You’re Pregnant… Now What?

I was so incredibly happy each and every time I discovered I was carrying a new life, even though not one of my six positive pregnancy tests were expected. I remember clearly how nervous and excited I was as a newly married young woman to discover that I was going to have our first baby. Then, to be shown two little heartbeats in jellybean-shaped babies at my very first ultrasound – oh, how surprised we were!

Truth be told, we were also pretty scared, especially since I was so sick the entire 7 months I was pregnant. (Yes, only 31 weeks.) Was it “normal” to feel this sick all the time? Are the babies ok? What do we do now? Who can we trust to guide us through our pregnancy?

My grandmother had eight children of her own, my mother carried and delivered five of us, and several of my aunts had babies. While I turned to my family members with a lot of my questions and concerns, none had carried twins, so I picked up a few books to help me navigate through this new territory.

Oh, how relieved I was to discover that my experiences during my pregnancy, labor, and delivery that first go-round would most likely not be repeated as I continued to have babies. But, I was also relieved to know that what I was experiencing while pregnant with my twins was, in fact, quite “normal.”

Pregnant with Timmy, aka "Baby #7"
Pregnant with Timmy, aka “Baby #7″

Now, almost 15 years later, I’ve carried and delivered five more babies and all were born healthy and strong, but I knew what to expect. For the most part.

So, I’m pregnant with my first baby… Now what?

Here are seven things you can expect when you are expecting:

  • You may feel tired. Most of the time. Don’t fight it. Rest, as often as is possible. After all, you have a new little life to nurture and grow, even if you can’t feel him or see him yet.
  • You may experience morning sickness all. day. long. I was sick most days through five of my pregnancies and I still wonder why people refer to it as “morning sickness.” However, on the flip side, you could have a pregnancy that makes you feel energetic and lively. Hey, it’s possible – it happened to me twice!
  • You may have sudden urges to eat (or just smell) certain foods or combinations of foods. Don’t, however, be alarmed if you don’t have any cravings. I only had food cravings during a few of my pregnancies. My husband still likes to tease me about the night he went out to buy me a box of strawberry cake mix at midnight, because I just had to have strawberry cake. I baked the cake and it sat there. I only just needed to catch a whiff of the cake baking to have my carving satisfied! Weird, right?
  • There is nothing quite like feeling your baby flutter around inside of your womb for the first time. Remember these flutters when she doesn’t have much room in there and begins to kick you while you try to sleep!
  • You will have to pee. A lot. Not just late in the pregnancy when you can feel Baby sit on your bladder, but from the very beginning. That little one dances on your bladder from day one, my friend.
  • The pregnancy glow if for real. As your pregnancy hormones begin to rage, your face may initially break out in the worst case of acne you’ve ever had. But then, just as quickly as it came on, your face will clear and you really will begin to glow.
  • You will grow in places you didn’t think possible. Your breasts will swell, your hips will expand, and your feet may even grow a size. But, more than all that, your heart will fill with love for the new little person you are growing.

Early Pregnancy Checklist

As a mother of seven, I can assure you that you never have to feel alone while baking that little bun in your oven! There are a plethora of resources out there to help guide you along this journey. Blogs, books, friends, and even strangers can be a huge help to ease your worries and concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!

If you are looking for a safe and simple way to learn about your baby and her risk of any specific genetic conditions, without an invasive diagnostic procedure, look in to Panorama Prenatal Testing. Knowing if your baby has risks can help you better prepare to meet your baby’s needs and feel confident as you head into parenthood. You can learn of any potential risks as early as 9 weeks gestation, giving you peace of mind early on.

But, the Panorama Test is not just for high risk pregnancies or to rule out genetic conditions. You can also find out the gender of your baby with incredible accuracy as early as 9 weeks. That is, if you want to know, of course.

Check out Panorama on Twitter, on Facebook and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fun Ways to Inspire Your Little Superhero

Do your kiddos enjoy watching Batman and Scooby Doo? Mine certainly do! In fact, they are fans of all good superheroes. I mean, aren’t we all?

There are lots of fun things to do online with your superhero loving kiddos. For starters, check out some of the entertaining new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites such as Scooby Doo & Batman Unlimited.

Y’all can create your own ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more! Check mine out:

Create your own ultimate superhero

There is even a great giveaway you should enter for a chance to win a crazy cool gift set!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to subscribe to these channels for more superhero fun:
DCKids Channel
WBKids Channel

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post.

Affordable Pieces to Add to Your Wardrobe for the New Season {FALL}

As you well know by now, I love this time of year. While it is still quite warm here in Texas, and you will see me in flip flops most days, I am looking forward to the coming of cooler weather. Cooler weather makes me want to grab my favorite sweater and don my favorite boots.

