"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Monday, December 17, 2012

We are having a.....


The doctor was right, our little guy was not giving up his secret at either of our last two appointments!  Before my appointment today, I drank two glasses of orange juice and half a cup of tea.  While I waited for the doctor to come in, I gently pushed at my belly some in hopes to jar him awake in case he was sleeping.  Little guy....fast asleep....again!  What does it take to get him to wake up during the day?  I can already tell he's a night owl -- kicking and moving from dinner til the wee hours of the morning!  Luckily, this time he was sleeping with knees to his chest like a frog and gave us a great view and there is no doubt it is a boy!!

Now back to online shopping ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Boy or Girl?!?!

As we dreamt of conceiving and even once it became a reality, Todd and I would talk about whether or not we wanted to know the gender.  I wanted the surprise of finding out when the baby is born -- I don't know there is any greater surprise in life.  However, Todd, who is more of a planner than myself wanted to go the practical route and find out the sex of the baby as soon as possible.  As time went on, I seemed to warm up more to the idea of finding out.....being able to decorate the nursery before the baby arrives in a gender specific way would be nice, being able to buy all these cute clothes for baby boy or baby girl would be so fun, I'm not a big fan of ducks and frogs, and in a strange way I kind of feel like it will be easier to bond with this baby that has taken over my body if I could visualize them a bit more.  I came around to Todd's way of thinking and as much as I will miss the surprise in the hospital, I'm sure finding out at the doctor will still be a great surprise, as it has been greatly anticipated!

So, Todd may think he has won....but he will find out he really lost once the shopping commences :)

Our baby has had many, many more ultrasounds than most and at each one (no matter how early on) he or she was kicking, punching, swimming, etc.  Wide awake and very active!  We went to our last appointment in hopes the doctor would be able to definitively tell us the gender this time and could get a good Christmas card picture.  Little Hood was deeply asleep (like Mom, a professional sleeper!) on it's head!  It looked beyond uncomfortable and seemed he/she knew they were foiling our grand plans!  Regardless of poking and prodding by the doctor, he or she refused to move and kept legs clamped shut!  So much for finding out the sex and so much for a Christmas card picture!  At that point, I realized I am now more impatient to find out the gender than Todd....after all, I wanted to take advantage of some Cyber Monday baby shopping!

Little Hood being oh-so-stubborn ;)
16 Weeks
Our next appointment is in less than a week and we will try again!  In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to do some truly unreliable "home" tests!  :)

Carrying High/Carrying Low:  Traditionally, the tale goes that carrying low is a boy and carrying high is a girl.  Two weeks ago I would have said definitely girl based on that, but the baby has snuggled in low lately, so now I have to say boy.

Urine in Drano:  Apparently, if you pour some urine in Drano, it may or may not change a wide array of colors which could either mean girl or boy.  In addition to changing colors, this is incredibly toxic and is a highly combustable combination.  I think we will stay away from this test!

Heartbeat:  If the heartbeat is above 140, it is supposed to be a girl.  Below 140 is a boy.  Our baby has had a heartbeat consistently just above 140 since about 7 weeks when it was first able to be measured.  When I say just above, I mean within one to 7 beats!  So, that would barely be a point for girl!

Cravings:  Girls supposedly make Mom crave sweet, and boys make them crave something more tart.  I love a good sweet something, but I also love lemonade and crave granny smith apples!  Experts claim pregnant women don't have cravings at all -- I'm assuming they are men who have never taken care of a pregnant wife!  Either way, the jury is still out!

Weight Gain:  Thankfully this one is about Todd!  If he puts on weight during my pregnancy, it is a girl.  If he doesn't gain a pound, it is a boy.  Not sure we can judge this at the halfway point, but so far he hasn't gained anything which would mean boy... Is anyone else confused yet?

Chinese Lunar Calendar:  The Chinese lunar calendar is supposed to be able to predict if you are having a girl or boy depending on your birthday and the conception date of the baby.  While the calendar I used seemed to be quite confused by my age at conception and the month I conceived, it came out boy.  When I found where I should be in the chart based on the true month and age, it came up boy, again!

Baking Soda:  If you urinate in baking soda, it will fizz if a boy and do nothing if a girl.  Well, I did the deed and the results are in!  I thought for sure any kind of urine in baking soda would fizz but I was wrong, it did absolutely nothing!  The baking soda thinks we are having a girl!

