5 Minutes for Mom – Ultimate Blog Party

I originally learned about this Ultimate Blog Party #UBP14 because I was trying to submit some Tyndale books for review on 5 Minutes for Mom. Once I looked at all the amazing prizes being offered (including a little collection from Tyndale!), I wanted to join the party myself for the chance to win some of those great prizes! So for those of you who stumbled upon this blog from the Ultimate Blog Party, welcome! :) My name is Christy and I’m a wife, new mom to a 15 week baby boy named Jaylen, a pug mom to Chloe, a book publicist at Tyndale House Publishers, and an active member at my church. I enjoy running, but am working to rebuild my base after not running nearly as much during and after pregnancy. I also love reading, music, and horseback riding.

On this blog, I write about my life–so that’s anything from marriage, pugs, motherhood, faith, and running. There’s a little youth ministry thrown in there too from my former days as a youth leader. Hope you enjoy it!

I’m excited to connect with other moms and “party-goers,” so feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter!

This is our little family

This is our little family

 

, ,

13 Comments

My New Normal

IMG_1618My little boy just turned 10 weeks old. That means I only have a couple weeks of maternity leave left. This time has gone by slowly (sometimes the days feel long when I’m at home all day and not doing much except caring for baby), but also too quickly. Jaylen had a rough morning at his 2 month doctor appointment by getting 3 shots and another vaccine to drink. It broke my heart to see him cry harder with each vaccine injection. :( But other than that, he had a great check-up and is perfectly healthy and growing well.

This week I took Jaylen to visit my co-workers at Tyndale and also to visit Gerald’s class and his co-workers. We got stopped in the hall at his school every few feet by more teachers who wanted to ooh and ahh over the baby. That’s what happens when you work in a female-dominated profession. People usually ask how we’re doing and how he’s sleeping. He sleeps about 3-4 hours in a row at night, sometimes less and sometimes more (though this only happened once so far). Apparently this is normal though for a breastfed baby according to the pediatrician. Somehow God made it so parents can function on very little sleep.

As for how we’re doing, I say we’re doing alright. We’re adjusting to this new normal. A new normal that includes:

  • Interrupted sleep
  • Letting dirty dishes sit in the sink and household chores that don’t get done
  • Staring at Jaylen’s adorable face all day (for me)
  • Getting up hours ahead of time when preparing to go somewhere because it takes twice as long to get ready
  • Lots of outfit changes for me and for baby because of spit up (or diaper blowouts)
  • Doing laundry almost daily because of the spit up and blowouts
  • Cars that feel a lot smaller because of all the baby gear
  • Enjoying lots of smiles and cooing from our smiley 2 month old :)
  • Getting peed on various times a day (the joys of baby boys)
  • Speed-eating during meals or taking turns to eat
  • More time with family (the grandparents mostly want to see the baby, not so much us ;-P)
  • Naps with my newborn
  • Looking in awe at this little person we created and being amazed at how awesome he is

A lot of these things seem negative, but they’re really not that bad. I think of it as our badge of parenthood. We wouldn’t be parents if we didn’t get spit up on or peed on. It’s definitely not easy being a new parent, but when we look at our little boy, we can’t help but be filled with love and joy. I can’t believe I’ve been given the privilege of being his mother. It’s a huge responsibility as I think about how what we do now will shape him (in positive and negative ways) in the future. I pray he comes out alright. :) I also love knowing that I’m the main person he depends on for nourishment and comfort right now. I hope that never changes!

So while I sometimes wish I was still pregnant (I actually got more sleep while pregnant) or that I had some of the freedoms I had when we didn’t have Jaylen, I wouldn’t trade life with him for anything. He is so precious and a true gift from God. This newborn stage can be hard, but apparently everyone forgets that and still goes on to have more kids. I know one day I’ll look back and miss this, but for now I guess I’ll try to enjoy all those late night nursing sessions and how my baby won’t let us put him down to sleep sometimes. There will come a day when he’ll be more independent and won’t want to stay in my arms all the time. So I need to try to cherish all these mommy and son times while they last.

Such a smiley boy!

Such a smiley boy!

IMG_1667

Love my son!

