Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pregnancy Week 22: Is using nail polish during pregnancy safe?

Hey Everyone,

How am I feeling these days?:
No dramatic changes from last week. Although Topher has been kicking a lot more. They're getting much stronger. I also started seeing little bumps whenever he kicks me. It's pretty interesting. Chris and I were talking about how weird but cool that was. It's almost alien like. As a women the only great part about being pregnant is being able to feel the baby in my tummy. Chris's sister in law and I were talking about that a few weeks ago. The morning sickness, body changes, and mood swings won't be missed but  feeling the baby inside my body is priceless. All in all it's still a blessing.

Today on Babybump (iphone app) it talked about manicures for mom to be. We've all heard that we should limit our exposure to potential toxic fumes and chemicals. So does that include nail polish? I love painting my nails, especially my toe nails. My husband always carefully asks, "is that safe for Topher?". According to Babybump the question is debatable. If the polish contains the chemicals phthalate or Bisphenol A (BPA), you shouldn't use it. Found in many plastics and beauty products, these chemicals can be harmful for you and your baby. If your nail polish doesn't have these, you may paint away. If you still feel uneasy about the fumes, you can wear a mask.

I found some website that listed nail polishes that are safe for mothers to use who would still like to pamper them with pedicures and manicures like me.

http://www.piggypaint.com/index.html (I haven't tried these but looking forward to pursing some to try)
http://www.alllacqueredup.com/2007/05/big-3-chemicals-that-is.html (You can read more about why these chemicals are bad and what it does to our health)

I was so happy to read that OPI (australian collection & newer), Sally Hansen, and Revlon were free of nasties.

Hope this was helpful!
Have a fun and blessed week everyone!

Sandy Choi

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer of Love Part II - It's hard for me to trust someone when it hurts

Yesterday was an amazing Sunday. We had a great time at church. Being around great people always lifts my spirit. Then in the afternoon my sister, brother in law, and nephews came over to swim.  It was so much fun! My nephews are getting so big.
The sermon our pastor spoke of was much needed in my current life. As we’re going through this series of what “love” is it’s been a challenge for me personally because of certain events in my life.
I shared in a earlier post (What's been going on in my life) that we were learning about love and breaking apart the passage 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 . This past Sunday our Pastor John Park preached about “Love always trusts.”
First, I would like to share what I learned about the word “love.”
So, what is love?
In the bible it says that God is love. (GOD=LOVE)
In Greek, “love” is the word agaphe.  It’s divine and selfless. So, it’s something that’s not human. It’s so special and beautiful.
When our pastor shared an example of what “Love always trusts” looks like I started asking myself when I was more selfless then selfish.
Selfish: Can I trust them? (This focus on me)
Selfless: Am I trustworthy? (This focus on God and our fellow bother)
My struggle:
The whole time as I was hearing this sermon I was really struggling in my heart.  I recently got into a really big turmoil with a family member and some hurtful words were said. Every time I heard the word trust I also heard the word forgive. In order for me to trust them I knew I had to truly forgive them. It’s like a battle in my mind. One side of my mind is sayings, “Sandy, were you being trustworthy to them? You did wrong too. Let’s forgive and trust them.” Another park of me is saying, “Yea, but it still hurts and they shouldn’t have said that. They had no right.” It sounds like my selfish and selfless side battling against each other.
One important thing that our pastor shared that gave me a lot of hope and peace was that we didn’t have to rush into trusting and forgiving someone. Although that doesn’t mean we should ignore the issue. He mentioned that we should confront them with love once we have truly forgiven them in our hearts.  He shared a personal testimony about his struggle with forgiving someone. He really disliked this person who has hurt him. Then, he finally reached out to that person after 2 years when he felt he was finally ready to talk with them.  Although they didn’t respond in kindness, he knew he had fully healed because he didn’t feel anger when they didn’t respond in kindness. He felt more sorrow.  I’m not quite there yet, but now I know that I don’t need to rush into making the situation better. I really want this situation to make my relationship with them much stronger and better. In order for that to happen I know I have to ask God to work with my heart first.
Are you guys struggling with something similar?
If you guys are I hope this helped give you some sort of direction and peace as it did for me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pregnancy week 21: We're having a BOY!

