Armed With Duct Tape

…'cause duct tape fixes everything!

How to encourage a mom close to or past her due date April 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 10:11 am

This is the longest I have ever been pregnant-almost 41 weeks.   I didn’t expect to carry this baby this far past his due date.  Many of my friends and family were convinced that this baby was going to come before Easter…a week later he has proved them wrong. One of the most interesting things that I have learned this pregnancy, is that there is a protein that gets excreted from the baby’s lungs which signals labor to start.  It reminds me that God is in every little detail, even when I feel the world is spinning out of control.

During the past few weeks, I have received countless comments from well-wishers about still being pregnant.  I know that they were well meant, but after a while, it does get tiring and sometimes makes me feel like I am doing something wrong that the baby isn’t here.  I am going to use this feeling to better communicate with friends of mine who are pregnant, ready and waiting for their baby to arrive.  I thought I’d share some of my insights.


What not to say/ what to say instead:

Don’t say:
“You’re still pregnant? ” or “No baby yet?”

First off-even if a woman is still heavily pregnant, saying this does nothing for her self esteem at this point.  Most women I know, still look pregnant after delivery-so tread carefully.

Instead say:
“You are looking great!  How are you feeling?” 

Every woman (though she may deny it in her response) wants to know she looks great.  I have a wonderful friend who every time she sees me, tells me how cute I look.  It does a world of good.

Don’t say:
“Are you ok?” 

This can put the momma in a very defensive mood or position and is a very effective conversation shut down.

Instead say:
“How are you feeling?”

This is a more open question and allows the momma to express what is going on.  She may be tired, stressed, in pain, or just ready for the baby to come. She can choose how to respond according to the level of friendship between you.

Don’t say:
“You haven’t popped, yet?”

Put yourself in her shoes for a moment.  This beautiful woman has been carrying a baby in her for close to or past 9 months.  Most likely she feels huge already, this comment again does nothing to help that momma feel good about herself.

Instead say:
“I’m praying for you.”  Or affirm her beauty.

This is more encouraging for her to hear, and maybe just what she needs to hear that day.


Other ways to encourage:

Pray for them!

Ask if they have specific prayer needs at this time.  If they can’t think or any, you can say you are praying for them that they have:

  • Rest– this is a big one.  The last final weeks are a dozy when it comes to rest.  I know that sleep is restless at best and during the day I find myself exhausted.  Especially since I have 2 other children I am taking care of during the day.
  • Energy– again a good one-especially for moms who already have kids they are chasing around.  Also, that they are able to get done what they want to get done everyday.
  • Comfort (relief of pain)– I have lived through pain 2 out of my 3 pregnancies.  Thankfully, this pregnancy the pain has been controllable, but my second pregnancy there were times I could hardly walk, I was in so much pain.  Most pregnant women have some discomfort, and it tends to show more the last few weeks.
  • Peace (relief from stress)– the unknown of what is going to come can be stressful-even if there is a planned delivery method, it is stressful for the mom.  For us, we have had added stress with the lack of job for my husband.  The stress not only affects me and my husband, but the boys feed off it too.

Find ways to help them:

  • Bring them a meal or gift card to a take out place close by.  There are many days I have had no energy and cooking has been the last thing I want to even think of doing.  If someone asked, hey, what is it your family loves or will eat that I can bring by, I would give them a definite answer!  Even just swinging by a grocery store and picking up a rotisserie chicken, rolls, and veggies, is a great meal for anyone (think ahead and bring paper plates, so it is one less item to wash).  The simpler the better-esp if they have picky eaters in their house.  Find out what their favorite take out place is, and bless them with a gift card.
  • Volunteer to watch their kids at your place or take them to a park for a morning.  There have been times, where I just don’t want to see my boys.  I love them dearly don’t get me wrong, but here is where the lack of energy comes into play-I sometimes don’t have the energy to be on top of every little thing that sets them off.  A change of scenery is good for the kids as well.
  • Depending on how comfortable you are in your relationship-offer to help clean their house.  Even if it is to vacuum 1 room or get down and dirty and clean a bathroom.
  • Write them a note.  Let the know how much you are thinking of them and praying for them.  Even telling them how much they mean to you.

What other ways can you think of encouraging a mom who is ready to meet their little one?


