high heels and grits

high heels and grits: October 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

21 weeks

October 24, 2013
How far along? 21 weeks

Week 21: Your baby is the size of a carrot (source)

Total weight gain/loss: I packed my lunch every day this week - had a salad on Tuesday and Thursday and apples, bananas, pomegranates and goldfish for snacks. My weight was all over the place in the morning and by evening it was a steady 9lb gain. I should have gained between 10-15 lbs so far, but I was overweight prior to my pregnancy, so I'm trying to be happy with 9. (It's so weird seeing the scale creep up!)

Maternity Clothes?  yes! and my first order finally came in the mail. I need to return a pair of shoes and a way to low cut shirt, but other than that everything fits good! SIL gave me two more shirts with another pair of jeans so yay!

Here's a new maternity shirt I got from JCPenny. Got lots of compliments today!

Stretch marks?  nope

Sleep? Getting more difficult. I'm having crazy dreams. I'm a bank robber, someone dies, someone steals my laptop, an old elementary school friend empties out my purse (thanks Victor!) In our bedroom we have black out curtains and they really work I haven't been awaken by the sun in a very long time- I've been right-on-time to work every day this week. Don't forget to FALL-BACK this weekend! 

Best moment this week:  Feeling some tightness in my belly. Body is rearranging or baby is putting pressure, not quite sure. I think I might have felt movement on 10/18/2013. I wasn't digesting food or in an awkward position and I felt what seemed to me like gas bubbles in my very lower abdomen. Could it be? Baby's first kicks??

Miss Anything?  Guilt-free eating.  I had "cooked" sushi one day for lunch, but it wasn't the same plus it came with a side of guilt. Are we sure all these fish from the Pacific Ocean aren't covered in nuclear waste from the earthquake leak? Hubby may get his wish and I'll have a superhero baby due to the radiation.

Movement:  none? See 'Best moment this week'

Food cravings:  none. Nothing tastes AMAZING. So I'm just eating for energy, not for pleasure. So sad! Does this mean it'll be difficult to get my kid to eat? 

Anything making your queasy or sick?  Still can't eat big meals. I packed a big lunch on Wednesday and had to leave the break room early b/c I couldn't finish eating it. It was so frustrating watching everyone eat while I feel like a stuffed pig. Packing lots of healthy snacks to snack on throughout the day.

Have you started to show yet? Oh ya. I read a blog where this chick wasn't wearing maternity clothes at 22 weeks and I thought to myself "you've got to be kidding me!" well turns out she was wearing the belly band - a band made of Spanx like material you wear over your jeans so you don't have to button them...I would be to afraid of my pants falling down, so I skipped the belly band and went right for the maternity jeans - they were a hand-me-down from my SIL, so it was an easy transition. Going to Dallas this weekend to see friends and family I realized how big I had gotten - everyone's reaction was "wow!"

Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain on right side (in the beginning it was the left side, weird...)

Gender:  BOY!

Labor signs:  none

Belly button in or out?  in

Wedding rings on or off?  Engagement ring on.

Happy or Moody most of the time?  I say happy. There has been some stressful situations lately (not to do with the baby) but the health of the baby is my #1 priority and I refuse to stay in a bad mood or get riled up over anything. My SIL was pregnant with her first when her mother passed away. We were talking and she shared that as much as she wanted to get sad and depressed, she couldn't because of her responsibility to her unborn baby. Such a strong woman! I do not want to have a similar experience, but I do want to be that strong and healthy.

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and being surrounded with family and friends. (Notice I'm not looking forward to turkey and stuffing - probably b/c I won't be able to eat a lot!)

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

What I do for a living part II

Sorry for the teaser yesterday, I started writing and realized this needed to be a two part entry. There's just so much to share!

If you missed part one, it's an easy read you can find here.


