Monday, March 30, 2009

I am 19 weeks - Almost halfway along! YAY

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

See what your baby looks like this week.

How your life's changing:

Think you're big now? You'll start growing even faster in the weeks to come. As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. Most likely, this is round ligament pain. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.

You may be noticing some skin changes, too. Are the palms of your hands red? Nothing to worry about — it's from the extra estrogen. You may also have patches of darkened skin caused by a temporary increase in pigment. When these darker patches appear on your upper lip, cheeks, and forehead, they're called chloasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." You may also notice some darkening of your nipples, freckles, scars, underarms, inner thighs, and vulva. That darkened line running from your belly button to your pubic bone is called the linea nigra, or "dark line."

These darkened spots will probably fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders.

Now for a bit of fun - Go to my Facebook page and help us name the baby!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fiber One Chocolate Mocha Chewy Bars GIVEAWAY

I was recently asked to participate in a Fiber One Giveaway from MyBlogSpark...They sent me a WONDERFUL Gift Basket full of chocolaty goodness....Let me just tell you this basket made a PREGGO very

Not only are the bars delicious but the fiber was just what I needed....if you know what I

My basket included the snack bars, a bath pillow, chocolate scented soap, lotion and bath salts and a coffee scented candle. Everything you need for an indulgent spa treat.

The BEST PART is that I get to give away THREE of these gift baskets to my lucky readers.....All you have to do is leave a comment below and let me know what YOU do to relax.


I will announce the winners next Friday - April 3rd.
The Gift baskets will be mailed to you FREE of charge!

New Fiber One Chocolate Mocha Chewy Bars combine a rich chocolate taste and smooth coffee flavor with the benefits of fiber in one delicious snack. Each great tasting, chewy bar provides 35% of the recommended daily fiber intake and also is a good source of calcium.

Did you know?
  • Fiber can help you satisfy your appetite and manage your weight

    • Research suggests that people who have high fiber intakes tend to have healthier body weights

  • Fiber can help keep your digestive system on track

  • 9 out of 10 Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of fiber
Do you want to know if you are getting enough fiber? Check out the Fiber-O-Meter at:

Monday, March 23, 2009


Well I guess there was not a huge response for the My Fruit Roll Up giveaway lol - so Krisi is our lucky winner....

Here is her response :
What a great giveaway. I would love to get some made up for party favors for my daughter & husbands birthday (they share the same day).

THANK YOU Krisi - Send me an email at so that I can give you the redemption codes for your prize. Thanks for playing along and have a wonderful party!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dr. Appointment today....

I had my 17 week Dr. Appointment this morning and got to hear the heart beat - it was so loud- and she found it right away. WOW - It was 145..... My weight and everything looks great. They drew some blood for the second half of my triple screen and that was it. We will HOPEFULLY find out the sex of the baby at our next appointment on April 9th. When I was leaving the Doctor's office they asked me if I was hoping to find out the sex of the baby at my next appointment, I said "Oh YES please, I would like to find out TODAY if that is possible"lol - all the girls just laughed.....Can't blame for trying right? Scott took me to the Dr. today - I had a really bad morning - I woke up around five am with an EXCRUCIATING headache - It was so bad - I was crying, and moaning in my sleep - that was what woke me up - I could not get back to sleep - so I went to take some Tylenol and then instantly - my stomach was turning and I felt like I was going to gag - I ran into the bathroom and started throwing up. It was terrible - I was hoping to sleep in this morning since I didn't have to get to work so early. I feel much better now - thankfully. It was SO WEIRD.


Baby Gender Prediction Based On Baby's Heart Rate

One of the popular theories on baby gender prediction is based on the baby's heart rate.

The theory states that if your baby's heart rate was 140 beats per minute and above, you would be having a girl. If the heart rate was under 140 beats per minute, then you would be having a boy.

While this would be a quick and easy baby gender prediction method, there is actully no evidence that this theory is accurate. There is recent study, "Sex, Heart Rate, and Age" from Terry J. DuBose, M.S., RDMS; Director Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which indicates there is no correlation between fetal heart rate and the gender of the baby.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Extreme cheapskates: Tightwads revel in frugality

Make your own detergent? Tightwads embrace frugality to new extremes in recession
  • Tuesday March 10, 2009, 4:46 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Amy VanDeventer has always been a cheapskate. The recession is taking her to new extremes.

