Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Intersection of Faith and Science

On August 6, 2012 we had our 20 week ultrasound. We learned that our baby is a boy.

We also learned that he had either a completely absent or extremely small (as in microscopic) nose bone. Upon hearing this, I went into freeze-mode. I remember asking a few questions and attempting to muster through the doctor's discussion, but I really didn't comprehend everything. As soon as my husband and I were left alone, I burst into tears. I knew this was not a good thing. The doctor (a perinatologist) said this generally lends itself to some sort of genetic abnormality. I heard Downs Syndrome. We rejected the genetic counseling we were offered. We needed to process this on our own. We had refused all earlier genetic blood testing, because it would never have effected our love for our child. We are not the type of people who terminate a pregnancy, for any matter. We believe in God and we believe that life starts at conception and it is sacred.

Tales from our roadtrip, day 3

Or.... "The one in which we see the most beautiful spot on Earth"

Literally. I think that the views from high up on the mountain road, looking down upon Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, is seriously the most beautiful spot on Earth. At least that I've ever seen.
Lake Tahoe 2012

The best views are seen while you are driving, or you could precariously pull over on a teeny tiny strip of pavement to take a photo. We decided to stop for photographs at a nice, mostly-safe, vista point. It, however, has trees blocking some of the best views. It's still pretty. Do an Internet search of Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe photos and you'll see what I'm talking about. Just imagine seeing it in person, though, it's 10x better.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tales from Our Roadtrip, day two

Or, "The one in which we get attacked by bee like insects and I win 22 dollars."

As I stated in part I, we did not sleep well at all the first night. We also got up earlier than normal for G on Thursday morning. We needed to get up by 7:50 ish, and we were up at 7:20. Boo.

it fits!
Our first adventure was a minimally-nutritious (but fitting of a vacation) breakfast in bed. G absolutely LOVED her first taste of donut, but still ate some cheerios and grapes. We got ready for a morning aboard a water ski boat and headed down to the lake.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tales from our roadtrip, day one {image heavy}

I wanted to title this "The one in which G foils my plan and screams for 2 hours, then falls asleep 10 miles from our destination" but it seemed pretty long. You now have a summary of day one of our road trip vacation to Lake Tahoe.

happy during the first hour
We had wanted to go to Lake Tahoe since we moved to the area. It's a super beautiful place, only 3 hours from where we live...how could we not go? I finally got my husband to okay spending some cash to go on a mini-vacation, booked our hotels, planned a few 'excursions,' and waited until the end of August.

Fiber One Prize Pack Winner

Thanks to all who entered the Fiber One Brownie prize pack giveaway, sponsored by My Blog Spark.
There were 73 entrants, with 758 entries.

The winner is:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm the mom of a one-and-a-half-year-old

G is 18 months old. So big. The only two things that reminds me she is a baby are the diapers and the lack of a full and understandable vocabulary.

She has chores. She sleeps well. She has a mouth of teeth. She takes a bath in the big kid tub. She eats like a kid. She dances, sings, plays piano, and masters puzzles five minutes after getting them. She knows what we need to do to leave and does it--often reminding me if I'm about to leave without something. She reminds me to drink water when we are eating lunch!

Oh, and she is nearly a big sister. Don't forget that fact. She knows baby brother is in my belly and she knows which things are his--does she always like that? no.

G at 18 months:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Seven Quick Takes Friday ...err Saturday

Better late than never???

1) G started saying 'no-no' yesterday. Geeerreat! I honestly hoped/planned to make it to kindergarten before she learned the word. She knows what 'no' means, and generally respects it....but apparently she gets to use it herself now! Prior to today, she would simply shake her head to indicate she didn't like or want to do something. I could handle that, it was silent :-)
I LOL'd the first time she said it because it was so darn cute--momma mistake, I know, because know she loves saying it!

