Thursday, August 28, 2008

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles... (and more!)

We are definitely thinking boy! We've been looking at furniture and bedding recently and so far, the following beddings are our contenders. Before we knew what we were having, I was thinking that if it was a boy that I really wanted to do a themed nursery. I think the first and the last are my favorites (the teacher in me loves the last one!) but we like all of them.

Which one is your favorite? If you have any suggestions of other fun beddings, I would love to hear them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Women of Faith and Swollen Feet

Last weekend I attended the Women of Faith Conference in Dallas. It was a nice weekend of encouragement and just getting to be around sweet friends. I was awful at taking pictures so I don’t really have any from the weekend to share. I am going to try to get better about taking more pictures with a baby on the way! The conference was at the American Airlines Center. I had never been there (it’s probably about 4 years old now – built after I moved away from the DFW metroplex) and it’s huge! The speakers were, for the most part, great and I enjoyed them tremendously. Sandi Patty was there and it had been a LONG time since I had seen her. Natalie Grant (who is adorable and after seeing her in person totally reminds me of my sweet friend Kasi) sang and spoke a little and did a tremendous job. Nicole C Mullen was there and can I just say that I completely adore her?!? She’s incredibly ripped (like incredibly…arms like I had never seen on a woman) and just seems like the sweetest, most giving, and humble person. I was totally blessed by her heart. Patsy Clairmont spoke and I hardly have words…I laughed so hard! I hope that when I get to be her age that I have that much energy. I bet that she is the most fun grandma! Sheila Walsh spoke, and while I wasn’t familiar with her going into this, she’s one of my new favorite people. She spoke on prayer and on all that God has taught her about prayer in the last few years and it was so so good. She wrote a book called “Get Off Your Knees and Pray” and I almost bought it. But then I realized that I could get it online for cheaper so I plan on ordering it or putting it on my Christmas list. There was an organization there called New Life that I had never heard of. It’s a lot like Living Water, if you’re familiar with that organization. They help provide clean water to families in Africa and provide schooling and food to children, etc. The way it’s set up is that you adopt a child (they have brochures of all of the children with pictures and a little blurb about them) and for $1/day you are able to provide clean water, food, clothing, schooling, etc. for that child. They told of shocking statistics – like most families walk 5 miles EACH WAY, DAILY to get dirty water to take back to their family and that 1 child dies in Africa every 15 minutes from lack of clean water due to a disease as preventable as diarrhea. Heartbreaking. I sat there and cried. They told a story of a little boy from Rwanda, named Emmanuel, whose father was killed 10 or so years ago by insurgents. His mother fled with the children to Uganda but had no way to provide for her family. Praise the Lord that all of her children were adopted by New Life, including Emmanuel. He was able to get an education, he learned English, and was led to Jesus by some of his teachers. He was gifted musically and was able to grow in that gift. He became a huge Sandi Patty fan and said that he could relate to many of the things that she sang about…he called her the woman in the box (meaning the TV). Soon the word of his talents got out and he was invited by the president of Uganda to come into his home and perform. Due to the contacts that he made, he eventually got a scholarship to Georgetown, where he currently attends. He was at this conference and came up on stage and was able to share how God has changed his life. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. He talked about how he came to America and was so amazed because our dogs are so well taken care of, getting pedicures and things. He said, “I came here and saw how animals are treated…and I know that if God can take care of animals this well, he can provide for the children in Africa!” It was sweet and eye opening at the same time. The coolest part was that, since Sandi Patty was there, she came up on stage and they sang together! They were both crying and it was so touching! Alright, now that I am crying all over again…I’m going to move on!

