Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 502 - December 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

Do you see what I see?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 500 - December 27, 2010

We may not be soaking up the sun here in Florida, but I don't mind spending the whole day indoors soaking up these sweet smiles!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 498 - December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 497 - December 24, 2010

'Twas the night before Christmas...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 496 - December 23, 2010

So many of the medical appointments I've had this pregnancy have not gone the way I expected and our ultrasound was no different. We arrived at the hospital early and I sat uncomfortably, with a very full bladder, waiting to hear my name called. The hospital was quiet and the waiting gave me time to pray. As I thanked God for our sweet little babe and asked Him to be with us as we heard news about our baby's health, I heard beautiful music begin to play. I hadn't even noticed the little 6 piece orchestra setting up beside the waiting room. As I listened to them play Silent Night, I knew that God was with us.

The technician called my name and Greg and I rose to follow. She told us that Greg was not allowed back during the ultrasound and my heart dropped. I had forgotten that my sister told me this would happen and began begging the technician to let Greg be with me. I didn't want him to miss out on the experience of seeing our child. She told me she may be able to call him in at the very end to see a picture, but that they don't normally allow that. I told her how much that would mean to us and thanked her for considering it.

The ultrasound began and the technician quietly began taking pictures and measuring the baby's organs. She chuckled a few times as she moved the ultrasound wand back and forth from one side of my belly to the other. It couldn't be twins, I thought. She later told me our baby was very active and kept moving from one side to the other trying to escape the wand. As she finished up, she told me our baby was healthy and I breathed a sigh of relief. Praise God for a healthy baby! I asked her if she knew the gender and she turned the screen so I could take a look myself. She pointed out the legs and told me they were wide open. I don't see anything, she said, and at this point, you would definitely see something. In my opinion, it's a girl! We had a very clear view and what I saw looked to me like girl parts. (So much for the accuracy of that Intelligender Gender Prediction Test.) She told me she'd go get Greg and I began dreaming about our little girl. We checked the goods again when Greg arrived and all three of us agreed our little itty bitty is a girl! Greg and I were ecstatic to hear the news of our healthy baby girl! From the moment we found out we were expecting, we (along with most of our family) thought our little babe was a girl and if I hadn't taken that silly gender prediction test, I never would have thought otherwise. It's no secret that I've always wanted a daughter, although I knew I would be just as blessed to have all sons. We were mesmerized as we watched our little girl cross her legs, hiccup, and open her big beautiful eyes. We are so blessed and so head over heels in love!

Mommy and Daddy cannot wait to meet you, sweet girl!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 495 - December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 494 - December 21, 2010

Quick update: Ultrasound went very well this morning, although the experience was different than I had expected going into today. Maybe I'll share more on that later. We received the best Christmas present ever! Seeing our baby was absolutely incredible and hearing that itty bitty is healthy and very active was an answer to prayers. Plus, we found out if our house will be filled with tutus and lace or Tonka trucks and Lego! I'll let you in on that little secret very soon! Sweet dreams!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 493 - December 20, 2010

I'm 19 weeks pregnant today and beyond excited! We get to meet our little itty bitty tomorrow (in ultrasound pictures anyway). Praying for a healthy baby!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 492 - December 19, 2010

Luke 1:30-33, 38

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 491 - December 18, 2010

When we first found out we were expecting, we began discussing baby names. I have been mentioning names I liked for the last several years and most of the time my husband shot them down immediately either because of a bad experience with a kid in high school or some athlete or celebrity with the same name. So it came as a complete surprise to me when I mentioned a possible name for our little girl and he loved it. Falling instantly in love with this name may be the reason we considered our baby to be a girl for so many months. But, since taking that gender prediction test last weekend, we have completely convinced ourselves that our little itty bitty is a boy. It feels very natural to refer to my growing bump as our son, our sweet baby boy. If next week's ultrasound reveals what we have now come to expect, we really need to get on the same page when it comes to names because I have a feeling our son won't want to be referred to as our little itty bitty forever.

