Friday, July 30, 2010

Gestational Diabetes

You might have noticed that my weekly menu postings have been missing the past couple of weeks. A major reason for this is that I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs in approximately 5% of pregnancies. There are many degrees of gestational diabetes, but the type I have is generally controlled through diet and exercise. The diet part is why my weekly menu postings have disappeared . . .it is a lot harder to meal plan on the gestational diabetes diet, and I haven't been able to sit down and plan a week's worth of menus at one time (although in the upcoming weeks I will be planning my weekly menus).

I had gestational diabetes with Ella, so I was not surprised to be diagnosed again this pregnancy (women who have it in previous pregnancies have an increased risk to have it in subsequent pregnancies). And, while gestational diabetes is not something to be taken lightly, I'm not too worried about it. If gestational diabetes is properly managed, it is unlikely that me or the baby will have any complications. The big problems with gestational diabetes usually arise when it is uncontrolled. I test my blood sugar at least twice a day (and usually test 3-4 times) to make sure that my fasting number (my blood sugar level when I wake up) and my after meal numbers are being properly controlled through diet and exercise (although I haven't been good at the exercise part yet . . .). In almost all pregnancies gestational diabetes goes away immediately after delivering the baby.

So, what type of diet do I have to follow with gestational diabetes? Different dietitians will recommend slightly different versions of this diet, but generally it is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet where you eat every few hours (rather than just three big meals during the day). The plan specifically lists how many carbs I'm allotted at each meal or snack because carbohydrates (starches and sugars) are what affects blood glucose levels.

Breakfast: 30g of carbohydrates
Mid-morning snack: 15-30g of carbohydrates
Lunch: 45g of carbohydrates
Mid-afternoon snack: 15-30g of carbohydrates
Dinner: 45g of carbohydrates
Evening snack: 15-30g of carbohydrates
Now, 30g or 45g of carbs might sound like a lot of carbs - but it isn't, at  least not to me. Consider that it is almost impossible to eat a serving size of cereal for less than 30g of carbs (and that is without milk). Or, that one cup of cooked pasta (depending on the pasta) has more than 30g of carbs, and that doesn't count the carbs that would be in a tomato or cream sauce.

Although the diet is strict, and certainly isn't fun to follow, it isn't the end of the world. And, I think there is a bright side this time around . . . I don't have to go through the holidays on the diet! When I was pregnant with Ella, I was diagnosed right before Thanksgiving and I had to follow the diet through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Can you imagine a Thanksgiving meal where you have to count carbs?? :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Heart Faces: Purple

Be sure to check out all the great purple entries over at I Heart Faces!

Shutter Love Tuesdays: Sports

Ella watching a Houston Astros game in her game day giveaway Astros Retro hat!
Be sure to check out all the sports entries over at the Trendy Treehouse!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Patience as She Grows

At almost 18 months old, Ella is learning and doing so much. I'm amazed daily at the things she knows, and the things that she can do. I think it is so cute how she tries to change the channel to turn on "boos coos" (aka Blue's Clues). Or if I ask her to put something in the trash she promptly walks to the drawer where the trash can is located, opens it, places the trash in it, and closes the drawer.  Or, how she plays peek-a-boo, when we say "Where's Ella?" and she responds "There she is!"

With everything Ella is learning to do, I find myself easily getting frustrated at the things she can't do or doesn't understand yet. I get frustrated when she doesn't understand how to be quiet when I need her to be quiet. But, then again, a majority of the time I'm encouraging her to talk, so I'm sure it is hard for her to understand the difference. Or I get frustrated when she isn't patient when breakfast or dinner isn't ready right when she wants it. But, truly, she has no concept of time.

I really have to step back and remind myself that she is only 18 months old. She still sleeps in a crib and isn't potty trained. She still cries when she doesn't get her way and doesn't always remember the difference between a dog treat and her own snack. She may try to change the channel to "boos coos" but she still needs me to turn it on. I need patience to remember these things as she grows up. It is my duty and my husband's duty to teach her as she grows up because she is only a child, and she is our child - a most precious gift from above!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking a Toddler's Photo

Over the past year or so, I've gotten really into photography. I've been able to see a vast improvement in my photos during that time (if you are curious, check out Day 1 of my Project 365 blog versus a recent post on  Day 186). I think I've improved for several reasons, including lots of reading and asking for feedback on my photos, learning how to actually use my camera, etc., but I think one of the main reasons I've improved so much is that I get a ton of practice with my non-cooperative toddler.