I left Friday morning to head north for the conference, by myself. I should preface this by saying that it’s been a long time since I’ve made this drive (usually about 4.5 hours) by myself – I have gotten spoiled by Collin who always graciously drives and lets me sleep (I am a HUGE car sleeper!). I was not looking forward to making the drive alone and had decided ahead of time, in order to avoid multiple potty stops, I wouldn’t drink much while driving (and I didn’t drink much of anything that morning either). And it worked. I only had to stop twice, I think. I was pretty proud of myself – if you could possibly understand how much I have to potty these days, you’d be proud of me, too! Well, we got to our hotel that afternoon; checked in, walked to dinner, and then walked to the American Airlines Center (I think it was something like 1/2-3/4 of a mile from our hotel). The American Airlines Center holds some enormous and ridiculous amount of people and it’s HUGE! We were on the top level (the third level) and let me just tell you, it was a steep little stair climb to get to where our seats were. I am very much afraid of heights and it scared the heck out of me. So, in an effort to try and eliminate having to make multiple potty runs and avoid the scary stairs, I didn’t drink much water. To further illustrate my point I think that I should also tell you that we tried to walk a different way back to our hotel that night and got lost, so we added at least ½ a mile onto the already long walk. By the time we got back to the hotel, I went to take my shoes off and OH-MY-GOODNESS…I had marshmallow man feet. Humungous swollen ankles….cankles! I had cankles for the first time in my life! Part of this little naive pregnant girl thought that it might just be because I had worn new shoes (dumb, I know) and they were a little tight. The swelling got worse on Saturday. By the time that I got to my parents house on Saturday night, my parents could hardly believe it. We took pictures to document but they don’t do justice at all. Why is it that the gravity of the situation never comes through in pictures?!?

The left one was the worst - see how it sticks put beyond my ankle on the left side! My mom took pity on me and let me lay on the couch all evening, bringing me tons of water, while she slaved away in the kitchen. She even rubbed my feet! By the next day they were looking way better but Collin could still tell that they were swollen by the time that I got home Sunday night. And, in an effort to get my feet back to normal size, I drank tons of water Saturday night, Sunday morning, and drank a bottle on the drive back as well. I had to stop 6 (yes, I said 6) times on the way back to Houston to find a potty. It made my drive over 5 hours long, but I made it home, hydrated, eventually! Collin took pity on me as well and had dinner made and just let me lay on the couch. He had even ironed the clothes and had cleaned up because he knew that I would be really tired. It was so good to see him – I miss him so much when we’re apart!

Larissa and I took some belly pictures together on Saturday evening after the conference. I was 20 weeks and 3 days here and she was 24 weeks and 1 day. It’s been so fun going through this pregnancy with her. And I’m so excited that their little girl and our little boy will be so close in age! Little Maylee, along with a few select others, are the only girls that are on the approved dating list for our son!
I feel that I must say that this white shirt makes my tummy look considerably larger than it actually is. Something about the way it fits...I don't know what it is but all day I felt huge! So, if you're looking at this and thinking, "Wow - she's really big!" I'm really not as big and this makes me look :)

I had a check up yesterday and was really looking forward to going over the measurements from last week’s ultrasound with my doctor (my doctor wasn’t the one who did the ultrasound). The place that I had the ultrasound done hadn’t sent over the results yet so I was pretty bummed. The doctor that did the ultrasound told us that everything looked good (and he specializes in detecting down syndrome and other fetal abnormalities through ultrasound) and healthy so it’s not like we’re worried or anything. I just wanted to talk about it with my doctor. She told me that since they hadn’t rushed the results over that it was a good sign. They only do that when something’s wrong. I also wanted to hear my doctor say, “Yes, it is indeed a boy!” I’m starting to get a little paranoid about that because everything is now blue and I just want to hear someone else confirm that Baby Day is indeed a boy. The sonographer pointed out his little boy part but I didn’t really even see it coming out from between his legs (although Collin did). I told my doctor that and she goes, “So, what did you think it was just a floating wiener!” Ha! I know that we saw it and it’s definitely a boy so I don’t know what I’m worried about. I’m just the type of person that needs lots of confirmation! I talked to my doc about my swollen feet and she said to just keep my feet propped up as often as I can and drink lots of water (which I knew and was already doing). They’re looking a little better everyday but they’re still a little puffy. One of my co-workers told me yesterday that she could definitely tell they’re swollen and that it looked like my shoes were too tight! The joys of pregnancy :)

OK – this is the longest post ever. If you’re still reading this then I’m impressed and I hope you’re having a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pictures as promised

Here are a couple ultrasound pictures of our sweet little boy. The second one kind of looks like a pirate since you can only see one of his eye sockets! It was so amazing watching him during the ultrasound. He kept putting his adorable little hand in front of his face - it was so cute! We could see all 4 chambers of his heart and could actually see his heart beating inside of his chest. I don't know how anyone can witness that and not believe in God. The way everything works's so evident that there's a greater power at work. I just laid there and cried as we watched our son squirm around on the ultrasound machine.

