Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bump Update: Week 16

It is about to get real.  Just a forewarning.  :)

About mid-way through my time at college, I felt that God was leading me in a different direction than what I had set out.  At the time, I was aiming to be a missionary.  My goal was to spend the rest of my life in Africa caring for orphans.  But God had other plans for me.  The ministry classes and chapels that I was sitting through were teaching me things, re-prioritizing my life.  In the midst of it all, and after spending time with a full-time missionary to Kenya, I learned that a dream can be Godly without being a part of God's plan.  So I started praying.  If God didn't intend for me to be a missionary, then what did He want from me?

I don't know how I ended up with the answer.  There wasn't an audible voice, no divine moment while I was reading my Bible, not even a light bulb moment during chapel.  At some point along the way I just knew that God wanted me to be a stay at home mom.  While I was learning and diving into Scripture, it occurred to me that maybe that was how God intended it to be. I could go on here and tell you why I believe being a stay at home mom is essential to our faith and family but that isn't the point today.  The point is that the calling God has placed on my life, without a doubt, is for me to be a stay at home mom.  

Now is when things get real - our budget is tight.  And we are both working.  I'm not working full-time, but I'm working 28 hours a week.  Yes, we have enough to pay the bills and buy groceries, but that's about it.  $30-$50 to buy one pair of maternity pants?  (Why do they have to be so expensive? And why do my legs have to be so long?) That might cut into savings depending on how the month goes.

So how exactly am I supposed to stay at home once Sprout comes if we literally need my income?  The question haunts me.  And I struggle with it.  Some days I am confident that God will work it out.  After all, He placed this calling on my life for a reason.  But other days I look at the impossible and lose my faith.  It is a roller-coaster I am trying so hard to get off of.  On Sunday, I found myself at the altar praying for faith, for hope, for a reassurance - begging God to make the impossible possible.  While the voice was not really audible, there was a still small voice within me whispering, "God will make a way where there seems to be no way."  I haven't heard that song in ages.  I was instantly overwhelmed with His presence and started to cry.  Yeah - it doesn't even seem like the tiniest possibility right now.  And so many Christians tell me, "maybe God has a different plan."  But I know that He placed this calling on my life.  Why would He do that if He were just going to yank it away?  That isn't the God I know.  

So yesterday, I claimed His calling on my life in faith.  And I put my fears in His hands.  But I ask that you would pray with me, because I am constantly picking those fears back up.  Pray that I would find a peace about this and that my faith would not be shaken.  And please pray that God would open the right doors at the right times...and that I won't miss them.  

Okay, now for the fun stuff!  Bump update!  

This week, baby is the size of an: Avocado.  I love avocados.  :) 

Next appointment: Tomorrow!  Hoping Hubby will finally get to hear Sprout's heartbeat.  Since there are 4 doctors at our practice, Hubby is coming until he meets them all...then he will only come when it is necessary.  But I do love having him with me!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Pretty much remaining steady at about 9 pounds less than pre-pregnancy.  So a pound less than last week.  But I haven't been fluctuating as much either.  I'm eating better...guess Sprout is just taking all of it.  Anxious to see if the doc will say anything tomorrow.  :/

Exercise: The weather hasn't been cooperating as much, but I've been doing more around the house.  I still need to incorporate ab, back, and leg routines to aid in delivery.  Every once in awhile I try to do squats when I'm rocking my little one at work.  ;)

Maternity Clothes: Nope.  Got the shorts I ordered and they are too small already.  Even though they said they would fit a waist size 3 inches bigger than mine.  Going to try and contact Zulily today.

Sleep: Great this week!  

Food Cravings/Aversions: Anything with a strong smell is tough these days.  Made BBQ pork in the crock pot the other day - as soon as I walked in the door I was nauseous.  Needless to say, I ate something else for dinner that day. 

Movement: I hate answering this question with a no.  Feels like it is going to take forever.  :P

What I Miss: My brain.  No joke.  I'm even more forgetful than I was.  And I get overwhelmed so easily.  I left my wallet on top of the car after getting gas on Monday. Somehow, it stayed there after an hours drive to Pittsburgh.  Unreal.