My studying of stewardship was like a year of philosophy. I don't remember how many philosophy courses I took in college, but I remember I enjoyed them. I enjoyed that you could never really be right or wrong. My classmates and I respected one another and debated without hateful words or derogatory statements. I just love a lesson that makes you think and leaves you wanting more. I would leave philosophy class with my mind wide open and a different outlook on life. Even the world looked different "Has that tree always been there? What a beautiful tree! That rose garden is so pretty, I think I'll go smell the roses"

My year of philosophical studying of theological teachings on stewardship was phenomenal. It opened my mind, but because it was centered around God it also opened my heart. Such an amazing experience! It was a blessing that I was planning my wedding during this time and I used my new found knowledge to avoid stress.

So - stewardship...Let's begin with this:
"Heaven's the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you"
"So you're little Bobbie, well Rex has been going on and on about you for the last 50 years"
(Sorry, I'm in a "I love my dogs" mood today)
  • The goal in life is to get to heaven
  • Catholics believe your actions on this earth will be taken into consideration at the 'pearly gates'. (A concept not all faiths believe)
  • So if you want to get into heaven, you should live a life like the one guy we know is in heaven: Jesus.
  • The next goal in life is to become Christ like. To become Christ like we must become holy. To become holy we must change.
  • Challenge #1: Change. Change is difficult for everyone. We are convinced what weare doing (or are not doing) is going to make us a better person, make this Christ like, get them into Heaven.

I will use Stewardship to guide your self discovery towards holiness.

There are 4 components of a good steward:

A steward is GRATEFUL
Part one of step 1: Acknowledge you are not in control. All our blessings come from somewhere else.
Easiest example: you in your sleep. You are not in control while sleeping. If you are then you are not getting a very restful sleep. Simple enough. Someone is keeping you safe and alive when you are at your most vulnerable...in your sleep.

This is only part one of step one and this is where most people get stuck. They think they are in control (I sure did! At one point I had a blog titled "The life I choose to live" Sounds so selfish!) They refuse to believe there is a higher power.
Part two of step 1: Thank this higher power. Cultures have been doing it for centuries. Offering sacrifices, offering prayers and first fruits. Once you begin to be grateful for the little things, you'll find gratefulness in the big things. "I found a quarter! Thanks be to God." "I am healthy. Thanks be to God" "My work is stressful; but this is a great growing opportunity. Thanks be to God". 
TRY THIS FOR ONE WEEK and see how your outlook on life changes. I find it best to send this grateful "energy" (hubby hates that word) to a higher power. If you belive this higher power is energy - cite Newton's 3rd Law: "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction". Therefore I give energy to this power, He'll give energy back to me. 

Thanks be to God you read through Step 1. I am grateful. ;) 

 A steward is RESPONSIBLE
The things we are grateful for, we are also responsible for. If we are truly grateful, we will be responsible. 
We're not saying "I am grateful for my health" as we eat a bag of potato chips or get drunk. We say "I am grateful for my health and I will continue take care of my health." Let's face it. Acknowledging our gifts will remind us that we have many gifts and we must take care of them. If you wake up feeling sick you'll take medicine. But if you wake up feeling fine, will you take vitamins? will you eat healthy? Let's not wait on the unfortunate situation to occur, when we could be building our strength now. (Yogis, cross-fitters and exercise gurus understand this) 
But it goes for ALL things in our life. Our health is easy because we see it daily. What about our faith? How do we claim responsibility for that? Our relationships with others? Can we take responsibility for the friends we hang on to? for the family we talk to (or avoid). God has put those people in our life, we are responsible for our relationship with them. 

A steward is GENEROUS
When we are grateful and responsible it is easy to become generous. Who doesn't like to share the good things in life? Do you have friends or family who are always willing to give their time, their possessions or their money? You might be thinking "what is with these people?!" Perhaps they find their blessings to be such a gift from God they want to share it. Another easy example of this is a child. New mothers and fathers are grateful for their newborn. They claim responsibility of their newborn and they wish to share him/her with the world/ 
No good parent, is hiding their child from their family and friends. 

A steward makes a return to the Lord with increase.
I like to use the following visualization: You die. You have a basket full of the gifts God gave you and you walk up to the pearly gates with your basket. Do you say to God: "Here I am with my gifts! I am returning them to you!" Or are you dragging your basket, along with many other baskets saying: "Here are the gifts you gave me! I am returning them and because I used them according to your will, they have multiplied!" We want what God has given us to multiply here on Earth right? We always seek more and more. But are we giving back to the Lord with increase? Why not? 

