IntelliGender Giveaway!

I recently read a post on Rachel's blog about IntelliGender Gender Prediction tests. Rachel received a test to review, and apparently you can get results on the gender of your baby that are 80-90% accurate as early as 10 weeks pregnant.

I had no idea anything like this even existed! I was intrigued, so I did a little research.

Unfortunately, IntelliGender doesn't have any information on how the test works yet (at the chemical level), because the patent is still pending. But the results are supposed to be 80-90% accurate when the tests are used correctly.

By this time I already knew the gender of our little one, but I decided to contact Intelligender regarding the tests anyway. And guess what? They've offered to give away an Intelligender Gender Prediction Kit to one of my readers!

I know there are several of you who are pregnant out there, and many who are hoping to be soon - so I jumped at the chance!

Now, I haven't tried this product myself, so I can't tell you anything about it from personal experience. If you'd like to hear from someone who has used one, check out Rachel's Intelligender review post.

I do know that it's a urine test. According to the website, the chemicals in your urine are different depending on whether you're carrying a boy or a girl. When your urine is mixed with the chemicals in the Intelligender test, it will turn the chemicals green or orange, depending on whether it's a boy or girl, respectively,

I would say that if you win the kit and use it, read the directions carefully. That seems to be the key if you want the most accurate result. That means you must use your first morning urine, read the test at eye level, swirl instead of shaking, along with other specific directions. For more information on how to use the test correctly, read the directions in the box or see the IntelliGender FAQ page.

Obviously an ultrasound at 20 weeks is the most accurate way to find out the gender of your baby before he/she is born, so I wouldn't make any big gender-based decisions until you get the results confirmed with an ultrasound - but I think this would be a fun thing to do to get a sneak-peek! I'm really looking forward to seeing if Rachel's result was correct or not, since she'll be getting her ultrasound soon!

For more information, please check out IntelliGender's blog and Twitter feed as well!

So for all you ladies who are pregnant or will be pregnant in the future (in the U.S. only, I'm afraid), here's how to enter:

1. Leave me a comment telling me whether you think you're first child will be a boy or a girl, or telling me if your "gut feeling" was correct with your first kiddo! Please include an e-mail where I can contact you (if you don't want your e-mail published, leave it in a separate comment telling me so).

For an extra two entries:

1. Become a follower of my blog, or let me know if you're already a follower (I wanted to give that little advantage to you regular readers out there!).

The giveaway will close at 12:00 AM on Tuesday, November 16th, so you have through next Monday to enter. I'll determine the winner using, and I'll announce the winner next week, so please be sure to include an e-mail address so I can let you know if you won!

And please tell me if your gender prediction result ends up being right in the end or not - I'd really like to know!

Note: The Gender Prediction Kit for this giveaway was provided to me by IntelliGender, and I have not been given any other compensation for hosting this giveaway.

The Carpet Man Cometh

Today we're getting carpet in the basement!

If this seems rather sudden, that's because it is - I really wasn't expecting to get the carpet in this quickly.

Derek and I have been working pretty hard on the basement the past month or so, because we wanted it to look as finished as possible before our party. We ended getting everything finished that we wanted to - I decided on paint colors and painted our bedroom and the living room area, Derek got the doors in, he varnished and hung up the trim and window frames, he laid the tile, and we were able to get it pretty clean-looking before last weekend.

So really, the only thing left to do was the carpet. The week before last we had a consult with the carpet lady and decided on what carpet we wanted, and she placed the order. She said it would take about two weeks for it to come in - so I was assuming it would take at least another week after that to get the installation guys to actually put it in.

But late last week, Derek made the announcement that the guy would be here today to install the carpet! He was sweet enough to finish clearing out the basement and vacuum the floor thoroughly over the weekend, and here we are, about a week and a half after placing the order.

I'm thrilled to be getting the carpet in so quickly, but I hate having to hang around the house all day when they're here doing the work. It just feels weird - like my house isn't my own, because there's a stranger working downstairs, and I don't feel like I can do most things I would normally do around the house.