Before the economy tanked, she was still wearing maternity clothes from her last pregnancy, clipping coupons and using hand-me-downs to dress her daughters, ages 2 and 3. Now, she's salvaging bagel scraps left on their plates for pizza toppings and cutting lotion bottles in half so she can scrape out the last drops.

"I was already cheap," said VanDeventer, a 36-year-old mortgage loan underwriter from Broomfield, Colo. "Now I am neurotic about it."

If you thought those cheapskate friends and relatives couldn't pinch pennies any tighter, think again. The recession is making tightwads like VanDeventer cut back even more. They're going way beyond sharpening their coupon scissors, replacing already cheap store-brand fabric softener with vinegar and even making their own detergent. VanDeventer was drying her hair in front of a fan after her portable hair dryer broke -- until her friends bought her a new one.

The recession is radically changing behavior among many different types of people, from the Wall Street bankers who are now waltzing into Wal-Mart for the first time to buy their groceries to teens who are now thumbing through the piles of status jeans at secondhand shops to save money. And experts say that such behavior could linger long after the economy recovers.

What surprises frugality bloggers is that many cheapskates such as VanDeventer haven't lost their jobs and are not in danger of losing their homes. Many have stashed a good chunk of cash away. But the economic uncertainty is catapulting them to new levels of thriftiness.

"I do it out of fear because I would rather put that money in the bank or purchase something we really need," said VanDeventer, who now saves about 50 percent of her take-home pay, up from 25 percent before the recession began more than a year ago.

The trend is disturbing for merchants, who are already reeling from the sharp pullback by spenders. Such extreme miserly behavior could only worsen the decline in consumer spending.

"Frugal people are now looking at more ways not to spend money," said Lynnae McCoy, who runs a blog called, which attracts seasoned penny pinchers. In January, her site received 110,000 hits, up 30 percent from a year ago. What intrigued McCoy was the interest among frugal folks to save even more money by making their own detergent and other household goods.

Elizabeth Schomburg, a credit counselor from Roscoe, Ill., is now replacing store brand softener with vinegar in her laundry. The 31-year-old, who used to comb the 80 percent off sales racks, said she has stopped doing any "recreational buying."

"I am questioning every single purchase," she said.

She's also not stockpiling discounted groceries because she wants to limit how much money she puts out for each trip to the supermarket. That kind of behavior is showing up in fourth-quarter results at companies including foodmaker H.J. Heinz Co., whose sales suffered as consumers are cleaning out their cupboards before buying new items.

Jeff Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Roadmap to True Riches, sees a silver lining to the economic downturn.

"Whatever you do to simplify your life is a good thing," Yeager said. A self-proclaimed cheapskate, he has spent no more than $100 over the past five years on clothing for himself and won't throw anything out until it literally falls apart.

But he's found ways to cut back even more now, such as eating more lentils -- which are cheap and nutritious -- and biking more to save gasoline. His mantra for buying food? Buy not what you want, but what's affordable at the time.

Unlike many big spenders during the boom years, he says he and other cheapskates are "sleeping easy" these days.

They're also getting some respect from the spenders, who even just a few months ago mocked their thrifty ways.

"My friends used to laugh at me," said Jodi Furman, referring to her obsession with 70 percent off sales and her knack for saving money with coupons.

They're not laughing now. The mother of three from Lake Worth, Fla., parlayed her knowledge into a blog called last fall. The blog helps shoppers save money on fashionable clothing and healthy food.

"If you can't make more money, then you can spend less -- and that's the equivalent of making more money," Furman said.

While she doesn't scrape pizza crumbs or make her own detergent, Furman said she's "laser-focused" when it comes to saving on groceries. She's saving 60 percent to 70 percent off her grocery bills. On a recent trip to Winn-Dixie, she scooped up $63.50 worth of groceries for $16.45. She picked up a box of TLC Cereal bars, regularly priced at $3.99, for $1 -- it was on sale for $3 but she used a $2 coupon. She got a $3.99 package of Equal sweetener for free -- combining a coupon with the sale price.

