Friday, November 30, 2012

Planning a "Gender Reveal" Party!

BOY or Girl?

In just a few days me & the rest of the world will know that answer!

I am 17 weeks pregnant and believe it or not for the last 2 weeks I could have known if I am having a little man or a little miss, but because I wanted to find out the gender of Baby #2 at our gender reveal party I told the sonogram technician not to tell me even though she had a very clear wide open view of baby's "southern region". Some days I really wish I would have just had the sono lady tell me pink or blue, but I thought it would be fun to find out the gender together with our family and a few close friends at a gender reveal party. So my curiosity and anticipation will just have to wait a few more days until December 2nd!

I never did a gender reveal party with Josselyn, instead our whole family came to my gender sonogram. There was 8 of us crammed in a tiny room and unfortunately the sonogram lady was rude and ended up saying that the baby's legs were closed, so we left that appointment not knowing the gender! Luckily, the next day I went back and we could all definitely see that Josselyn was a girl. Anyways, that was not the most pleasant experience so I wanted to do something a little different and fun this time around.

If you know me, then you know that I love to plan parties and host parties, so a gender reveal party is right up my alley. Now if you saw Josselyn's Birthday pictures in my An Under the Sea Mermaid Party! blog, then you know that I can throw a huge, over the top, party. However, this time John told me that I had to keep this party "small" & "in budget" so I was not able to go all out like I would have normally liked haha. Anyways, it has still been FUN to plan & thanks to my mom & girlfriend Christina it is coming along quite well. I might should not admit this but because I had such bad morning sickness the last few months, plus I have a 1 year old baby running around & we have been out of town,  I actually just started working on the party this week... Ooops! Hopefully it will still come together :)

Here are a few of my inspiration pictures for Baby #2's Gender reveal...

This 1st gender reveal party I stumbled across is my absolute favorite! I just love the look and theme of the whole party. It was a New Years Eve party so they went with the whole Christmas/winter theme. I am definitely going to do the same thing since my whole house is already decorated for Christmas! I also love the color scheme of gold, brown, black & cream it looks so classy. I am also obsessed with the hot cocoa bar idea that they did!

I love the cupcakes with the question marks!

 I love the chalkboard that says "Baby it's cold outside"

 Such a cute idea for bottled H20 & I love the question marks 

After I saw the 1st gender reveal party that I fell in love with I decide to search for hot cocoa bar's and get some ideas! I love these two below.

 Such a great idea to have toppings for the hot cocoa

 I love anything glitzy!

The next gender reveal party that caught my eye was an adorable one that incorporated mustaches & bows! I just loved the whole idea of "little man or little miss".  I also fell in love with the cute silhouettes of the little girl & little boy. I am also obsessed with the tissue paper balls. This party is so sweet!!!

I love everything about this precious party 

I love the mustache & bow idea so much but I want to have them on sticks instead of clothes pins! I think staches & bows on a stick will make for some great photos!

I just love this!!!

I absolutely love cake balls and once again I think the question marks are so cute! I totally want to have these at my party but in different colors.

 I am a sucker for cake balls & these are adorable! 

I decided that I wanted to "reveal" the gender of baby #2 with a cake. I just think it is so cute when the mom and dad cut it open and the frosting is pink or blue. I have not found a cake I love online, but hopefully I can figure something out (at times like this I really wish my sweet, talented friend, The Cake Diva Kylie lived closer)

 I love the pink or blue frosting

 I definitely want to have a question mark somewhere on the cake!

I can't forget to mention the invitations. I loved these invitations below, once again it had the whole mustache and bow thing going on! Luckily, my sweet friend Christina is a talented graphic designer, so she custom designed some adorable invitations for me that are very similar to the one below!

Well those are a few of my inspiration pictures! I just hope my party comes out half as cute as those. Stay tuned for the big gender reveal this Sunday December 2nd

Sweet Baby Alcala 17 weeks

* Click here for pictures of Our Gender Reveal Party!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Battle of the Sexes

The "GENDER WAR" ...