I am leaving tomorrow to head up north for the Women of Faith Conference this weekend. I am going with my best friend, Larissa, and friend, Stephanie. The conference is in Dallas and we are staying in a hotel on Friday night. I love staying in hotels! It will be a fun girls weekend and I am excited to get away from all the craziness that we've had going on lately and hear a word from the Lord. I'll post about it next week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a...


We are thrilled! He is growing and developing nicely - weighing in at a whopping 12 ounces. He has all of his extremities and all of his parts look normal and measured appropriately. Praise the Lord! He was kicking around and twirling all about. The doctor said that he is in the breech position but that at this stage that doesn't mean anything because they move around so much. We got the cutest little shot of his perfect little feet and got to see his tiny little was the sweetest thing! I can hardly wait to kiss those precious little feet! And there's no mistaking the gender...he's all boy :)

We got a few pictures but, to be honest, they're not the greatest pics in the world. They tried to get some profile shots of him but couldn't get him to turn right so they took some head on shots. His eyes are still fused shut (I think they open around week 26 or 32 or something like that) but you can see the eye sockets and it's kind of freaky. Don't get me wrong, it's still beautiful and I love it, but I don't know if anyone other than family would appreciate it! It kind of looks like alien baby! Still, I will post them soon.

Collin has his CFP class tonight so I was driving home by myself and I was talking to my mom on the phone. I was talking to her about how awesome it is that God has planned all along for us to bring this little boy into the world. I am so overwhelmed that He chose me to be this little boy's mommy. He has supremely planned our family for us and I cry every time I think about that. How amazing is He! Thank you Lord for this little boy, my SON!!!

Today's the day!

We will be going at 2:40 PM to find out if we should be thinking pink or blue! We are so excited!!! We'll see who's predictions were right! I am not only ecstatic to learn of this baby's gender but also to see the baby moving around. The last ultrasound that we had was at 7 weeks and the baby looked like a Lima bean and didn't really move. This will be a huge change and my heart smiles just thinking about watching our baby squirm around! I'll try to post tonight but if not, definitely tomorrow. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: It's 12:00 noon as I type this and I am leaving work in 30 minutes to go meet Collin for lunch. I am overwhelmed with emotion. Our lives are about to change forever. We are about to learn the sex of our first born (hopefully!). This baby will go from being unnamed and labeled as "it" to having a name. My eyes fill with tears just thinking about it. I feel so blessed. Thank You Lord for this perfect little miracle that You are knitting together so perfectly in my stomach. I have dreamt about this day for a long time - I can hardly believe that it's finally my turn! We truly do not care what this baby is - we will be ecstatic either way, we just pray that it is healthy and growing normally. We 100% believe that God has sovereignly planned our family for us and we're so glad - He knows exactly what we need. I honestly would not choose if I had the choice. He knows best!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Collin!

My dear Collin,

Today marks a beautiful day in my life...the day that you came into this world. I am so honored to get to spend this and every birthday with you.

I love that you are the one that I get to come home to everyday. The one that I can laugh with, cry with, complain to, grieve with, pray with, experience great joy with, and walk this life with. You balance me out so well and make life fun!

I am so proud of you! You are a man of true integrity and I am so honored to call you my husband! I have seen God grow you a tremendous amount in the last year and I am excited to see Him continue to grow us as individuals and as a couple in the years to come. I cannot express to you how God has used you to hold me up (and keep me sane!) through the hills and valleys of life. You are a huge blessing to me - the good Lord will never hear the end of my praise for giving me you as a husband.

Happy Birthday to you...the love of my life and my very best friend.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Melting Pot

Tomorrow is Collin's birthday - yay!- and we went to The Melting Pot on Friday night to celebrate. It's a place that we've always talked about going and just never had so we decided to try it. It was so much fun! If you've never been, you should definitely go!