, , , , ,

1 Comment

One Word for 2014

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve chosen a word to focus on for 2014. My word for the year is intentional. Specifically, there are a few areas I want to be intentional in:

Marriage: I need to be more intentional in giving Gerald attention as my husband and in focusing on building our relationship, especially now that we have a son who demands much of our attention (mostly mine right now). I need to be intentional in the ways I talk to Gerald and to allow space for some spontaneity in our relationship.

Motherhood: I want to be intentional in spending time with Jaylen and in investing in his life. This is especially important when I go back to to work in March. I want to be present for my son when I’m not working.

Spiritual: I want to be intentional in spending time with God. It’s challenging to do right now with a newborn, but the times that I do get to do a devotion, I want to be very intentional on making that time count.

Family: I’d like to be more intentional about connecting with my family, and specifically my siblings. We’ll have to FaceTime Jaylen’s Uncle Nathan more often so he can see how he’s growing!

Time/Activities: If I want to be intentional about the things listed above, I may need to say no to certain activities or serving opportunities in order to invest my time in the relationships and things that I think matter most.

2013 was quite the eventful year for us. We faced marital challenges, buying a house, getting a dog, having a baby, etc. It was definitely one of the more challenging years of my life. So I’m glad to close the door on 2013 and I’m looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

, ,

Leave a comment

Jaylen’s Birth Story

IMG_1051It’s hard to believe that just over a week ago, our firstborn son, Jaylen Micah Stroud, was born. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I had December 11 in my mind as a possible birth date for some reason. My actual due date was December 14, but I was hoping the baby would come between my birthday (Dec. 8) and then. Similar to the dream I had early in pregnancy where I dreamed I was having a boy, there may have been some kind of mother’s intuition or something going on because I went into labor on December 11 and our little boy was born the morning of December 12.

I’m not going to go into great detail, but here’s a nice little timeline with my commentary of Jaylen’s birth.

December 11
10:30 pm     We arrived home from having dinner at some church friends’ home. I’d felt some contractions while we were there, but I thought they were Braxton Hicks contractions and they weren’t very regular so I didn’t think anything of them. I took Chloe outside, brought her back in, went back out to check the mail, came in & had to go to the bathroom. After I went, I had an extra gush of liquid and my first thought was, “Oh no…did my water break?” I was taking a while so Gerald came down to see if I was okay and I told him, “I think my water broke!” That’s when I think we both started getting a little nervous & anxious.

I wanted to wait a little while to make sure I was actually leaking amniotic fluid before actually calling the doctor. So I texted my mom to let her know what happened and Gerald finished up some of his sub plans while I was trying to decide if I should call or not. Finally, at about 11:00, I was convinced I needed to call because I knew once your water broke you needed to head to the hospital soon. When I talked to the on-call doctor, she told me to start heading to the hospital. So I set my out of office message for maternity leave for work and quickly finished putting together my hospital bag. I also set everything out for Chloe and told my parents they needed to come pick her up.

December 12
12:00 am     Gerald and I finally headed off to the hospital

12:30 am     We check in to labor & delivery. I’m still not really feeling any contractions. They immediately hook me up to the monitor to monitor baby’s heart rate and my contractions and then get me started on an IV. That’s when I knew I was going to be stuck in bed  so I wouldn’t be able to move around in labor like I would’ve liked. I was already 2 cm dilated, which I had been for a couple weeks. The nurse talked to the doctor and said that they would monitor my contractions until about 4 am and then if they didn’t get stronger and closer together, they would start me on Pitocin. I even had a contraction while she was talking to me but I didn’t feel anything. She asked me what my pain level was on a scale of 1 to 10 and I honestly said it was a zero. So Gerald and I tried to take advantage of those next few hours to get some rest, which honestly was hard for me to do. It wasn’t very comfortable in that bed and being hooked up to all these things.

4:30 am     The nurse came back to check on me and said they were going to start me on Pitocin because my contractions were still irregular. I really didn’t want to get on Pitocin if I didn’t have to be because I would’ve preferred if my labor could continue naturally, but oh well. They gave me the lowest dose and soon after that, I started feeling the contractions more. I felt them before they started Pitocin too, but they weren’t very painful. As I lay there and the contractions started getting a little more intense, I started thinking maybe now I should ask for an epidural because this could take a while and if it’s going to get worse than this, I think I might want the medication.