Pendant:  If you hold a pendant over your belly and if it goes back and forth, rumor says it's a boy.  Circular motions mean girl.  This test says we are having a boy...no, a girl....a boy again, and now a girl again?!?!  This test has to be by far the most unreliable.  No matter how still I got it before letting go, it would start one way, then change, and change again, and sometimes it would even go in circular back-and-forth motions (like very skinny ovals).  I don't think we can make a judgement call here!

Well, if nothing else, I think we have debunked all of these myths and old wives tales as unreliable!  How about that MythBusters?  Maybe they can pay me royalties for this future show idea!!  Thank goodness we don't have to depend on these tests to guess gender!  No worries, I will post the gender update as soon as we have it!

What do you think we are having?  Please weigh in below with a comment!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Project Frenzy

I have been in this crazy mode of getting project after project done.  These projects have ranged from creating photo albums to touching up trim paint and organizing the garage to planting herbs and berries in our backyard.  I even took our wedding invite and Todd's MHA diploma to get framed last week after purging files in the office.  I can't quite explain the madness, but I do know the end result feels good!  I have been doing projects almost every day, and I must say while I am dead tired each night the house is looking really good and my mind is at peace...until I think of something else I must get done!

I have spent about 4 weeks getting the majority of our albums up to date and working on our wedding albums.  There is still a little more work to do in those, but it is a much more manageable project now.

Several of the digital albums I completed.

Then, I focused my attention on the yard and did a lot of cleanup and planting.  Last week I honed in on some sewing projects including garters for a friends wedding, a valance for the laundry room, and purchased drapery fabric for the dining room.

These make me want to get married again!!

Drapery fabric for the dining room
shown with the paint color (the lightest)
and the fabrics already in the adjacent kitchen

Laundry room valance....
this picture is a little funny and distorted.
There is also black beaded fringe along the bottom.

...and this is the shelf and rod I added
to the laundry room a few months ago.
The laundry room is finally complete!
Then, I painted the remaining trim and doors in the house that didn't quite make the first go around several months ago when I ran out of steam!  This week brings a "to do" list for our exchange students that arrive next week.  I will be preparing their rooms and making other preparations for them over the next few days.  However, I still managed to get in a ton of other projects today.  I painted the half wall in our backyard, planted a hydrangea bush and other plants in the sideyard, and finally planted my lemon tree today!

Painted wall
(it used to be white but now matches our exterior trim color)
The terra cotta pots have our herbs, veggies and lemon tree in them!

Painted wall and blueberry bushes!

Sideyard with new flowers, raspberry plants and hydrangeas!
Now to prop my feet up!  ;o)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Old Place

Date nights have gotten a bit predicable around here....the same 4 restaurants that we know will have safe gluten free options, that are close by, and have great food.  Sometimes, followed by a movie, or if we went to the Mexican place I like, home to sleep off the humongous margaritas they serve!

Friday was date night, and the same ho hum didn't sound all that fun.  In fact, staying home and having date night in sounded better!  Until we decided to try someplace new, "Old Place" in fact!  Old Place is a tiny little restaurant with max 6 tables and a long bar in Agoura Hills just off Malibou Lake.  The restaurant is just feet from Paramount Ranch, a piece of land complete with an old western town that is owned by Paramount studios and was used to film westerns and several TV shows like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.  Not sure if Old Place came about because of Paramount Ranch, but it certainly fits in.  Everything is wood - the walls, the floor, the booths, the bar.   There are pictures on the wall of westerns - I would assume ones that were filmed at Paramount Ranch.  Ironwork, leather and animal bones made up the remainder of the decor.  Parties under 4 aren't able to make a reservation and must come early to snag a place at the bar.  So, at precisely 6pm Todd and I were propped at the bar right before the rush, thankfully!  Beer, wine, tea and water are the only drink options and the menu is what I would imagine cowboys ate -- huge prime ribs, beef stew, 2 pound baked potatoes, chicken pot pie and cobbler for dessert!  However, this was a tad upscale in comparison to the one pot wagon meals they enjoyed.

Not only did we have a wonderful dinner at a times gone by price, but we shared a long bench at the bar with locals that had been going there for years!  We had great conversation with some wonderful people who told us some other hidden gems we needed to visit in the area!  We will most certainly be back!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A break....

I have been on a little hiatus lately!  We have had a lot going on, and unfortunately blogging was not at the top of the list!  However, I am trying to get back into this.....and I'm starting with pictures from our March Oahu trip and a May bridal shower!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A year past....

A year ago today Todd started his new position in California!  As I sit here typing this in our recently renovated kitchen, it seems near impossible.  Impossible because it went so quickly....and yet again, it seems crazy so much could have happened in only a years time!

