Wednesday, April 27, 2011

20 Week Ultrasound Results

Today I had my 20 week ultrasound.  Though we didn't really get any good pictures, we did see enough to learn that baby three is another boy!

I've been strongly leaning boy the past few days, but it still surprises me that we can have boys.  I grew up in a family that is very dominantly girl.  And now my mother will have more grandsons than granddaughters, which is hard to wrap our brains around.

On the upside of the little guy not cooperating (he was nestled very low, and not budging), we'll get to see him again in four weeks.  In addition to not getting to see his face, which was firmly planted in my placenta, the doctor didn't get to get a good look at some of his more vital organs.  I'm not going to complain about another glimpse of him before his arrival!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Tulip Farm

This last week we had some long overdue sunshine, so we went on a family outing to a local tulip farm.

Don't forget to enter the Strider PREbike giveaway while you're here.  Low entries so far, and a $100 value!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday's Friends Cafe Blog Hop--I'm a Guest Host!

I was thrilled when Melissa from Keeping Up With the Rheinlanders contacted me to say that I was this week's guest host for Thursday's Friends Cafe Blog Hop and Giveaways.

Welcome to the "Thursday's Friends Cafe!"

Just a few reminders on how the "Cafe" works.
Follow the two hosts Tammy and Melissa
(pre-requisite for qualifying as guest host)
Add your name/blog to the list
Follow as many participants as you want
(be sure to comment so they can follow you back.)
Most importantly: HAVE FUN!
This weeks guest host is...
ME (Gluten Free Motherhood)!


Thursday's Giveaway Cafe--I'm a Guest Host!

I was thrilled when Melissa from Keeping Up With the Rheinlanders contacted me to say that I was this week's guest host for Thursday's Friends Cafe Blog Hop and Giveaways.

Link up your giveaways valued at $25 or higher, and don't forget to enter my new giveaway (posted today) for a Strider Running Bike!


Strider PREbike Review and Giveaway! *CLOSED*

I first saw a little guy on a Strider PREbike when Mercy was just barely a year old.  He zipped around after his brothers and sisters for hours at a time--and had a great time doing it!  However, Mercy still wasn't even crawling, let alone walking, so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.

Then Mercy entered a physical therapy program to address her gross motor delays, and as the therapist would talk about the kinds of activities that would help her to progress, I remembered that little bicycle and filed it away in my mind for some point in the future.

Therefore, I was thrilled when Strider Sports agreed to send one of their PREbikes for Mercy in December.  

As soon as she saw the box, she exclaimed "that's a bicycle for Mercy!"  It only took a few minutes for my husband to assemble it and adjust it for her so that she could take it for a little test ride.

That first time was slow, but Mercy started just as Strider describes--by standing and walking while holding the handle bars.  

Each time she gets on her Strider she's able to go just a wee bit faster, and just recently she's begun to sit while riding.  Here's a video from Strider explaining the advantages of a Strider Running Bike.

I've seen other running bikes that either don't have footrests, or place them in such a way that Mercy would be sure to bang her legs on them when attempting to walk the bicycle.  I love the "launchpad footrests" on the Strider.  No danger of bruised shins and a natural place for her feet to rest once she's able to glide.

In addition to making a great product, the Strider company has been wonderful to work with.  Needless to say, December was awhile ago, and I'm just getting this post up.  Strider has been more than patient through our Northwest weather and our personal delays.  I wish every company was so helpful!

In addition to having sent a PREbike for Mercy's use, Strider is going to give a Strider Runnning Bike to one lucky reader of Gluten Free Motherhood in the color of her or her choice!

Please leave an e-mail address at which you can be contacted with each entry.  Giveaway ends Saturday, May 7 at 11:59pm PST.  

Mandatory Entries:  
1. Become a follower of Gluten Free Motherhood, or let me know if you already are.
2. Head on over to Strider Sports and let me know what color you would choose if you're the winner.

Extra Entries:
1. Become a fan of Gluten Free Motherhood on Facebook (1 entry).
2. Become a fan of Strider Running Bikes on Facebook, but please don't clutter up their page by telling them I sent you.  It's enough to be their fan (1 entry)!
3. Follow Gluten Free Motherhood on Twitter (1 entry).
4. Tweet this giveaway (1 entry).  You may do this once a day.  Just leave me a comment with a link to each tweet.
5. Blog this giveaway (3 entries) and leave me a link to your post.
6. Share this giveaway on Facebook (1 entry). 
7. Vote for Gluten Free Motherhood on Picket Fence via the button on the right (1 entry).  This can also be done once a day for additional entries.

And, of course, if you just can't wait, you can always order a PREbike through Strider.  