In an attempt to make a decision or get some new ideas at the very least, I thought we should consult the Baby Name Genie. I came across this baby naming tool a few years ago and thought it couldn't hurt to see what the genie had to say now. Here are the first 3 names the genie suggested:

1. Harley Rex -- NO WAY! My son is not a motorcycle or a dinosaur!
2. Jonathan Denzel -- How can you not think of Denzel Washington?
3. Noah Everett -- Definitely the sweetest of the bunch, but I think it would be a little confusing for my parents to have 2 grandchildren named Noah.

I guess it's back to the drawing board.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 489 - December 16, 2010

** I wrote this post over two weeks ago and completely forgot to post it until now. Further proof of what you're about to read.

I have recently come to fully understand the terms "pregnancy brain" and "pregnancy amnesia." I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have opened a new Google window in my internet browser and the second the page loads, I have absolutely no clue what I was going to search. Or how many times I have walked into the kitchen or the bedroom and completely forgotten why I got off of the couch in the first place or even if I'm in the right room. Sadly, I've even forgotten the third example I was going to give you of my recently discovered memory losses. I'm not even kidding. I have no clue what I was about to write. Bare with me and the posts that will follow in the next 6 months.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 488 - December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 487 - December 14, 2010

I know I should be making Christmas cookies in the middle of December, but with Thanksgiving happening so late here in the U.S., I still have pumpkin to use up. (Aside: We did make sugar cookies the other week, but we only had Valentine's and Halloween cookie cutters so instead of Christmas trees and stockings, we had Gingerbread Ghosts and Holiday Hearts!) Anyway, back to the pumpkin puree. After making a double batch of our family's favourite Pumpkin Raisin Muffins, I still had about 2 cups of pumpkin leftover. I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies last month and knew I had to give them a try. And let me tell you, these cookies do not disappoint! This delicious recipe may even replace our usual chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe suggests that you top the cookies with a cream cheese icing, but we think they're perfect without the frosting.

Now I should say that if you're looking for a real pumpkin taste, these cookies may not be for you. The pumpkin flavour is very subtle and your family may not even know it's in there, but they are soft and cakey and delicious! This is also a great recipe if you have children, family members or friends with food allergies since it contains no eggs or dairy products.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets. In medium bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. In separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool for a minute on cookie sheets before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.

(Recipe source: Made)

Happy Baking!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 486 - December 13, 2010

I'm 18 weeks pregnant and confused! Each week I receive emails from BabyCenter telling me how the baby is growing and what I can expect in the coming week. I look forward to these emails, especially when they compare the size of our baby to produce. A friend of mine finds that really odd, but I love thinking about our little sweet potato or our precious apple baby. At 18 weeks, the baby is about 5 1/2 inches long or about the length of a bell pepper. I was curious and went to the fridge to see just how big that was. I don't know who's bell peppers their measuring, but mine are only 4 inches. Another site told me the baby was the size of a cantaloupe, while another referred to the baby as the size of a pickle from the corner deli. A pickle (even a big one) and a cantaloupe seem like two very different sizes to me. I think I'll stick to using the measuring tape as my guide this week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 485 - December 12, 2010

Philippians 2:1-4

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit , but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 484 - December 11, 2010

Guess what??

The IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test says...


We are thrilled with the idea of being parents to a sweet little boy! Although, my husband is a complete skeptic. While he has always wanted a son, he doesn't trust this test for a moment. He keeps reminding me not to get too wrapped up in these results because it could all change in a few weeks when we have our ultrasound. I completely understand what he's saying and the test was really just for fun, but I think we had better start considering boys names just in case!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 483 - December 10, 2010

The moment we found out I was pregnant, my husband and I both had an overwhelming feeling that our baby would be a girl. When we told our 3-year-old nephew, we were having a baby, he was convinced it was a girl as well (although he has since changed his tune and is now certain it's a boy). My parents have recently begun referring to our little one as their granddaughter. With all this talk about having a girl, I am now convinced that our 20 week ultrasound will reveal without a doubt that it's a boy! Of course, we will be nothing but thrilled whether it's a boy or a girl and are only praying our baby will be born healthy and strong, but I thought it would be fun to put some old wive's tales to the test before we find out.