2) We made a super cool ramp for the few cars and trucks G has. It was so fun and she squealed the first time we put the vehicles down it--I'm proud of myself for coming up with a great idea to recycle the big box her Mega Bloks learning table came in (post to come about all the awesome stuff the sent us). It's the simple things in life :-)

3) This week was not so kind to a pregnant momma. First, there are two private stressors I've been dealing with. Then G slept miserably one night (as in, took two hours of screaming and then me holding her hand through the crib rails and 'shushing' her for 30 minutes + woke up from 3 -5 am to repeat the same process). I guess it was related to the runny nose she had for two days--I imagine she might have had a sore throat prior to it appearing, as adults get too. She's working on canines, so that's fun. Then yesterday I woke up to a seriously, I'll spare you the details I shared on my facebook, gross vomit attack in her crib. Suffice it to say it was everywhere and she went straight to the bath tub. I guess I'm thankful for my strong stomach. Then I'm feeling all down today...It's a sunny Saturday, but I can't shake the mood. Thankfully I'm attempting a choco-pick-me-up. Prayers appreciated.

4) Big Announcement....We are moving back to Kansas-----PRAISE GOD. Not that I hate it here or anything, in fact; the Bay Area is quite lovely (albeit expensive), but I certainly can't wait:
  • to get back closer to family + friends
  • snow in the winter (I really would have missed that)
  • my comfort zone with most things
  • cheaper prices
  • have my husband around more
  • oh, and Hy-Vee + Aldi
What's the number one thing I'll miss about CA?? Our gym. Hilarious, right? That play center is to.die.for. G absolutely loves it, the girls there love her, I love them, she has a ball, ugh...sad day. I'm going to miss letting her play there for an hour a day, 5 days a week. She's going to miss it.
I won't miss much else. I feel like we have been-there-done-that, with the big things in the Bay Area, especially after our mini-vacation to Lake Tahoe next week. Oh, I did miss out on Wine Country...but can't help that, I'm pregnant.

5) That should explain my extreme absence this week, minus the sponsored post for Famous Footwear's B2S sale. We've been house hunting online & trying to get ducks in a row for buying our first home. WHAT? So exciting, I KNOW! Realtor, check. Lender, check. Favorites list, check. Flights/car/sleeping arrangements for our house hunting weekend over Labor Day, check. For all the negative things this week, one major positive. Rejoice!

6) My sister sent baby boy + G some awesome Carter's clothes this week. It was a TOTAL surprise, and I'm really shocked she could keep it that way for so long! She said she ordered them on August 8...so I'm really impressed with her secrecy! It was so fun to open packages of adorable little boy clothes--plus two shirts for G. I kept saying 'oh my goodness!' like I was on Ellen or something, lol... Thank you boo!!!!!

7) This morning on our way back from the grocery store, G briefly closed her eyes while at a stop light, all sprawled out.... exhibit a)

To see more quick takes, head over to ConversionDiary.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back-to-School Shoe Savings at Famous Footwear

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Although G isn't school age, it is certainly nice to take advantage of 'back-to-school' savings for our little family anyways! I really hate buying clothes when I'm pregnant, so shoes are especially fun to shop for. We are saving money for a new baby, though, so buying isn't exactly something that happens on a frequent basis. Famous Footwear is making it easier for families to get great name brand shoes, in a huge variety of styles, with their Back-To-School promotion. You can get 15% off, PLUS take advantage of their Buy One, Get One half off offer: BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon (print coupon & redeem in-store between 8/2 and 8/18)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pregnancy thoughts week 21

Well...I am pretty sure it will never sink in that I am a parent and there is another little bundle of joy coming our way in about 19 weeks.
While I was reading to G before nap time (just a few minutes ago), I had another thought of---'I can't believe this is my life!' Some days it seems so surreal to have a family of my own. I often think I should be getting packed to head back to my parents house for a visit from college. I guess these thoughts are prompted by the annual 'back to school' season. This is really only my second fall of not being one preparing for school, and that's so strange. Time is a funny, funny thing. It often seems to move so slowly in the present, but looking back, it seems to have flown by. I started college SEVEN years ago. SEVEN. Moving into my dorm is a faint memory. I've changed exponentially since then, physically, emotionally, mentally. I can't even imagine what I'll be like in another seven years. I suppose it won't be quite as dramatic, as 18 to 25 is much more of a growing period than 25 to 32--but I will have an 8.5 year old and a 6.5 year old (maybe another kid or two, too). WHAT?? my two oldest kids will be BOTH in school.... stop time now.