Ella doesn't sit still, doesn't really follow directions, and is easily distracted. Consider some photos I took yesterday when we were playing outside. You might wonder why there are so many shots of her not looking at me. Well, she may have been looking at me the second before I clicked or I clicked early hoping she was about to look at me. I don't want to give the impression that I'm just clicking away a thousand photos at a time and then luckily get a good shot - because that isn't it. But with a toddler you have to always be ready to capture the one smile they may give you the entire time you are taking their photo or the one time they actually look at you!
Dirt is way more interesting than I am, apparently.
And, when she finally looks at me, I get this face.
In the end, it is it worth it all! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life After the Pacifier

Almost a month ago I wrote about weaning Ella from her pacifier. So, what is life like now? Do I wish Ella still had her pacifier?

The answer isn't easy. I'm so excited and thankful that she is no longer using the pacifier, and that the weaning process was all-in-all pretty easy. I'm thankful she is not relying on the pacifier. I'm thankful that she is done with her pacifier long before baby brother arrives, so she isn't tempted by his pacifier (if he ends up taking one). I'm thankful I don't have to search the house or the car for pacifiers, and that I don't need to panic if we leave the house without a pacifier.

But, are there times I wish Ella still used her pacifier?

Yes, most definitely. When she struggles to fall asleep at nap time or at night, I would love to be able to walk into her room and hand her the pacifier. It would be an easy solution (and can be very tempting at times). When we are at worship services and Ella constantly wants to talk and make noise, I would love to be able to pop a pacifier in her mouth. It would be an easy way to quiet her.

I think weaning Ella from her pacifier was also a weaning and learning process for me. Weaning Ella from her pacifier taught me patience (and is still teaching me patience).

On a separate topic, I've changed the comments section on my blog - please let me know what you think! I love your comments, and I want to make commenting better, not worse. If you like it or don't like it, please let me know. On that note, please know that I'd always love to hear from you via email as well at

Shutter Love Tuesdays: Faces



Monday, July 19, 2010

Follow-Up: Creating a Shared Toddler/Newborn Room

Last week, I blogged that I was trying to figure out how to create a shared room for my toddler daughter and her future baby brother. After much thought and searching (lots and lots of internet shopping), I think I've come up with a plan. I'd love to know what you think (even if you don't like it!). I found I was really, really limited by the toddler bedding that is available out there right now. I did a ton of shopping, and I was surprised at how little toddler bedding is actually available on the market (or maybe it just seems like such a small selection compared to the quantity of crib bedding available).

Bedding for baby brother:

Bedding for Ella:

I like that the animals are similar on the two bedding sets, even though they don't match exactly (and I was never going for matching exactly). 

As I mentioned previously, I think we will paint Ella's side of the room one color and baby brother's side of the room a different color. For example, something like the twin nursery I found on Baby Room Bio.

I'll have to actually have the bedding in hand to decide what colors, but for now I'm thinking light blue or light green for baby brother's side of the room, and light purple for Ella's side  of the room. I'm also thinking I'll do all the curtains in the room a chocolate brown color to tie everything together. I'd love to know what paint combinations you'd think would work best!

I also plan to make wooden letters spelling out each child's name to hang above their beds (like I have in Ella's room now, but her current letters won't match). I'm still looking for some other creative DIY projects to add the finishing touches to the room (well, imaginary room at this moment, since I haven't actually done any work yet!).

Stay tuned for pictures of the completed room!

Proverbs 31:23

Far Above Rubies

(To read previous posts in this series first, click here!)

Proverbs 31:23 (NKJV): "Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land."

This verse describes the virtuous woman by describing her husband. The virtuous woman married well. She shows wisdom in her choice for a spouse. Her husband is well-respected in the land. He is known in the gates, and has earned a position to sit among the elders of the land.

Although my daughter is still young, I know that one of the hardest things to teach her will probably deal with her relationships with boyfriends, and ultimately her husband. In a world that surrounds Ella with the wrong ideas about the kind of man to seek after we will have to work hard to teach her to seek out the right kind of man. First and foremost, I must teach her that she should seek a man who is seeking after the Lord. She should seek a man who is well-respected and hard-working. She should seek a man who treats others kindly and has a giving heart. The list could go on and on.

The influence of the world on relationships is both strong and dangerous. You cannot turn on TV without seeing improper relationships, but honestly, you don't even have to turn on the TV to see improper relationships. Sadly, the people that surround us everyday have often put themselves into bad relationships. Starting at an early age, I want to teach Ella all that I can about forming the right kind of relationships. I want to guard her from the pain that getting into the wrong kind of relationship can cause. I want to teach her wisdom in the choices she'll be making throughout her life that will ultimately affect who she may choose to marry.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Proverbs 31:22

Far Above Rubies

(To read previous posts in this series first, click here.)

