Current Coupon Codes & Links:
Deborah & Co. - 10% off with code: RA10OFF - exp 9/30
Sweet Little Blessings - 10% off any order with code: ANNIVERSARY & 15% off orders over $100 with code: SALE - exp 9/30
Holiday Combo Set (includes 12 Week Holiday Planner for Preparing for a Peaceful Christmas series - $12.95 with code: HOLIDAYPEACE - exp 10/10

Week 28 Pregnancy Update

baby development

Hello 3rd Trimester!

Yesterday, we met our Taco Friends for lunch and fellowship.  (They are called our “Taco Friends” because when we get together every few months, we always meet at a cheap taco joint.  My kids have always nicknamed our various friends to help keep them sorted out in their minds – so these are our Taco Friends.)

I always enjoy fellowshipping with these two families so much, and yesterday was no different.  It’s especially nice to get together with them because they understand the pain of losing a child, and what that means for subsequent pregnancies and babies.  Our conversation can be candid, yet encouraging.

They are also super good at making a very pregnant mama feel not so huge. ;)

Week 28 Pregnancy Update with Baby #9

(Excuse the shadow behind me – this was late last night after we got back from church.)

Most of the time, I hear a lot of shock in people’s voices when they find out I still have nearly 3 months to go.  Our Taco Friends are more like, “You look so good!”  If only more people were that encouraging to pregnant mamas!

I am still feeling really good (except for that night I had caffeine before bed – what was I thinking??!!).  I am trying to take more breaks, and take full-blown naps as needed.

This week marks the OB appointment where I take my 1 hour glucose test.  yippee.  I am actually pretty nervous because I flunked the 1 hr for the first time with my last baby.  I still passed the 3 hour with flying colors, but I don’t really want to have to do a 3 hour to prove I don’t have gestational diabetes.  The 1 hour is bad enough.  So, if you think of it, say a little prayer for me on Wednesday.  I’ll let you know the results next update.

Week 27 Pregnancy Update

baby development91 days to go?! Yikes! That snuck up on me! This is my last week in the 2nd trimester!

I have noticed my sleep patterns have started to change (a norm for me in later pregnancy). I am easily awakened at night, and will often have trouble falling back asleep.  Many women talk about how little sleep they get in the newborn stage, but for me, the newborn stage is a piece of cake compared to the final month or so of pregnancy.  I think God likes to over-prepare me.

Baby has taken on some definite sleep/awake patterns that have been fun to take note of.  I will often lie in bed in the morning just to snag a few extra moments with my little “kickapoo” as he/she wakes up and wiggles and kicks.

27 Week Pregnancy Update | RaisingArrows.net

My daughter snapped this photo with my phone last night after church so I’d have something to share with you today.  This is another shirt from ThredUP.  This is one of my daughter’s favorites on me.  I have to agree.  The cowl neck and flowey sleeves are so feminine and soft.  (Read more about where I’m finding maternity clothes.)  And yes, that is one of my new half tees from Deborah & Co. {affiliate links}


Use THIS LINK to get $10 off your 1st ThredUP order.

Use THIS LINK & the COUPON CODE below to get 10% off your Deborah & Co. order.  (offer ends September 30)

Code:  RA10OFF


Be sure and come back tomorrow for a great baby-related giveaway!

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  | RaisingArrows.net - it has gotten so hard to find decent maternity clothes - here are a few suggestions of where to look!I’ve been pregnant a few times.  13 to be exact.  I’m currently working on my 9th full term baby, so to say my maternity clothes are worn out would be an understatement.
Early on in this pregnancy, I went through my Maternity Tub and realized a lot of my clothes just weren’t worth keeping anymore.  I got rid of a lot (except for that pair of denim capris with the embellished edges that are literally falling apart, but I just can’t bring myself to admit it…).

However, getting rid of a lot means you have to look for replacements.  I quickly found out that was no small feat.

I tried the local thrift store first.  I’ll be honest…I blew in there on a whim right before I was due to hop a plane to Nashville.  I had 30 minutes to spare and basically grabbed things off the rack that “looked” like they would fit, bought them without trying them on, and headed out the door, stashing them in the back of the van until I got home from my trip.  That, my friends is NOT the way to shop.  However, I made a return trip to the thrift store a few weeks later and let’s just say that trying things on did not net me a thing to wear, but it did spare me the financial setback.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber1

Next, I tried an online second hand shop.  Everything I ordered had to be returned.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber2

I briefly looked at a shop in the local mall.  “Briefly” being the operative word.  It was readily apparent NOTHING there was going to be my taste or my fit.  I’m just not that into tight and low cut, and I really don’t need any help accentuating my baby belly, thank you very much.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber3

But, all hope was not lost!  I did end up finding Maternity Clothes Success!  I managed to snag some great deals on some great clothes that actually fit and that I actually WANT to wear!  While I know we all have different tastes and requirements and budgets, I wanted to pass along the places I found and things I purchased that have been worth the search.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  Ideas for where to shoot + a coupon code to one of my favorites! | RaisingArrows.net

Finding Maternity Clothes That are Budget Friendly and Modest

1.  Take care of the maternity clothes you have.  I don’t want to go on without saying this, mainly because I am the worst about this!  Wear an apron.  Wash the clothes correctly.  Use stain remover.  Don’t dry them until you have the stains out.  Store them properly.  Be nice to your maternity clothes and they will last you a lot longer.  (Amy, I’m talking to you.)