I mean, I'm not going to do a workout video or take a shower with a stranger downstairs, you know? And it's almost cruel to bake, because then he'll have to smell the sugary goodness while he's working down there. I guess I could rent soem movies or something, but then I feel like I'm wasting a whole day. At the same time, I don't want to leave the house - someone should be here while he's working. It's a no-win situation.

I'm already trying to think about what I need to do to start moving stuff down there though. There are a ton of things that must be organized and cleaned out before we can start moving furniture. Like my nightstand, for example. It's scary, people.

I also have several DIY projects that need to be completed before my vision for the rooms comes together. Derek finished the basement, now it's my job to decorate and organize it. And I'm starting to realize just how much work that's going to take.

Oh boy.

Well, I'll shoot a video tour of the basement once the carpet guy is finished and I'll share it on here soon - then I can begin the trial-an-error project of decorating the place.

There are many blog posts of this process just waiting to be written! How exciting. I hope you're all ready for them! Aha!

P.S. Congratulations to Melanie, who just announced on her blog that she is pregnant! So happy for you, Melanie!

Starting To Feel Real - 22 Weeks

All the gender reveal party posts have kind of thrown off my schedule for my regular bi-weekly pregnancy updates. So by the time you read this, I'll actually be 23 weeks. Oh well.

I also kind of feel like I'm bombarding you guys with pregnancy posts this week - I apologize if it's been too much! Like I said, all the gender posts have kind of thrown my week off - I'll get back to more of a variety of topics next week!

On to the update . . .

Finding Out The Gender

Obviously the most exciting thing that has happened in the last couple weeks has been finding out our baby's gender! Derek and I found out the we're having a sweet baby BOY last Tuesday! After the ultrasound, we went to dinner and opened the envelope - here's a picture right after we opened it:

I wrote the word "Boy" on there for the picture, but when we opened it she had the two pictures clipped together, with the Post-it note on the outside - so we just read "It's A . . ." and then we opened the pictures and saw "Boy!" I'm not going to show you the "proof" pictures, but it's pretty obvious, trust me.

I kind of suspected it was going to be a boy, so I wasn't really surprised, but Derek and I were very happy! Derek was kind of hoping for a boy first so that he could protect his little sister(s), and so we're both thinking that this will be a good thing for our family.

Shortly after finding out it was a boy, I burst into tears. Not out of sadness, because I was really happy! I started crying because it just hit me that someday our sweet little boy is going to grow up, and get married, and leave me. I would no longer be the most important lady in his life - his wife would be. Which is exactly as it should be, and I wouldn't have it any other way! But the thought of that day made the waterworks start. I can't believe I'm crying about that already.

Then I was pretty much a mess the rest of the evening, because I realized how real this is. I have a little boy growing inside me, and I'm going to be his mom.

Then I started crying because I was wondering if I'd be a good mother, and I was scared I wouldn't be. And I started asking Derek silly questions, like "Do you think he'll like me?", and I started second-guessing everything I ever pictured myself doing with my child, because this is a little boy. I was a little girl myself, so I know what little girls like, but I've never been a little boy before . . .

My poor husband probably thought I was losing my mind, but he was totally supportive, and assured me that our little boy would love me, and yes, a little boy would still like to make cookies with me, or go on walks with me, or sing songs with me. Which is totally obvious to me too, now that I'm not in the middle of an emotional breakdown.

I'm so glad that we found out before the hospital, so I can get all that crying out of my system now and mentally prepare for our son!

I'm thrilled that we're having a boy. I always knew, deep down, that my first child would be a boy somehow - and it's fitting. I love little boys. For many people little boys don't hold quite the same appeal as little girls do, but they've always been equally adorable to me. And I think I have just enough tom-boy in me to understand my son(s).

