Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 535 - January 31, 2011

Can you believe I'm already 25 weeks pregnant?! I'll be entering the home stretch (also known as the 3rd trimester) in no time. Itty bitty is already 1 1/2 lbs and has a personality all her own. Our little diva showed the midwife who's boss last week at our appointment by kicking her hand every single time she touched my belly. Baby girl is a very active little one, but luckily she hasn't kept me from a good night's sleep just yet. Those days will come, I'm sure. I grabbed a clementine for an afternoon snack the other day and the sticker on the orange peel took the words right out of my mouth. Some days I just feel like there's a "party in my tummy!"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 534 - January 30, 2011

Deuteronomy 1:29-31

Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I love you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 532 - January 28, 2011

Fun Facts Friday!

Did you know...

...that it's illegal to name your child "Monkey" in Denmark?

Apparently Denmark has a Law on Personal Names that protects children from the burden of having an odd name. The state even goes so far as to have a list of 7,000 names that parents can choose from and if they veer from the list, they must petition the government. Crazy!

...that it's illegal to name your daughter "Elvis" in Sweden?

A family was actually denied the right to name their daughter Elvis because the name was "of masculine type" and therefore "clearly inappropriate."

...that New Zealand forbade a family from naming their son "4Real"?

But, it sounds like the family got back at officials by going on to name their child "Superman."


Source: Illegal Baby Names From Around the World

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 531 - January 27, 2011

BabyBeat Fetal Doppler Review

One of the greatest joys for any parent-to-be is hearing their baby's heartbeat for the first time. Likewise, one of the greatest fears in pregnancy is hearing that the doctor or midwife is unable to detect a heartbeat. Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning of my pregnancy will know that I experienced both great joy and fear in my 4th month of pregnancy.

I was absolutely devastated at my 13 week appointment when our midwife searched for over 5 minutes for our little one's heartbeat before concluding that she was unable to find it. I left the office in tears, worrying about the health of our baby and fearing she was no longer alive. It was one of the worst nights I have ever experienced.

Four weeks later, we returned to our midwives' office and heard the most wonderful sound in the world. Our baby's heartbeat. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The most comforting sound I could ever hear. It took my breath away and I immediately fell in love with the precious little life I was carrying. I will never forget that moment.

The next day, I dreamed about being able to hear my little itty bitty's heartbeat again. That's when I came across an incredible company that allows expectant parents and their families to experience one of life's greatest joys together at home.

BabyBeat is the very first company to offer Dopplers for expecting mothers to use at home and over the years has become the market leader and most trusted company in the industry. I was beyond thrilled when BabyBeat generously offered to send me a BabyBeat Doppler with Recorder for review.

The BabyBeat Doppler with Recorder comes with a tube of ultrasound gel, an easy to follow User's Manual, and an informational CD to help you distinguish between baby sounds and maternal sounds. BabyBeat also includes an audio cable that allows you to download a recording of your baby's heartbeat to your computer. This was definitely my favorite feature of the Doppler. I am thrilled to not only have a recording of our baby's heartbeat as a keepsake to share with itty bitty in the future, but being able to download and email our recording to family and friends back home has been a blessing.

Here is the latest recording of itty bitty's strong beating heart.

After our scare at my 13 week appointment, it was a blessing to have Doppler technology available to us in our home. Since I didn't become fully aware of fetal movement until about 20 weeks, the BabyBeat Doppler gave me the peace of mind and reassurance I needed to know that itty bitty was okay. Now that I feel our girl moving around inside of me throughout the day, the Doppler has become more of a novelty for us.

One of the greatest joys of having the BabyBeat Doppler is one that my husband experienced. In the midwive's office, Greg is able to hear our baby's heartbeat, but having the Doppler at home has allowed him to not only be a part of the experience, but also actively participate by finding our baby's heartbeat himself. His face lights up every time he finds her and I can tell a special bond is forming between Daddy and baby!

The only thing missing on this model of the BabyBeat Doppler is a heart rate display. It would be nice to see immediately how many beats per minute her heart is beating at. Although, the simple solution is to record the heartbeat and then calculate the heart rate on your own, which is easy enough to do. BabyBeat does offer several Doppler models with heart rate displays, it just didn't happen to be included on the model I reviewed.

Overall, using the BabyBeat Doppler with Recorder at home for the past month has been such a joy. My husband and I fall more and more in love with our little itty bitty each time we hear her sweet heart beat. A BabyBeat Doppler rental is a great option for your pregnancy and an at-home Doppler would make a wonderful gift for any expecting mother.