What I'm Loving: I feel beautiful.  There isn't any worrying about what I look like or if certain pants make my love handles stick out.  I'm supposed to have a growing mid-section!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: We get to schedule our next ultrasound tomorrow.  And that means we are that much closer to finding out if Sprout is a girl or a boy!  :D

Best Moment This Week: I got to see the 4 kiddos I nannied in Pittsburgh on Monday and told them our exciting news!   They all reacted so differently but I loved every moment.  The oldest (a boy mind you) was genuinely excited.  He had asked me before we moved if they would get to meet our baby if we had one.  Now he can't believe it is happening so soon.  One of the twins kept poking my belly, "There's really a baby in there?"  And they all had input as to what the name should be.  Super fun.

Milestones: Sprout can hear!  That's so weird to me.  I've been reading about how the same song sung throughout pregnancy can be soothing to a new born.  Sprout is going to love Twinkle, Twinkle because that is the only song I sing when I'm rocking my little one at work to sleep.  I really should change it up.  lol.

Goals: Baby related?  Not much this week, except to eat more.  House related?  Sand the bathroom floor so that Hubby can seal it next weekend.  

Now for pics!  Hubby doesn't tell me when he is taking the pic - he just starts pushing the button repeatedly while I'm talking and what not.  This makes for a bunch of not so great pics.  lol. But at least we're getting some.

And last but not least, a picture from the front as I was pulling my shirt back down and going to take the phone away from Hubby. But you can at least see that precious little bump!  :) 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bump Update - Week 15

Some days I feel like this pregnancy is going so fast.  But other days it feels like it is going so slow.  And I'm not sure which of those I prefer.  I just want to enjoy every moment.  But sometimes I feel like life just gets in the way.  *sigh*  I've got to slow down more.

Finally took some bump pics tonight. Check it out:

And I also took the time to make a comparison of my 12 week bump to tonight's bump.  Definite difference!! Which is WAY exciting!!

And just for fun, here is a ridiculous pic Hubby took of me trying to make my belly talk.  Didn't realize he was still taking pictures.  :P  Enjoy the laugh.  :)

This week, baby is the size of a: Naval Orange.  Now I feel weird eating oranges...

Next appointment: May 1st.  Just a little over a week away...

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Still fluctuating a bit here and there but pretty much remaining steady at 8 pounds less than pre-pregnancy.  Need to pack on the protein!

Exercise: Walks when it is nice.  Might be adding some specific routine stuff to target my lower back, abs, and legs to aid with delivery.  I need to, I just need the will power to make it happen.

Maternity Clothes: Still a no.  But I had about 5 people remind me on Sunday, while I was wearing a nice Easter dress that I wouldn't be able to fit in skinny little outfits like that much longer.  :P 

Sleep: Sleep is hit or miss this past week.  Some days are good, some days aren't.  Seems to be an every other day kind of thing - not enough sleep one night and then playing catch up the next.  I did get in a nap today at work while the baby was sleeping.  It was nice.

Food Cravings/Aversions: I had to get groceries last Thursday.  I came home and told Hubby, "I might have bought all of the jelly beans."  I just couldn't make it stop - new flavor?  Going in the cart.  The frugal side of me kept saying - "These are going to be 50% off in just 4 days."  But the pregnant side of me won!  ;) 

Movement: Not yet.  The other day when the little one I watch was sleeping in my lap, I kept thinking I felt something.  But it turned out her arm had someway worked itself into a really weird position and was twitching every once in awhile.  haha.  I'm just itching for the first movements!

What I Miss: The occasional glass of wine.  We aren't big alcohol people and usually save it for special occasions.  But I really do love a nice glass of wine from time to time.  I think it bothers me now because I really can't have it.  lol.

What I'm Loving: I have more energy.  Definitely not back to where I was.  But I'm able to do more and get more done before I feel like the walking dead.

What I'm Looking Forward To: My nausea disappearing.  haha.  If that happens I suppose...

Best Moment This Week: Hearing Hubby admit that it all became more real to him when he saw the ultrasound.  And for him to be more about "the bump" - touching it, talking to the baby, etc.

Milestones: Babies ears moved from its neck to its head. lol.