5:00 am     My nurse came back to check on me and I told her I wanted an epidural. It took a while for them to get everything ready for that and to call the anesthesiologist in. While I was waiting, my contractions started getting more intense and painful. Gerald had to leave the room while they administered the drug. Unfortunately my contractions were getting more intense at this point and I had to try to hold still. I started sweating  and felt like I was going to throw up. It didn’t help that the blood pressure monitor also started trying to read my blood pressure while all this was going on. This was the worst part of my labor. It felt like it took forever for him to get the epidural in & start the medication. Even after he finished and they had me lie back down, I could barely talk and I still felt miserable. Soon after that though, the drugs started working and I felt SO much better. This was around 5:30. Gerald came back in and said I looked so relaxed. I actually started getting sleepy and wanted to take a nap. I couldn’t feel any contractions anymore, but I could still move my legs (though they felt numb).

6:00 am     Nurse came back to check on me and told me that it seemed like I just needed the epidural to relax me because now I was dilated to 8 cm! I was shocked when she told me that because I didn’t expect it to go that quickly. She said she would tell the doctor to stay close by and that I should let her know if I felt any pressure. I felt slight pressure off and on for the next hour and finally called the nurse in again at 7 am.

7:00 am     Nurse came back to check me and she could see the baby’s head. So he was just hanging out there probably for a while! She called the doctor and then a whole slew of other nurses also came into the room and started preparing for baby’s arrival.

7:20ish     The doctor and nurse had me do some practice pushes and said I was a good pusher. That was helpful to know because I couldn’t feel anything down there to know if I was making any progress. The nurse had to watch the monitor to tell me when to push because I couldn’t feel my contractions at all. Then the doctor left for some reason and the nurse was just having me push, but baby’s heart rate started dropping drastically and the next thing I know they’re paging the doctor to get in there quickly and she said they were going to use the vacuum to get him out quickly. It was a little scary (probably more for Gerald since he could see the whole thing happening), but I just prayed in that moment that our son would be okay.

7:30ish     I started helping the doctor by pushing during the contractions in addition to her using the vacuum and we got Jaylen out in probably about 5 or 6 pushes. All I know is it happened quickly.

7:46 am     Jaylen was born weighing 6 lbs. 13 oz. and at 19 inches long.

IMG_1052

I didn’t get to do skin-to-skin with him right away because the nurses took him over to clean him up and probably check on him. Gerald did get to go over there though (after cutting the umbilical cord). So unfortunately I could only watch from a distance while the doctor stitched me up. I heard him crying and I could see his little legs and I kept thinking, “I can’t believe he’s really here.” I’m thankful for a fairly easy (and actually relatively pain-free for most of it) and short labor.

So we’re about a week into this parenting thing and life with a newborn is a little rough. The lack of sleep, I think, is starting to catch up with me now. Plus no one talks about how difficult the mother’s recovery after labor & delivery can be. I was dealing with pain and discomfort from that up until a couple days ago. Not to mention the challenges of breastfeeding. Everyone keeps saying it gets better and it’s worth it, but sometimes I just keep wondering when that “better” stuff will start. It’s already a little better and I keep reminding myself that this is only a season. It won’t always be like this. Thankfully Gerald has been amazing with helping out around the house–cleaning up things that have been packed up in boxes in our basement and washing dishes (which he hates)–and changing diapers or holding Jaylen while he sleeps so I can get some rest or get something done.

Despite all the challenges of being a new parent, we love our little guy. His name, “Jaylen,” means “tranquil healer.” We chose this name because we like more unique names, but also because his birth is a reminder to us of the healing power of the cross and how God can redeem brokenness. His middle name, “Micah,” means “Who is like God?” We hope that Jaylen will grow up to be a young man who strives to follow God and be more like Christ daily. Jaylen, we’re blessed to be your parents!

IMG_1170

IMG_1172

, , , , ,

7 Comments

What I’m Thankful for in 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! We should be thankful all the time no matter what the circumstances, so in honor of this special holiday where we remind ourselves of this, here are some things I’m thankful for this year:

1. I’m thankful that God is in the restoration business. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may recall that this year was a particularly difficult one in our marriage. We are still in that healing process, but I am so grateful that God is in the business of taking broken pieces and transforming them into something new. He did that with my life by saving me from my sinful nature and redeeming me so I’m no longer a slave to sin. He’s continuing to do that now in our marriage by taking what was broken and restoring and transforming it into a new and better marriage. Of course, this is not an easy process because He’s having two imperfect, sinful people work to make a marriage more holy, but I’m thankful that God has given us the opportunity to work on our relationship and the desire in both Gerald and me to make it stronger. We still would appreciate prayers in this area though as it can be a struggle when life gets busy and it’s going to get a lot busier with this baby’s pending arrival!