2.  Buy quality when you can.  I’m going to share with you a couple of ways to do this.  (don’t miss the coupon!)  First of all, you can save up and buy a staple item (I’m talking pants, jeans, or skirts) that will hold up well and go with a myriad of outfits.  For me, this has been Style J maternity skirts and the Rainbow Maternity skirt from Deborah & Co.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Rainbow Maternity Skirt (with discount coupon!) | RaisingArrows.net

Use Coupon Code:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Secondly, you can look for good brand name maternity clothes at online second hand shops like ThredUP.  I will admit, I was scared of ThredUP.  First of all, I had no idea how it worked, and secondly, it seemed about as risky as me walking into the thrift store and pulling things off the rack without trying them on.  And remember, my last online second-hand shopping excursion had me sending everything back.  But, I learned a few things that helped make the experience a very good one!  (The shirt at the top of this post was one of my purchases!)

*Read the Material section.  Thankfully, ThredUP gives the fabric makeup of each garment.  If it says Spandex, I run the other way.  That basically means it will hug every curve of my body.  And yes, even 2% Spandex will do that.  Really think through what kinds of fabrics you like, and don’t buy something you hate thinking it will be ok.

*Look for well known brands and/or brands of maternity clothes you own and love.  Pay attention to what is in your closet and go on a hunt for those brands.  Also, look for well known (and expensive) brands that you may not have tried in the past.  These tend to be of better quality and will last you a lot longer.  Getting them at a fraction of the cost is a blast!

*Use the brand’s website to check sizes.  ThredUP will give you a size, but if you aren’t sure if that is your size in that particular brand, check it against what the original website says.

Free shipping on all orders over $50 (before tax or discount).

3.  Use layering to “fix” any fit issues.  This is the first pregnancy I feel I’ve finally gotten the hang of layering.  It has become my new best friend!  I think you’ll agree…

Favorite Layering Technique #1:

Tank HalfTees

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Use Layering with HalfTees (coupon code included) | RaisingArrows.net

I bought my first Tank HalfTee from Deborah & Co. to use for nursing my last little one because Caroline (the owner of Deborah & Co.) told me how wonderful they were.  They were great, but it was during this pregnancy that I really fell in love with them!

14 weeks with Baby #9

See the white peeking out from the top of this shirt?  That’s a HalfTee.  That shirt is WAY too low cut without the tank.  This happens a lot to me because I have to buy XLarge maternity tops to accommodate my diastasis recti pregnant belly.  Using a HalfTee to layer makes any low cut maternity shirt you might own or buy plenty modest.

And I just found out Caroline has stocked BROWN HalfTees!  I’m going to be using my own coupon code to buy more of these!

Here’s that code again:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Favorite Layering Technique #2:

Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks to use as layering (+ coupon code) | RaisingArrows.net

Yes, you read that right – nursing tanks.  Here’s the thing – Undercover Mama tanks are LONG.  While this drives some people crazy, I like it!  It means PLENTY of coverage for my expanding belly.  It also means a shirt that is maybe a bit see-through becomes perfectly acceptable when paired with a tank.  Yes, you can buy maternity tanks, but why not go ahead and get a tank that will carry you through after baby is born.  I also pair mine with a HalfTee when I have a shirt that is both see-through AND too low cut.  (You can purchase Undercover Mama tanks from Deborah & Co. using that same coupon code!)

Favorite Layering Technique #3:

Belly Bands

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Belly Bands for layering | RaisingArrows.net

 I never have liked the below-the-belly maternity pants and skirts.  I can’t hold them up.  Truth be told, sometimes I can’t even hold up the regular over-the-belly ones!  That’s where belly bands come in!  Just about any brand will work – I have a coupon code for a couple of free ones (you pay shipping) on the ones from BellyButtonBand.com

RAISINGARROWS9

And here’s something new I’m trying this pregnancy…using 2 belly bands to help support my belly.  This was an idea from a reader, and I think she may be on to something!  I’m planning to bind my belly as soon as this baby is born (my OB has already put a plan in place to make sure this happens), but using 2 of these belly bands during pregnancy will hopefully offer some much needed support as well.

and finally…

4.  Find a friend to share with.  Sometimes this is easy and sometimes not.  I’ve had pregnancies where this worked out great because my friends weren’t pregnant at the same time or the same season, and other pregnancies where we were all pregnant at the exact same time.  But, if you can, find a friend who is a similar size and share maternity clothes.  (Make sure you mark your clothes with some sort of distinguishing mark on the tag so you return the right clothes!)  Just remember to take good care of her clothes (see #1)!

Have suggestions for finding maternity clothes
that are great deals and a great fit?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Week 26 Pregnancy Update

baby developmentWe’re getting close to the 3rd trimester – can you believe it?!

