July 31, 2015

Can You Choose Your Baby's Sex?

It seems to be a new trend out there to try and choose your baby's sex, but nothing seems to be full proof. You can increase your chances, but it seems, in the end, it is going to be pretty much 50/50.

My husband and I would like to have a girl and so we decided we would give it a try. We are young, healthy, and in no hurry to get pregnant. The methods don't seem all that complicated and hey, it never hurts to try!

The three methods I am going to discuss in this post are:

  1. The Shettles Method
  2. Diet
  3. The Chinese Gender Chart

We intend to use the first two methods, the Chinese Gender Chart is just for fun and because I know a lot of people read it wrong, I want to explain how it works. Also, note that you can't really choose gender, you are choosing your baby's sex, however, it is not called The Chinese Sex Chart and to avoid confusion, I'm not going to change the name.

The Shettles Method
"The Shettles method has reportedly been effective at least 75% of the time, with the rate slightly lower for girls than for boys." (source)
The Shettles Method appears to have more success and getting the sex right for boys, so if you want a boy, this might be the one to try.

To have a girl The Shettles Method recommends having sex in the missionary position with shallow penetration, 2-4 days before ovulation (this is because male sperm are fast swimmers, but not long survivors like females), no orgasm for the female (sorry ladies!). This is because male sperm don't do well in an acidic environment and an orgasm will lessen the acidity, giving the female sperm a better chance.

Now if you want to have a boy, you should have sex from behind (aka doggy style), this gets the sperm as close to the cervix as possible so the male sperm does not have to swim through the acidic opening. It also helps if the female orgasms because her orgasm mitigates the acidity. You'll also want to have sex as close to ovulation as possible since males are quick swimmers, but don't survive as long as females.

Diet


How does changing your diet affect what sex you might conceive?
"One theory is that it changes the mineral content of a women’s uterine environment (changing the consistency of the cervical mucus or some other environmental condition in the reproductive tract) which makes it more hospitable to one type of sperm or another. Similarly, other theories suggest that the “gender diet” can change the pH (acidity) in the woman’s body and therefore change the polarity of the egg. By ingesting the correct ratio of minerals, a woman can alter her uterine environment making it more conducive to attract either an x or y chromosome from the male’s sperm." (source)
To have a boy, you should eat potassium and sodium-rich foods, such as bananas, yams, potatoes, red meat, apples, salmon, cereal, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc and you should stay away from foods rich in calcium and magnesium.

To have a girl, you should eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium, such as milk, rice, spinach, kale, eggs, almonds, tofu, turkey, chicken, berries, oatmeal, oranges, goat cheese, dark chocolate, etc and avoid potassium and sodium-rich foods.

The Chinese Gender Chart


image source
When you look at the chart above, it seems pretty simple, right? You look for your age on the right and find the month you conceived on the top. For example: if you are 18 and you conceived in January, you would have a girl, right? Wrong.

This is because the Chinese Gender Chart is based on your lunar age. What is your lunar age? Well, it is your age from the day you were conceived and it's according the lunar calendar, which is different from our western one. For most, this would make you a year older than you actually are or in some cases, like my husband, two years older! You can calculate/find your lunar age here.

So in our example above, if using the lunar age, she would be 19, not 18, and so it would predicate a boy instead.

How accurate is the Chinese Gender Chart?
"The Chinese lunar calendar was right on target in predicting a baby's sex about 50% of the time. About the same rate of success you could expect if you merely flipped a coin." (source
It's pretty much 50/50, which is the reason we aren't going to use it. There is no science to back it at all, so it is pretty much just superstition.

There are other methods out there and superstitions, like the pendulum swing, but in the end I don't think you can really choose your baby's sex, at least not at this point, maybe in the future, but it probably won't be conceived naturally (there are actually some expensive methods now using IVF that allow you to choose your baby's sex, but even they aren't 100% just yet.)

However, it's always fun to experiment, which is why we are going to try and if you are in no hurry and feel like giving some of these methods a shot, then go for it!


Sources

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pixabay. 


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July 24, 2015

DIY Dog Bed

This is my first DIY post! I do a lot of crafts, but always forget to share, so hopefully, you will see more posts like these in the future!

Recently I decided to make a dog bed for our dog, Lexie. She was quite the chewer when we got her. She destroyed stuffed animals within minutes. Now that she is older and doesn't appear to be chewing as much, I thought it was worth getting a bed for her, but dog beds are so expensive!

So I did some looking around online and saw a lot of people do the no-sew technique (aka tie blankets) and just stuff them with stuffing or foam for a pet bed. Well I know how to make a tie blanket so that seemed easy enough, but I was worried about her chewing up the ties on the blanket, so then I found this braiding technique. I liked the idea, but when I tried doing it, I worried stuffing would come out of the cracks in between, so I did something a little different.