Last week's belly photo

Last week’s belly photo

2. I’m thankful for a fairly easy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I know I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t have any morning sickness or really any other issues (no swelling, not too many aches & pains except for lately, no real health issues with the baby, etc.) throughout this pregnancy. I know some people hate being pregnant, but it really hasn’t been too bad for me. I’m still not even that huge (people can’t believe that I’m due in about 2 weeks) even though to me I feel big. So I know that plays a big role in me not having a lot of back pain and other discomforts. I’ve been sleeping well aside from getting up a couple times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and maybe luckily for Gerald, I haven’t had any strange cravings to drive him crazy (people have been telling me to make them up just for fun). At our 21 week ultrasound, the baby had a calcification on his heart, which can be a soft marker for Downs Syndrome, but the doctor wasn’t too concerned about it. Then at an ultrasound I had a few weeks ago (because they thought I was measuring small, but baby’s actually okay–66th percentile for growth), they said the calcification was gone and the heart looks great! That was a huge praise for us because Gerald also has a heart condition that could possibly be genetic. So far everything looks good. I’ve enjoyed how easy this pregnancy has been (hopefully my future ones are similar), but I’m definitely ready to not be pregnant now. So I’m excited for labor to begin, but also kind of nervous about it because I don’t know what to expect. This is another area we’d appreciate prayers for–pray for a smooth, hopefully quick, and safe delivery of baby in the coming weeks!

3. I’m thankful for my family. This is always a given, but I have a wonderful family–immediate and in-laws. This year I’ve appreciated the grace and forgiveness both sides of our family has demonstrated. I’m also so grateful for their generosity in helping us fix up our new home, furnish it, and in providing us with things we’ll need for baby. I’m grateful that our families lives nearby because this will be a huge help once the baby arrives too. I’m also glad my family loves pugs because they’re going to take care of Chloe for us for a while when baby comes. My sister and dad also helped us care for Chloe every day for about four months when we first got her.

4. I’m thankful for my pug. This is our first Thanksgiving with Chloe and now we couldn’t imagine life without her. She brings us such joy (and IMG_0671sometimes frustration when she goes through the trash, recycling, or eats our food that she finds in bags). We love her energetic personality and I appreciate how considerate she was the one time she had an accident at home by peeing in the kitchen and not on the carpet (she stays home alone for 11 hours about 3 days a week – luckily probably not anymore). Chloe is a great companion & hopefully she’ll be a wonderful big pug sister.

5. I’m thankful for God’s provision. He provided us with a new home to call our own in His perfect timing. We have been blessed with more than we need and somehow He provides for us when finances begin to stress us out.

6. I’m thankful to work for a company that supports working moms. Tyndale has been so great with allowing me to work from home twice a week starting in September. This has helped since my commute is now about an hour and 10 minutes one way. I’m grateful for such a supportive boss and HR department that is also allowing me to work from home from now until the baby’s born. I love how Tyndale is so supportive of the work/life balance and understands the importance of family. I’m not sure exactly what my work schedule will look like after maternity leave, but I am grateful for the support and flexibility they’ve given me so far.

7. I’m thankful for my husband. Even though this has been a rough year for us, I am thankful for Gerald. He works hard to provide for our family and more specifically, did a lot of work (painting, handiwork, etc.) on our home this summer. I was even pleasantly surprised yesterday when I got home from work (he had the day off) and saw that he’d put up our Christmas decorations on his own AND did all the tasks I suggested he could do during the day–including washing dishes, which he hates. I’m thankful that he chose me and that he is willing to work with me to make our marriage even better IMG_0906than it was when we first got married nearly 2.5 years ago. I know he’ll be a great father.

I could find lots of other little things to be thankful for, but these are some of the things that have been on my heart lately. Most of all, I’m thankful to the Giver of all these good gifts. He has shown me this year how to be thankful in the good and the bad circumstances. 

