Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.netCarrying a new little life is such a blessing!  Every pregnancy, I try to find ways to celebrate the new life within.  Despite morning sickness, aches and pains, and fears, it is important to me to try to find even the tiniest of ways to celebrate these amazing months I have been blessed with.  Today, I want to share with you some of these the celebrations!

I’ve put together a Celebrating Pregnancy printable to print off and keep handy throughout your pregnancy.  I’ve also included links and other ideas below that show these celebrations in action!

Month 1:
Learn a New Skill

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 1:  Learn a New Skill (post includes tons of ideas and a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netMost women don’t even know they are pregnant at this point, so purposefully celebrating your pregnancy will be a tad bit difficult.  However, if you are planning to become pregnant (and even if you are not!), this is a great time to celebrate by learning a new skill that has “baby inclinations”.  Think quilting, diaper making, crocheting or knitting, cake decorating or scrapbooking.  Craftsy.com has some great online classes you can take, or ask another crafty friend to walk you through the process!

Month 2:
Host a Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 2:  Host a Freezer Meal Party!  (post includes tons of ideas & a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou’ve had the excitement of seeing that pregnancy test turn positive, now what?  Most women deal with some sort of “slow down” in their life in the first trimester, either due to morning sickness or exhaustion or other factors.  Month 2 (before you start this slow down) is a great time to have a Freezer Meal Party!  These meals are not for when the baby is born, but rather for the days when you are just too tired or too sick to cook in the first trimester.

Freezer Meal Party Pinterest Board
Organizing a Freezer Meal Party with Friends
Host a Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Party
Freezer to Slow Cooker Printable Menu

Month 3:
Luxuriate

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 3:  Luxuriate (post included tons of ideas + a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou are probably still not feeling your best, so now is the perfect time to do some at-home pampering.  I enjoy long Epsom salt baths with candles and music, followed by some yummy smelling lotion.  A really luxurious bath product is Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Bath Gel (don’t croak when you see the price – it is worth every penny – as long as you keep it out of the reach of little hands!).  Be sure to go with smells that do not bother you.  Sniff them in the store before you buy!  Light the candles, slip into a nice, warm bath, and turn on your favorite music.

As for music, listen to something that relaxes you.  A new feature from Amazon that I am really enjoying is Amazon Prime Music.  There is a huge list of FREE albums/songs that you can listen to from your phone, tablet, or computer.  I really like piano music and Enya, so I have a lot of Enya’s albums in the my list as well as The Piano Guys and George Winston.  All you have to do is download the app and start searching for your favorites!

Month 4:
Enjoy Nature

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 4:  Enjoy Nature (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netNow that you are starting to feel better, it’s time to soak up some nature and take time to reflect and look forward.  Think about the past several months, plan for the next several.  Talk to baby.  Pray.  Really take the time to see the world around you.  Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, the trees, the flowers, the intricate details of creation.  You and your baby are a part of that amazing gift of creation.  Don’t squander the time.

Month 5:
Plan Date Nights and Outings with Your Spouse

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 5:  Plan Date Nights and Outings with your Spouse (post includes tons a ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

You’re feeling that 2nd Trimester awesomeness, so take advantage of it!  Sit down with your spouse and plan out some fun outings and date nights.  Go to places you haven’t been before.  Take a day trip, or even an overnight excursion!  Talk about baby plans, and relish your time!

Month 6:
Buy (or Make) Something New For You

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6:  Buy (or Make) Something New for You ( post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Now is the time to indulge that ever-expanding belly with something new!  If you are super-crafty, you can make something, but I prefer to purchase something instead.  I typically end up purchasing maternity clothes, but whatever you choose, make it something you can use NOW.  I would encourage you to buy at least one piece that is brand new and super nice because you will have it for years (and babies) to come.