20 weeks
 Hey Everyone,

Last week I shared that we were going to find out the sex of our baby and we found out that it's a boy. Chris and I had the names of our baby all planned out. If it was a boy his name was going to be Topher. So, everyone say hello to our son Topher.
I wanted to name our son Topher because it's unique and it fulfills Chris's name. Most people think Chris's name is Christopher but it's actually just Chris. So, I thought it would be nice for our son to fulfill his name; Chris-Topher. It has the meaning of our son fulfilling Chris. Also, Topher means bearer of Christ. Chris and I both want our son to grow up in the name of God and do what He has planned for his life.
The process of the ultrasound is quite boring for the mother. The dad gets to see everything but I'm lying down so I can't see anything until the nurse turns the screen. The most exciting part was finding out that we're having a baby boy. The snapshot of his little genitals was so funny and cute.
Chris was extremely happy but he wanted to make sure I was okay with us having a son because I expressed to him a few times that having a baby girl would be amazing. I knew that choice was out of our hands so I tried to set all my feelings aside and I believe it helped. When I found out we were having a boy I was genuinely happy. I just want our baby to be happy and healthy. 
It made me even more happy to see Chris so excited to make great memories with our future son. He's always wanted to teach his son how to play ball, ride a bike, swim, and all the boy stuff. I'm really glad that he'll be able to do that with our son.
It hasn't hit me yet completely that my life is about to change completely. I'm sure I won't until our son comes into this world but each day I'm anticipating for motherhood even more. There's a part of me that's scared and wondering if I'm ready. The more I feel that way it leads me to God.  All I can do is pray that God will lead me to be a great mom and a great wife. It's something we all go into not really knowing how to be a great parent. So, I know I'll need God to guide me through our new journey. I remember my sister once saying that my nephew wasn't her child. She said he was God's child and she was just taking care of him until the day Jesus came back for his children.  So, she had to be a great shepard for my nephew. Those words stuck with me. That's how I see our son. Topher isn't our child. He is God's child and we're here to take care of him until God comes for all of us. Until then I will try to enjoy every step of the way. Even through the sleepless nights.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's been going on in my life: Church + Summer of Love

Chris and I were attending New Song Church in Irvine for about 2 years prior to NUMA church. We really loved Pastor Dave Gibbons sermon's but we both felt we were lacking a community. So, we wanted to look for smaller church we can build a strong relationship with.  At the time our friends Jeff and Anne was attending NUMA church and told us great things about it. So, we decided to check it out a few times. After getting to know a lot of the members of the church we knew this was a community we wanted to grow in. Everyone made us feel welcome and I loved how we were all growing together. I'm looking foward to our journey at NUMA.

We've been going through a series called Summer of Love at our covenant group and it couldn't have came at a better time. I've been struggling to love certain people in my life. Although Chris and I missed this weeks CG I got a chance to read through the material and I really wanted to share it with you guys because it's great stuff.

Week 1: Love is Patient
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

What a beautiful image of love. If only my love looked like this too.

I think my love looks more like this:
"Love is sometimes patient, sometimes kind (depending on who it is). It does not envy, it does not boast (unless they do it first), and it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered (unless they push my buttons), it keeps no record of wrongs (except if they do this, this, or that). Love does not delight in evil (but they got what they deserved) but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts (unless I catch them lying), always hopes, always perserveres (until I'm fed up).

I notice that I pick and chose to love people a certain way depending on the situation but God loved us all equally no matter what we did. That blows me away.

We're going to pick apart 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to discuss what it's saying to us and how we can live out love. If you're having a hard to being patient with people in your life or on a daily basis like me I would like to encourage you to start digesting these words and find a way to have a patient love with me. It's a learning process but it's doable. We can start by spending more time with a patient person which is God.
I want to know more about a love like that and be a person that can show that kind of love to others and I hope you guys do too.