, ,

Leave a comment

An Expectant Mother’s View on Advent

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a week away. Since Thanksgiving is so late this year, that means the Advent season is quickly approaching too. This year, at 36–almost 37–weeks pregnant, I am viewing advent from a different perspective. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was at the same stage of pregnancy I am right now waiting for her baby boy to be born. I imagine as a first-time mom, Mary would’ve felt much of what I’m feeling right now: anxious and nervous about labor and delivery (because of not knowing what to expect), wondering when I might go into labor, excitement about being able to meet my son soon, wondering how being a parent will change my life and if I’ll be good at it, etc.

Advent is about waiting expectantly. At Christmas, we’re waiting expectantly for Christ to be born. Now that He has already come and gone back to be with the Father, today we are waiting expectantly for Christ to return at the Second Coming. I think being nine months pregnant gives you a great sense of how we should feel about longing and waiting for Christ’s return. I’m longing for this baby to be born (although somewhat reluctantly sometimes when I think of the pain I’m going to have to endure for him to get here) and I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore. I know the baby can come at almost any time at this point, but I still feel like I have so much to do before he gets here. I need to finish putting baby things away, get a few more baby things that we need, get the car seat inspected in my car, finish up things at work before maternity leave (mostly trying to work ahead), etc. I’m trying to prepare as best I can for baby’s arrival, but I also know he can come before I even get to do some of these things. So in the meantime, I’m actively waiting by doing things to prepare for whenever he gets here.

Similarly, we don’t know when Christ will return and we may feel like there are so many things we want to get done before He arrives (like getting married, having kids, traveling, experiencing life the way you want, sharing the Gospel with those who haven’t heard–hopefully this last one should be more of a priority–etc). Jesus may come back before any of these things happen, so we need to be prepared too by actively waiting for Him and focusing on the things that matter most in eternity. We should be living in a way that is actively preparing ourselves for Christ’s arrival on this earth. I know I don’t generally think in these terms or live with this in mind, but I want to have that kind of focus.

To help me with this, I’m going to be reading through Ann Voskamp‘s The Greatest Gift, this December. It’s a beautiful little book published by Tyndale that traces and celebrates the lineage of Jesus while pointing to the coming promise of Christ. {For full disclosure, I do work for Tyndale, but was not required to post about this book. I’m just personally excited to use it!} I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to keep up with the readings once Baby Stroud is born, but I’m going to try to keep up as I can.

Ann actually did a great webcast today with Liz Curtis Higgs as they both spoke about remembering the true meaning of Christmas. You can watch the entire “Christmas at the Farm” webcast on-demand and I’d encourage you to do so!

So as I’m patiently waiting for Baby Stroud to arrive (still patient right now…if I go past my due date, that may be another story), I hope I can take these feelings of waiting, anticipation, and even anxiety and allow them to remind me that I’m also waiting for my Savior’s return, which should be even more exciting and highly anticipated. May that reminder help me to refocus my attention on what is most important this Christmas season.

Do you do anything special for Advent to focus on the true meaning of Christmas? 

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Growing Baby

I haven’t been posting a lot of pregnancy pictures online, but for those who may be curious as to how Baby Stroud has been growing, he is definitely hitting a growth spurt.

First half of pregnancy

First half of pregnancy

belly2

2nd half of pregnancy

I started out taking photos every two weeks (except for the first two). I will note that on week 12, it looks like I have more of a belly, but judging by the photos after that, it wasn’t exactly baby belly showing at that time. ;-) Now that we’re only about two more months until Baby’s birthday, I’m taking pictures every week. I think this is when we’ll see the most growth anyway.

I’m still feeling pretty good. No back pain or other aches yet…unless I’m sitting in the same position for a while. Then I start to get uncomfortable. I’m tired, but I also need to work on getting to sleep earlier (5am alarms are tough). Gerald and I are getting excited to meet baby, but I know I’m also a little anxious! I don’t feel ready for baby yet (in terms of…we don’t really have anything for him!) We did set up the Pack ‘N’ Play in our room and I bought a stroller, which arrived last week. We finally also ordered the crib, which should get here Saturday. Maybe I’ll start to feel better once we start putting things in the nursery. Speaking of Saturday, we have an all-day childbirth preparation class that day so it should be interesting! Hopefully it won’t make me more nervous about labor and delivery. :)

, , , ,

6 Comments

Quarter Life Conference – Career & Social Justice

QLCIf you’re a 20 or 30-something, consider joining the Quarter Life Conference today. It’s FREE and you can hear from some great speakers about career and social justice.