Rainbow Maternity Skirt - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6 My favorite purchase this time around was a Rainbow Denim Maternity Skirt from Deborah & Co.  (Today through Labor Day, you can use code: LABORDAY5 to get $5 off any $50 order and orders of $100 or more receive a FREE SCARF included in their package!  Scarves are one of my favorite maternity accessories! Click HERE to start shopping!)

Month 7:
Do Something Nice for Yourself

Celebrating pregnancy Month by Month - Month 7:  Do Something Nice for Yourself (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netWhat is that one thing you would really like to do, but just don’t seem to do for yourself?  Is it a new haircut?  Maybe a massage?  Perhaps it is a piece of jewelry to celebrate your pregnancy?  This month do something fun that is just for you!

Due Date Jewelry
Coming Soon Necklace
Ring My Neck – necklace for when your ring no longer fits
Massage & Pregnancy article

Month 8:
Buy (or Make) Something New for Baby

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 8:  Buy (or make) Something New for Baby (post includes tons of resources + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Even if you don’t know baby’s gender, you can purchase something this month that is just for baby.  This is my 9th baby, but I still feel it is super important to get something that is just for THIS baby.  One thing I’ve done this time around is order several products from Mother’s Lounge.  I have a coupon code that will get you these products FREE FOR SHIPPING!

RAISINGARROWS9
is the code and the products you can get include:

nursing pillow
baby leggings
baby sling
car seat cover
nursing cover

(The above links are individual sites.  You can use the code on each site!)

Month 9:  
Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 9:  Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

A Baby Tea isn’t like hosting your own baby shower, but more like hosting a tea party with your girlfriends.  It’s not about gifts, but about swapping birth stories and encouragement and savoring those final days of pregnancy.

Sample Baby Tea Menu:
Red Raspberry Tea
Mini Baby Rattle Cupcakes (or keep it simple and just have mini cupcakes)
Onesie Sugar Cookies
Baby Bib Petite Sandwiches

Have a basket with slips of paper for everyone to write favorite labor verses and well wishes for the new baby.

Labor & Delivery Verses
Scripture Meditations for the Overdue Mama
Scriptural Encouragement for Preparing & Giving Birth

If you aren’t wanting to do a Baby Tea, then how about another Freezer Meal Party to put away meals for after baby arrives?  Enjoy the time with friends and family!

DOWNLOAD CELEBRATING YOUR PREGNANCY MONTH BY MONTH PRINTABLE!


Celebrating Pregnancy
Trimester by Trimester

I also wanted to include some Trimester by Trimester ideas for you since babies are unpredictable and can often come before 9 months or well after 9 months.

1st Trimester Ideas:

Come up with a fun way to announce your pregnancy to your husband, your children, your extended family and friends.

Get a basket and keep lots of fruit on hand in the basket for easy snacks and great nutritional value.  Treat yourself to some fruits you haven’t tried before.

Watch baby shows on television or online.

Make freezer meals for those days when you aren’t feeling up to cooking.

Read my Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness – just in case ;)

Start a Pregnancy Journal.

Take long baths.

Play relaxing music.

Make a Baby Ticker to put in your emails, on your blog, or to post to social media.  Here’s mine:

baby development

2nd Trimester Ideas:

Get outside and enjoy nature.

Plan some time with your spouse.

Buy some new or new-to-you maternity clothes.

Have fun trying to predict baby’s gender.

Get a massage.

Get a manicure or pedicure or both.

Play music for baby.

Talk to baby and relish this time.

Plan some fun activities to do with your other children.

3rd Trimester Ideas:

Make a Daily Final Countdown.

Make a list of things you need for baby.

Make a list of things you need to take to the hospital.

Get the baby things ready and create a precious space just for baby (no matter how small it may be).

Buy something new for baby.

Make something for baby.

Host a low-key tea party with your friends and family.

My Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest

Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.net

 Have a blessed 9 months!