Many people are embracing the new challenge of squeezing the most value out of every last penny. Who knew you could make household products such as detergent? McCoy says it's not hard: mix Borax with a half bar of soap, baking soda and its relative washing soda, which cuts grease and can be found in the laundry areas of many supermarkets.

"If you have vinegar, Dawn soap and baking soda, you can pretty much make any cleaning product," McCoy said.

Monday, March 9, 2009

16 Weeks - Yay - we are 4 months along...

How your baby's growing:
Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

See what your baby looks like this week. (Or see what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.)

How your life's changing:
The top of your uterus is about halfway between your pubic bone and your navel, and the round ligaments that support it are thickening and stretching as it grows. You're probably feeling a whole lot better as you settle into pregnancy, too. Less nausea, fewer mood swings, and "glowing" skin contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

Soon you'll experience one of the most wonderful moments of pregnancy — feeling your baby move. While some women notice "quickening" as early as 16 weeks, many don't feel their baby move until about 18 weeks or more. (And if this is your first baby, don't be too impatient — you may not be aware of your baby's movements until 20 weeks or so.) The earliest movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping. Over the following weeks they'll grow stronger and you'll be able to feel them much more frequently.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tips from Ava

Hello Ladies!
Sorry I am sooo late responding (partially because I didn't think I had much to contribute). Thank you Shannon, for starting this conversation.
Everyone has such wonderful ideas and I have learned so much from the responses. I am already using the spreadsheet - we have been wanting to create something like that for the longest time. I loved the crock pot recipes website (I just got my first crock pot a few weeks ago) and I am going to get a CVS card! Haven't had much luck with the coupons yet, but I am eager to learn.
The ways that we save are pretty simple and have probably already been mentioned, but here goes:
I read somewhere that in times like these, families tend to gain weight (which lends itself to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes) because we cut back on those grocery items that cost the most but are also most beneficial to our health - fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat and grains, fish and poultry.
So, with the intent of infusing these staples into our diets consistently, I browse the circulars each week for what is on sale/where and that is where I shop for those items. Also, I have save $40-$50 per week by shopping at more than one store. Target is much cheaper than the grocery stores for a lot of items (especially condiments: jelly, miracle whip, salad dressing, etc). The best price for bananas, a bag of organic apples, RBST free milk and eggs is Trader Joes. Otherwise fresh fruits and veggies are almost always cheaper at a farmers market. This requires planning, when I plan our meals for the week and where I will shop it saves time and money. Whenever I can, I duplicate ingredients or plan for meals that will feed us for two days. It also lends itself to healthy meals with some variety. Because when I cook the same thing over and over, I find McDonalds and Del Taco wrappers in my husbands truck Confused smiley emoticon
Also, we only go out to eat when/where kids eat free or with some other type of coupon.
We shop for school supplies in July and August when they are half price at Target and Wal Mart.
I haven't graduated to aluminum containers yet (but plan to), in the meantime- we recycle our all of our juice and water bottles each month and usually come away with around $20.
Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful information~
God Bless!

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Pregnancy - 15 Weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

How your life's changing:

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.

Birthday Card Annoyance

So I have an annoyance with birthday cards.  Especially when it comes
to children, they are such a waste of money! So here are a couple of
my ideas for solutions:
1. Instead of buying a card, but a small inexpensive book (under $4)
and write a special note to the birthday kid on the front cover.
You're spending the money still, but at least it doesn't get thrown
away the next day and they can read the book over and over again?
2. You can order a dozen birthday cards from places like
or and they usually cost around $5 for a dozen and
then save them and pull them out of your "extra cards" box whenever
you need a last minute card. I usually get the Suzie's Zoo ones
because they're cute and not so personal.
3. Skip the card all together and go to the office store and buy a
little box of tags. Tape the string under your bow on the package and
write a little note (ex: Happy Birthday Riley, Love Shane) and it
looks cute and it's sweet and simple!

Ok, there's my spheal about how much I hate birthday cards! Hope you
can use one of these ideas if you want!

- Shannon


I also like to make my own. I do digital scrapbooking
and have TONS of graphics, so I either make my own...or Dylan and I
make the card as an art project - he LOVES to do that and then it is a
keepsake for the recipient as well.