It's a Boy!

1. Carrying low (I think, although I'm not that far along)
2. Experienced very little morning sickness
3. Carrying the extra weight out front (hoping it stays that way!)
4. Craving protein -- meats and cheese
5. Experiencing some headaches
6. Age at time of conception + number of month conceived = even number
7. Ring test swung back and forth
8. According to my Chinese age & lunar month, the Chinese Lunar Calendar says, It's a boy!

It's a Girl!

1. Heartbeat is over 140 beats per minute
2. Craving fruit -- clementines
3. Moodier than normal (Sorry, Greg.)
4. Acne (I did not have these little bumps on my forehead before)
5. Husband has put on weight during pregnancy
6. Age at conception and year at conception are both even numbers
7. Prefer resting on my right side
8. Urine is a dull yellow (too much information, I'm sorry)
9. Chinese Birth Chart Predictor says, It's a girl!

I guess that doesn't really tell us a whole lot does it? Lucky for us, we have a back-up plan. A few weeks after finding out we were expecting, I received the IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test in the mail (another great giveaway win). I'll take the test in the morning and reveal the results sometime tomorrow. Can't wait to see what we'll be calling our little one at least until the ultrasound.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 482 - December 9, 2010

It's hard to put into words the feeling you get when you hear your little baby's heartbeat for the very first time. But I'm getting ahead of myself; so let me back up a little bit.

We had our first appointment with our amazing midwives at the beginning of November. I was 13 weeks and 1 day pregnant at the time. My husband and I had been anticipating this appointment for weeks. We had read in pregnancy books and online baby sites that a baby's heartbeat is usually heard by 12 weeks so we were over the moon excited to hear our little one for the first time. I had asked our midwife if my husband could record the heartbeat with our little Flip video camera. She happily agreed and Greg began recording as she placed the Doppler on my belly. At the beginning of the video, Greg captured me smiling and laughing as the midwife spoke, but very quickly the expression on my face changed. Our midwife searched and searched, but no heartbeat was heard. As I look back on the video, I can clearly remember the moment I began praying. As the minutes went by, my prayers turned into begging. Please God, let me hear our baby's heartbeat. Please let our baby be okay. Please give us a sign that everything is alright. Please, Lord, please. My mind was racing with thoughts about what might be wrong. I let my mind go to places I never wanted it to. And the tears began to fall. Our midwife searched for over 5 minutes with no heartbeat to be heard. I was devastated; completely heartbroken and so worried about the health of our little babe. I cried on and off for the rest of the night.

I called my sister that night and told her what had happened. (Thank God for sisters!) She listened and reassured me that it was still very early in the pregnancy and that it's not uncommon for women not to hear the heartbeat at this time. She reminded me of how tiny our little baby's heart was and just because we didn't hear it, didn't mean the baby's heart wasn't beating strong. She reminded me to live in the joy of this special time and not to let my fears overtake me. We had no prior indications that anything was wrong, so we just needed to trust in God and His perfect timing. I won't lie. It took a few days to fully accept that God was in control and that whatever happened was part of His plan for our lives. It's definitely easier said than done.

Two days ago, we had our second midwives appointment. While we were excited about our appointment, Greg and I had both prepared ourselves that we may not hear our baby. We were meeting a new midwife and were hoping we'd connect with her as much as we had with the midwife at our last appointment. Just before beginning the exam portion of the appointment, our midwife said that she had seen in our file that we were Christians. "Do you know that you are only the second Christian couple I have seen walk in here in the last year?" My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it, but I guess that's L.A. for you. We talked a while about churches in the area and about how much we both love Advent and the whole Christmas season.

"So are you ready to hear your baby's heartbeat?" she asked. We told her about our disappointment during the last appointment. She looked up and thanked God that she could be a part of this once in a lifetime experience. She told us it was such a blessing to experience hearing a baby's first heartbeat with new parents. By this point, I truly believed that God had lead us to this very moment.

