Family, General

Pregnancy Update!

For those not in the know, I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant. After two boys, we’re finally getting our girl, and I’m so excited!

I usually take one day out of the week to write a blurb about a member of our family, and I figured why should I skip out on Jade?

So here we go, what’s up in Jade’s world?

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I actually had an ultrasound last week, so I’ve got all the details and insider info ready!

Jade is measuring right on track! My due date is remaining in the January 25th area. I’m trying so desperately to avoid ALL the family birthdays that week. (Kody and my aunt share a birthday on the 23rd, isn’t that too close for comfort?)

She’s measuring at 3lbs 10oz, and we couldn’t get a decent length because she wouldn’t stop moving around. They actually weren’t able to get a specific picture of her heart because of her movement but said the ones they got were enough to detect anything.

She is still very obviously a girl, with no doubt at all from the tech or doctors.

This was actually the first ultrasound Kody was able to attend! You should’ve seen his face light up when they showed her little chin and nose profile.

She can turn her head, and her body is starting to plump up. We actually commented on the size of her arm muscles! She’s got some biceps on her.

I have a ton of Braxton-hicks, but nothing that the doctors are concerned about. Though this is my third pregnancy, I still call the doctors at least once a week if anything bothers me. I’m a very anxious momma.

I’m now having visits every two weeks! Time has flown by. Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow?

She likes to turn around and flip a LOT. Last month’s ultrasound she was head down, this time her head is back under my ribs. I can feel her moving constantly, and I’m starting to think she never rests in there!

Her nursery is ready, we’ve got a partial layette, a closet full of wipes and diapers. I’ve got to stock up on some just-in-case formula, but I successfully breastfed the two boys and don’t foresee having any problems. Still, I always stock up just in case there’s an emergency, or someone is watching him and they run out of frozen milk

That’s pretty much all that’s going on in our world!

Do you have children? How many?

Pregnancy Update! - The Southern Smiths: An update about my current (and FINAL) pregnancy!
Family, General

Kade Update!

I can’t believe he’s already experiencing his second set of holidays! I feel like yesterday we were heading home from Galveston, while I was freaking out thinking “It’s only been 24 hours, there’s no way we’re ready”. Now he’s a happy healthy, energetic toddler.

Kade is now 18 months old! That’s crazy, right?

He wears 12-24month shirts and 18-24month pants. His shoe size is 5-6, he wears sandals most of the time. He weighs 26 pounds, even, and is 31 inches tall.

He’s all caught up on his shots at the doctors, and has NO cavities! He currently has two more teeth coming in, and he is not happy about them. We are though! Now he’ll have 6 teeth!

He loves watching his daddy play video games, gets all into it and likes to take the controller and shoot off all the ammo Kody’s collected. Or he’ll run around doing nothing. Bath time is his favorite time of day, especially when he escapes from Kody and runs down the hall with a towel on his head. This is a nightly thing and the cutest! I’ll have to catch a picture one day.

He looks up to his brother Wade so much. I am thrilled with the bond between the two, and I hope they’re just as close to Jade when she gets here. Kade follows Wade around and has Wade reach for things, or open doors. They’re a team, the BEST team. We don’t even get woken up at night, they climb into each other’s beds if they need something. He hates the time when Wade goes to his daddy’s, but we try to give him somewhere to go like one of his aunt’s houses or with his grandparents.

His favorite thing of all, though, is food. Always. Anything. I don’t think he’s ever refused a single bite. It’s a running joke in the family that anytime someone calls to talk to him, he’s eating. Can you believe I have a baby that eats salmon and asparagus? We never have to cook separate meals for the kids.

That’s about all that’s going on with Kade right now, he’s trying to figure out the whole speaking thing.

Do you have kids? What’s their favorite thing to eat?

 Kade Update! - The Southern Smiths: An update on the youngest of the Smith clan, baby Kade!
Family, General

Wade Update!

For the new people (read: basically every one of you that aren’t family), Wade is my oldest. He’s my four-year-old child from my previous marriage. He’s a pretty badass kid, with a love for cows, Teen Titans Go, being Metal, and his latest obsession: Taekwondo!

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He goes every Tuesday and Thursday night. There hasn’t been a SINGLE time he whined that he didn’t want to go, or didn’t want to put on his uniform. If anything, he’s constantly asking me if it’s time to go (because he doesn’t quite understand days of the week yet… I need to get him a child’s calendar). He is ecstatic and pays attention to every single thing he’s told. He is adorable whenever he comes out and tries to teach Kade (his 16-month-old brother) his “Taekwondo moves”.