It is kind of crazy to think about the whole gender issue in our society....well actually in the world! Here in America I feel like most couples are 50/50 when talking about which gender they prefer. Most of my girlfriends want a baby girl to dress up in pink ruffles and bows and then most of the guys root for a baby boy so they can play sports with them & pass on the family name. In other countries it is literally a gender war better known as a "gendercide". Most of the time "gendercide" which is gender selective killing, has to do with the deliberate killing of a certain gender (primarily girls). In countries like India & China this awful practice is a very real issue. Both India & China are already beginning to experience serious consequences on the balance of the sexes in their population due to this female infanticide. Although most countries seems to value males more than females the Zulu's (who are an African ethnic group who primarily live in South Africa) favor females because of religious reasons. It seems like everyone has in mind which gender they prefer...

Anyways, I did not mean to give you a history lesson about the gender war. I actually just wanted to express my feelings/preference on baby #2's gender. You see, this Sunday I will find out if baby #2 is a "he" or "she" at a little "gender reveal" party we are having (my party pooper husband will find out Wednesday at our doctor's apt, he doesn't want to be surprised at the party). The whole purpose of the party is to announce baby #2's gender in a FUN way in front of our family & friends. Well, since I am planning this gender reveal party, the other day I caught myself thinking about what "gender" I would prefer. I thought about how a boy would be great because we already have a little girl and John would love to have a little more testosterone in our family (since he is already out numbered by me, Josse & 2 tiny female dogs).  But then I thought about how another girl would be wonderful, especially since Joselynn and her would be so close in age and I know they would just be the best of friends. As I was going back and forth waying out the pros and the cons I felt a sudden sink in my stomach & check in my spirit.

All of a sudden I started to think about some acquaintances I have or friends of friends I know who have precious special needs babies. Then I started to think about some of my dear freinds who have lost their babies at child birth. I also thought about many of my other friends who had babies premature or with health issues and they spent many weeks in NICU fighting for their lives. I was also reminded of some of my dear friends with infertility issues. I then thought about one of my sweet friends who right now has a sister in her 20's battling leukemia. I was then reminded bout another precious girl I went to Bible school with, who is 28 years old, a mother and currently has stage 4 cancer and the doctors have given up hope & are refusing to continue her treatment. Basically I was quickly reminded how precious life is and what a gift health is. All of a sudden I could care less if I have a baby boy or a baby girl all I want is healthy child!

Just the other day I wrote the blog God's Perfect Timing in that blog I basically talk about how my job is not to write my own story, my job is to seek God & live out the incredibly, prefect, story He has already written for me. The Lord formed me when I was still in my mothers womb (Psalms 139:13) & every day of my life has already been recorder (Psalms 139:16).  So obviously my Heavenly Father has already planned out my life; He chose my parents, picked out my spouse & has already designed my precious babies and he chose their gender! I can honestly say that I 100% do not care what gender baby #2 is. All I want is God's perfect will for my life & my family! I know that the Lord knows exactly what children are right for John & I, and I am just humbled, honored and excited to get to raise those precious babies for Him!

So if you are wandering what gender I am hoping for... I can honestly say I am just hoping & praying for a HEALTHY BABY & I will take whatever gender the Lord has already picked out & designed for my family. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

God's Perfect Timing

For some reason in my life I always want to be in control...

I want things to go according to my plan and the way I think is best. This may have something to do with my bossy, high strung, type A personality lol. The funny thing is that I will be the first to admit that in actuality, I have no idea what is best for me, let alone my family. The Lord continually reminds me daily that He alone is the author of my life and every day of my life has already been recorded in His book and every moment of my life has already been laid out (Psalms 139:16). My job isn't really to write my own job is to live out the incredibly, beautiful story that God has already written. You see, I am reminded in (Galatians 1:15) that the Lord formed me & knit me together before I was even in my mothers womb. He wrote my story long before I was ever born. All I have to do is SEEK my heavenly father daily and keep my eyes fixed on Him and guess what, everything in my life will go according to His plan and His perfect will! I can be at peace and rest easy knowing that the very one who spoke this world into existence and created the heavens and the sea has a perfect plan for my life.

I was thinking today about how I am pregnant with another baby and I feel like I still have my hands completely full with my 1st baby. I started to sorta panic about how I am going to handle 2 little ones both under two, both in diapers and both needing my 100% undivided attention? I know a million mom's do it but I am just not sure how me, SheriLynn Alcala is going to do it. As I was worrying I felt an overwhelming peace and I knew the Lord was saying that He would not give me more than I could handle and this pregnancy is all apart of "His perfect plan".