Goals: Eat more.  Slow down.  And house related - organize our office space which includes all of our cleaning stuff, my craft stuff, and our coat closet...which is literally overflowing with shoes.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bump Update: Week 14

No bump picture this week.  :( Kept forgetting and with Easter and our car dying we've been insanely busy.  I promise there will be one next week!  :)

I know that during my first bump update I talked about how pregnancy was so different than I ever expected.  And it is.  

This week I just kept thinking - I really thought I would feel different.  Yeah, every once in awhile I don't feel good, and I'm a little more tired than usual...but if I didn't know I was pregnant, I don't know that I would be able to tell.  Not sure what I expected.  It's just weird to me that physically I don't feel all that different...especially now that I've got most of my energy back and my morning sickness is pretty much gone.  Mentally, I am more than aware of that Little Sprout.  And emotionally...well, I can be a little bit touchy....but physically it is amazing to me how little I notice.

This week, baby is the size of a: Lemon.  In my head a peach is bigger than a I feel like my baby shrunk since last week.  lol.  But my 14 week video said the size of my fist so that was an easy visual.  :)

Next appointment: May 1st.  Halfway there!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: My weight has been fluctuating a ton lately, which isn't normal for me.  It used to be that I would step on the scale and it would be the same day after day.  It would fluctuate a tenth or so up or down depending on the time of day...but that's it.  Now I'm down 3 lbs, up 1, down 1, up 2, down 1.  I think, since last week, I'm about the same.  Which I'll's better than losing more!

Exercise: So much more than I have been getting!  I've been taking nice long walks with the little one I watch on days when it is nice.  Not only is it good for me...but she has so much fun too I think!  She just gibber jabbers the whole time or just watched everything go by.  Can't wait till I can do this with my own little one!  I also did a bit of yard work this weekend which was nice exercise. 

Maternity Clothes: Still don't need to wear them.  Though certain pants are uncomfy, everything still fits.  I did order a pair of shorts though since I found a pretty good deal.  And Mom, Dad, and Grandma picked me out a couple of shirts for my Birthday! 

Sleep: I've been sleeping really well this week.  Thankful for that.

Food Cravings/Aversions: A friend of ours celebrated her first birthday recently.  There was a candy bar at the party.  I brought home a bag full of candy.  Last week I remembered I had it and got some out.  There were these amazing sour watermelon candies!  And I ran out.  It was devastating.  Ever since then I've just needed them!  Hubby got me a small bag at walmart Saturday night.  It is gone.  Thinking I might need to order a 5 lb bag.  ;)

Movement: Nothing.  Not supposed to feel anything for a few more weeks.  Cannot wait for that moment!

What I Miss: Accomplishing things.  I had a couple of really good days this past week and it felt so good to get things accomplished.  But then I hit a road block again.  I'm either feeling a little blah, tired, or just not motivated at brain just doesn't want to work.

What I'm Loving: My bump has really made more of an appearance the past few days - just decided to show up I guess.  Before, I had to be wearing the right clothes, kind of had to pull them snug...but now, it is kind of hard to hide.  Not that I would anyways...  ;)

What I'm Looking Forward To: Feeling my baby and seeing my baby again!

Best Moment This Week: My church family noticing my bump and apologizing for just touching without asking.  Honestly, I don't mind it.  Just don't look forward to random strangers doing that....

Milestones: I am crossing my fingers as I say this, but I think, for the most part, that morning sickness is officially behind me.  Yay for the magical 2nd trimester!  :)  Speaking of - we are 1/3 of the way there!  Crazy!

Goals: Eat more.  I'm so used to not having an appetite, I've got to make myself eat now that I can.  And hopefully I'll gain some weight along the way!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Christians - Why Can't We All Get Along? Why Must We Criticize?

The past couple of weeks I have seen a few things I'm not proud of.  And, frankly, that have upset me a bit.

Christians belittling other Christians or ministry avenues.

Not cool.

First of all, I was shocked to see a select group of Christians berating the movie God's Not Dead.  Yes, I know it wasn't perfect and there were extreme stereotypes.  And no, maybe taking someone to the movies isn't the best form of evangelism...but maybe it is.  You see, in my opinion, you telling me I shouldn't see the movie because of reasons x, y, and z could keep me from aiding someone else's walk with the Lord.  