The pessimist says "my cup is half empty"
The optimist says "my cup is half full"
The Child of God says "my cup runneth over!"

This is a portion of my 'Stewardship and the New Evangelization" presentation. It goes deeper into the Eucharist and evangelizing fallen away Catholics. I've always wanted to be a motivational speaker. I was never a cheerleader in high school but I find myself to be the biggest fan of my family, friends, alma maters, city, town, etc. You always want to be paid to do what you love. I guess you could say I am doing that now. Thanks be to God!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I do for a living

My past life consisted of job titles such as:
Sales Associate
Wedding Planner
Director of Catering

all pretty self-explanatory titles.

My current job title is Stewardship Coordinator in the Office of Stewardship and Development.

Many of my family and friends ask me "But, what do you DO?"

In the beginning I would say "I'm a grant writer". But that's only half of my job. The other half is spreading the message of stewardship. Something I will share with you today.

I grew up in the Catholic Church and Catholic school system in the Diocese of Dallas, TX. I had never heard the word stewardship until I applied for my position here in Lubbock. My current professional contacts in Dallas parishes tell me the word "stewardship" still isn't used very often in Dallas.

My study guide

'Stewardship: A Disciple's Response' was written by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and published in 1992. In this book one of the definitions for stewardship is the giving of Time, Talent and Treasure to God; a concept I had never heard of. I knew you were supposed to give a monetary offering at mass, but I didn't know there was a word for that. I thought  it was to ease your Catholic guilt.
Note that this book was written a little over 20 years ago. So many of our church 'elders' and volunteers (even today's CCE teachers) were not taught about stewardship and therefore do not share the message of stewardship to their classes. I've never been to seminary, but I suspect stewardship 101 isn't a course option.

Here's where I step in: My job is to spread stewardship. I am to help it become a common word that doesn't speak only to mass offerings or giving of treasure. I spent my first year on the job learning and studying Church teachings on stewardship (and yes, the word and concept is in the Bible). This being my second year, I am much more comfortable spreading the message of Stewardship.

I have been given plenty of opportunities to share the message. At this year's 2013 ICSC conference I was a moderator for a stewardship session (my boss got sick and I thought I might be called to present, but alternates stepped in at the last minute). And this past weekend I was a speaker at our diocese's Catechetical Conference  (the teaching of catechesis - your CCE teachers and youth ministers).  My one hour sessions were: Stewardship and the New Evangelization, How to host a Stewardship Sunday and Stewardship in our Religious Education and Youth Groups.

All of these presentations center around the following four principles of stewardship:
which I'll share with you tomorrow!

Stay Tuned!

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Monday, October 21, 2013

20 weeks

October 21, 2013
How far along? 20 weeks

Week 20: Your baby is the size of a banana (source)

Total weight gain/loss: I worked out all week, but I was bad this weekend and ate out at restaurants Saturday and Sunday. I ended up gaining 4lbs (according to my scale this morning). So that's 9lbs total. I think with my working out and eating homemade meals this week I'll lose or get back on track.

Maternity Clothes?  Oh ya. packed up the summer clothes and included winter clothes that won't work for a baby belly. Those are in storage. I left room in my closet for my recent online purchases from JCPenny and Zulily.

Stretch marks?  nope

Sleep? I sleep ok, but not for very long. I'm usually up by 5am tossing and turning. When I use the restroom I can fall back asleep, but it doesn't feel like I need to use the restroom so I rarely get up to do so. Poor hubby is a light sleeper, so as soon as I'm awake, so is he.

Best moment this week:  Co-hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law and blogging about it! Also helping out my church and meeting with my youth group.

Miss Anything?  COFFEE. It's fall and it's cold out, a nice warm cup of coffee would be awesome on my drive to work. Instead I drink a bottle of room temperature water.

Movement:  none.

Food cravings:  none. My taste buds have changed! Things I would just LOVE in the past, are 'ok' now. It's so disappointing! Nothing tastes AMAZING.

Anything making your queasy or sick?  Still can't eat big meals. Packing lots of healthy snacks to snack on throughout the day.