This week is 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is Patient.

Somethings to think about + my thoughts (don't judge =P)
1) Are you a patient person? Sometimes. What would others say about you?
2) How can you be more patient? I need to spend more time with people with patience. First would be to spend quality time with God.
3) In what circumstances do you need patience? When people treat me wrong, when people nag, when I meet people with no desires or aspirations, etc.
4) To whom do you need patience with? People at my work, my family...

How about you guys?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pregnancy week 20: My monthly check up + Morning sickness remedies

Week 18: You can see my tiny bump

Our baby is the size of a cantaloupe now! Our baby is getting big. Also he or she have been kicking non-stop which feels incredible.

I've been following my pregnancy update day to day on a iphone app called Babybump. It's indredibly informational. Today's say that our baby can start recognizing my voice starting week 20. So, i'm going to start singing away to my baby. You know you all do that in your car anyways. 
I had my monthly check up yesterday. I have a routine when I go in for my check-up. I provide the nurse a sample of my urine for her to check my body’s ph level.  Then she weigh’s me and checks my blood pressure. The most exciting part is when she checks the baby’s heartbeat to make sure it sounds great. My check up’s usually takes about 15 minutes.
The doctor said the baby’s heartbeat sounded great and I looked great so we’re on the right track.  I’m currently 101 lbs. I gained about 4 lbs since last month. The doctor said the gradual weight gain was very healthy. My pregnancy has been fairly good except for all the drowsiness and morning sickness.  It sucks that I’m still having morning sickness even during my second trimester. It’s a little difficult when I get tired during the day as well.  I try to take naps for about an hour if I have time but if I don’t a cold drink usually help. I like to drink orange juice or my mango citrus Fruits & Vegetable Twist Tube. I only buy Orange juice that’s not from concentrate with no added sugars or preservatives. It tastes fresher. I didn’t like orange juice before I got pregnant but now it tastes amazing. It’s incredibly refreshing. The other drink I’m in love with is the mango citrus twist tube. It tastes amazing as well. I love that it doesn’t have a sweet after taste so it doesn’t make me feel thirstier. It’s made from organic fruits and vegetables which is awesome. Also, I get two servings of fruits and vegetable per drink which is much needed for me and my baby.  
Morning Sickness:
I wanted to share a little bit about my morning sickness experience. I started feeling morning sickness around week 7. The first week was bearable but it started getting really bad into my week 8. I was throwing up everything I ate. Also my senses were heightened so I was able to smell anything from miles away. Chris had to immediately brush his teeth after he ate something or I would smell it the minute he came home. I specifically hated the smell of fast food. It made me really nauseous. Luckily I wasn’t gagging at the sight of food but just throwing up once it entered my body.  I couldn't swollow my vitamins during my first trimaster so Chris grinded them for me and we added it into my food. I couldn't leave out my vitamins.
A few things that helped my nausea:
1)  Ondansetron: Ondansetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Doctors prescribe it for pregnant women with severe morning sickness. This made my morning sickness diminish about 90%. Please contact your doctor for more information.
2)  Baked Potato Chips: Potato chips helped my nausea a lot. I usually get the Gluten Free/ Cholesterol Free/ All Natural Baked Potato Chips from Trader Joes. You’ll find it in the chips aisle.
3) Plenty of rest: Especially during your first Trimester make sure you get plenty of rest. I felt more nausea when I was tired. If you’re still working like me try to take 30 min naps during your lunch time.
4) Still try to eat even if you throw up. I know it’ incredibly hard but I kept trying to eat anything I can think of because having an empty stomach makes the nausea worse. I ate even if I would throw it back up hoping at least 1% of it would stay in my stomach.
5) Udon Noodle Soup: I almost lived off of udon noodles and the soup for couple of weeks. The warm soup helped soothe my stomach tremendously. I get the brand Pulmone. You can get buy them at any Korean markets. It has no MSG or preservatives.  
**There's alot of websites such as http://www.babycenter.com/morning-sickness with great remedies for improving morning sickness.
A few things that made my morning sickess worse:
1) When I ate fruits on an empty stomach it made my nausea worse. The acid in the fruits was too harsh for my body. I usually eat it after a meal.
2) Spicy food: It was hard for my digestive system to digest spicy food so I would get heart burns.