Now, I need to clarify,  Movies like the recent Noah, should be brought to the spotlight for what they aren't - a remotely accurate Biblical interpretation.  If movies are seriously taking Scripture out of context, then yes, tell everyone.  Don't encourage it.  But if a movie just has a few tiny things you might not agree with, like extreme stereotypes of atheists, or if you think it might, then let it be.  Please, if you haven't seen a movie like this yourself, keep your opinion to yourself.

I saw God's Not Dead this weekend, and while it still has a tiny bit of that cheesy Christian feel, I loved it.  Christian films have come a looooong way from back in the day!  And I know, for a fact, that it really strengthened the faith of a few that have seen it, including young ones.  And if the movie did that for only one person, it would be worth it wouldn't it??  It would be worth if for that Christian who is riding on the fence to be moved enough to get off the fence.  It would be worth it for that child who has kept their faith to themselves to be able to share it with their friends or family...even if it was a simple text message.

I really don't believe that the movie gives anyone any false perceptions of anything as I was led to believe by a few articles posted, not Muslims, not atheists, not young people trying to defend their faith.  That movie is changing lives.  Whether you want to believe it or not, God is using it!  Because it is Good!  

Who are you to get in the way of that?  To tell people that they shouldn't go see the movie?  How many people that could have been changed for the better were stopped because you convinced someone to not go to the movie?  Sometimes, instead of getting on our soap box (which I know I do myself sometimes...probably on one now actually), we should look at the bigger picture.  Sometimes our soap box can become a road block for others.  

After talking to others that have seen this movie, I just couldn't get past all the things I had "heard" from other Christians about how horrible it was.  And I had to get this off of my chest.

Okay...done with that rant.  Moving onto rant #2.

I stumbled across a Facebook group, on accident, that was specifically for a certain "type" of Christian.  You see, we're categorized sometimes by the things we believe.  And I'm okay with that.  What I'm not okay with, is a discussion (that was obviously public enough for me to see) about why the "other" group of Christians would or could ever believe a certain thing.

Pause for a second here for an interjection.  I have often wondered these same things myself.  And I have asked the very same question. But I have done so privately and without condemning the other side.

That was not the case this time around.  The conversation was public on Facebook.  And it was not civil.  The "other" side was made to sound uneducated and naive.  It was like they were poking fun instead of trying to honestly learn (which was probably the original intent of the question).  

My heart hurts because of this.  Why can't Christians just get along??  When we fight each other we aren't fixing any thing.  We're just hurting ourselves and giving the world a poor view of who Christ is.  Yeah, you might think your soap box is worth the argument, but in the it helping or hindering?  Is it really worth it.  And, yeah, sometimes those small things can become big issues.  I stand firm when it comes to such things.  But some of those small things are really just small things.

Let's all make some effort to get off of our soap boxes and to really love all of the other Christians - no matter what subcategory they might fall into.  Let's keep our theology arguments to private messages.  And let's not get in the way of true a ministry opportunity...even if we might not fully agree with it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bump Update: Week 13

I think keeping this weekly journal is making this pregnancy go by even faster.  This baby is going to be here before we know it!  Eek!  No bump picture this week...just didn't feel like taking one tonight - a little hormonal and very tired.  ;) BUT, I can show you what is IN the bump!  Here are our first baby pictures:

This second pic shows a good profile - Hubby says Sprout has his nose! hehe.  We shall see....

This week, baby is the size of a: Peach - I love peaches!!  :)

Next appointment: May 1st.  This may be the only time in my life I wish a doctor's appointment would come sooner.  May 1st seems SO far away.  But it will come faster than I expect, I'm sure.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Since last week I lost two pounds and then gained them back.  So, no weight change.  Still down 7 pounds.