Off I went to Kohls to buy this adorable little boy outfit. I saw it a few months ago, and I knew that I had to have it if we had a boy - I was just waiting for the word!

Update On Our Little Boy

As far as growth goes, our boy is one whole pound! I know this for sure, because the doctor told me his weight after the ultrasound. He's probably around 11 inches long, and his teeth are starting to form under his gums.

The ultrasound was fun, because we got take a closer look at his little face! The tech switched the machine to 3D and let us take a look:

Isn't he cute? His nose looks a little funny in this picture for some reason, but he just has the perfect little face. The tech warned us that he may look kind of skeletal at this point, because babies don't start gaining fatty tissue until later. But I don't think his face looks skeletal at all.

We've determined that he has my eyes and lips, and Derek's face shape. I think he looks alot like Derek, but the eyes are definitely all me - I was a big-eyed baby too.

The rest of the pictures turned out a little dark, and I think they're kind of hard to see, but I'll show you anyway.

This is the picture where he's sticking out his tongue at us:

And his profile. I don't feel like these are the best profile shots I've ever seen, because they're a little dark and it's hard to see his nose again - but trust me, he's a cutie.

The tech could see fluid in the stomach and the bladder, which she said is a good sign, because it means that he's practicing swallowing, and his digestive system is working properly. We also watched him practice breathing during the ultrasound which was really neat - we could see his little chest going up and down. The tech said that was also a good sign.

The little guy decided not to follow his normal schedule on the day of the ultrasound - he was sleeping instead of moving around like he normally is that time of day. So we didn't get to see him move. I know he moves around alot though, because he's still kicking me like crazy! It's really cool to see the thumps from the outside.

Update On Me

As for me, I'm feeling good. People are actually starting to make comments about my pregnancy now, so I know they can tell for sure! I've also gotten compliments on my "glow", though I'm still trying to figure out what that is exactly.

My belly button is sticking out even more, even though it's not officially all the way out yet. I can see it through some of my shirts though. My stomach itches an awful lot, so I've been making good use of the tummy butter. I'll probably need more before this baby gets here. No stretch marks yet! Keeping my fingers crossed . . .

Here's my 22 Week belly pictures:

Gender Reveal Party Games

Note: Since writing this post we have had a second gender reveal party, and we came up with even more gender reveal party games! So be sure to check that out after you finish this post!

When I was trying to plan for our gender reveal party, I googled "gender reveal party games" to see what would come up. The results were somewhat disappointing. There were no actual articles on games for gender reveal parties, and most of the results were just recaps of gender reveal parties on personal blogs that had minimal game ideas.

I decided right then and there that after our gender reveal party, I'd do a post on the games we did. My mom and I brainstormed, and Derek helped me refine some of our ideas. Here's what we came up with:

Voting Board:

This isn't technically a "game", but I saw the voting board idea on several blogs and decided we'd do it too. We had the guests vote for what they thought the baby was, and write there name on the appropriate side of the board. We also had them pin on a pink or blue ribbon to represent their guess.

This is how we split up the teams for the rest of the party. There was "Team Blue" and "Team Pink" competing against each other in other games, which worked out rather well - the competition makes the party more interesting, in my opinion.

Jelly Bean Guessing Game:

We bought pink and blue jelly beans, counted them out, and put them in a jar; then we added a few more jelly beans of the color related to the baby's gender. We told guests as they arrived that there were slightly more pink or blue jelly beans depending on the baby's gender, and then we had them write their guesses for both colors on a piece of paper and put it into another jar. It was fun to see people examining the jar, trying to figure out which color had more jelly beans.

After the reveal, I went through the papers, and we awarded one prize for the person who guessed closest to the amount of pink jelly beans, and one prize for the person who guessed the closest to the amount of blue jelly beans. We decided to give away $5 Starbucks giftcards for this game, since there were only going to be two winners, but any prize would do. You could also only give a prize to the person who guessed the correct amount of the correct color, but we just thought we'd give prizes for both.