It's a fondue restaurant so almost everything they serve you is fondue style. They put a fondue pot on your table on top of a burner and everything cooks in front of you. The fondue pot you see below is actually the one they use for cheese fondue, that's why it's not very big. They have about 6 different types of cheese fondue and serve it with various types of bread, apples, and veggies for dipping. We didn't actually get a cheese fondue because it was not going to agree with this pregnant girl but most people around us did.

Then, they bring you a salad and oh-my-goodness...we both said that it was the best salad we've probably ever had. We both got the caesar salad and HELLO LOVE - it was fabulous! It had these little parmesan cheese encrusted pine nuts...amazing! Even Collin ate his entire salad and that's the first time I've ever seen that happen!

For the main course, you decide what type of cooking style you want (they have 4 different flavors to choose from) and they add all the ingredients to the pot at your table (a new, larger pot). Then, they bring you whatever type of meat that you ordered, raw - we had ordered this deal for 2 people and it included chicken, filet mignon, beef tips, shrimp, and salmon. They also brought us broccoli, mushrooms, and new potatoes. You cook all the food yourself in the pot. It's so fun! At first, when a friend told me about this place, I thought, "If I am paying good money to go out to dinner...I do not want to have to cook my own food!" But it's actually very easy and really fun. They brought us about 6 different sauces for dipping all the different things in. Yum!

Then, they have a bunch of different chocolate fondues to choose from. This was my favorite part! We ordered a smores one that had milk chocolate, marshmallow cream, and was flambeed at our table and then sprinkled with graham crackers. It was sooo good! It really tasted just like a smore. They brought us cheesecake, strawberries, pound cake, marshmallows, rice krispy treats, bananas, brownies, and graham crackers for dipping. We were stuffed from all the other food but managed to find room to finish off our pot of chocolate :)

I am not a fan of the above picture. My left arm looks huge and I almost didn't post it but then I realized that was really vain so I decided to post it anyway. I didn't really mean to make this sound like an ad for The Melting Pot but we had a good time and I just wanted to share. If you're looking for somewhere new and fun to try, you should go!

And on another note, today is my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday, mom! We love you so much and wish we could be close to celebrate with you :) You are an amazing woman and I am so blessed to have you in my life. I love you more than words.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

19 weeks and other ramblings

We are 19 weeks and 3 days today! It's hard to believe that this pregnancy is almost halfway over. My stomach is definitely growing. It's weird because it seems like at the end of the day my stomach is HUGE and I think things like, "Are we sure there's just one baby in there?" or "Oh-my-goodness…if I'm this big already, I am going to be GIGANTIC by 36 weeks!" Then I will wake up in the morning (or on one of my frequent trips to the potty in the middle of the night) and look at my belly in the mirror and it looks normal. It looks pregnant but there's just a little pooch instead of half of a basketball protruding from my gut. I know that your digestive system slows way down when you're pregnant so a lot of the bigness is from bloating I guess. Here's a picture at 19 weeks.

I think that I felt the baby move a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting at my desk at work being still and I got this flip flop feeling on the left side of my stomach. I'm not sure if it was the baby or not but it was strong enough that it made me stop what I was doing and immediately grab my stomach. Then I didn't feel anything for about a week and a half. I was starting to doubt that I had ever felt anything at all. Then I felt it again a couple of nights ago in the same spot. I told Collin that it probably wasn't the baby because it was in the same exact spot and I just blew it off. Then several nights ago, I am almost positive I felt the baby. We were laying down watching TV and I got up out of bed and started walking (to the bathroom…big shocker!) and all of a sudden I felt this tiny pinching from the inside of my stomach on the opposite side. I was so excited! Collin immediately wanted me to come over so that he could see if he could feel anything. He really wants to be able to feel the baby move! I have felt similar little pinching feelings a couple of times since then. So exciting!

Don't you just love the Summer Olympics? I have been so tired every morning from staying up late watching them (side note: late to me is anytime after 10:00 PM)! Michael Phelps is killing it and I love watching him because he is so genuinely excited, hard working, and doesn't come across as conceited. I love it when humble people do really well! And Shawn Johnson from the US Girls Gymnastic team is my favorite little cutie! When Collin and I are watching the games and she comes on, I am always making comments like, "She's so adorable…I just want to squeeze her!" Ha! I'm not normally a huge TV watcher but I really enjoy the summer Olympics. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Only 3 days until we find out what Baby Day is!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

BOY or GIRL? What do YOU think?