First, I went to Hancock Fabrics and of course, they were having a sale! I managed to get a 5lb box of stuffing for $13 and the fleece only cost me $7! Dog beds in the store cost around $30-$60!

Depending on how big your dog is or how big you want to make your bed will depend on how much fabric and stuffing you will need. (I ended up only using half of the box, so I have enough to make her another one!). Our puppy is medium sized (she is a border collie/sheltie/aussie mix), and around 45 pounds. I just needed 2 yards of fabric (1 yard of each print/color).


First, you are going to lay your two separate sheets of fleece down, one on top of the other. Make sure the ends match! Trim off any extra or unwanted ends (the fox print came with a white strip along one of the sides which I cut off).

I used two different patterns/colors (I find it is easier to tell which strip is which and just overall looks better), If you just use one, you might have cut it in half or ask at the store to cut each yard separate.





Basically start as you would a tie blanket, cut a square out of each corner (I did a 5 inch square) and then cut around the edge, making 1 inch thick strips (I didn't bother to measure them out perfectly since it's just a dog bed), matching the length of your square you cut out (mine were 5 inches long).





Once you finish cutting all the way around, you are going to go back and fold your strips in half. (as you can see, I didn't get my fleece evenly cut, but I figured this was for a dog, so it didn't have to be perfect!)










Once you folded them all over, grab a pair of scissors and make a little snip in each one, big enough you can pull your strips through.


Once you have finished snipping cuts in your strips, you will start by grabbing the one on top (fox pattern for me) and pulling it through the one one on the bottom (brown fleece for me). You can start anywhere. I find it easier to begin at a corner and work my way around.


Then you are going to take the bottom strip and pull it through the next top one.


Once pulled through, take the first strip (fox pattern for me) and tie it with the new strip (brown strip for me). I just did a single knot at first and went back and double knotted the rest to secure it better and make the fringes smaller.


After you tied a knot, take the remaining strip (next fox print for me), and pull it through the next bottom strip (brown for me). Basically, repeat what you just did.

Continue this pattern till you near the end of the blanket, stop when you have a hole big enough to still fit your hand through and start stuffing! How much stuffing you use depends on how fluffy a bed you want, I used about 2.5 lbs (didn't weigh it, but it was around half of the 5 lb box I got so that's my best guess!).

Once stuffed to how you like, continue till you reach the end. At the end take your last strip and thread it through the first strip (the one you started with at the beginning that went through the bottom strip, in my case I started with a fox through the brown, so I take my end brown strip and put it through the first fox strip - in other words, it is the one strip that hasn't been threaded through yet).


Then take the two strips and tie them together. If you haven't double knotted your other ties, start here and work your way around. In some cases, I triple knotted since I ended up with some longer fringes on some sides (this was a dog bed, so I didn't worry about everything being perfect). 

Your end result should look something like this!


I think my pattern is a little more difficult and time-consuming than others, but I found there wasn't as much opening space for the stuffing to come through and it just felt more secure. My goal wasn't pretty, but something sturdy and functional. It is for a dog after all, so depending on how destructive your dog is, depends on what you can get away with. I didn't want her to be able to pull out stuffing or chew on the fringes (strips), so I came up with this and it is working great so far!

Also, sorry for the poor image quality, we didn't have power due to a huge storm, so this was how I passed the time! 

July 17, 2015

You Are Never Ready For a Baby

"You are never ready for a baby" - I got this response a few times whenever I told people "oh when we're ready" after they asked when we planned on starting a family. Everyone loved to respond with "you're never ready for a baby, just do it!" I just give a little nervous laugh and shrug it off, but this kind of response does bother me.

Is is true that you are never truly ready to have a baby no matter the circumstances? Well, I think I have to agree that no on is ever ready to add a new member to the family, it is a huge change, but you can be prepared in other ways.

You can make sure you have enough money in savings for emergencies, decide if one parent is going to stay at home with the baby, make sure you have enough income to support that decision, do you live in a family oriented area? Are there good schools nearby? Do you have a house?  The list can go on and on.

Here is/was our list and why we will be starting to try in September!

  • Have a house/home
  • Have job security - steady/good income so I can be a stay-at-home mom
  • Fix up home 
  • Enjoy being married for a couple years before adding a baby (almost 3 years now!)
  • Have a good amount of savings
  • Run the Disneyland 10k! (which is why we are waiting till September)

It seems like a short list, but I didn't want to list every single little thing under the "fix up home" category, but we wanted to get some major things fixed before adding a baby to the mix. So all that's left is our vacation to California!