*I was not compensated monetarily in any way for this post.  I was provided one Strider PREbike for purposes of review and all opinions contained here are my own.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gluten Free Hot Pockets

This pregnancy I really haven't had any consistent cravings like I have in the past, but cheeseburgers have been more consistent than about anything.  However, when it's 9pm and I'm hungry for a cheeseburger I typically don't really have the energy to actually make one.

So I made some cheeseburger hot pockets.

This is where I wish I was a better photographer.  And I could have taken the time to make them prettier, but I was hungry and didn't really care about how they looked.

Regardless of of how they look, they were delicious.  I cooked up some hamburger with garlic and seasoning salt, sauteed some mushrooms with rosemary, and put them on some gluten free olive oil bread dough (from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day) I'd rolled out.  Then I tossed on some green onions and cheddar and mozzerella cheeses before rolling them into pockets.

I'm eager to try this again, but in a chicken and broccoli version...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--A Taste of Spring

Almost a Week

Tomorrow will be a week since we re-entered the realm of unemployment.  Lest anyone get the wrong idea from that last post, this is where I confess how I'm doing.

I don't wake up in the morning feeling hopeful or joyful.  I have to actively put on hope and joy.  And not just once.  But in a minute-by-minute sort of way.  I wake up remembering that most of the jobs that are rapidly "rebounding" are retail, that we can't live long term on that, and wondering what in the world we are going to do if we don't get work in the next 2-3 months.  Faith isn't easy.

In America, most of us are completely unfamiliar with the fear that we might not have a place to live.  We have friends and family who won't let that happen, but without them, it would have been reality in the past and would very possibly be a future reality.  In this country family-wage work is available for the taking if you have a good education and work ethic, right?  Or, at least, most of us still seem to believe that.  We worry about whether or not we'll be able to buy a house, not whether we'll have a roof over our heads.  We fret about not having enough bedrooms, or a yard as large as we'd like.  Not whether we'll be without shelter.  We're spoiled.  Myself included.  Letting go of those things, especially as a woman, is hard.  I want a home to make, and right now I have re-orient and be thankful for a warm, comfortable place to sleep, if not a home we can call our own for any length of time.

Each day I struggle.  And about every 36-48 hours I have a "crying" day.  On those days I have to be reminded that God is faithful.  And He is.  Always.

We sang "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" in church on Sunday.  And once again, I began to cry--on this verse.  One that I am currently trying to remember several times a day.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Because, in all honesty, I'm fearful.  Very, very fearful.  And yet, God's mercy is abundant, and I do believe, despite my bad days, that those clouds I so much dread will break forth in blessings.

An Interlude

This blog was originally intended to revolve around mothering and doing so when a gluten-free diet is involved.  And it will return to that--hopefully soon.  However, in the meantime, I'm posting here from our personal family blog as well to let you all know why the absence.  Life has been a bit on the rocky side lately and blogging hasn't been the top priority.  So, please have patience.  And I promise that a gluten-free post is in the works!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Lord Gives and Takes Away

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

That last part is really difficult.  But I don't suppose that it is ever easy when the verse is applicable.

The Lord gave, and He has taken away.  Yesterday Ryan was let go.  I was in the kitchen cleaning up after lunch when Mercy joyfully exclaimed that daddy was home.  And my heart sank to my toes.

Everything clicked into place so quickly four weeks ago.  He was offered the job.  He started two days later.  We found a place we love and moved in four days after he started.  God put us here for a reason.  But two weeks into work stress levels at work mounted.

They said it wasn't his fault.  He's a good accountant, but it was an experienced position and they've come to realize they made a mistake in thinking they could hire someone right out of school to fill it.  They'll write a letter of recommendation.  And with many apologies they handed him his check.

I've cried more in the past twenty-four hours than I have during the entire course of our marriage.  Last night Ryan simply held me until I went to sleep.  After sleeping in this morning I cried some more while he held me.  Then we began to talk, and he helped me with perspective.

Yes, every mother wants to know where her children are going to be sleeping in a month.  How we're going to pay the bills.  Have an answer when asked "where's our home, Mommy?"  But in reality, the Bible places very little value in financial security.  Yes, a man is to work hard to feed his family, but sometimes that looks a bit different than others.  Like when your country is in a recession with statistics that rival the great depression.

It is through suffering that Christ is truly revealed to us.  That's one of the reasons the apostles gave thanks in the midst of persecution.  Those who've never wondered where they'll be sleeping next week or next month have never seen God provide those things in the ways that we've seen Him do that for us.  We've seen Christ in situations that have felt desperately lonely and hopeless.

And now, more than ever, we're having to trust God for those things.  For nearly a month, we tasted financial security.  I thought I was able to plan for the future.  That I knew where I'd be tucking my children into bed next year.  I had visions of my children playing in the yard this summer.  Of a small garden.  Of making a home here.

And it's gone.  But even in the midst of that we're to give thanks.  For right now, what God has given us is enough.  However, I'll probably need to be reminded of that with some frequency for the foreseeable future.