Exercise: Last week I was able to take two walks with the little one that I nanny.  And it felt so nice!  Thankful that the weather is getting a little nicer.  Hoping to make walks a part of our regular routine. Didn't happen today though.  Too much rain.  :(

Maternity Clothes: Nope.  Almost bought shorts off of Zulily because they had an awesome deal.  But by the time I remembered to get on and order they were completely out of most sizes, including mine.  :(

Sleep: Seems like I have been sleeping really well lately.  But I've also been doing a lot more.  Which means by the time we head to bed, I'm exhausted.  It used to take me at least a half an hour just to fall asleep.  Now I don't even think my head has a chance to hit the pillow. And I've been falling back asleep after Hubby's alarm goes off in the morning, which is not a normal thing either.  Loving my sleep!

Food Cravings/Aversions: Meat has been a little hard to deal with.  But I think that is getting better.  Hopefully.  And no cravings yet.  :)

Movement: After seeing our ultrasound, I'm 100% positive I've never felt Sprout move.  That baby was going crazy - the tech had a hard time getting a picture and had a hard time getting the heartbeat.  Definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life.  But I didn't feel a bit of it - which shocked both me and Hubby.  And since my uterus is tipped pretty far back - there is a good chance I won't feel anything until much closer to my 3rd trimester.  :(

What I Miss: Energy.  It is hard for me to not do everything I used to be able to.  

What I'm Loving: I think it has become a bit more real for Hubby after seeing our Little Sprout on the ultrasound screen.  It was really fun watching him grin from ear to ear as he watched.  I was torn between watching him and watching the baby.

What I'm Looking Forward To: We've started planning our gender reveal party.  At my next appointment we will schedule the gender ultrasound and I can't wait!!  Pinterest has become my best friend.  ;)

Best Moment This Week: Our first official (non-ER) ultrasound.

Milestones: Getting in some exercise is a HUGE deal for me!  Hoping I can keep it up!

Goals: I didn't get the bathroom floor sanded like I had hoped.  But it turns out, since we have gotten so busy, Hubby won't be able to get to that until at least May anyways.  So that got pushed to the back-burner.  My goal this week is to get some of our closets organized.  When we moved in, things just got shoved into closets, some things still in boxes - I really need to take care of that.  Baby wise - I want to start putting together an invite for our gender reveal party.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: White Matcha Tea

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 
I got my White Matcha Tea to review a couple of weeks ago.  And I was beyond excited!  I had heard so many great things!

Did you know...

*No GMO's or additives - LOVE this!
*Matcha is usually Green Tea - so this is special!
*The tea is stone ground into a fine powder - the key to matcha!

Why stone ground?  Because it doesn't take away flavor or health benefits - and tea is SO good for you!

What kind of health benefits?

*High antioxidant count to kill free radicals in the blood stream
*Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
*Decreases fine lines and wrinkles (yeah!)
*Helps maintain a good complexion

So what did I think?


It tastes good.  Really - I am a tea drinker at heart.  I don't like all.  So, tea is my thing!  It definitely has a unique flavor - but it is a good one!

It lasts a long time.  You only need to use a tiny little bit for each cup, so even though you only get a small pouch - it will last you a decent amount of time.

I do think that drinking the tea helped my complexion.  Being pregnant means I feel like I"m in high school again with all of the random break outs and obviously noticeable pimples.  And the 3 or 4 days I remembered to drink the tea in a row led to 3 or 4 days of less break outs.  :)

Most of all, I love eating (or drinking) things that I know are helping my body and not hurting it.  Because, let's face it, most of the stuff that we eat is probably doing more harm than good. 

I was very disappointed when I opened the package and found that there were no directions.  The products are on Amazon (which is how they sent my product) so I went there and found incomplete directions.  I had to go to their website to figure out what to do.  Which is extremely inconvenient.  I feel like it would take 2 seconds to print out a brief set of directions for each order.

I'm not sure if it is because I'm pregnant or what - but the texture really bothered me.  No matter how hot I made the water, the powder didn't quite disappear.  That really didn't agree with me.  However, I tried putting it in my Keurig self-brew cup and made it like I would loose leaf tea.  It is much better that way - though still has a somewhat weird texture.

Would I get more?

Probably not.  I love the health benefits.  But I just can't get past the texture for the price.  But everyone is different - so you should definitely give it a try!  
You can buy 30 grams on Amazon for 19.99 and FREE shipping!  And who doesn't love free shipping!?!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.