I was then reminded about another important turning point in my life when I listened to God and followed what "He" was saying instead of following my own plans. After I graduated high school I wanted to go to St. Mary's University in Moraga, CA. I was accepted into that beautiful school and my best friend was going there. I would get to spend 4 years living in the city of San Francisco and I could even do a semester abroad in Europe. It seemed perfect to me, but for some reason I knew that the Lord was leading me to go to a 2 year Bible school called Masters Commission USA in Phoenix, AZ. The crazy thing is, if I would have followed "my plan" and gone to St Mary's instead of going to Masters Commission, then I would have never met my amazing husband who I met one evening when I was 18 years old, in a little room called Carmen Hall. I was on the dance team and we were practicing a dance for a big conference we were dancing in at Phoenix First Assembly Church. That one moment changed the course of my life and I am so thankful that God had me in the right place at the right time so that I could meet my true soul mate. Sure, graduating from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (where I ended up going to college after Masters Commission) was not as beautiful as St Mary's University. But I would give up any college in the world to be married to my incredible husband and I am so thankful that I let God direct me instead of directing myself.

Now I am not comparing my new baby to a college choice lol I am simply saying that in my life I know that the Lord knows what is best for me. Everything happens for a reason and although it may not make sense at the moment, it all makes sense later on. I may be a little scared and think that there is no way I can handle two babies so close in age but who knows, a year from now I may be saying that having two kids close in age is the easiest, best thing in the world ;) All I know is that every day I must surrender my life to the Lord and seek after Him.

 My hearts desire is to just live out the story that He has already written for me!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Welcome 2nd Trimester

I am officially in my 2nd trimester & am 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant!

I have been looking forward to this trimester more than you know! The 2nd trimester is kinda of known as the glorious, smooth selling trimester. And honestly these next 3 months have a very good reason to have such a wonderful reputation in the pregnancy world. For most, your first 3 months (1st trimester) are spent being nauseous, tired, exhausted & trying to remember why or how in the world you ended up pregnant! Your last 3 months (in your 3rd trimester) are spent feeling big as a whale, looking big as a whale, being very uncomfortable due to the lack of sleep, swelling, your uncontrollable bladder and the periodic jab in the ribs, etc from the full size baby still in your uterus. Now, don't get me wrong your 2nd trimester is not symptom free. I have still had multiple bouts of morning sickness this past week but if this pregnancy is anything like my 1st, then by 16 weeks the morning sickness will be begin to subside (Yippe!!!!) I also remember my energy coming completely back during my 2nd trimester & I actually wanted to shower again! My love for the mall, shopping, and being out & about also returned during this trimester & I am so ready to no longer be a hermit in my house.

This is also the trimester where you can find out the gender of your baby!!! I have an appointment right before Thanksgiving (in 2 weeks) and I am so excited to find out if this will be another little princess or our 1st baby boy! Also, I love getting sonograms and seeing my baby in my belly. And I sorta have a way of getting a few more sono's then the normal prego women lol Anyways, my favorite sonogram pictures are in the 2nd trimester! In your 1st trimester your baby looks like a blob and then in your 3rd trimester the baby is so big you can not see the whole baby in one picture but you do get to see parts of the the baby in different photos (face, feet, hands, etc). But in your 2nd trimester you can see the whole, adorable, little baby in one picture! You can also see the baby flip & turn and kick its legs & feet because the whole baby fit's on the sonogram technician's screen. It is absolutely incredible to watch that little baby move all around, suck its thumb and open and close its little mouth. No matter who you are or what you believe are you can not help but have faith that there has to be a God out there who knit this tiny being into existence. These kind of miracles do not just happen...

Now there are some negatives to this trimester (but they are few) I do remember having some growing/stretching pains in my ligaments during this time but hey, it was nothing a couple Tylenol & a pregnancy support band couldn't handle. I also remember feeling a bit dizzy at times & having some lower back pain. However, if I am going to rank the 3 trimesters this one is definitely my FAVORITE and I am going to enjoy these next 3 months the best that I can (and this is all coming from a women who is not a big fan of the whole pregnancy thing)

Baby Alcala 13 weeks old
Sweet baby hands

So all of this to say....I gladly welcome you 2nd trimester with open arms!