We find out on August 19th! We are both so anxious to know. When I wake up in the morning, one of my first thoughts is, “only __ more days until we know what this baby is!” I am ready to move away from the green and yellow section in the baby stores and start shopping in the pink or blue!

People keep asking us what we think we’re having and honestly, our answer just depends on how we feel that day. We both change our minds frequently. We really hope to be blessed eventually with both genders so we don’t really care what this first one is. I have always pictured myself with a boy first and Collin’s always pictured himself with a girl first so we’ll see whose mental picture becomes reality.

I want to know what you think it is! I have posted a list of Old Wives Tales below & our answers for anyone who swears by any of these methods to make a more accurate prediction.

Old Wives Tales:

Chinese Gender Prediction Chart - The Chinese came up with a lunar calendar to determine gender. You can google these and find them online. It takes the mother’s age at conception and the month that conception occurred and tells you what you're having. When I did, it said we were having a = GIRL

Heartbeat - They say that if the baby's heartbeat is slower (below 140), you are more likely having a boy and if it's faster (above 140) you're more likely having a girl. The first heartbeat we heard was at 7 weeks was 143 bpm. All appointments since then (3) it has been well into the 160's. According to the theory, we are more likely having a = GIRL

Ring Test - There is an old wives tale that says that if you take off your wedding ring, place it on a chain, and hang it over your belly, the way that it swings can tell you your baby's gender. If it swings back & forth, you're having a girl. If it swings in a circular motion, you're having a boy. When I did the ring test, it was a = GIRL

Mayan Age Predictor Test - There is an old Mayan Indian theory that says that if you take the mother's age at conception and the year of conception and add them together, the resulting number could tell you if you're pregnant with a girl or boy. If the numbers even, it means girl. If the number's odd, it means boy. Ours is even = GIRL

Morning Sickness - Some people swear that you are sicker with girls than with boys. Since I had a relatively easy first trimester without any vomiting, according to this theory that would mean we're having a = BOY

Increased Acne - There's a theory that says that if you have more pimples while you're pregnant (which I definitely do), then you're having a girl = GIRL

I must say that I do not believe in any of these and the gender of the baby is totally up to the good Lord. I have known people that were crazy sick with their boys, people who never got nauseas with their girls, and people that broke out horribly with their boys. None of these really mean anything - it's just our body’s way of reacting to all the hormones and different things going on. The only one that makes any sense at all to me is the heart rate, but even that I am doubtful about. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I am so excited to know!

Sooo, what do you think we’re having? Vote on the poll (at the top right) and then also post your answer in the comments section because I want to know how you voted!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Mama's Chicken Enchiladas & my twist on Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler

My sister-in-law asked me for my chicken enchilada recipe a while back and I decided to just post it on here in case anyone else was interested. I love getting new recipes so if you have any you want to share, bring them on!

Chicken Enchiladas by Vickie Wolcott

3-4 chicken breasts, boiled and cut into strips (I generally use 4 chicken breasts)
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion (I use about 1 T. of onion flakes because we're not big onion fans)
1/4 c. chopped green chilies
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
1 t. cumin
10 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 c. sour cream
8 flour tortillas (large size)

Saute onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add cut up tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, and chilies. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Dunk tortillas (both sides!) in tomato mixture to soften. Fill tortilla with chicken and 2 T. grated cheese. Roll up and place, seam side down, in 9x12 baking dish. Add sour cream to tomato mixture and pour over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. I usually serve this with mexican rice along with guacamole and chips. Enjoy!

I have always loved peach cobbler but never had a recipe that I loved until I found this one online. I added a few little things of my own that we think make it better, so I am including them in the recipe below.

Peach Cobbler by Paula Deen (Kristin style)

4 cups peeled, sliced peaches (this ends up being 5 good sized peaches)
1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup water
dash of nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup white sugar, brown sugar, water, nutmeg, and vanilla in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Put the butter in a 2 1/2 -3 quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. It will look weird - this is normal. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top generously with ground cinnamon. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Definitely serve with ice cream on top. Yum!