An Experiement of a low media week January 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 1:57 pm

A few weeks ago I came across a blog post on Raising Low Media Kids ( and keeping your sanity)-there are some really great tips.  I have to admit, I use the TV to help maintain my sanity some days, and to keep the boys occupied while I do things around the house.  While we don’t have the TV on all the time, nor do we have smart phones for them to play with, and I highly limit their time my tablet (maybe once a week-though now Pete has to earn his time on it by filling up part of his sticker chart), it was still a crutch-esp around the time to cook supper.

With Baby #3 on the way, I want to start developing in the boys a sense of self play, so that I don’t feel as though I have to entertain them.  My goal as a mom has always been to get my boys to be self-sufficient.  I don’t have an open concept house, and many times they are in a different room playing, while I am working on something else.  I even let them play outside in our back yard unsupervised (gasp!).

In the house, they always seemed to have issues with playing by themselves. So, I started limiting how many toys they had out (still feel we have too many toys out).  Crayons, markers, coloring books, paper, and play dough are always accessible to the boys.   This week I allowed them to be bored-I didn’t feel that I had to create for them something to do.  If Pete asked, I suggested items for him to play with.


The fort

The evenings,the boys have been taking apart the couches in the living room.  There have been pillow trails, pillow piles, and our current configuration is a pillow fort (today I think it is a castle) complete with its own hiding tent.


Car, Train and Plane tracks

A few days ago, I taped roads for Pete to use during his quiet time. Both he and Tim have played on it a few times this week.  It will soon come up as I need to tackle that room to get ready for our next addition.


Can you believe this had 50 pounds of sand it? My guess is that there is now 10 pounds left in it, and the rest of the sand is in different places around our yard.

Today, it was warm enough to let them go outside and play in the rain. They were making their own fun.  I had warm towels and dry clothes ready for them when they came in.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how their little imaginations have taken off, with just limiting TV time this week.  I love to hear them playing together, sometimes I have to intervene.  It can be done, and your kids will be happier for it!


The Letter September 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 7:11 pm


2. getting it

3. opening


6.bye bed bed

Yep, that Tim loves his bed.

Then again, he loves Pete’s bed too.

And he loves Daddy and Mommy’s bed as well.

I suppose if the cats had beds, he would love those as well….

…as long as they had a blanket.

What is that?

Oh?  You want to know what was in the letter?

You do?  You could just close the page now..

.but then it might bug you that you never found out what was in Tim’s letter.

Ok… Here is the letter

7. announcement


Mary,Mary Quite contrary… June 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 9:03 pm

How does your garden grow?











Spring Has Arrived April 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 10:00 am

Last week, working on the front, the trees were barely budding.  On Wednesday, I stayed inside because it was so cold, it was like all nature exploded.   When I opened the curtain on Thursday morning, I was greeted by my 2 front trees in full leaf.   I was surprised to see all the leaves out, and it made my heart sing.

This morning, I looked out my kitchen window and reveled in God’s  creation.

The view from our back yard.

The view from our back yard.

While the house will always have projects that need to tackled, I can look out our back window and see a green field framed by trees.  It helps me feel like I live closer to the country than I do.  This is one of the biggest reasons we bought the house.  I hope that the property behind us never sells, so I will have my “bit of country”.


Transformation April 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 5:53 pm

This past week, my parents came to visit.   The week went by too quickly as it tends to do.  It was full, and we kept ourselves busy.  A lot of projects got tackled. I love how I am given the choice of which projects to tackle.  I finally have a ceiling fan in our master bedroom.  Bring on the summer!

The other big project that we set out on was the jungle landscape in the front of our house. It has been a sore spot for me over the past year. When I come in the front, it felt so desperate and most uncared for-which it was.  The ground cover was quite thick and over taking things.


When we first looked at the house, I liked the front.  Once we got it, I started noticing how overgrown it was.  I just didn’t know where to start.  I mowed the ground cover last summer, but that made things look worse. This is what it looked like before we started on it last week.

DSC_0891 DSC_0890 DSC_0892

After 3 days of sawing, digging with a pick axe, pulling and tugging, we have this:


I am still digging up roots on the right of the house, and almost done with it.  The left of the house will be next.  I am thinking, I’ll do one side of landscaping at a time, but not sure how that will play out. At least I have plenty of mulch! 🙂


Hold on a sec… April 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 9:34 am