I thought that by the time G was a year and a half (next week), this whole parenting gig would have sunk in. I suppose it mostly has, but there are definitely times when I feel too young (and some might argue I am) to have a kiddo + one on the way. Twenty-six (when baby boy arrives) is really not that young to be a parent, especially when reflecting on the history of man. By 26, most pre-industrial-revolution women had at least 2 living kids, if not more. In the mid-1900s, two kids at 26 wasn't a big deal either. But for 2012, I'm apparently in the minority. Yesterday at the gym, one of the child play center workers comment on how young my husband and I looked. I said we were 25, but that didn't really change her perspective on our family. I don't really care at all, but it is definitely interesting to note. Most of our friends that are in a similar life-situation are quite older, and most of our same-age friends are just now getting married or engaged (if that). Long story short, I'm feeling old. I'm feeling odd. I'm feeling like maybe having two kids is too crazy.
I'm going to love it though, even in the hard days. Just like I do with the one I've got now.

Anyways, thanks for making it through that ramble.

From the last pregnancy update I did, I have:

  • gained weight (sitting at 169 now, ugh. 20 pounds gained in 20 weeks...eeeek. I feel like this was kind of related to weaning G, though)
  • continued to work out, but my running is down to about 1 or 2 days a week with the rest being elliptical or walking. weights are slowing dwindling as my energy does, but I still make it a point to do at least once a week
  • outgrown most of my regular clothes (yesterday was the official 'moving day' of maternity clothes into the closet and most regular clothes into boxes)
  • felt way more kicks and less flutters
  • found out we are having a SON
  • craved ice cream and chocolate like never before, but that may be due to stress. Sad day, we haven't had chocolate in the house since Friday. I didn't buy any at the store in an effort to reduce my sugar intake. I did, however, buy chocolate ice cream soooooo
  • took three 'belly' photos within the same weekend because we actually did fun things I wanted baby boy to know he was a part of
20 weeks

Sunday, August 12, 2012

G's Fish Face

G loves animal 'sounds,' so we've been teaching her various noises or actions that popular animals in her books say...here's one of the latest developments. It's a super short, but pretty cute video :-)

Fiber One Brownies Review + #Giveaway

I haven't participated in a My Blog Spark campaign in quite some time, so I am happy to bring you the latest info about Fiber One Brownies + a prize pack giveaway below! I've been a lover of Fiber One products since having my daughter in 2011. Prior to that, I never truly realized the benefits of eating enough fiber. The Fiber One box states that about 4 out of 5 Americans don't get the recommended amount of fiber. I think that Fiber One has made it possible for us all to fix that. They offer some truly great tasting products with high amounts of fiber.

In today's food world, there's no reason to think that fiber has to be bland, hard to swallow, or unappetizing. I found Fiber One Chewy Granola bars and instantly fell in love. They really taste like a candy bar to me!

Recently, Fiber One released a new product--fiber in the form of brownies! They are a great afternoon snack, long-office-hours-pick-me-up, or stash-in-the-diaper-bag treat. Perhaps you've read another review of mine--the one about Betty Crocker brownie mix? If so, you know that I am a true blue brownie lover--potentially addict. I'm a tough brownie critic; the sample I was sent tastes good but I definitely think I'd prefer the chocolate fudge or chocolate peanut butter flavor over the chocolate chip cookie flavor. The chocolate chip cookie flavor does not have a traditional brownie taste to it. If you go in knowing that I think it taste more like a cookie bar, rather than expecting a 'brownie'; you'll be more appreciative of it's 90 calorie goodness.
The thing to remember about Fiber One Brownies is that they are only 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, and have 20% (5g) of the recommended amount of fiber! Knowing that, how could you turn one down?? From my personal experience with the brand's variety of products and quality taste, I definitely recommend Fiber One products as a way to increase your fiber intake. I've not tried one of their products that I don't love. Be sure to check out the new Fiber One Brownies at your local store!

For when you've got Brownies on the Brain

Enter to win a prize pack from Fiber One & My Blog Spark below. The prize pack contains fun little items to relieve stress or have a 'me' moment--all are listed below on the rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. Giveaway entries involving Facebook are not mandatory and Facebook has no legal ties to, responsibility / liability for, this giveaway. Giveaway ends 8/25 at 12:01 am EDT.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Party Works Party Pack Winner

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway for a set of party supplies from the Party Works. There were 627 entries (61 people) & the winner is:
I'll be posting a new giveaway by Monday, so be sure to enter that! It's for a My Blog Spark Fiber One prize pack with some great things in it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

To Do List + taking suggestions

Find an infant car seat that fits our budget (less that $150) but is also very safe (cute doesn't hurt).
Find a double stroller that has the capability to have a car seat clipped in (jogging style preferred).
Find either a big girl bed for G or a new crib for baby boy.
Find a new OB doctor and baby boy / G new doctors, OR move back to our old town :-)
Figure out where to give birth...home's not really an option.
Drink more water and eat lots of protein.
Buy & wrap Christmas presents in advance.
Take a fall trip to the Midwest if we don't get the okay to move back asap.