These last few days bring back memories of dragging 8 bags to the airport somehow packed in the trunk of a rented Mustang!  We had no idea that while that seemed like heavy packing then, as it included everything from the dog crate to file boxes, it wouldn't nearly hold us over for the next 4 months in a hotel until our belongings were delivered to the house we purchased.  I remember this day a year ago being a tough one for me.  I spent probably 10 hours alone in the hotel room that day beginning shortly after 5 am when we woke up on our own because we were still on EST.....too afraid to leave Breck in his new surroundings alone to venture out, no one to spend time with, Todd busy at his first day of work and with little time to check in with me, collecting change for laundry, hanging clothes in the hotel closet and lining up our shoes on the floor, scouring the internet for homes we hadn't already seen on our house-hunting trip, anxiously awaiting potty breaks for Breck, making to do lists, grocery lists, to buy lists.....anything to keep me occupied!  That day seemed like it would never end and I had never been so excited to see Todd come home from work!  Over dinner that night, we talked about if we thought we had made a mistake....Gosh, had we known then what we know now...I'm not sure we would have done things the same.  That's the thing about hindsight, right? Thank goodness things have changed since that day!  While this is not our forever home, it is our for now home and it is certainly feeling more and more like home each day!

Todd's working late tonight.... yup, feels somewhat like this day a year ago ;o)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Organization makes for one Happy Girl!

I'm in a little bit of a grouchy (....and super hungry) mood right now after an unexpectedly long day of travel!  However, I leave for my Ava Anderson non Toxic yacht trip tomorrow, so I can't help but be in a good mood when I land.  In the meantime, I am in the dreaded middle seat of a connecting flight to Palm Beach.  Don't get me wrong, I am elated to actually be on a plane that is progressing SouthEast, but no fun!  So, I thought I would share some pictures of my freshly organized pantries to cheer me up! :o)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coming out of the closet....

Our china has spent the last 2+ years stacked in their original boxes in closets across the Nation.  Their first home was my parent's guest closet while we were engaged and my living situation was in limbo, then they moved to a utility closet in Orlando in our townhome due to lack of cabinet space, and then to our laundry room/storage closet in our Orlando condo due to lack of space all around, and then once we moved here they stayed in their boxes in two separate closets for fear they would get damaged during renovations.

Well, the dust has settled, the china cabinet has been cleared of all of our temporary kitchen essentials and it was time to get these boxes in the recycle after all this time!!  It was so fun to unbox it all -- felt kind of like when we were engaged and boxes were delivered almost daily!  Such a fun time ;)  So, here is the grand reveal....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Ready for Fat Tuesday!

Fat is certainly appropriate!  We haven't even hit Tuesday yet, and I already know it is going to be the most unhealthy day I have had in MONTHS!  Yes, months....even worse than Christmas!!!

So, Fat Tuesday....Todd and I had discussed having a housewarming party tomorrow and going all out with the decorations and food, but then decided against a mid-week party.  So, we had absolutely no plans.  Well, lo and behold our spontaneous friends didn't want to miss out on a fun night so they decided today to host a pancake dinner at their house tomorrow!  Enter Elizabeth, who's brain is in full gear planning how she can partake in pancakes and all the food fun with a gluten and casein allergy in tow!  Pancakes are the easy part, bring homemade batter and my own pan with me!  However, a girl cannot live and party on pancakes alone!  Enter gluten free, dairy free king cake recipe thanks to Jules Gluten Free Flour blog who almost always has me covered!  You can see the full recipe here:


I won't bore you with all the details of the recipe, you can certainly read all the way through it if you would like.  I didn't even read all of it, just used common sense and did what I wanted for the most part (yeah, yeah I know if Todd's reading this, he is thinking "what's new??")  So, here is a pictorial of my baking venture:

Looks normal already, doesn't it??

Loving our huge island, it is perfect for everything!!

Even rolled fairly easily sans gluten and traditional binders....

I even got to use my brand spankin' new Emile Henry pizza stone....

...and while it was baking, I made powdered sugar in my Vitamix with the dry container!!  It is so much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store and I know exactly what is in it!!

 ...and you know I had to make my own colored sugars with raw sugar and natural food coloring...none of that chemical junk!  I have to make up for my sugar vice, after all!

Ah, fresh out of the oven!!

Iced, sprinkled with sugar and ready to go!!!

...here's to hoping this actually makes it to the party!!

Mexican & Margaritas....

