Shine Blog Hop!

Hey everyone! This week I’m co-hosting The Shine Blog Hop with Jennifer from The Deliberate Mom . She has a fascinating blog about her stories of parenting, homeschooling, and mommy life in general. I’m very excited to be working with her this week to explore other blogs and help introduce you to them all. Sit, back, relax and shine on!

Welcome to the twenty-third edition of the SHINE Blog Hop! I’m continually impressed by the creativity, diversity, and quality of the posts that have been shared here every week… so thank you for stopping by to SHINE!

I would like to begin by extending a warm welcome to this week’s co-host Kristina, from The Mommy Rundown. Kristina’s blog is full of mommy stuff and I often find myself chuckling or nodding along with her posts. Please take a moment to visit Kristina and/or follow her on her social media sites.

Kristina | The Mommy Rundown can be found on:

{Facebook} {Twitter}

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom can be found on:

{Facebook} {Pinterest} {Instagram} {Google+} {Twitter} {Bloglovin}

The Deliberate Mom
<div align="center"><a href="" title="The Deliberate Mom" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="The Deliberate Mom" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


If you would ever like to co-host a SHINE Blog Hop, just send an email to Jennifer: deliberatemom{at}gmail{dot}com

So without further delay, here are the top viewed posts from last week’s SHINE Blog Hop:

Featured posts from Week #23 of the SHINE Blog Hop

My Face: Bilingual Spanish Worksheets – Busy Mom Monologues

Instead of Asking Why Me? – Donna Reidland

First World Problems – Maple Brown Sugar

Congratulations to all of you! Featured posts will be shared on all of The Deliberate Mom’s social media outlets!

This week’s randomly selected featured post is:

Random featured post from the #SHINE Blog Hop

Sharing Our Blessings – Oh, Honestly

If you would like to help spread the word about the SHINE Blog Hop, we would be so grateful!

So are you ready to get this party started? We invite you to grab the beverage of your choice, take a comfortable seat, and let your best posts SHINE! It’s time to bask in the glow of this amazing community of bloggers!

The Need to Nest

  It’s here…the need to nest has arrived and I’m rolling out the red carpet. I remember during the first pregnancy, I suddenly had the urge to organize all my clothes and my husband’s too for that matter. I wanted to organize utensil drawers…and anything else I could get my hands on. Someone told me my nesting phase was started. I didn’t know what the heck that meant. I’m not a bird. But then I learned it’s the urge pregnant women get to get things organized. It supposedly helps us prepare and feel ready for the baby. I read up on it and learned that it sometimes can be a sign that labor isn’t too far off. But, some women do get it early on in their pregnancy too, and maybe some women don’t get it at all.

   People who know me, know I can be a bit of a neat freak by nature. It’s just in my DNA. So, add a little nesting instinct and you’ve got Martha Stewart on a Charlie Sheen party binge. Unfortunately, I’ve had to let go of a lot of organizing after having my first child. I’ve learned mess is not necessarily best, but sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with it. But, now the need to nest is trying to take over some of the clutter and shake me up a bit.
   During the first pregnancy, I went on a nesting binge only to have my husband come home one day to find all his clothes folded and put away nicely in the drawers. The clothes in the closet were organized too…all the long sleeve shirts were together, while all the short sleeve shirts and pants had a new home. All of my clothes followed similar orders. Everything was organized…at least for awhile!
  This time is turning out to be no different, but with just one exception…finding the time to do it all. The little men in my head are working overtime with all the projects I want to complete before baby number two enters the world. Besides organizing clothes, there are pictures that need to be put into photo albums, cabinets that need to be rearranged…files that need to be fixed. Don’t even get me started on the stuff I want to organize for the new baby! But, there’s also a little two-year-old girl that also needs lots of attention and love, so I’m not sure how much of that is going to get done. I think the key is to have her help me! Although I don’t know how well that would work out. All I know is my nesting need is ready to hatch.

Too Pushy?

  Labor… we all know it as some kind of work, but to women it has a special meaning. For some, labor can be another word for hell. Others will tell you it’s not so bad and a select few will tell you it’s just great. However the experience is for you, do you think you should receive some kind of reward when it’s all over? That is besides the beautiful bundle of joy, of course. Well, it seems a lot of women are getting “push presents”. And we’re not just talking about flowers and a card. There is some serious bling being tossed around. There was a piece on Good Morning America this week that talks about these presents (Check out this link in case you missed it You’ll see they’re not just for celebrity moms. They make it seem like everyday moms are getting these presents. Hmmm…I didn’t get a “push present” the first time around. But, I did buy myself a “pregnancy present” before the labor process. I splurged on a Coach wallet that I normally wouldn’t have bought. I didn’t ask anyone like my husband to get it for me, just went to the store, used my money and bought it. I still love it to this day, two years later.
  This time around, I haven’t bought any pregnancy presents yet, but I still have 11 and 1/2 weeks to go. I do plan on getting a little something. But this time instead of something I can drool over, I may opt for a spa day. A little mommy massage, mani, pedi, and I think I’m good. I’m not expecting a “push present” either. First of all because I know my husband all too well and know he would never buy into it, both literally and figuratively and simply because I’m not a bling kind of girl.
  For those who want them and get them, more power to you. But, I think I’ll settle for a little R&R at the spa (okay and maybe some flowers!).