Another thing we do is - Dylan LOVES his cards, he has to keep them we use the cards later for art projects - cut them up and glue them to something. That's fun too.

Heather Stokes

Fun T-Shirt Design

Here's another money-saving idea...

I buy inexpensive solid-color t-shirts for my boys and then use puff paint
(buy it at Michael's) and stencils to put a picture of something on the
front. My two-year-old has a brontosaurus shirt that he loves, and my
four-year-old always wants to wear his frog shirt.

You can buy the t-shirts really cheap at places like T-Shirt Mart in La
Verne. I just bought several at the 99 Cents Store in Montclair (across
from the mall on Moreno), but they don't always have them.

First put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt. Then use the stencil to
draw the design with a pen, then go over it with puff paint. I have tons of
stencils in my scrapbooking stuff. You can also get clip art from the
internet, cut it out, and trace around it.

It's easy and fun--this even makes a fun craft project for a moms' group.
You can wash the t-shirts in the washing machine. The puff paint will
eventually start to come off but it takes a long time. Turn the t-shirts
inside out before washing to extend the life of the puff paint.


Another Mom Chimes in with some great tips....

OK....I got back on the computer after about a week. I'm in a slightly different situation because of where I live, but we lived in suburbia for a decade, and I'm from Orange Co., so those roots are deep. We live on a ranch now, and that brings its own challenges. We have a large family garden. We have before and will this year, grown enough to can for the winter. Its kind of fun. Brandon really liked the blueberry peach jam I made one year. Look forward to it again this year....During the Depression, my Grandmother used to tell me about the Victory Gardens that Eleanor Roosevelt (sp?) promoted for families to help themselves. It was a hugh success, as everyone was living on government 'coupons' for sugar, gas, meat, (yes your meat from your butcher/market), etc. All those things that were in really short supply. And there was no money or work. The Great Dust Bowl was going on then, and farmers couldn't produce enought to live on themselves. Similar to the Central Valley in CA, which produces more that 50% of the entire nations produce. Its has had to cut production from 20-50% of its entire production. Things will be very scarce and expensive. The idea of a family compost pile and garden that someone brought up (I'm sorry I don't remember who, and it will take time to go thru the whole thing again!) is excellant. Your water bill will be higher, and I know Riverside just put in mandatory water rationing for western Riverside Co., and the drought may bring this situation on to most of So. Cal., so we'll see. We are on 2 wells, so we are ok....unless we have well problems.... Check out your local Farmers Markets also, esp. if produce shipped in becomes sparse. The farmers prices will go down with the economy, and you may be able to find things you won't be as able to at the big supermarkets. Plus a lot of this stuff will be shipped in from Mexico, and with the standards they have, and the current unrest they have there, this is personally very scary to me. Also stuff comes from So. America, where again the standards aren't anywhere what we just naturally expect from our government. If you have enough people close to you that have a garden, you can even pool ideas of what to grow and trade. We have a large flock of chickens, a dairy cow (and new calf), and neighbors who will exchange for pigs, goats or sheep. We have several acres planted in pasture for the spring, but contingent on rains. I have way to many horses, who are very expensive to keep, but half of them are rescues, and it they go to auction they will surely go to slaughter. Actually the cow was a rescue, and turned into a wonderful addition, considering the current economic situation. I watch this very carefully, because its even hit my husband's company. Her milk is wonderful (we were already very heavy milk drinkers), and her cheese and butter are as well. My grandmother told me that a lot of the city dwellers also had a few chickens and some raised rabbits (for meat) in their backyards to trade for stuff they couldn't get. I don't think you could get away with it today, but we'll see how bad things actually get. I shop in bulk at Sam's Club, and other places similar......because we live a ways out and running to the grocery store or Wal Greens is not the best option. But I save a lot of $. And shopping time. Get online and there are quite a few really good recipe sites. I cook according to whats in season or what was a good price. Plus I always have certain staples on hand. Rice, beans, flour, yeast, potatoes, onions. And lots of different canned things. I have a lot of good tried and true recipes that I'll get back online with and send. Right now I've got to get outside and plant and weed, and rake, and it goes on and on........