I happen to be one of the speakers for today’s conference (although I almost feel a little out of place because I’m not an author or a writer or anything–but I do work with authors). In my session, I share about my career journey and how God was guiding me along the way and eventually led me to Tyndale. Ultimately one of the main themes I’ve seen in my life since high school up until now is that God’s plan for my life is always better than my own.

You can join in on the conference at any time today by watching the videos. Here’s a glimpse at the lineup of speakers:

1. Your Job Can Advance God’s Kingdom – Dr. Amy Sherman speaks on vocational calling and career, and how we can further God’s kingdom by what we do. We don’t have to be a pastor or be a super spiritual Christian–instead, focus on whatever gifting you already have as an artist, architect, or whatever to spread the message of the Gospel. There is no sacred or secular divide. Jesus is renewing everything for His kingdom! This is great news for those of us who have felt guilty for not going into “full time ministry.”

2. God works in spite of action (or in-action) on our part – Christy Stroud speaks on God’s plan vs. your career plan, and how God brought her a job even when she wasn’t looking. Be encouraged! Even though the economy is obviously way, way worse than it was many years ago–God’s plan is always way, way better than our own. You and I never know where that next job will come from! You can trust God with your career!

3. Sexual Harassment at Work is Wrong – Crystal Renaud speaks on social justice. No job should ever mistreat, manipulate, or lead you to a place where sexual harassment is considered normal or even okay! Because it’s not. If you or anyone you know is currently being manipulated at their job–it’s okay to get help! You don’t have to feel trapped in a job with inappropriate coworkers or bosses. (Side note: It took me four years to confess that I had been sexually harassed at a Christian work place. You can read that article here.)

4. Find and Do Work That Matters – Justin Zoradi speaks on why doing work that matters means that you’re using your greatest strengths. Good character creates sustainable success, and the person you are becoming is far more important than the work that you are doing. It’s important to play the long term investment game now as a 20/30-something–so that you can reap those rewards through the rest of your career.

5. Don’t Waste Your Life or Career – Paige Omartian speaks about how bone cancer almost took her life as an 11 year old. Our career is a lot bigger than just what we do as our job–it’s what we do with our life. You don’t have to wait for a life altering experience to start pursuing your career. Your life matters now! It’s time to stop wasting your life, and ask God to help lead and guide you in the right career path today!

6. You Are Not The Only One Struggling in Your Career – Paul Angone speaks on how our twenties are tough. That’s the truth. Too many 20-somethings are struggling through a quarter life crisis alone. You and I need help. Together, we need support. We all need nudges, prompts, advice and encouragement. No one has it figured out. It’s okay to struggle, but you don’t have to be alone!

7. Start Your Own Business – I speak on 5 easy steps to start your own business. As a 20-something I started my own business over 5 years ago, and as a 30-something I’m so glad I did. I’ve learned so much as a self employed person, and it has allowed me the freedom to pursue my dreams as a full time speaker and writer. If you would like to know more information on how to star your own business, please go here.

8. Take Time to Find Your Dream Job and Career – Sarah Francis Martin speaks on taking time to gain valuable work experience to get that dream job/career. Unfortunately, not every one is in the position to take a few years (or five) to gain valuable work experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It is possible to pursue your dream job and career in today’s economy! Thankfully, God does not waste any work experiences. Of we’re open–He’ll show us where He wants us to go, and what He wants us to learn each step of the way.

So get some friends together or watch the conference on your own and find out how you can survive and thrive in your career.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

It’s a…

Last Monday we had our anatomy scan. Any time I get to see or hear baby is exciting and reassuring because then I know that it’s still alive and that everything’s okay. This ultrasound was also special because it’s the first one Gerald could come to and the first one since 10 weeks pregnant. Baby looked a lot more human and less like a bean! We were also hoping to find out the gender of the baby.

The scan went pretty well except for the fact that baby was curled up and made it more challenging for us to see his/her face. It also means I need to go back for another ultrasound in a couple weeks so they can get better pictures of the heart. We tried to get baby to stretch out by having me change positions, but no such luck. The ultrasound tech kept saying, “Baby’s hiding.” So maybe baby’s taking after mommy a little bit by being shy! Everything seems to look good though.

