The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

World Record Holder – ME! August 28, 2013

Last year I was a part of a worldwide Secret Santa gift exchange via the website Reddit. For those who are not aware of event, it is where people from mostly the United States, but also many around the world, are secretly matched up with someone in order to buy them a Christmas present. The person can provide as much or as little information about themselves as they want. They do not know who their giftie is. They will be matched up with a different person to send a gift to, thus being totally anonymous.

The person I got randomly matched up only gave me this information; “I love anything that has to do with the American Flag and/or cats. I love unusual/unique t shirts (size medium). I also like anything reddit/meme/rage comic related.” This was going to be a hard one to buy for. I had to get creative, I got him a cat shirt, I wish I had a picture of it, some Reddit sticker and a cat toy. The goal is to spend a minimum of $20, but you may go as high as you please. I ended up spending around $30 plus the cost of shipping.

Once the person receives their item, they post pictures or write a little about what they received. My person unfortunately did not post any pictures but did write this little note; “The cat t shirt was great, in fact I’m wearing it right now. The reddit sticker is awesome and the little cat toy is great too. Couldn’t have asked for anything better from a secret santa.” It makes you feel good that they got and liked their gift.

Not everyone match is completed. Some people never receive their gift due to many reasons but the main one is their gifter did not send it. If you are feeling in the holiday spirit then you can sign up to be rematched with someone. You will not receive a gift but it makes you feel good about yourself to give to someone who sent their gift but never received one in return. I was one of those people but I was lucky enough to get rematched. My rematcher sent me this sweet note “Hello there. Don’t worry I got this” and he/she did.  A few days later a received my gift in the mail!



My giftie stood me up and someone was nice enough to rematch and send me an awesome gift so I signed up and did the same. This time my new match was just as hard as the other to buy for. The only information he gave was “Hi, my name is Gavin and I am a recent college graduate. I love technology and i am a little bit of an audiophile. I am a redditor, but I am a lurker because I feel like I do not have anything interesting to contribute.” What did I get this guy? Well, I sent him some Star Trek Slippers that made tribble sounds when you walked in them from 🙂 I thought it was a great idea but he never posted anything about them until about a month later I received this message “hey, shoulda sent this a while ago but thanks for the awesome gift! I was ACTUALLY thinking of buying some slippers because hardwood floor during the winter is.. ew. I come home after a day of work to find a package with slippers. =D Totally made my day. I hope your SS gave you something awesome. If not, at least you have made my Christmas pretty awesome.Take care!!”


Reddit was trying to beat to their own world record from last year and we did!  For secret santa 2012, we now hold a new Guinness World Record for 44,805 participants successfully completing the largest online secret santa game! Just think about that for a minute: 44,805 internet strangers from 130 countries put their faith in one another and exchanged gifts. It is a big deal and I was part of that. Below is a sample of the reward I can receive in the mail but unfortunately it is $25 plus another $13 to ship so I am going to pass on ordering it since we have the little one on the way and money is tight right now.

Here is my Guinness World Record Award for 2012!

World Record Holder


Baby Bump: 7 Months August 26, 2013

Filed under: Baby Z — Sheena @ 8:12 pm
Tags: , , ,


Baby Facts

  • Length: 15 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds 5 oz.
  • What’s is new: In the last week, I have been able to feel when he has hiccups. This usually happens about once a day
  • Movement: He wakes up every night at 9:30 pm and does his little dance. I do sleep all night without having to get up to use the bathroom. I am sure this will change soon but I am loving it now.
  • Growth: Baby’s lungs and immune system are maturing this week as baby prepares for his grand entrance. If he were born today he would have an 85 percent chance of surviving as his lungs are capable of breathing air. His testes will have completely descended at this point.


Mommy Facts

  • Weight Gain: 25 lbs.
  • Stretch Marks: Not yet but I think some spider veins are starting to show their ugly faces. I have been putting on the cocoa butter in hopes it will help.
  • Craving: Ice-cream and cake. I still do not have much of an appite.
  • Symptoms: I am starting to get uncomfortable, mostly at night. My restless leg syndrome has returned, and normaly can not fall asleep until 1:00 AM. My feet has some swelling after working 8 hours. Shaving is starting to get interesting. Loving my new clear skin! Still feeling pretty good all-in-all
  • Looking Forward: Baby showers in a few weeks! I have my glucose screening test in the morning, I hope I pass!

This is how I feel in my third trimester 🙂



Baby Z Update August 22, 2013

We are at week 27, or 6.75 months for those who think better in months, with just 13 more weeks to go. This pregnancy has flown by. It seems like yesterday that I took the big test and passed. We still have so much to do in the next 3 months.

Baby Z is doing great. We went to the doctor’s appointments this month and all where good. The cardiologist said his little heart is growing and he still does not think that it will turn into hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The valve he is measuring to make this diagnoses is now 5 cm in length and it was just 3 cm last month. It should be at least 8 cm by the time of birth and he thinks this will happen. That is good news; we needed some good news for a change! Plus, he said it did not look like he had the interrupted aortic arch as he discussed at our last visit. This was the problem that had the chromosome disorder liked to it (digeorge syndrome), so more good news. We are still looking at the COA (coarctation of aorta) and surgery does seem to be a 70% possibility at this time.

We also go to UT High Risk to get a level II ultrasound to check his growth once a month. Baby Z is now 2 lbs and 5 oz and is head down. He was moving and shaking the whole time and of course he would not sit still once it came time to look at his heart. He is doing great and is right on track for his age. We did get some cute pictures of our little guy. Look at that sweet baby face!







Baby Bump: 6 Months August 7, 2013

Filed under: Baby Z — Sheena @ 3:40 pm
Tags: , , ,





Baby facts: 25 Weeks

  • Length: 13 1/2 inches long
  • Weight: 1 1/2 pounds. He is growing like a weed!
  • Sex: Boy!
  • Movement: I think I am growing a karate kid. He kicks all the time, mostly at night. I can see his movement from the outside now.
  • Growth: Baby is growing more fat and more hair too! He is enjoying his new sense of equilibrium and now knows which way is up and which is down.

DSC_0059 DSC_0060

Mommy Facts

  • Weight Gain: 20 lbs. I am trying to keep it under 30 but with 3 months left I may break my weight gain goal 😦
  • Stretch Marks: Nope not yet
  • Craving: Spicy Foods and dairy
  • Symptoms: Heartburn! Must go along with all that spicy food. Starting to get back pain if I sit too long or stand too long. I get some crazy painful leg cramps at night.
  • Looking Forward: Finishing the nursery and picking our furniture.