Boy/Girl Outburst:

I went through all the cards in our Junior Outburst game and pulled out the cards that had to do with boys or girls. Then we played a short game of Outburst with the Blue Team vs. the Pink Team. I think if you want to have the cards you read be related to boys and girls, the junior version of Outburst works best. You don't necessarily have to use only the boy/girl cards though - I just felt it helped the game fit into the purpose of the party a little better.

We gave mini candy bars to the team who won - even though it was a really small prize, I think it was just fun to win something. I got mini Hershey bars for this prize, and I colored the "HE" and "SHE" in "Hershey" blue and pink accordingly, and everyone thought that was a nice touch.

Nerf Gun Shooting Game:

The beauty of doing the Team Blue vs. Team Pink thing is that you can pretty much do any team game and fit it into the party. Since we had alot of men coming to the party, we wanted to think of a game that we knew they'd like. And all men love Nerf guns. If you doubt me, just giving a couple of Nerf guns to the men in your family for Christmas, and see how long it takes them to start shooting at each other . . .

So, once again, we split into Team Blue and Team Pink, and did a shooting competition using Nerf guns and empty pop cans. Each person got five shots at five pop cans. We then recorded the amount of pop cans each person knocked down on a dry erase board, and when everyone had a chance to shoot, we gave the team with the most points a prize. This game seemed to be a hit - the women and men both had fun seeing how many cans they could hit. We just gave out mini candy bars again, so it doesn't have to be a big prize - just give them something to win.

The Pinata/Candy Hunt:

They way we chose to do our reveal moment also became a sort of game. Weeks before the party, when I was trying to think of a creative way to reveal the gender, my husband came up with the idea of using a pinata. I thought that was a brilliant idea, so that's what we did.

I originally thought I could just buy some pink or blue candy and let the breaking of the pinata be the reveal - but then I started wondering where I was going to get pink or blue candy in the fall. If it was Easter time when we had the party, this would be no problem, but the time of year made it hard to think of where to look. I was considering buying some pink or blue cellophane and wrapping regular candy in that, which would have worked fine - but then we came up with a better idea.

I decided to just use regular candy, but to tape a little card on the back of one of the pieces with the gender inside. Then the person who found the candy with the card on the back could be the person to reveal the gender to everyone else. We also decided to award a prize (a $5 Starbucks giftcard) to the person who found it, as a little added incentive.

It turned out beautifully, I think because it got everyone involved in looking through the candy. With most of the guests being adults, I didn't think there would be much of a desire to gather up the candy after the reveal moment if we just did pink and blue candy. But alot of our guests did rush to the candy when they had the chance to find the revealing piece of candy!

My sister found the candy with the card and was able to read it to everyone. I think it was fun to give someone else the chance to announce our news, instead of Derek and me announcing it.

Guessing Correctly:

The team that guessed the gender right at the beginning of the party also received a prize after the reveal. We did full-size candy bars, because everyone loves candy and they weren't too expensive to buy. They went over very well, I think. Any small prize you'd want to give away would do - just make sure you over-estimate the number, because you never know how the teams will be split.

It took alot of planning, but we wanted to give the guests something to do at the party, besides just eating and visiting. The prizes we chose to give away added a little excitement and competition to the games, and were also part of our "Thank you" to our guests for coming. Many of our guests told us how much fun they had after the party, so overall, I think the games were a success!

Go Vote!

Today is election day. And unfortunately, only about half of Americans will actually end up voting, if previous voting statistics are any indication.

I think that's incredibly sad. I don't think voting is something Americans should skip or take for granted.

A major reason we became a country in the first place is because our Founding Fathers were unhappy that they were being taxed without representation. They fought and died to give future generations freedom, and to give them the opportunity to have that representation through voting. Voting is why we are a government "By the People, For the People."

Many people have died to protect our rights and our freedoms, including our right to vote. I think it is disrespectful of their memory to take that for granted and stay home on Election Day.