The day we signed his official paperwork and he received his white belt, I knew we made the right decision. He played T-ball last year, but that was nothing compared to the pride in his face. He tells EVERYONE who comes over about what he learned that week.

Healthwise, he’s got no cavities! He got his four-year shot series and didn’t even cry, he called them his “mosquito bites”. He’s generally healthy and hasn’t been sick in a while. He LOVES brushing his teeth and now does it on his own with supervision. I even had to buy the little cups you use for water because he didn’t like me helping him with the bigger cups. (I still do the flossing, I don’t quite trust him  on that level yet)

He’s an amazing big brother to Kade, and definitely a natural caretaker. He has no qualms about sharing any snacks, and if he wants a toy he always makes sure Kade has one too. He’s super excited for Jade’s arrival and has frequent meltdowns when I tell him she won’t be here for a while. He likes to tell everyone about his sister Jade in mommy’s tummy.  At my last ultrasound, he /did/ ask me “How is she going to come out of there?” at which point I replied “I’ll tell you when you’re older” and he was satisfied. What a freaking bullet dodged, I am NOT ready to go there.

I could always say she’ll come out of my belly button like a pimple popping, but I don’t want him squeezing my stomach!

That’s pretty much all that’s going on in Wade’s world right now!

What’s new in your world? Looking forward to any big plans this month?

Wade Update - The Southern Smiths: Taekwondo, Health and Being a Big Brother
General, The Southern Smiths

November Goals

I’ve recently started making efforts to be more intentional in my day to day life. I really want to try and live more in the moment, and less in the past or future. I want to make every day, every second last. I won’t get to redo the early years of my marriage or the childhood years with my children. I need to make this /count/.

With it being the beginning of November, I’ve decided I’m going to try something new! Each month, I’m going to list a few goals, both for the blog and my personal life. At the beginning of the next month, I will update y’all on my progress on the previous month’s goals and then set some new ones for that current month. I’m really hoping this helps me be more intentional about how I’m spending my time and helps hold myself accountable.

Let’s dive in!

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1. Promote on more than one social media platform

Currently, I’m just using my facebook page  to share my posts each morning when they go live. I’m hoping to find ways to incorporate at least one other social media platform into my daily promotions. I’m still researching which platform I think will work the best for us!

2. Make at least 15 posts this month

Since I’ve /just/ gotten back into the blogosphere, I want to build up my archives quickly so my links actually lead you somewhere. I’m aiming for daily posts, but I’m just going to set a goal of 15 because life happens and we have a /lot/ of Thanksgiving plans throughout the month.

3. Find new networking groups

I’m presently only in two networking groups on facebook. I’m wanting to find a few more to extend my reach and find new blogs to read/follow. I also really enjoy the engagement threads and commenting on other posts. I would love to find a group that does a lot of all-or-nothing posts, if you know of any PLEASE let me know in the comments!

4. Write posts ahead of time

I’m wanting to try and get two to three posts written in one sitting, as opposed to sitting up at two in the morning trying to finish the post before it’s expected to go live. This could really help make blogging more enjoyable, and a little less stressful for me. Any tips?

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1.  Make all scheduled appointments

I’ve had issues with getting to my appointments. I usually think “Oh, I can just reschedule for next week”.. and then the next week.. and then the next. I’m aiming to make all of our appointments on time, both mine, AND the kids’.

2.  Start Christmas Shopping

Normally, I would be halfway done with this by now. With all of the financial setbacks from Hurricane Harvey, we just haven’t been able to. I want to at least knock out the presents for all of the kids in our families, as well as the friend circles we’re exchanging with. Adults will understand more if they don’t get presents, but I never like disappointing kids.

3. Develop a daily routine

Right now, my routine is a mess. Sometimes I get up to make breakfast for my husband, sometimes I sleep until the kids get up. I might clean during their nap-time, or I take a nap myself. Don’t even get me started on days when we have plans that take us outside of the house. I want to build a routine that I can stick to, and that is adaptable on days when we have appointments or plans with family/friends.

4. Exercise 2-3 times a week

Even if it’s just a small walk around the park, I really want to be a little more active. With baby Jade on the way, I want to establish good habits that I can stick to once she’s here. I’m going to be SO busy with three kids. I want to be healthy, plus it’s really good for my mental health as well. Self-care is SUPER important.
I’m really looking forward to being able to update y’all on these goals next month! I’m super hopeful that I’ll be able to at least hit two out of each category.