Have you started to show yet? Oh ya. But not in a cute basketball belly kind of way - it's more like a "woah, you've put on weight all in one place" kinda of way :(

Symptoms: Sciatic pain and can't be on my feet all day.

Gender:  BOY!

Labor signs:  none

Belly button in or out?  in

Wedding rings on or off?  Engagement ring on.

Happy or Moody most of the time?  I say happy. The fall and winter are my favorite seasons. I just LOVE Christmas, so I'm in a great mood. I think I need to start pretending that I'm paying for daycare now so I'm not stretched for cash come the summer.

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and being surrounded with family and friends. I'm also looking forward to my maternity clothes to come in!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Baby Girl Baby Shower

Wow! The baby shower this weekend was a HUGE success. How can I tell it was a success? I'm exhausted!!

Here are a few photos of the décor - inspired by Pinterest...

Pink Rice Krispie Treats! DIY

Fabric Wreath as mentioned in previous blog post

Mommy Chair and backdrop

Mommy mum

Table Scape - lanterns and ceiling décor less than $20. (Hobby Lobby)
Frames and glass apothecary jars - FREE! (From previous wedding inventory)

Thank You area featuring rice krispies and sonogram of baby girl

Everyone who came in to the party commented on how pretty it was. And those who knew knew it was pinterest inspired.

The macaroons were sneaked in from Amarillo. The mommy-to-be's husband visited her favorite French bakery in Amarillo, put them in a gift bag and made up a story about how she should give the bag to me as soon as she arrived at the party. Little did she know...it was all for her!

Cake and cupcakes from Market Street Supermarkets. Delicious!!

Mommy to Be!

Guests playing "What's in my purse" winner had over 200 points.
Her big ticket items were diaper (50 points), social security card (50 points) and pay stub.
It helped she had a big purse!

Mommy with her newborn niece, Evelyn.

Snacks! Featuring some wedding gifts of mine...
silver appetizer tray, wooden cutting board and silver cake stand.
That was fun! Finally using my wedding presents!

Mommy reading the diaper messages her guests wrote. Her favorite author won a prize! 
"Don't come any closer!" "Gonna need a towel!!"
And the winner was....
"Woah! She's dropping bricks!"
Such a fun party to host with my sister-in-laws:

I have GOT to learn how to dress during this pregnancy. My goodness!
I was running around decorating all day I didn't realize I looked like this until the end of the party when this photo was taken. Ayayay

High Heels!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

DIY Baby Shower Wreath

We are throwing a baby shower for my Sister In Law this weekend. She is having a girl. With her girl and our boy the family will have 9 boys and 9 girls. That's 18 grandchildren on his side. Our boy will be the FIRST grandbaby on my side. This will be the first family baby shower I've been asked to help as a hostess. I am very excited! We hosted a Dr. Seuss shower for my friend in Dallas which was a blast! So I am very excited about this one. This will be the 2nd girl for this SIL so she has a lot of the clothes and supplies left over. But like most families, this family rarely says "no" to a party.

One SIL is making the food, the other is in charge of games and mommy mum and I am the décor girl.  Of course, I turned to my trusty Pinterest for pinsperation!  I ran across this pin and fell in love!

Hobby Lobby has these bows for $2.99 each. There are about 20 bows, at $3 each...that's $60! For a wreath! Of course the guest of honor would take home the bows as a gift, but I just couldn't wrap my head around $60 in bows. I'm obviously not a girl mom yet.

However, I've had this Styrofoam wreath for a couple of years.
I stapled fall leaves to it last year for our fall décor. I needed some inspiration for this baby shower.

Over at the blog Infarranty Creative I found this wreath tutorial with the exact same wreath form I have:

Beckie wraps the form in single strand yarn, which takes about 3 hours. After that much time invested I would be sure to pick a color that would work for ALL seasons.
That color would be RED. Red works for Christmas, baby girl, baby boy, Fall (red, orange, brown, etc), Valentines Day, 4th of July....
Probably not St. Patricks Day, but I think I'd go with Red on this.
I could always cover it up with something else and keep the yarn underneath.
* a great idea from Beckie: use straight pins to pin the flowers/décor on to the wreath. You can see for my Fall wreath I used staples (turns out they weren't long enough and the leaves fell off easily) Thanks Brilliant Beckie!