I’m still feeling really great – which is a huge blessing! The weather is starting to get that crisp Fall feeling! Ty and I took a trip with two of our little boys to a local apple orchard to pick up cider and see if they had any seconds ready. Seconds are #2 apples that don’t quite make the “cut”, but aren’t bad enough to be cider apples. We can get them for about $20 a bushel, and they are perfectly fine for the things we use them for.

This week, I’m experimenting with some “alternative” Thanksgiving foods to see if any are worth using this year.  Many of the ones I’m using are from this ebook:

The Sweeter Side of Candida

and this post:

Trim Healthy Mama Thanksgiving Recipes

I really don’t want to go into the holiday season tanked up on sugar.  I want to enjoy a few sugary traditions here and there without feeling like all we’ve had is sugar and carbs.  I can also tell the carbs and sugar I do eat don’t seem to be metabolizing well for me.  I end up feeling icky, so I’d prefer to avoid them as much as possible.

This past week, several in our family had colds – including me.  It’s been ages since anyone here has had a cold.  Thankfully, I only had a sore throat for a couple of days and then all was well.  My 13 year old wondered how I could be so sick and keep going as if I wasn’t sick.  I told her that’s what mamas do.  I don’t know any mothers who stop their lives for a cold – do you?

Baby is nice and active these days, and I think lying transverse breech – at least it feels like I have little hands in one hip and little feet in the other!  I snapped a quick pic with my phone on the way to church last night, so you’d have some sort of 26 week photo.  Blessed to have our van is back up and running with new tires to boot!  Have a blessed week!

Week 26 Pregnancy Update | RaisingArrows.net

Week 25 Pregnancy Update

baby development

This week was a little good and a little bad.

First, the good – the weather cooled down!  I have a friend who says my love of Fall is “inspiring.”  Our whole family is enamored with Fall.  In fact, all you have to do is spend a little time following my Pinterest account to see just how much we enjoy Fall!  I’m pinning things and preparing for crafts and snacks and other Autumnish things.  (yeah, I just made up that word ;) )

Autumn Pinterest board - Week 25 pregnancy update means we are gearing up for Fall! | RaisingArrows.net

OK, so the bad news…

The fuel pump in our van went out.  Suddenly.  One day I noticed it seemed to be cutting out every so often.  The next day it wouldn’t turn over.  Thankfully, we didn’t get stranded anywhere but our own driveway, but let me tell you, being without a vehicle and living as far out in the country as we do has been a bit on the difficult side.  Thankfully, Ty works in the city and has access to just about everything we need.

Oh, and a fuel pump on a 15 passenger van?  Not cheap.  Just in case you were wondering.

In baby news, I received a box of maternity clothes from ThreadUp this past week!  That was soooo exciting!  I was in desperate need of some new maternity clothes!  I’ll be posting more about some of the maternity finds I’ve managed to come across this pregnancy in a subsequent post.

Week 25 Pregnancy Update | RaisingArrows.net

I’ve been feeling really good and sleeping well too!  I do have to rest during the day, but I see this season in my life as God-given rest.  I’m not good at slowing myself down, so God gives me little blessings to slow me down. ;)

So, how are all my pregnant friends doing?  Is it cool yet where you live?

Week 24 Pregnancy Update

baby developmentAccording to my baby ticker, baby is putting on some fat!  I’m hoping I’m not putting on fat!  My OB appointment last week went really well, but next month is my Gestational Diabetes test.  Last baby, I flunked the 1 hour for the first time.  I am trying to watch my sugars and not have that happen again!

Trim Healthy Mama has definitely become a big part of my pregnancy.  One of my favorite breakfasts are the Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes topped with either Greek yogurt or Strawberry Chia Jam.  My girls had to make a jam to work toward their jelly making badge in Keepers of the Faith, so that is the one we chose, since we’ve been canning plenty of sugar-laden plum jelly these days.  In fact, yesterday alone, I canned 44 jars of jelly!  YIKES!  Here’s a photo of me stirring and stirring that beautiful plum jelly…

Stirring Plum Jelly at 24 weeks pregnant | RaisingArrows.net

So, yeah…back to the sugar-free kind of jam:  It was super easy to do and tastes really great!  You definitely should give it a try!

We had company this weekend as I’m sure many of you did as well.  These particular friends always come and help us finish out little (or big) household projects.  This time we recovered dining room chairs and barstools that were absolutely embarrassing, fixed an off-balance fan, a sink that wasn’t draining right, and a bazillion other little projects!  We are very lucky to have friends like this because frankly, if they didn’t come visit NONE of these things would ever get done!

And finally in this week’s news, I’m missing my biggest helper, my 16 year old son.  He’s gone down to help my mom.  Whenever Blake is gone, we see on a very small scale what it will be like when he is no longer living here.  That’s the thing about babies…they grow up.  And one day, they are no longer under your care.  *sigh*

Here’s a little nostalgia from Ty’s first deployment when Blake was only 3:

Ty's first deployment

Hug those babies tight!