Do you have any goals for the month? If you don’t, try to think of at least one and let me know in the comments below!

 November Goals - The Southern Smiths:My blog and personal goals for this month!
Cleaning, General

5 Things To Do Before Your Mother-In-Law Visits

She calls and says she’s in town, and on her way to stop by. You have anywhere from 10-30mins before she’s there; WHAT DO YOU DO?

Here are my top 5 things to do when my mother-in-law is on her way

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Let me preface this by saying, I am one of the luckiest women in the world. My mother-in-law is absolutely amazing. She truly cares about me, as a separate person from my husband. She actually DEFENDS me when he is upset or trying to ask her how to approach certain things. She asks about my mental health, my relationship with her son, how my family is doing. Yesterday, she dropped everything last minute to drive 45minutes to my house, JUST to watch my children so I could go to a therapy appointment. My husband was working, he didn’t even get to say hi to his mom. She did this for ME, and she’s done so much more. I know not everyone has this great of a relationship, and I definitely don’t take it for granted.

That being said, let’s get down to those panicky moments when she calls and says “Hey, are you busy?”

     1. Throw all the dishes in the sink/dishwasher

This is probably the most important for me, personally. I have two children right now, 4 and 16 months. And a husband who has coffee and breakfast every morning. It is not uncommon for my house to be littered with dirty dishes as early as 8 am. When I get that phone call, I quickly walk around the house picking up silverware, plates, sippy cups, any spare dishes. We’re blessed enough to have a dishwasher, so I just load it and start it up. When we didn’t, I would rinse all of the dishes and put them in the sink, so that there wasn’t dirty food clumps or sour milk left on them.

2. Quickly gather trash, and take it out if it’s full.

It may just be me, but the FIRST thing I notice about another person’s house is if the trashcan is visible and full. I don’t have a fancy pantry or cabinet, so my trash can just sits at the end of the counter against the wall. I have an open living room/dining room/kitchen area, so I run through these areas grabbing candy wrappers, extra papers, napkins, etc and throwing them into the trash. If it’s full, I’ll quickly take it out and replace it. The LAST thing I want her to think is that I’m too lazy to take out my own trash or pick up after myself.

3. Wipe the kid’s hands and faces

If you don’t have children, that’s one less step to worry about. Fix your hair, brush your teeth. If you DO have children, QUICK! Get the wipes, dive in the closet. Do a diaper change, wipe faces, check behind the ears. Fix their hair, put on clean clothes. Don’t forget the bottom of the feet and inner earlobe! One of the FIRST things a grandmother likes to comment on is the appearance of the kids. I’d much rather hear how happy they look than, “Oh, what have you been eating today?”

4. Light a candle, spray an air freshener, or perfume!

Do something that makes the house smell clean! I like to light a candle as soon as I get the call, and blow it out a few minutes before she should arrive (to avoid the ever obvious burnt smell that comes after putting one out). Sometimes I’ll even spray the fabric in the house with febreeze, or run my perfume down the entryway and hall. Anything at all to make the first smell be a pleasant one.

5. Sweep under the table

This is another big one if you have kids. There is nothing that makes a house look dirtier than dried and leftover food or cereal under the table from breakfast. (Yesterday, it was 5 pepperonis on the floor from pizza for lunch. No, I didn’t get to them before she did). A quick sweep can help give a cleaner appearance than you might have if you’ve just eaten a meal or wiped down counters.

 

Inevitably, I will miss something. Or she goes into the ONE area I stashed everything in. My mother-in-law is extremely helpful anytime she visits, and we can expect that if she’s left alone for more than 5 minutes, things will be cleaned. If there’s nothing for her to clean (my personal goal when she visits), she’ll de-clutter. Or reorganize cabinets, fold laundry, pick up the kids toys. Heck, one time she rearranged their beds to give them more room in the middle (my two boys share a room).
You’ll never get everything perfect, but these are a few tips to help make the moment you open the door slightly less stressful.

Do you have a routine to run through before an unexpected visit? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Things To Do Before Your Mother-In-Law Visits - The Southern Smiths: What to do with the house, the kids, and yourself!
Family, General

Welcome November!

I promise it’s not just Fall. I get excited over every season change! Fall might have “officially” started over a month ago, but to me, November is the true month of Fall. October is just.. the whole month is Halloween, let’s get real. So, what are your plans for November so far?

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We’ve already started some of my favorite things to do this season! I’ve got logs on the fire, apple cider on the stove, and DELICIOUS freshly roasted pumpkin seeds that I can never seem to get enough of. We’ve been surrounded by good company, and have plans made throughout the month.