Over the weekend, I attempted to purchase rugs for our master bathroom.  To visualize what some of my size options would look like, I taped them off in the bathroom.  I wasn't successful (as you can probably tell from the picture) in finding something that worked with the floor plan so it is back to the drawing board.  

....and after mexican and margaritas on Saturday night our bathroom ended up looking like this.... ;o)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Getaway!

I must admit, Todd is not the romantic type (then again, are there any guys who truly are??)... but when he wants to, he can be!  On Monday afternoon, these roses arrived at the door....

With this note....

So, yesterday we left for Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara for the night (beaches and wine country in Southern California)!  We walked around the little streets and in and out of wine tasting rooms and shops in Solvang.  It's a little danish-style town where all the wineries have tasting rooms.

Wind blown and struggling to do a self portrait -
hate it, but don't have any others unfortunately!
I have been trying to figure out what to do with the remnants of tin tile from our backsplash.  While in one of the shops, I found this....

Oh, and this amazing chandelier with shade that I am wanting to recreate in one of our upstairs rooms!
Had to take this picture discreetly! ;)
What started so fun went downhill quickly....our dinner reservations were lost, and having a huge gluten allergy made it near impossible to find a replacement so we had dinner at the bar in our hotel....romantic, right??  Todd caught three different basketball games during dinner, so I'm sure he wasn't that upset!  That is, until whatever we ate made him sick .... which was a complete role reversal!  Usually, I am the one on vacation sick because I unintentionally ate something I am allergic to!  Luckily, Todd made a full recovery by this morning!  We headed to Santa Barbara and spent the day there shopping for a watch for Todd and ate at an Italian restaurant where I had an amazing gluten free pasta for lunch!

For Valentine's Day, I thought we were doing our normal thoughtful $20 gifts (since we buy everything large ticket anyway, and that's almost too easy).  So, I designed and printed our First Dance song lyrics and decoupaged them to canvases.  Todd picked "Georgia on my Mind" as our wedding song because that is what he would text it to me while we were dating long distance.  So, while I was busy decoupaging my little heart out....

....Todd was purchasing these .75 carat princess cut diamond earrings to match my ring!

I'm starting to get the trend here.  For our anniversary, I made Todd something out of cotton as it was out second year together and that is the traditional gift.  Todd came home bearing gluten free baking classes with Jim Dodge.  For Christmas, I decided I would get him back by breaking the budget and getting him the SodaStream he had been talking about for the previous year, and you guessed it....he showed me up with a sewing machine and stocking stuffers.  So, I thought we were back to our old thoughtful gift song and dance for Valentine's Day, but apparently not!!  Unfortunately, I am not sure I can top this four prong Valentine's day anytime soon.....diamonds, dinner, roses, and a night away!  I'm feeling a little spoiled right now, and I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

House of Love

After titling this post, Amy Grant's old school "House of Love" starting running through my mind.  I apologize, I know you are now humming it!  Brings me back to Elementary school, doing "figure" skating routines in the street with friends to her cassette....yup you read all of that correctly!!  Had a Nancy Kerrigan poster on my closet door (the only place we were allowed to hang things) and a great weekend included a new dance routine choreographed for hours to Janet Jackson with all of the girls :)  Those were the days....no bills, open weekends, and no idea what any of the lyrics to songs we liked really meant!!

Took me a minute to figure out what the heck I was here to blog about after all that?!?  Yes, house of love...no worries, not what you are thinking...it is safe to keep reading!  I guess Labor of Love may have been a more appropriate title, however it is not quite finished so I don't want to use such severe and scary words until the laboring is complete and a distant memory!  When my blogging is behind, it is safe to assume we are busy working on the house!  Never a dull moment here....there is always something to paint, hang, install, etc!  So, here is a montage (sorry for the yuck pics) to all things productive over the last several days:

We added this couch to our upstairs sitting area and finally prettied up the built-ins....

....I hung these cool wall hangings in the master bathroom over the tub

....And made these monogrammed framings as an inexpensive wall filler for our living room

....We finally had the tin tile backsplash and undercounter lighting with lightrail installed in the kitchen

...and the island lighting too!

....and I finished off our stove hood with this piece of garden art I've had for years!

....We purchased a rug for the den

...and the great room is looking more complete each day!

So, we finally paid a little bit of attention to outside with new light fixtures to replace the dingy and old

....and some flowers to brighten the porch

...and finally added some iron work to above the door!

As you can see, this house has been rejuvenated with lots of time, hard work, finishing touches and love!  It is finally feeling more like ours, more cozy, and just more like home!  Happy Valentine's Day from our house to yours, wherever it may be!