Over at Mine For the Making, Kara skips the purchase of a wreath form and creates her own form out of cardboard!
(a much lighter alternative!)
I love this fabric idea. When I saw these wreaths I thought they were pieces of ribbon, but Kara measured and tore pieces of left over fabric. Brilliant and a cost saving idea! Ribbon is expensive!

Emily at 52 Mantels, a blog I subscribe to, had this perfect pink baby shower wreath! I think this is VERY do-able for our upcoming shower.

She didn't use a foam wreath, but I think I could "make it work".

In all the researching for the baby girl wreath I couldn't help but look at some baby boy wreaths. As expected, they are pretty plain and boring. I did find one I liked. I usually DISLIKE burlap but this one is kinda cute for a boy..

We have until March to decide, but this one does scream spring to me!

High Heels!

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Baby's first photos

Here are some photos from our sonogram this week...

HELLO Bicep! Woah! Look at the muscle on that kiddo!

Future basketball star if I do say so!

Here is his profile.

Who do you think he looks like? Just kidding!

I was going to post some 3D photos, but they are really creepy...maybe when he's older. But I hear when they are older their faces are squished up against the uterus and they look funny then too!

I guess those are the only photos for now...

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The gender reveal doctor appointment

October 9, 2013
How far along? 19 weeks
I think I'm 19 weeks. Sorry I skipped 18 weeks last week. Nothing exciting happened. My doctor did push back my due date so this can count as 18 weeks and 19 weeks!

Your baby is the size of a Bell Pepper (source) at 18 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: My pregnancy app says I've gained 2lbs. However, my husband so kindly pointed out that if I lost 5lbs in the beginning then I have gained 7lbs not  2lbs. So Yes, I've gained back the 5 and am now at 7!! That's the recommended amount at this week but still...

Maternity Clothes?  yep! A few of my pre-baby dresses still work great so that's nice. But maternity pants (and bras) all the way.

Stretch marks?  nope

Sleep? Sleeping good!

Best moment this week:  Finding out the gender of the baby!

Miss Anything?  COFFEE. Hubby came into work with me on the day of the sonogram and he had a cup of our office coffee, which I haven't had in 4 months! It smelled AMAZING!!

Movement:  none - I was lying in bed this weekend and thought I felt something....but I wasn't sure. My nurse told me she didn't feel movement until 24 weeks, and she's REALLY skinny! (I was beginning to think my fat was getting in the way) Even at the doctor with the sonogram going and seeing the kid punching and kicking, I couldn't feel anything. I think he's punching the placenta.

Food cravings:  none. Hubs admitted he thought I'd be the kind of girl who would have crazy cravings. But I really don't want to gain too much weight so I'm thinking food is energy - not comfort. I still gained 7lbs with that mentality!

Anything making your queasy or sick?  Nope. Keeping with the smaller meals and I feel great. Maybe that old wives tale that boys give you no morning sickness is true...

Have you started to show yet? yep! My boss said "I'm waiting for you to start showing!" and then BOOM I'm showing.

Symptoms: Still have sciatic pain. The massage last week was great but I need to focus my yoga on stretching my hips - that's my own diagnosis. Maybe I should research some prenatal yoga positions
Gender:  BOY! And no I will not post a picture of my little boy's little boy part...there is a line that should not be crossed.  However, my mommy group on facebook has been posting pictures of their ultrasounds. After over 30 photos of the same thing it's pretty obvious to see that part (or lack there of). At our doctor appointment the doctor asked if we wanted to know what the sex was, at that moment he found the rear end of the baby and I immediately saw "it". My smart-aleck response was "I already know!". That's what I get for looking at all those facebook posts. My husband on the other hand couldn't see it and kept questioning it. Now that I think about it, he may have been rubbing it in my face. (He guessed boy, I guessed girl)

Labor signs:  none

Belly button in or out?  in but BARELY! It's slowly flattening out! If I press on my belly I can make it an outie!! SO weird!!!