That’s all that I remember for now. If I remember more I’ll definitely share it with you guys. I hope this was informational.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pregnancy week 19: Our baby kicked!! + Nutrition during pregnancy

Hi Everyone,

Chris and I came back from our babymoon yesterday. It was very relaxing and we had a lot of fun eating great food in Vancouver. I’ll share a little bit more about our trip later this week with pictures.

I'm in week 19 and I’m noticing that my belly has been growing rapidly. Now I can't fit into my jeans because it's really tight around the belly.  I also hate wearing my bras because the wire is so uncomfortable. Chris get's upset because I keep complaining but not buying a new bra. I really need to go buy one soon. I've been wearing a lot of dresses since it's comfortable especially in the CA heat. I haven't gained too much weight except for around my arms and my thighs. The extra weight gain has been stressing me out a little so I'm continuing to remind myself that I'm pregnant.

I have some exciting news to share. Our baby kicked for the first time in Vancouver. It was so exciting. I kept wondering when our baby was going to kick then finally our baby did. It feels like little air bubbles popping inside my tummy. Some people say it feels like tiny butterflies. When I first felt the baby I thought it was my stomach growling but the movements started getting bigger. Then, that's when I realized it was our baby kicking. I immediately told Chris and he jumped up with a huge smile and placed his hand on my tummy. He seemed more excited then I was.  He looked incredibly happy when he felt the baby kick for the first time. I've always pictured what it was going to be like when I was pregnant. I pictured how my husband was going to react when our baby kicked for the first time and It was exactly the way I pictured it. That moment was priceless.
Chris and I at the airport on our way to Vancouver. I was 18 weeks in this picture.

Today I wanted to share a little about the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. After reading several books and articles I learned what “eating for two” really means.  Doctors say that most women think eating for two means eat twice as much as you use too and eating whatever you want.  What it really means is for us to consume twice the amount of vitamins and minerals for us and our developing baby.

I read in a book called “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” by Dr. Joel Wallach that baby calves were born with birth defects due to lack of minerals and vitamins. They traced it back to the mother and realized that the mother wasn’t consuming enough vitamins and minerals which created imprints in their DNA. That imprinted DNA was passed onto their babies which caused birth defects. Nowadays we hear a lot about kids with eczema, allergies, and many other things we didn’t have to deal with while growing up. Thank God if your kid doesn't deal with this now but I believe we can prevent them from occuring in the future through better nutrition.

Although it's important to eat healthy it's also important not to deprive ourselves of some treats occasionally. I'm not the most healthy eater but I do control my cravings. I also take organically made vitamins to make sure I get my daily servings of vitamins and minerals for me and my baby.

I personally take a really high quality organically made vitamin. Nothing can be 100% organic but  through some research I found that the one I consume takes the best of nature and the best of science to make the supplements.  Synthetic vitamins are chemical based and made by duplicating the vitamin structure. Due to this reason it's hard for our liver to process synthetic vitamins so it can be more harmful then helpful in the future. Organically made vitamins should be made from certified organically grown fruits and vegetables. They  extract the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients straight from the plants and compress it into a pill form.

I’ve also read that we should be consuming about 300-400 calories more than our average intake (based on our body) during our pregnancy. My regular caloric intake is about 1300 calories per day (if I’m not active) based on my height and body size. Then that means I should consume about 1600 calories a day during my pregnancy.  If you work out your calorie intake will increase. I'll talk about prenatal work out's in the future.

Hope this helps you all mother to be's~
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