Does that mean we'll be ready for a baby? Truthfully, probably not. It took me awhile to adjust to having a dog and now I love her to bits, but that first month was tough, and a baby is going to be tougher. Luckily I have the ability to be a stay-at-home mom so I won't have the added job stress. I'll be able to quit and focus on our baby. Once we adjust to having a little one, I might go back to work or see if I can find a job that allows me to work from home. We will have to see how things go, after all, the only way to find out is to dive right in!

However, I feel it is wrong to push someone into having children because they can never truly be "ready." No one should feel pressured into having children when they don't feel ready. That said, we finally do feel as if we are as ready as can be to have a baby.

Another thing to keep in mind is age. My husband was 24 and I was 21 when we got married. We had plenty of time. We didn't feel the need to rush in, despite everyone else thinking we should. We were young and wanted some us time, time to get settled down, and now, three years later, we feel ready and I'm glad we didn't give in to the pressure.

For those who are not trying yet, what's on your list? For those who are trying or already have children, what was on your list?

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.

July 10, 2015

50 Shades of Grey Update

Some of you might remember my previous post: Fifty Shades of Abuse. Well, I finally was able to get the movie from my library and yes, I watched it. I could not finish the book, and so I figured I would watch the movie to see what happened.

The abuse that is present in the book was not as obvious in the movie. There are only a few creepy scenes: Christian shows up at Ana's workplace, he shows up at the bar, he is upset she is visiting her mom and then he shows up at her mom's, but they don't really give off a stalker vibe since they don't go into much detail. In fact, the movie lacked a lot of detail. It was basically a soft porn with a lame storyline.

When Christian shows up at her work, it almost seems coincidental. They don't really explain how he knew she worked there, and the stuff he buys he does end up using so he might have just needed to pick up some stuff.

The only scene that felt really abusive was when Ana mentioned she was going to visit her mom while they were at dinner with Christian's parents. Christian got all possessive, but Ana ends up going to visit her mom and all is good, so besides that one scene, the movie really lacked the abuse that is easily seen in the book, probably because we can't read the minds of the characters on the screen, which was a good thing in my opinion. I am glad I didn't have to hear her talk about her "inner goddess" in the movie.

Also the first time he spanks her in the movie, Ana actually seems to enjoy it, which if I remember reading correctly, she did not like that in the book, so that downplayed the abuse. The second time obviously not so much, but she asked for him to show his worst, so that was her fault.

Anyway, as a movie on its own: awful. Awful characters. There was no chemistry between the characters. I had heard that the actors didn't really click off screen, so that might play into it. Ana was not that pretty to look at, she just looked sickly (you could see her ribs!) and they didn't show much of Christian. It was painful to sit through that for two hours.

Now as a porn film for women, I say it has potential, just throw in a few more sex scenes! I say pass if you are looking for a chick flick or sappy romance movie, but if you are feeling kinky, then go for it, but you might need to fast-forward the dull parts.

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July 3, 2015

Would You Name Your Baby "_____" for Money?

Recently BJ's Restaurant launched a sweepstake called: Name Your Baby Quinoa. The first person to name their newborn baby Quinoa will win a 10k gift card to BJ's Restaurants. There is only one winner and it ends on Labor Day. You have to be a legal resident of the selected states.

WHAT?!


At first, I was all like "Is this for real?" and so then I, of course, had to go digging for more info, and discovered that it is legit! Who is seriously going to name their kid for $10k worth of food? I am assuming the restaurant doesn't actually expect any parent to enter and is just doing it for the hype, but what worries me is that in today's world, someone just might name their kid Quinoa!

I noticed my state was not on the list and am thankful for that. I don't know if it is because some states have rules about these type of sweepstakes or if it is because we don't have a BJ's Restaurant in our state, but I am glad either way as I think this could be a form of child abuse. 

In my opinion, these kinds of contests shouldn't be allowed. I would consider it to be child abuse. The poor child is going to have to live with this awful, hard to pronounce name (Quinoa? seriously?) and because their parents wanted to win a $10k BJ's Restaurant gift card? Maybe they can change it when they are older. I didn't read the rules, so I'm not 100% positive on that, but still, what parent does that to their child? 

Honestly, I don't think you could pay me enough to persuade me to name my kid something weird, but maybe if it was a normal name? Would that make me a bad parent? I would have a hard time saying no to one million in cash. I think most would, but for a $10k gift card to a restaurant? I hope no one goes for it, just think about all that unhealthy food you would be eating. Not good. Plus you'll be forever known as the parents who named their kid Quinoa for food. Just don't do it!

What do you think? Would you name your kid Quinoa or whatever the contest required if you were going to be paid? Leave your answers in the comments!

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on MorgueFile.