Profile view of Baby (it wouldn't let me rotate it)

Profile view of Baby (it wouldn’t let me rotate it to landscape, but the head is at the top)

Since baby was curled up, I was getting nervous by the end of the appointment that we wouldn’t be able to find out the gender. But I asked the tech about it before we left and she said she was able to tell. She even had a picture for us so she wrote it down on a piece of paper and put that with the pic in the envelope we brought. We sealed it and had to wait until our gender reveal party to find out!

On Sunday we had a small gender reveal party just for our families and one family from church (the husband and wife used to be my youth counselors). We passed the envelope with the gender to Susan, the wife, earlier in the week and I asked her to get helium balloons in pink or blue (depending on what the paper says) and told her to put them in a big box. Originally I was going to have my sister do this, but then I thought it would be more fun for all our family members to be surprised together.

Ready to open the box!

Ready to open the box!

So we all gathered at our new house after church (so it was sort of a house warming party too) for lunch and the big reveal. It also happened to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, but she was gracious to share the day with us because scheduling was so hard to do. My brother surprised us too by coming in for the party from Minnesota! We kept the party casual by doing a potluck and stressed we didn’t want people to bring gifts. Gerald grilled made-to-order burgers for everyone and the only game/activity we did was a quiz I found online about old wives tales that supposedly indicate the baby’s gender. We also had everyone vote on a tally board for whether they thought baby was a boy or a girl. Gerald voted boy and I put my vote on girl (even though a few months ago I dreamed we were having a boy). The boy had more votes.

The Votes

The Votes

After everyone ate, we gathered together to go over the quiz answers and then finally the big reveal, which you can watch for yourself (just scroll down if you don’t want to watch the video to find out what we’re having):

(keep scrolling…)

So we’re expecting a baby boy this December! :) I got a little emotional once we opened the box, not because I was sad, but knowing the gender makes this pregnancy a little more real. Baby is a “he” and not just “it” or “baby” anymore. So although I probably won’t get a little equestrian out of my baby boy, I may be able to turn him into a runner. Gerald’s looking forward to fishing, basketball, and dressing our son in H&M Kids clothes. :-P

It was special to share this moment with our families by all finding out the baby’s gender together. I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing this with any other children God might bless us with, but I definitely prefer finding out in a more special way than just at the doctor’s office. I gave Hershey’s bars to all the people who voted for a boy as a prize. I was going to color the Hershey part with markers, but the ones I had wouldn’t stay on the wrapper. Oh well.

Blue cupcakes were brought out after the reveal!

Blue cupcakes were brought out after the reveal!

So enjoy a few more pictures from our party.

We're having a boy!

We’re having a boy!

Team Blue - the winners!

Team Blue – the winners!

Team Pink - the losers

Team Pink – the losers

Even the pugs are excited

Even the pugs are excited

22 weeks

22 weeks

, , , , , ,

2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Yesterday we celebrated Chloe’s 7th birthday! It’s hard to believe we’ve only had her for six months (it will be exactly six months on Friday). It feels like so much longer, but in a good way. :)

Chloe loves digging through bags (which we’ve seen when she dug through the trash multiple times since we moved). So we made sure to put all her gifts in bags. She thoroughly enjoyed opening them last night as evidenced through her Instagram video.

I made her some doggy cupcakes, which humans can eat too. They’re banana and peanut butter. She loved them so much that she ate the wrapper!

Chloebday

When we first got Chloe, I wasn’t too excited about taking her at first despite the fact that I love all pugs. I didn’t like that she was so much older already (I kind of wanted my first pug to be a young pug or puppy) and she didn’t look too good. Now just six months later, Chloe looks so much healthier according to everyone who sees her. The vet says she’s the thinnest pug they’ve ever seen (but in a healthy way) and she even put on more weight since we got her! And in spite of her age, Chloe acts like a young pug! She’s so playful and crazy, so I still have my active pug. She’s more active than my parents’ 3-year-old pug. Needless to say, we love Chloe and we couldn’t imagine life without her now.

We definitely changed one pug’s world–and she changed ours. :)

, , , , ,

2 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,050 other followers