To learn more about BabyBeat Fetal Dopplers or to purchase or rent one yourself, please visit:

BabyBeat has generously offered a discount of 10% off any purchase or rental.
Just apply the following coupon code at checkout:


Disclosure: The BabyBeat Doppler with Recorder was provided to me at no cost, for review purposes, thanks to BabyBeat. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 530 - January 26, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

One little monkey sitting in a tree...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 529 - January 25, 2011

OH SURE I could blog, but when the weather is as gorgeous as it has been, I'd rather spend the afternoon at the pool!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 528 - January 24, 2011

I'm 24 weeks today!! Time sure is flying. Baby girl's growing like crazy. She's about a foot long now or the length of an ear of corn. She's quite active throughout the day, but lets me sleep at night. Here's a question for all you Moms out there. How do you know when the baby is hiccuping? I keep reading about women who say they love to feel their baby hiccup. Is it the lighter fluttering I'm feeling compared to the stronger kicks? How would you describe your baby's hiccups in the womb?

Itty bitty received her first flowers this weekend. Greg surprised us with a beautiful orchid (my favourite flower). I wish baby girl could see how gorgeous it is. I have a feeling this is just the first of many flowers our little girl will receive in the coming years.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 527 - January 23, 2011

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I love you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 526 - January 22, 2011

"Excuse me, are you pregnant?"

I heard those words for the first time Thursday night while my hubby and I were out treating ourselves to a delicious Krispy Kreme doughnut. I was thrilled that someone had finally noticed and had the courage to ask. She asked how far along I was and gasped when I told her I was five and a half months pregnant. "You're tiny. It must be your first," she said. That was exactly what I needed to hear after feeling huge all day long. I know I have a whole lot more belly to gain, but I can't help but look in the mirror sometimes and think, "Wow, I've really grown this week. If I feel huge now, how will I ever handle my belly at 9 months?" All I've ever prayed for is that our little itty bitty would grow healthy and strong, so I guess I should embrace every new inch knowing that our baby is that much closer to being in our arms.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 525 - January 21, 2011

I love this boy!

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Jacob!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 523 - January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 522 - January 18, 2011

We've all heard about The Dirty Dozen and for those of you who haven't, it's probably time you familiarize yourself with this list of fruits and vegetables.

The Dirty Dozen:

1. Peaches/Nectarines

2. Apples

3. Sweet Bell Peppers

4. Celery

5. Strawberries

6. Raspberries

7. Cherries

8. Pears

9. Grapes

10. Spinach

11. Lettuce

12. Potatoes

(I read that Blueberries have recently been added as well.)

The produce in this list has been found to have the highest pesticide residue, so we're encouraged to buy organic when shopping for these foods to avoid contamination. Buying and eating organic is wonderful, but for a lot of people it's just not affordable all the time. Just last week, I was at the grocery store buying apples and they had a great sale on sweet, crisp Braeburn apples for only 49 cents/lb. The organic variety was well over double the price. Trying to keep our grocery bill as low as possible, I opted for the non-organic apples (as I often do). I have always washed our produce under tap water, but in an attempt to keep my baby from as many harmful chemicals as possible, I have recently begun using a homemade produce wash to get our fruits and veggies as pesticide free as I can. It is so simple to make and I really wish I had been doing this for years. I thought I would share the recipe for those of you who have seen it before and thought about using it in the past (like I did) and are now ready to take the pesticide-free produce plunge!

Homemade Produce Wash
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda

Mix the vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle first. Then add the water. Spray on produce and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. Always use this on non-organic produce!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 521 - January 17, 2011

I'm 23 weeks pregnant today and wishing I had asked my hubby to take a belly picture yesterday. Taking a picture of your pregnant belly in the bathroom mirror is trickier than it seems. By the way, I think I'm losing my butt. In high school, I thought my bottom was too round and now it's flatting out. I should have embraced it while I had it. I guess it's time to do some squats.

Itty bitty is over a pound now or about the weight of a large mango (my favourite fruit!). My baby email update tells me that baby girl can sense my movements very well now, so I should be dancing between squats. I've been talking to itty bitty a lot more lately because I really don't want her coming out thinking her Mommy is one of the cast members of Days of our Lives or heaven forbid, one of the crazy housewives of Beverly Hills. Or maybe it's just time I rethink the TV shows I'm watching these days...hmmmmm.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 520 - January 16, 2011

John 13:35

Your love for one another will prove that you are my disciples.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 519 - January 15, 2011

I told you earlier that I've been feeling itty bitty move more and more lately. (She's actually wiggling around in my belly as I type.) This past week, I started paying attention to when she's awake and when I assume she's sleeping. She usually says "hello" each morning just before noon, again around mid to late afternoon, and then in the evening before 10pm. Her little kicks have gotten stronger this week and I noticed the other day, when I put my hand on my belly, that I was able to feel her through my tummy. I couldn't wait to share this news with my hubby. It's easy for mothers to feel connected to the little one their carrying, but father's often have a different experience. I have always made sure to include Greg is every new experience. I want him to feel as connected to our daughter as I do and when he talks to her or says to me, "I just can't wait to meet her. I wish she was here with us now," or "I wish I could just hold her right now," I know how much he loves her already.