Voting is a privilege that many people across the world wish they had. Why don't we treat it as such?

Voting is our duty as Americans. America didn't get to be the great country that we are today by having our citizens sit out of our elections. We got to be the great country we are today because of the Christian principles our country was founded on, and because of the fact that we are able to vote.

The Lord has blessed us here by allowing us to live in a country where we have such a voice. Let's not take it for granted. Get out there and vote today! And say a little prayer thanking God for that blessing as you leave the polls.

Image from

Our Gender Reveal Party

On Saturday Derek and I had our gender reveal party!

When the guests first arrived, we had them vote for what they thought the baby was and pin on a pink or blue ribbon to go with their guess.

For the food we mostly did finger food or snack-type food. The party was in the middle of the afternoon, between lunch and dinner. My family offered to bring some food to the party, which was so sweet of them - it took alot of pressure off of me. We ended up with a nice spread!

Ignore the fact that I forgot to take the guacamole out of the package until after the picture. Whoops!

The menu included a veggie plate and fruit salad, tortilla chips and potato chips with accompanying dips, and potato rolls with tuna fish salad. To drink we just had lemonade, iced tea, coffee, and water.

Later on, after the reveal, we ate dessert. I made a blueberry and cherry pie (to stick with the boy/girl, blue/pink thing), and we also had an apple crisp with ice cream, and an adorable cupcake arrangement!

For decor I just did regular fall decorations. We had the party in the late fall, so it seemed appropriate, plus I can use them again for Thanksgiving. Derek liked that I just went with a fall party theme, instead of the pink and blue decorations. We didn't want it to feel too much like a baby shower, and he thought skipping the pink and blue decorations helped with that. It definitely had a normal party atmosphere, instead of a baby shower atmosphere, which probably made the men more comfortable.

We played several games as well. We split everyone into "Team Pink" and "Team Blue" depending on their guess. I'll explain the games we did in more detail in a seperate gender reveal party games post.

For some of the smaller prizes for the games, I bought mini Hershey bars and colored the "HE" blue, and the "SHE" pink in the word Hershey. We also gave away full-size candy bars and Starbucks giftcards. More on that to come.

Finally it was time for the big reveal! We decided to reveal the gender using a pinata. My wonderful husband, Derek, came up with that idea weeks ago - I thought it was pretty brilliant!

I filled the pinata with candy and on the back of one piece of candy I taped a little card with the gender. Whoever found the piece of candy with the card got to open it and reveal the gender to everyone else.

Alot of the guys had fun taking a swing at the pinata. My brother took the first swing and actually knocked the pinata off the string without breaking it! So we grabbed one of Derek's heavy-duty straps that we use to secure things to the back of the truck, and we hung it again.

When it broke there was a mad rush for the candy. My sister ended up finding the candy with the card on the back.

And it's a BOY!

Team Blue celebrating!

After the grand finale, we just ate the dessert and got to visit with everyone.

My grandma, mom, and me.

I also discovered that several of our family members ignored the clear statement on the invitations not to bring gifts, and they brought us presents anyway. It was actually very sweet! We got a pack of onesies, a wipe warmer, two sleepers, a baby carrier, a guardian angel figurine, an on-the-go diaper changing set, a pack of diapers, and several sweet cards! It made me feel pretty special to receive a few gifts (even though they disobeyed the "rule" to give them to us), so thanks to our families!

Overall, it went very smoothly, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves! Derek and I certainly did.

Click to read about our second gender reveal party, and more gender reveal party games!

Snakes And Snails . . .

And puppy dog tails . . .

3D ultrasound picture of Babykin's face!

That's what little BOYS are made of!

Derek and I are having a BABY BOY! We are so excited and happy!

More on the gender reveal party to come . . .

P.S. The final poll numbers were 45% (17 votes) to 54% (20 votes) in favor of a girl - so I guess the minority rules this time! Good job to all of you who guessed right! And to those of you who didn't - I've been there too . . .
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