True Education is Not About Making a Living

There is so much more to education than "employment preparation".  Give your children a LIFE!  Homeschooling is a perfect opportunity for this - do not squander it! | RaisingArrows.netYears ago, I picked up a used copy of Clay & Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Wholehearted Child.  I was fascinated by the content and implemented as much as I could in our little homeschool.  Since that day, I have recommended this book to homeschoolers everywhere, and even given it special mention on my Homeschooling page here on Raising Arrows.

About a year ago, I picked up a copy of the new edition.  I could readily see there was more content and I knew I needed a refresher course.  Finally, during vacation this year, I was able to begin reading.

Boy, did I need the words contained within those pages!  Ty and I spent hours discussing what I had read.  The kids and I spent hours discussing what I had read!  There was so much to chew on.  I am continuing to chew even today!

One discussion that came from my reading was concerning a sidebar comment on page 98 entitled The Education Nation:

“Secular public education in America has evolved into what is essentially an elaborate employment preparation and social indoctrination mechanism.”

And I realized even I was getting caught up in the mindset of “employment preparation.”

You see, I have a 16 year old who is very close to finishing up all of his required high school credits in our state.  The natural conveyer belt of our society says the next step is college, but Blake isn’t sure he wants to go to college.  He’s a very intelligent, very driven young man and although I wanted to respect his decision, I felt myself lurching inside.

Blake

Would he be able to get a good job without a college education?

Isn’t every smart child supposed to go to college?

How would people react to him not going to college?

(notice how that last one is all about MY pride?)

Government education has truly become a system of institutionalized thinking.  There aren’t many “outside-the-box-ers” these days.  The goal does seem to be to get a child through high school so they can get through college, so they can get a better job than their parents, but if you look around you will see a lot of college graduates struggling to do just that.  And often, their answer is to go BACK to college for another round.  Piles of information, good test taking skills, and very little to show for it in the way of real world experience.  In the words of Kevin Swanson,

“It’s like taking 12 years of bike and never getting on one.”

Common Core is supposed to help change some of this, but all I see there is more of the same…fill heads with information they won’t retain and teach a test so hopefully they’ll get a good enough grade to get into college and…then what?

As I continued to read in the Clarkson’s book, I found myself deeply convicted to stop secretly wanting my son to be like everyone else (I say secretly because I would NEVER have admitted that I even remotely wanted any of my children to be INSIDE the box) and use these young adult years to give my son even more opportunities to become who God has created him to be because “true education is not about making a living but about making a life.” (<— this is a topic explored even more within the pages of Educating the Wholehearted Child.)

How we educate is important.  It runs much deeper than filling heads with information.  It runs much deeper than college prep or employment skills.  It starts when you child is very young and you allow them to be children full of wonder and curiosity for God’s great grandeur.  It continues as you cultivate a home environment that is full of love and respect for the individual image-of-God child, as well as plenty of free space and time to explore personal interests and and God-gifted leanings.  And as your child nears the end of childhood and adulthood is in sight, it becomes a time in which you guide your child toward using those interests and leanings where making a living becomes a reality because they’ve made a life.

Might I gently suggest you look into not only Educating the Wholehearted Child, but also a website I have mentioned before that goes hand-in-hand with what I am saying here:

10KToTalent.com

10K to Talent free ebook and courses to help you give your child the opportunity to not just make a living, but live their dream! | RaisingArrows.net

This website is full of information and guidance to take your child’s leanings and help them build a “real” life from those talents.  Using the principles we have learned from Jonathan Harris, our son has taken his interest in airsoft guns and built a website.  He’s learned to work on airsoft guns, produce and edit quality videos, and write with passion and clarity.  Our daughter is also working on her videography and photography, as she moves toward her own 10,000 hours of talent.

10KtoTalent.com offers courses to guide you and your student into using your homeschool time wisely by building a curriculum around their uniqueness in Christ.  This isn’t cookie-cutter homeschooling, and it will revolutionize how your entire homeschool paradigm!

I encourage you to really pray through all of this and catch a vision for how amazing the homeschool experience can be in the middle school and high school years!

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baby development

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Omnibus-one-day-left

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Girls Room

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