Once again, Greg got out the video camera and began recording. Within seconds of placing the Doppler on my belly, we heard the most incredible sound in the world. It took my breath away and tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. I thanked God over and over again for our little miracle. I was beaming the rest of the night and can't help but smile and thank God every time I watch that video over again (at least a dozen times a day). I am totally head over heels in love! God's timing is perfect!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 481 - December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 480 - December 7, 2010

Listen to the names of these recipes.

Grilled Chicken with Warm Mango Salsa

Pork and Snap Pea Stir-Fry with Orange-Peanut Sauce

Zucchini and Eggplant Vegetable Lasagna

Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Now take a little look at these pictures.

Is your mouth watering insanely like mine is?

It came as no surprise to me that after looking through a new cookbook I recently received, my husband declared Faux-Fried Onion Rings with Smoky Mayonnaise, Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders, Crispy Mozzarella Sticks Fra Diavolo, and Flash-Fried Finger Lickin' Chicken to be among his favourite must-try recipes. This coming from the man who, up until University, thought all fish was battered. Though we eat it very rarely, the man loves battered and fried food.

Well, my hubby us now in luck. Want to know the best part about all of the recipes I listed above? They are all under 350 calories thanks to Rocco Dispirito's new cookbook, Now Eat This!

Although it may sound like it, I promise you I didn't get paid to write this post. I won this book in a recent giveaway and yes, I'm just that excited about it! I can't wait to dive into this cookbook and start making healthier versions of our favourite foods! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 479 - December 6, 2010

My hubby and I headed out yesterday afternoon to take some photos to capture my growing 4 month baby belly. As he showed me the pictures on the little camera screen, I looked up at him and said for the first time, "Oh my goodness! I actually look pregnant!"

While I've noticed some changes in my belly, I'm still wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, t-shirts, and dresses, so I didn't think I had grown that much in the last month. Seeing the changes from last month's pictures reminds me that while I continue on with daily life, God continues to grow this little miracle inside of me. I feel so blessed that God has trusted me to carry this little life.

17 weeks

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 478 - December 5, 2010

Romans 5:5

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 477 - December 4, 2010

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
T. Merton

I stumbled upon this quote yesterday just after I posted about how much I wish for our little babe to inherit my husband's artistic ability. When a new baby is born, it's easy to compare whose nose the baby has or whose eyes we see looking back at us. This quote is a reminder that we shouldn't look only for our reflection in our children, but should let them be perfectly themselves and love every bit of them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 476 - December 3, 2010

You've heard me talk about Disney's Tangled many times before and I'm here to tell you I'm not done yet!

Yesterday, we attended a special signing of the newly released book The Art of Tangled. The book is filled with the stunning concept art behind Disney's latest fairy tale.

The beauty and emotion captured throughout the images in this book are absolutely breathtaking.

I was in awe the entire day as I stood surrounded by the film's directors, art director, concept artists, and many others. These are by far the most talented people I know (my hubby included). I keep hoping our sweet little one will inherit Daddy's artistic ability.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 475 - December 2, 2010

Busy, busy! Here's a little peek into our busy day...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 474 - December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 472 - November 29, 2010

Oie! Another frustrating and confusing appointment at the doctor's office. All I wanted was to hear the baby's heartbeat and be referred for an ultrasound. Is that really too much for a pregnant woman to ask? Telling me you don't deal with those kind of pregnancy issues is just plain ridiculous!

Today once again confirmed we made the right decision choosing midwives for our prenatal care and to help bring our baby into the world. Although, I'm starting to think we'll be having the remainder of our children back home in Canada. (sigh) I miss you Canadian Health Care System.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 471 - November 28, 2010

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 468 - November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 467 - November 24, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday...

Today is another big day in our house! My hubby's latest film, Disney's Tangled, hits theaters today! As with all Disney classics, it's a film both young and old will enjoy.