Last night, as we sat together on the couch catching up on the latest episode of Modern Family, I began to feel itty bitty move. I reached for Greg's hand and placed it on my belly and of course, she stopped moving. A minute later, she was kicking again and Greg reached back over. Again, she stopped. We patiently waited and encouraged her to let Daddy feel her wiggle and all of a sudden, she started kicking. It was just precious to see the smile come over my husband's face as he felt his daughter move for the first time. Itty bitty put on a show for Daddy and kicked up a storm. We were even able to see her kick through my belly! I can't wait to see and feel her move even more in the coming months!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 517 - January 13, 2011

After stressing for days about the best way to go about obtaining my ultrasound photos, I finally took my sister's advice to just tell them the truth and made the call. All it took was to simply tell the technician how much it would mean to me to have a copy of the photos and she immediately agreed to put them on a CD for me and told me I could pick them up the next day. I was in complete shock! After the troubles we've encountered with medical staff this pregnancy, I made the call expecting to have to fight for my right to the pictures. Bless the heart of the sweet woman who answer the phone and answered my prayers!

Meet our little itty bitty!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 516 - January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 515 - January 11, 2011

Every job comes with it's perks. For some jobs, this means a big Christmas bonus. For others, it's box seats at your favourite sports game. My husband has been so fortunate when it comes to the perks the companies he's worked for have offered. From unlimited free admission to any Disney theme park around the world to weekly screenings of upcoming blockbusters, we've been blessed. His current position at Sony Pictures Imageworks has him giddy about the incredible employee discounts on Sony products. For two months now, I've been hearing about the unbeatable deals on LCD TVs. My hubby's been working on convincing me that we could really use a TV in the bedroom. "But wouldn't it be nice for you to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills from the comforts of our nice cozy bed?" he'll say. I'll admit that sounds great, but I know all too well that it doesn't stop with a TV. First there are TVs, then tv stands, then DVD players and consoles and on and on. With a baby on the way, my mind is on cribs, playards, baby monitors, adorable bedding, and spring vs foam crib mattresses. While the Sony employee discounts sound great, a new TV is just going to have to wait. So while my hubby goes on dreaming about a new flat screen TV, I'm dreaming about the perks of motherhood, endless hugs and kisses!

Stay tuned for an upcoming review made possible by I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 514 - January 10, 2011

I'm 22 weeks today and my BabyCenter update tells me that Itty Bitty is almost 1 pound and is starting to look like a miniature newborn! It's exciting to finally look pregnant. I remember saying to my hubby sometime in month 3 that I couldn't wait to look pregnant and get past the "maybe she's just gained a little weight" phase.

It was on Christmas Eve that I really began to notice my belly was growing. I was lying in bed with my hand on my tummy feeling baby move around inside of me when all of a sudden, I felt the softest skin I've ever touched. My mind immediately went back to my high school family studies class in parenting. Let me go back for a minute and explain. This parenting class was probably my favourite class of all time. Each student was given 2-3 days to parent an electronic baby and I was beyond thrilled when my turn came around and I "gave birth" to my sweet little Carson Alexander. My friends at the time thought it was pretty funny that exactly 9 months after I began seeing my high school boyfriend, I was walking around the school with a baby. Anyway, back to the point. My family studies teacher at the time was pregnant and I loved hearing her pregnancy updates each day and soaking in as much information as I could. I remember this particular conversation so clearly. One of my classmates had commented on the fact that our teacher's belly button had popped over the weekend. (Aside: I went to a very small high school where students and teachers often had really close relationships, so a conversation about belly buttons wasn't odd.) Our teacher began telling us about her recent discovery. She said that as your pregnant belly grows, your belly button stretches and changes shape, and for many women eventually pops. As this happens, she said you'll feel the softest skin you've ever felt. Your belly button skin is like a newborn baby's bottom. It's been hidden away since you were born and hasn't been exposed to the elements the way the rest of your body has. She admitted that she often found herself just touching the softness of that skin. So, on Christmas Eve, when I came across this soft skin on my body, I ran to the mirror to see the changes for myself. My belly button has definitely changed shape and I'm waiting for the day it pops. Will it completely gross you out if I admit that for about a week, I found myself reaching for my belly button throughout the day just to feel that newborn softness and even convinced my hubby to touch it a few times?