The Real Deal

   You’ve heard the saying, you have to see it to believe it. Well, I kinda feel that way when it comes to pregnancy. Now that I’m five months along, although it’s round two,  I think I’ve finally realized it’s the real deal. It may sound dumb, but it’s true. For some reason, the second time around is different, both mentally and physically. When you first find out you’re pregnant, you can’t see the proof. Sure you may feel it with the morning sickness (yeah, never had that! ha ha) and other aches and pains. You may feel a little run down, but your clothes still fit and for the most part people can’t even tell. Although there are the few who always say they can. They either have some kind of spidey sense or they are great BS’ers. Some people may tell you you’re glowing, but I think that’s a crock too.

  As you notice your body start changing, a little light bulb starts to go on. There’s someone growing inside. In the beginning, it may just look like you’ve hit the McDonald’s drive-thru one too many times. I kinda felt like I had a beer gut, although I haven’t had any alcohol in months. Then a little pouch forms and you notice it’s different than just fat. It’s a little rounder and a little more formed.
  The months start going by and of course you get bigger and bigger and you start to notice it. And so does everyone else. And they’re not shy about telling you. I love when people tell me, “Oh, you’ve gotten so big.” Gee thanks. I already feel like a Tell-a-Tubbie. Now you’re just confirming it. Not only are the signs visible from the outside, but you can also see them from the inside during the ultrasounds. Those are the best part. It’s amazing to see a little head, arms, legs, and everything else constantly growing. It’s mind-blowing to think such a little person is inside with their own heart, their own lungs, their own everything. . It makes all the weight and swelling worth it. I have to admit I get a little misty during those ultrasounds. There’s just something about knowing that that little person on that monitor is your baby. It may sound corny, but it really is the miracle of life
  So now, I sit ( a lot by the way) at the more than half-way point, wondering what he or she will look like, wondering what the next 18 weeks will hold. A lot of wondering, but knowing inside (and out)  that this is the real deal.

It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl! It’s a ….

    Surprise! You hear that word a lot if you go to a party where someone is celebrating some kind of milestone birthday. You hear it sarcastically when you’ve just heard something you really wish you hadn’t. I’ve noticed the majority of the surprises in my life aren’t things I really want to remember. But there are a handful that I hold near and dear to my heart. One of those is the surprise of not finding out the sex of my daughter before she was born. I remember everyone saying, “Oh my God! How could you wait?” “Don’t you want to know?” Of course I wanted to know, of course I was curious. But my husband and I thought the element of surprise would far outweigh the benefit of knowing months before the baby was born. We were right. I remember the second my daughter was born and the doctor said “It’s a Girl!”. My emotions were already at their highest peak, and that just made it all the better.

  Despite the feelings of euphoria of not finding out the sex of my child during my first pregnancy, I swore I would find out with my second.Why? Simple, it would be more convenient. If I knew I was having another girl I could just start washing clothes and I would be all prepared when the baby arrives. If not, I could start going shopping for everything blue I could find. But, the more I talked with my husband, the more I began to realize I really wanted the surprise again. It kinda felt like if I knew, it would be one less thing to look forward to on that special day. There would be no more surprises, except for the whole going into labor thing! 
  So when we went for the mother of all ultrasounds and the tech asked if we were finding out the sex, we said no. She told us to look away for a second and I can honestly say I did. Although during the whole thing I was looking in that area to see if I could see any sign of a third leg. I couldn’t help myself. It was like Adam and Eve and the whole forbidden fruit thing…okay maybe not that dramatic. Even though we decided not to find out, I was still so curious. I looked. I couldn’t detect any male parts, but then again, I’m sure the tech wasn’t focusing down there too much.
  As she left, she asked if we wanted her to write the sex down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope and give it to us. She said then if we changed our mind, we could find out. We just had to open the envelope. We both said no way. That’s like leaving a crack pipe on the counter for a recovering drug addict…you know just in case you change your mind. No thanks. From what I hear, we are in the minority for not finding out. But that’s okay I usually like to do my own thing anyway, so it’s kinda fitting.
  So this time around, I won’t be prepared for blue or pink and that’s o.k.  Instead I will be thinking of another gender neutral theme for the new baby’s nursery and looking for those yellow and green clothes.  During the next 20 weeks my husband and I will start to think about possible boy and girl names and probably argue, just like the first time around. But, in the end, it will all work out. The nursery will be perfect. The name will fit, and with God’s help we’ll have another healthy surprise.