I've got a lot spinning around my head right now, but I promise to get back in the regularity of posting :-) My sister was here for a week, so that is why things slowed down even more!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Gender Announcement #WW #Linky

BABY BOY!!!! For his sake, the XY photo shall remain off the internet, so you get a beautiful picture of his face at 20 weeks--in 4D no less! His hand is up by his eye, and his other arm was moving a lot, so there is a swirl on the right side of the photo.
here you can see baby boy's face, covered by his arms --and a foot peeking in too! What an acrobat!

We are so excited to welcome our first son into our family this holiday season :-)

If you have a wordless Wednesday Post, please link up below!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

SAVE in San Antonio, Texas

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of SAVE for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was in college (University of Missouri), our football team did pretty well. One of their bowl games was in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to that, I didn't really know how cool the city is. While I wasn't able to attend the game, our local sports network did a great job at showing all that the city has to offer. I also got to see pictures from my friends on social media sites. To make a long story short, San Antonio is definitely on my list of places to visit!


This summer, you can experience all that San Antonio has to offer while saving money. Coincidentally named SAVE, the San Antonio Vacation Experience, gives travelers a way to get exclusive discounts, deals, and special offers to theme parks, shopping, museums, hotels and resorts around the city. The SAVE deals are for any price point or taste--from budget to luxury options. I know that a lot of families are struggling to make ends meet, let alone take a nice little summer trip. I'm glad that SAVE exisits so that families wanting to see a culturaly rich area can save some money while doing it.

I'm a big planner, and love saving money--especially on vacation--so here's a little itenerary I came up:

August 22 - 25, 2012 (two adults, G is free at all places because she is under 2)

Hotel: $10 per night savings at Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk. Drury is one of our favorite hotel chains--typically found in the Midwest, with tons of free extras (like AM and PM food). The Riverwalk Drury is actually not your average Drury, it looks really fancy from the photos and reviews. We'd want the two room suite with a king bed (one bed room and one living area). The regular rate is $140, but with SAVE the price is $130. Total savings: $30

Day 1: $7 per ticket savings on Splashtown water park. I'm always up for a good theme park, and in the summer there's no better place to cool off than a water park! Splashtown is great because it has free parking, 40 water slides, and all the classics like a wave pool and lazy river. Total Savings: $14

Day 2: $10 per ticket savings on Sea World (there are also discounts on tours and behind-the-scene excursions). My husband and I really want to take our daughter to a Sea World and the one in San Antonio is actually 4 parks in 1 on 250 acres! Total savings: $20

Day 3 morning: 20% off at the San Antonio Children's Museum. Part of going on vacation with a toddler is planning activities that will engage their ever-expanding minds and bodys. I love taking our daughter to kid-oriented museums. It's fun for my husband and I to see her explore a place built just for her--and get a break from the heat! Total Savings: $3.20

Day 3 afternoon: $2 off per ticket on the Alamo Trolley. We'd love to take a tour of the culturally rich heart of Old San Antonio. On the Alamo Trolley, we'd hear a narrorated history and get to hop-on-hop-off all day with the hop pass. Total Savings: $4

Day 4: Before leaving town, I'd drag my husband and daughter to the outlet malls--because mom deserves some personal fun too! Through SAVE, at the San Marcos Premium Outlet Mall you can get a VIP coupon book for free, though it usually costs $5. With SAVE you can get another free VIP coupon book (with over $900 in savings) for use at the Tanger Outlet Mall. Total Savings: limitless! :-)

I've found that SAVE is not only helpful for finding deals on lodging and activities, it's great for planning your San Antonio trip in general! I love the map feature, because you can see how far apart your activites are, and plan out a route.

Explore the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience website for even more ideas to score trip savings. Also, be sure to follow @SAVEinSA to get updates on Limited Time Offers, deals, and other ideas to help you plan your trip to San Antonio.

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