Anyway, I'm so glad my hubby and I were both feeling well enough this weekend to take those 5 month pregnancy photos I've been wanting to. It would be simple enough to take a photo of my growing belly against a wall in our apartment every month, but for me, I see these pregnancy photoshoots around our neighbourhood as an opportunity to get dressed up and feel beautiful. Since I spend the majority of my days in sweatpants in front of a computer and a TV screen, I look forward to the one time a month where I put on some make up and one of the many dresses I have in my closet that my hubby says I don't wear often enough. I can't wait to share these photos with my daughter someday, so she can see how much I loved carrying her and to show her how beautiful and wonderful pregnancy is.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 513 - January 9, 2011

2 Corinthians 3:4-5

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 512 - January 8, 2011

Here's a little sneak peek of my 5 month photoshoot. I told you I really popped over Christmas. We're heading out to some nearby outlets in hopes of finding some great deals on clothing for our baby girl! Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 510 - January 6, 2011

I was so excited on Tuesday about the possibility of seeing ultrasound pictures of our baby girl, but surprise, surprise, there were none. It was disappointing to say the least and I'm considering calling the hospital where I had the ultrasound to find out if they would give me any pictures they have on file. They are my medical records after all. Don't I have a right to them? We'll see.

As for our midwive's appointment, everything went very well and I actually learned something quite interesting. The results of the ultrasound showed that my placenta is in the front. This was wonderful news because not only does that mean I don't need to worry about the possibility of placenta previa, but it also explains a whole lot. Remember when I went in for my first appointment at 13 weeks and was devastated because the midwife couldn't find the baby's heartbeat? Well, the anterior placement of the placenta was likely the reason we didn't hear a thing. At our appointment in December, the midwife asked me if I had felt the baby move yet. I told her that I had maybe felt something, but didn't really know. When our midwife read the results of the ultrasound, it became very clear to her why it took me longer to feel fetal movement. This is just another reminder that we may not understand certain things all of the time, but God's timing is perfect and we need to trust in that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 509 - January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 508 - January 4, 2011

We have another appointment with our wonderful midwives tonight and I'm excited about what will hopefully be there waiting for us. After making several calls, both yesterday and today, the results of our ultrasound should have been faxed to the midwives' office this afternoon. The ultrasound technician took dozens of screen pictures and I'm really hoping they are included in the results. The midwife we're seeing tonight is so sweet and I'm sure she'll give us any pictures of our little girl that she received. I'm trying not to get my hopes up since many things don't seem to go the way I expect, but it's hard not to get excited about the possibility of seeing my daughter again and bringing her first pictures home tonight. If I get the ultrasound pictures, you're sure to see them on here very soon!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 507 - January 3, 2011

I'm 21 weeks today, which of course means that last week marked the half way point in my pregnancy. Can you believe it? Itty Bitty will be in our arms before we know it. Guess it's time we get serious about that crib we've been talking about buying. I had big plans to take my 20 week photos in front of Cinderella's castle at Disney World, but somehow the day got away from us and it was nightfall before we knew it.

I also had big plans to take my 5 month photos on Sunday, but sickness and rain kept us curled up on the couch all day instead. Speaking of being sick, I'm finally over the worst of it and my energy is coming back. Most of the aches and pains have subsided and I'll take this stuffed up nose and cough any day over what I experienced last week.

And how's Itty Bitty doing? She's great! I'm feeling her moving a lot more these days. I know the full-fledged kicks are coming, but for now her little movements are just so sweet and gentle and absolutely precious! She has really grown in the last few weeks (or at least my belly has). She's the length of a carrot now, you know. There is no hiding my baby bump any more (as you'll see when I finally take some pictures), but I'm happy to still be in my pre-pregnancy clothes! Hooray for low-rise jeans! I'm assuming I'll need to invest in some maternity pants by 6 months, but for now I'm thrilled to still have plenty of options in my current wardrobe. I think that's it for updates.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 506 - January 2, 2011

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 505 - January 1, 2011

So where have I been the last few days? Sick in bed. I've been feeling absolutely miserable and can't remember a time when a nasty bug has affected me this terribly. It's been about 2 years since I've been sick, (there is something in this warm California air that has kept me healthy the last few years) so I guess it was time for a big one. With new aches and sharp pains developing daily along with sinus pressure and a burning throat, I'm out for the count. My hubby hasn't been feeling well either, but thankfully his bug is a few days ahead of mine, so he's on the mend. The way he has taken care of me the last few days has given me a glimpse into how he will be as a father. He is so patient and nurturing and caring and sweet and I fall even more in love with him when I imagine him holding our baby girl in his arms. We have a lot to be thankful for and so much to look forward to this new year.

Happy New Year!