I have really been slacking at getting this post written this week. Partly because I have been busy, but also partly because I've struggled a bit with it.

Proverbs 31:22 (NKJV): " She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."

I think I struggle with this verse because it almost goes against my intuition as to what I would expect it to say about how the virtuous wife would dress. Throughout the years, I've heard many and even taught some lessons about modesty. I know there is a general misconception that modest must equal frumpy, ugly, boring, or even poor quality and perhaps that is what came to the back of my mind when I envision how the worthy woman would dress. However, a woman can dress modestly and still be stylish, pretty, well put-together, and have quality clothing. Although this verse does not specifically mention modesty, I find it hard to think that her clothing would be praised if it were not modest, considering the teaching on modesty throughout the rest of the Scriptures. This verse, however, does mention something about the quality and appearance of her clothing. The terms "fine linen" and "purple" describe clothing that is beautiful and of high quality. I picture this woman as well-put together - something I honestly need to work on. I'm certainly guilty of not caring too much about what I'm wearing, especially when I'm going to be around the house all day.

With all that said, I think it is also important to consider a passage found in 1 Peter 3:1-6: "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives when they observe your chaste behavior accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror."

The woman described in 1 Peter had more depth than simply a beautiful appearance and the same can certainly be said of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Although I plan to discuss it in more detail when we get to that point in the series, I think Proverbs 31:30 should be mentioned here: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekly Menu on Monday: July 12

I know it has been a couple of weeks since I've posted a weekly menu, but that is because we've been busy running here and there (away from home), and thus, I had no need to post a weekly menu for myself. Here's this week's menu:
  1. Grilled flatiron steaks with summer corn fettuccine. The recipes from this Rachael Ray episode look so yummy! I can't wait to try them.
  2. Crockpot Broccoli Beef. I've never tried this before either, but it looks very easy and yummy! Would be perfect for Wednesday night's meal when I'm always rushed.
  3. Grilled chicken with pasta with jalapeño pesto. I make a variation on the link I posted - I use pine nuts instead of walnuts, all spinach (no arugula), plus more jalapeño than the recipe calls for.
  4. Baked chicken (probably bone-in so it will good and juicy) with sautéed green bean (with pine nuts - so yummy!) and couscous.
  5. Grilled chicken salad.
To check out other weekly menus, click here!

Creating a Shared Toddler/Newborn Room

We've officially decided that Ella and her baby brother will be sharing a room. That was an easy decision. Now comes the hard part . . . I'm too picky, but maybe even more so, too indecisive. I'm struggling with how I actually want to decorate the room. I'm hoping you will be able to help me out with some creative ideas! I need all the help I can get!!

First off, let me give you the basics.

  • The bed situation:
    • Ella will be staying in her crib (which will be converted to a toddler bed at some point, but keeps the same size mattress), so I either need to keep her current bedding or get new crib/toddler bedding.
    • Baby brother will be in a crib as well (duh!, right?). It will be the same color wood as Ella's but a slightly different style.
  • The color situation:
    • I like the yellow (currently in Ella's room, see pictures below), but I'm really in the mood to do something different in the room.
    • I'm not against doing something creative like painting one side of the room one color and the other side of the room another color (the room could actually be split in a very natural way). See some of the photos of the twin rooms to get an idea of what I'm talking about here.
    • I'm not a fan of a bunch of pink. Some pink is OK, but I'm not going to do lots of pink.
  • The theme situation:
    • It can have a theme or not, I don't really care one way or the other. But . . . 
    • I don't want to do anything with cartoons.
  • Miscellaneous things:
    • It does not have to be a matchy-matchy room, but I would like everything to look good together.
    • I made Ella's name letters, and I'll make new ones for her (if the current ones don't match) and new ones for baby brother.

If you've made it this far through the post, thank you for your patience as you read through all my pickiness. :) Here are some photos of Ella's current stuff. The colors in the first photo are much truer to the real colors in the room (these are some old photos and Ella is sleeping right now, so I'm not going to take any new ones). Her bedding has bees and stars (the stars are on the bed skirt and her lamp - they are not easily seen in the photos).


Thank you for your creative input! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Proverbs 31:18-21

Far Above Rubies

(To read the previous posts in this series first, click here.)

After trying to catch up, and still not being completely caught up, I've decided to cover all the verses I'm behind on otherwise I may never get caught up!