Some of my favorite Fall-inspired outfits include a good pair of jeans (or jeggings) and a light pull-over sweater. I like to wear a fun scarf to add the perfect splash of color.

Fall-inspired outfit

Jeggings really are the most comfortable in the denim family. They look just like a pair of skinny jeans, but they have a bit of give to them, like leggings. They button and zip just like a pair of jeans, but they have faux pockets, to avoid bunching around the hips.

LEI Emma Jeggings

I know we see everywhere that leggings are out and shouldn’t be worn as pants, but I have to say that I totally disagree! A great pair of leggings can be very stylish when worn properly. Always pair leggings with a long sweater or blouse. Walmart has some great leggings with fun and colorful patterns, so I picked up a couple to add to my Autumn wardrobe. The best part is that these leggings are only $7.88! (I couldn’t find them online, but look in the Junior section of your local Walmart – you’ll be glad you did.)

fall outfit - leggings

Would you wear jeggings or leggings? I challenge you to give ’em a try!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites

I think I mention every year that Autumn is my favorite season. It truly is. The Fall colors are breathtaking – hues of orange, yellow and red gracing the scenery. Cool, crisp air kissing your face. Boots and sweaters, pumpkin bread and…

Caramel Apples!

Yes, I’m talking about sour juicy goodness, covered in sweet caramel stickiness. What could be better? (Except for maybe S’mores, but those are a summer treat and we’re talking about Fall, y’all!)

My kiddos would become frustrated when trying to eat a whole caramel apple on a stick. Caramel would stick to their noses while the apple’s juice would run down their chins. While super cute, they didn’t like it much. I would slice their apples and give them a bowl of caramel to dip them in and they would eat it all up. That was the best solution for all of us.

Until now.

Enter Mini Caramel Apple Bites. I honestly couldn’t remember where I got the idea for these little bits of tastiness, but they are a genius way to serve up the tasty combo, without causing any fuss while eating. And, they are super cute!

Here’s what you need:
Apples – I love to use Granny Smith for the sour factor.
Melon Baller
Lollipop Sticks (I bought a small bag at Walmart in the craft section.)

Here’s what you do:
1. Take a melon baller and carve out your little bites of apple.
2. Place a lollipop stick in to each of the small bites.
3. Make sure each bite is dry and dip in softened caramel, coating completely.
4. Roll bite in chopped nuts or other toppings, if you’d like.
5. Enjoy!

What is your favorite thing about Autumn? Do you have a favorite treat?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shop The Pioneer Woman Collection at Walmart

The Pioneer Woman Collection

So, I’m sure you’ve seen all the excitement surrounding the launch of The Pioneer Woman’s new kicthen collection. In fact, if you are a fan of Ree Drummond, you have followed her along as she was giving you teases and glimpses long before the launch.

Well, the line is finally in stores around the country and it is flying off the shelves faster than the folks at Walmart can stock them. No joke. I was at my local Walmart today and thrilled customers were pulling the table settings right off the displays as it was being set!

I was fortunate enough to be able to see the collection, almost in it’s entirety, last month in Dallas. I was given strict orders not to share the secret with y’all that this line was going to be exclusive to Walmart and available this month. But, the secret is now out!!

Take a look…

The Pioneer Woman Collection at Walmart

These Dutch Ovens are a big deal, as they are the real deal. No corners were cut when Ree designed these babies! They are available in a couple of beautiful colors and even have a cute little butterfly handle you can switch out if you’d like.

The Pioneer Woman Collection - Dutch Oven

My favorite among the collection are these vibrant, yet understated, plum pieces. Paired with some of the other bright pieces, they are sure to brighten up any kitchen table. I am definitely going to update our dinnerware with this line.

The Pioneer Woman Collection - Tableware

But, it doesn’t stop at just dutch ovens and tableware. Ree has designed bakeware, drinkware, serveware, and kitchen tools. She has even released a new cookbook, exclusive to Walmart. All at prices that can’t be beat.

As I mentioned before, I did get to see, touch and feel a lot of the pieces in The Pioneer Woman Collection. I was even sent a few pieces to use and test in my own kitchen, as well as her new cookbook. Every single piece is great quality, with fine details and lovely design. And, I’ve already earmarked all of the recipes I want t try in the cookbook.

Don’t stop at checking out the collection at; you really do need to try to get in to your local Walmart to see and feel for yourself how amazing this line is. You will not be disappointed!

P.S. Isn’t that cookie jar up there adorable? Charlie the Ranch Dog sure is a cutie!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.