We’ve also got a movie list! A lot of people do the October horror movie list (we did too!), but my husband enjoyed it so much, we’ve decided to continue it into November. I’ve come up with a list of movies that are on Netflix for us to watch this month, except for the Star Wars movies. That’s just a family tradition we started last year, the week of Thanksgiving we watch the prequels and the original trilogy. I’m not sure why, but we love it!

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I’ve got a LOT to do this month! I have a mommy group Thanksgiving potluck the Friday before Thanksgiving to make a dish for. The next day, I’m hosting a Friendsgiving get together at our house (which means I have to provide the Turkey, oh boy). And then Thanksgiving Day we’ve got to split between my mom’s Thanksgiving, and his mom’s, as well as factoring in how to get our dad’s sides of the family included. That’s going to be a pretty full week.

I’ve also got to start figuring out this months meal plan, which is not the most fun thing for me. But it’s got to be done! Speaking of which, I need to go clean out the fridge and get ready for this month’s groceries.

How are y’all enjoying the season so far? Have thanksgiving plans made yet?

Welcome November! - The Southern Smiths: A few of my favorite things about fall, and our plans for November so far!
General, Halloween

Happy Halloween!

It’s officially the beginning of the holiday season! We’ve had a LOT of celebrating going on in our neck of the woods. Here are just a few things we’ve done this past week!

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Pumpkin Carving

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Kody and I probably like this part more than the kids! Seeing our creations come to life is really awesome to me, even if we are using stencils. The kids pick designs for their pumpkins, and help us gut them, and then Kody and I do the carving! This year Wade’s had an obsession with spiders, so of course, he picked the spider pumpkin. Kade just kind of pointed at an image, but it was fun to do!

Costumes

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Wade LOVES Teen Titans Go. He’s obsessed with Robin, so obviously we had to find a Robin costume (the FIRST year he didn’t pick a cow costume! YES)
We thought it would be PERFECT to do the baby as Batman! Usually, the OLDER brother is Batman, but this was too cute to pass up.

Trunk Or Treat

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Kody and I had a trunk at our Church’s community trunk or treat! It was sooo much fun decorating and getting to see the costumes of all the kids that came out. And of course, the boys enjoyed getting to trick-or-treat early!

They also had a church Halloween party, two other trunk or treats, and a Halloween party with a playgroup this morning!

I’m getting this typed up while we wait to go to Wade’s taekwondo class for the night, and then we’re going to figure out where to do some trick-or-treating before dinner.

What did y’all dress up as? How have you celebrated this week?

Happy Halloween! - The Southern Smiths: Pumpkin carving, costumes, and more!
General, The Southern Smiths

Blog Revamped!

Hey guys! As you’ve noticed, I’ve been gone a little over a year. I just couldn’t keep up with the unrealistic expectations I had set for myself and the image of my blog. So, let’s get into the NEW AND IMPROVED thesouthernsmiths!

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We’re going to get real this year. I’m going to share everything this time. The ups, the downs, the awesome and the not-so-awesome. So, what’s in store this time?

Real world family updates. Poop on the walls? Accidentally slept in and the kids went wild in the house? 30-minute speed cleaning when your husband’s on the way home and you honestly did NOTHING all day? Screaming at the family to get dressed on Sunday mornings? Yeah. I’m not perfect. Neither are you!

Holiday posts, and LOTS of them! I’ve already got one planned for an AMAZING night we had this past weekend that was everything fall is supposed to be (in my humble opinion). I’ll share tips on planning for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and mommy group potlucks! We’ll share our present buying struggles and ideas, as well as the hustle and bustle of Christmas at 8 months pregnant (oh, joy!).

Home management tips! I’ll be sharing my favorite apps for meal planning, keeping everyone’s schedules together, facebook events (and who to send “real” invites to)! I’ll share cleaning schedules, easy weeknight recipes (and of course, my meal planning rotation board). Ways to keep carpets clean with two (soon to be three) extremely excitable children, cheap seasonal decorating ideas, it’s ALL coming.

And of course, we’ll get open and honest about mental health advocacy. I’ll share tips on finding low-income resources for mental health care, including finding coupons for medication without insurance, and cheap therapy options in your area. Mental health is so, so ridiculously important. Especially for mothers, with postpartum hormones, learning to take care of a new life, and managing a home (especially if you also work!).

I’m so, so excited to be back with you guys and to finally be -real-.

How have y’all been? Did you miss us?

Blog Revamped! - The Southern Smiths: New start, new purpose!