Proverbs 31:18-19 (NKJV): "She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle."

Once again, these verses remind me about how hard the virtuous woman works. Her hard work produces quality product - one that is worthy and profitable (consider the ESV translation of "her merchandise is profitable"). When I read the second half of verse 18, two different thoughts come to mind. First, that her lamp does not go out by night because she is working hard, even during the nighttime. Secondly, I think of someone who is prepared - their lamp does not go out by night because they have adequate supplies to keep their lamp burning. Verse 19 continues describing the work of the virtuous woman.

Proverbs 31:20 (NKJV): "She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy."

In the first post I wrote in this series, I mentioned that the virtuous woman was valuable to many different people, not just to her husband. One of these groups of people are the poor and needy.

The virtuous woman is giving. First, when you consider the time and effort she puts forth within her own home, you have to think of someone who is giving of herself. But the giving extends beyond her own household, to the poor and needy around her. She exhibits the beautiful quality of charity to others, and I'm sure that the poor and needy are blessed by her charity.

Although extending one's hand to the poor is not simply about giving monetarily (or through the giving of goods), I think it is important to consider that the the virtuous woman has prepared for herself and her family in such a way that she can give monetarily to those who are needy. Consider verses 16, 18, and 24 of Proverbs 31:

  • Proverbs 31:16: "She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a field."
  • Proverbs 31:18: "She perceives that her merchandise is good. Her lamp does not go out by night."
  • Proverbs 31:24: "She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants."
She is financially responsible, and because she is financially responsible, able to to provide for those who are in need. However, there is more to giving than simply being financially responsible. The virtuous woman has a giving heart, willing to help those who are in need.

Proverbs 31:21 (NKJV): "She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet."

The theme of verse 21 can be described easily in one word: prepared. The virtuous woman is prepared. She knows the snow is coming, yet she doesn't worry about the snow because she is prepared. She knows that her family will be properly clothed and provided for during the hard times because she is prepared. The virtuous wife shows wisdom by being prepared to provide for her family during difficult times.

Consider Proverbs 6:6-8: "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer. And gathers her food in the harvest." Similarly, Proverbs 30:24-25: "There are four things which are little on the earthy, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer." Or, consider the example of Noah, who, being obedient to God, prepared properly so that his family was safe during the flood.

Properly preparing for my family is something that I want to do well, and something that I strive to do well, but something that I often find myself not doing well. Too many times I end up doing things at the last minute that should have been done a long time before because I don't prepare properly. And then, because I waited to the last minute, I really don't provide for my family the way I need to provide for them. I need to refocus my priorities so that I can get the things done I need to get done, so that I do not have to worry when the snow comes!

So, what are some ways I can be prepared? Here are just a few things I thought about (and I'd love to hear what you've thought about!):

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 17 Months Ella!

Happy 17 months Ella!

You are so busy! You are constantly exploring the world around you. You don't like to sit still, although sometimes you'll sit with me to snuggle, or read a book, or look at pictures of animals on the computer. You've gotten really good at walking, and sometimes you almost run. You very rarely crawl anymore. You love to climb in and out of your rocking chairs, and try to climb on the couch (although you can't quite get on our couch yet).

You love to socialize with everyone. You are quite the communicator, using many signs and words. Your expressions are priceless - you can definitely get your point across! Your smile and laugh melt my heart.

You love animals, especially Reeses and Ali. You can feed both dogs a treat, and they love when you eat in your highchair, although you now know you aren't supposed to feed them your food. You have a lot of fun playing with Reeses, and Reeses loves to come wake you up in the morning or from your naps. You also love to be outside, and especially playing in the water.

You love to blow kisses and give kisses. You even give baby brother a kiss in my belly. You are very sweet! Even though you are sweet, you can definitely put on the pouty face when you don't get your way!

Signs you do: thank you, please, milk, bath, thirsty, hungry (eat), more

Words you say: Dada, Mama, Ali (our dog), Reeses (other dog), Rhu-Rhu (your grandma), ball, book, bear, bird (although bear and bird sound a lot alike!), Bible, puppy, more, no, fish (you LOVE fish), bye, bee, eye, ear, please, uh-oh, Ella, thank you, shoes, box, bubble, bling, hi, baby, drink

Animal noises you can make: owl, cow, sheep, puppy/dog, horse, bee

Body parts you identify: head, hair, nose, ears, eyes (your favorite to point out!), tongue, feet, toes

Favorite foods: banana, guacamole, tortilla, eggs, broccoli, noodles with meat and red sauce

Side note: I wish I would have started writing these posts a long time ago!