Wedding rings on or off?  on! As long as I don't wear the engagement ring and the wedding band together. One fits, two don't. So of course I'm wearing
the engagement ring, it's so gorgeous!

Happy or Moody most of the time?  Happy but super sensitive! I cry over everything!

Things that have made me cry this week:
  • My little sisters "last first day of school" picture standing in my parents front yard with the big pecan tree in the background...a traditional photo that used to include all three girls! Now it's just her... :(  p.s. this photo was taken 2 months ago...I'm just now seeing it. p.p.s. I'm crying as I'm writing about it!
  • A post of Facebook about a girl who's cat ran away and then came home a week later with a broken leg and cuts all over his body. She couldn't get a hold of the vet and couldn't stand seeing him in so much pain
  • A co-worker/friend who is now separated from her husband
But some weird things are making me laugh too - I posted this video on my facebook page and no one "liked" it. I thought it was HILARIOUS. My husband didn't laugh when I showed him, but I cracked up! No clue what's going on with these hormones.

Funny or not funny?? Come on! The cat looks right into the camera!! He's thinking "was that a balloon? I better wait a few seconds and then start to follow it...don't want him to think I'm just after the balloon"
Looking forward to: Nursery planning, name picking and a safe and healthy pregnancy from here on out!

High Heels!

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Baby M is a....

Those of you who voted BOY were correct!

High Heels!
(that is the first time I've worn heels in a while and yes, I'm sinking into the grass! Need to invest in some wedges!)

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Old Wives' Tale Baby Sex Prediction

Before the big reveal day, I thought I'd let you in on a little secret.

Below are the typical "old wives' tales" that are associated with gender prediction. I used these to figure out my prediction, which I share with you at the end of the blog.

Carrying High (boy) or Low (girl)

Fetal heart rate over 140 beats per minute (girl) under 140 beats per minute (boy)

Breaking out (girl) clearer skin (boy)

Morning sickness (girl) none (boy)

Craving salt (boy) sweet (girl)

Legs are more hairy (boy) less hairy (girl)

Husband has more brothers (boy) or sisters (girl)

Pregnant abdomen is all front (boy) sides, hips and thighs (girl)

Face changed to full with rosy glow (girl) or square (boy)

Compared to before pregnancy feet are colder (boy) or warmer (girl)

Crave more fruits (girl) or meat and cheeses (boy)

Has the baby's dad been gaining weight (boy) or losing weight (girl)

Has your nose increased in size (boy) or decreased in size (girl)

Chest has grown significantly (boy) not at all (girl)

Bright urine (boy) dull urine (girl)

Because these are pretty personal, I won't answer them individually. They are nunya! None ya business!

When totaling up the answers it turns out the chances of me having a boy are.....

Yes, there are 15 questions so it couldn't be split right down the middle but when I took this on BabyMed.com I had neutral options and I chose some of those.
The Chinese Gender Predictor at babycenter.com says I'm having a BOY

Sorry! It's only 50/50...I guess we'll have to wait and see at the doctor says!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Will baby be a....

We find out the baby's sex next week!

I created a poll in the top right corner of the blog. Cast your vote on what you think we are having. I'd LOVE to hear your opinion!!

See the poll up there? I moved it from the right and put it on top of this blog post. Should be easier to find now. (you might have to go to the actual blog and not read this on a blog reader)

FYI Courtesy of Alpha Mom:
"Sex is biological, as in male and female and X and Y chromosomes. Gender is a social construct of what constitutes feminine vs. masculine behavior. Therefore, you are learning the baby’s sex, not its gender. Thank you. Love, Amy’s Explody Head."

I don't think we'll have a big gender reveal party or anything, but aren't these ideas just adorable!

My sister in law did this as her reveal...sent out via mass text message
She is due in December. Will our baby be her little girl's playmate (girl) or cootie cousin (boy)?

Place your bets on the sex and we'll let you know as soon as we find out!

p.s. I tried to embed these from Pinterest (the "right" way to share photos that aren't yours) but the embed button is on the fritz. I did link them all back to pinterest, hope that helps!

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