a bigger dresser for her room. I don’t plan to have all of that stuff in/under the crib. I would like to replace the curtain above with a light blocking one. This works OK but it’s actually a shower curtain and I’d like to get something simpler. Other than that, this area is mostly done.

Here’s the shameful side of the room. The blue crib needs a new home but I’m too emotionally attached to it right now. I need to figure out where to hide it before Jason gets home. This bed will move into Ali’s room and we’ll put a double bed and a night stand in it’s place. I taped the floor to show where the double bed will sit. It’s going to be tight but I think it’ll work. I’m also planning on adding another rug at the side of the double bed. When we have guests we can move the crib, changing pad and changing supply cart out in less than 5 minutes. Once I sat in the rocker I realized adding a footstool would be too crowded and not necessary since I can put my feet up on the end of the bed if I want to recline.



A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next (my current mood board and floor plan for this room)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)


A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next


I call it “the next kid’s room” when it’s not in use. It’s our foster kid’s bedroom and it will most likely be our baby’s room. Much like our next kid, it is in a state of flux. Meaning: I’m not sure if our next kid will be the one I’m carrying or if we’ll get a call for another foster placement before then. I suspect we will get a placement soon since the longest we’ve ever waited between placements was 4.5 months. (We’re just shy of 3 months now.) We have a twin bed in here that I want to move into Ali’s room, a dresser I want to replace, and a crib we don’t need anymore. I plan to move a couple pieces of furniture (dresser and night stand) in from Ali’s room when I move the twin bed frame into her room. I want to replace the current curtain with a light blocking one. Jason and I decided that we’re going to put a double bed in the next kid’s room so that it can be a more suitable guest room option. All of these changes are so fun for my planning addiction and my interior design hobby. I’ve pinned everything I plan to purchase to the Nursery board on my Pinterest. I put together a mood board last week to help visualize all the pieces are parts coming together.

nursery+guest+foster mood board

I’ve also been planning where to put the furniture to make it all fit. I have a plan that I’m pretty excited about.

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Now to plan our next IKEA shopping trip…


Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)


Ideal for Foster Parents: Portable Folding Crib


I was reluctant to buy a second crib when we prepared our home to foster again because I don’t think Ali would be using hers too much longer and I didn’t know if we’d get a call for a baby anyway. We got by with a pack-n-play for our home inspection but I wanted to get a real crib if/when we were placed with a baby. Enter Bee. I had looked at these foldable cribs online before and decided to give this one a try. I’m really pleased with the design. It seems ideal for foster parents or anyone else that might need to put up a crib in short notice and prefer one that stores in a small space when not in use.

Dream On Me 2-in-1 Folding Portable Crib

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It has locking castors and folds up to about 6″ thick. It comes with a thin mattress, only about 1″ thick like a pack-n-play.


The sides lock open with latches on each side and the mattress board hinges down into place, either low or in a bassinet position.


Bee is not sitting up or pulling up yet so we have it in the higher position. I followed the recommendations in the reviews and ordered the thicker 3″ mattress, as well as a waterproof mattress cover and a very soft cotton mini crib sheet.


Fair Warning: The reviews for this are 2/3 positive and raving about the smart design; the other 1/3 is complaints about missing parts, cracked side rails, pieces looking like they’ve been chewed up by a rat, and poor/non-existant customer service from the manufacturer. Ours came in perfect condition and took me an hour or two to assemble. If you happen to get a bad one, I’d contact Amazon’s amazing customer service directly. One reviewer said Amazon sent a replacement immediately and sent money to return the damaged one.

Cost Breakdown: $110 for crib + $25 for thicker mattress + $12 for waterproof cover + $7 for sheet = $154 TOTAL

Foster Care Ch. 4 Prep: Looking Forward, Looking Back


As I spent the month of October preparing for our fourth child, I thought a lot about our first three. I’ve had this idea for a while but finally did it: an 8×10 photo, an initial and a shadow box of significant items for each child. It’s the start of our hallway gallery wall that might one day be full of difference faces and memories.


I also make a necklace in honor of my motherhood to these three sweethearts.

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I made a CD of my “songs for the foster mama’s heart.”


I got our next kid’s room ready, including setting up the pack n play in case we get a baby. (And if we do, I’ll probably end up buying a second crib because Ali is still using hers.)


Lots of time was spent reading and praying, usually right in this spot on the couch in the morning before anyone else is up.


I spent half of a Saturday cooking several gallons of soup and stocking it in the freezer.


Sometimes I feel like the house is ready and other times I feel like I need a day to clean and organize. I know it’s ready enough and we have everything childproofed to DCS standards but I guess it’s just a nesting thing.


Then I rearranged the next kid’s room a little bit. This bed seems to only work in this one spot in this room and it kind of drives me nuts. I’m thinking I’ll eventually move it into Ali’s room and get some regular bunk beds that can be switched into twin beds for maximum flexibility.

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Then more time has been spent resting, waiting, preparing, breathing deep in the now. A cup of tea on a sunny afternoon is balm to my soul.



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