I am beyond proud of my husband and can't wait to see the joy on little faces this evening as they experience the magic of this beautiful story and fall in love with the characters. I also can't wait to hear what you all have to say about it. Please let me know if you go and see it this holiday season and let me know what you think. I have a funny feeling you're going to love it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 466 - November 23, 2010

There's a chill in the air here in Southern California. A crispness each morning that reminds me of Thanksgiving celebrations back home in Canada. Although I'm missing the smell of dried leaves and the sound they make under foot. Palm trees just don't cut it this time of year.

This will be our first American Thanksgiving and we've been celebrating this season for weeks now. A can of pumpkin puree sits on our kitchen counter begging to be made into delicious pumpkin raisin muffins. A pair of sweet potatoes call out hoping to become a part of tonight's dinner. And a large pot of butternut squash soup is simmering on the stove. I just love this time of year and the opportunity it allows us to reflect on what we're thankful for. Give thanks today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 465 - November 22, 2010

15 Weeks

Our little apple baby!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 464 - November 21, 2010

Isaiah 46:4

I have made you and I will carry you...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 462 - November 19, 2010

I've been taking my daily prenatal vitamin for months now and didn't think much about the brand until I went in for my latest appointment with our midwife. She quickly pointed out that the prenatal vitamins I had been taking contained artificial colour like Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. I was shocked that these ingredients would be found in a prenatal vitamin.

This week, I went in search of an all-natural, organic prenatal to replace my current brand. I was happy to find a store brand on sale and decided to switch over that night at dinner time. I took the vitamin, which actually went down a lot easy than I expected for the size of it, and proceeded to eat dinner with my hubby. Less than 10 minutes later, I began to feel very queasy. Within 30 seconds of this feeling, I was throwing up my dinner and that new vitamin. Once the vitamin was out of my system, I felt great again and continued with dinner. I should mention that this was the first time I had thrown up all pregnancy.

Has this happened to anyone before? Is it a bad idea to switch prenatal vitamins part way through a pregnancy when you've had no problems on the other prenatal?

My hubby's theory is that the trace of artificial colour in my current brand is no worse for me or the baby than the artificial flavours and colours found in the Twizzlers I ate the other day. He's probably right. I just can't bring myself to take another one of those all-natural vitamins when it means I could lose the entire days nutrients in a matter of minutes. Thoughts?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 461 - November 18, 2010

When I first found out I was pregnant, back in September, I immediately began researching the best foods to eat during pregnancy and stocked our kitchen full of spinach, avocado, broccoli, carrots, mangoes, and nuts. I remember saying to my husband in those early weeks that I was determined to feed my baby better than I feed myself. It's not that I ate poorly before pregnancy. I would say that we eat a pretty healthy and well-balanced diet, but also treat ourselves to things like ice cream and freshly made chocolate chip cookies. My desire to feed this baby well has made me much more aware of the servings of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein I consume in a day. I no longer consider a handful of baby carrots at lunch a sufficient vegetable intake until dinner. Aside from a week or two of intense dill pickle chip cravings (I'm still very disappointed these delicious potato chips haven't caught on in America), I have managed to stay on track and find myself reaching for a clementine and cottage cheese or a couple small turkey meatballs for a mid-afternoon snack instead of going for the bowl of leftover Halloween candy. If baby wants protein, then I'm going to eat it!

In my effort to get more whole grains in our diet, I have just recently made the complete switch to whole grain brown rice. I have always liked it and I'm happy hubby has been willing to give it a try. One thing I've learned is that brown rice is one of those foods that tastes even better the next day. We made the switch to mainly whole grain pasta a few years ago and I really can't taste a difference any more. I have also switched from enriched-white flour to whole wheat flour in any baking I do. Just yesterday, I substituted whole wheat flour into my regular banana muffin recipe and have to say the muffins are quite delicious. Of course, there is a slight change in flavour, but nothing too significant. I don't miss the white flour.

These are just a few of the simple ways we're getting more vitamins, iron, protein, and fiber in our diets. I hope that we're able to keep up this new way of eating even after the baby is born. I sure don't want our children thinking pizza only comes from a box and vegetables are always frozen.

I would love to hear other ways we can make simple changes to our diet. Any recipes you would like to share with me? Pretty please.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 460 - November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...