05/19/2017

Mother’s Day Weekend 2017

This past weekend my little family loaded up the car and we headed toward Indianapolis to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

We had been wanting to visit the Indianapolis Zoo for awhile now and figured since we took Jack to the Cincinnati Zoo for my first Mother’s Day, we would continue the zoo tradition this year as well. Thankfully too the weather was absolutely gorgeous! This was such a blessing, especially since last year we got poured on at the zoo. Believe me that running through the crowds in the rain with an eight month old was quite adventurous – and hilarious once we finally made it to the safety of our own car!

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

Although it was a beautiful day, the zoo really wasn’t as crowded as we expected it to be. We were able to see all the animals pretty easily and the walking paths weren’t super tight and full. I thought there were maybe more animals to see at the Cincinnati Zoo, but the Indianapolis Zoo definitely felt more spread out with extra space.

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

Along with the zoo trip, we also went out to eat at a few yummy restaurants, stayed in the same Marriott hotel we had a few years back on the way to this wedding, and my boys gifted me with a gift certificate to my favorite spa ever that I can’t wait to put to good use!

I also had a humbling moment Sunday morning before brunch. While we waited for our table to open, Tim took Jack to run around a bit while I got to sit and rest. (A welcomed departure when you have a 1 1/2 year old!) As I watched Jack play, I started thinking to myself about both how much harder and more wonderful motherhood is than I ever expected. I’m not sure if it’s my pregnancy hormones or just feeling extra sensitive on Mother’s Day, but by the time we were seated I crying out of nowhere.

Tears are a good thing in my opinion because they let our emotions out and I always feel better after a good cry. I remember while growing up, my grandma would always encourage me to have a good cry and to let it flow. Especially during those adolescent years! I am so thankful to have been given that safe space, love and permission to not need to hide my feelings. Unfortunately though, Sunday’s said tears came in the middle of a delicious brunch and I couldn’t stop! My poor husband just looked at me across the table and held my hand while tears rolled down my cheeks – on Mother’s Day – at brunch! The poor guy was probably praying that no one noticed his wife in tears on her special day.

I think for me, being a mother is the biggest attack on my perfectionist ways that I could possibly imagine. I am a control freak by nature, have been my whole life, and it really is hard for me to accept when plans change or expectations don’t match reality or when I don’t live up to the impossible standards I set. I truly believe though that God is using motherhood to work within me and through me. Although the journey is not always comfortable, I know it’s necessary for me to change my ways and my heart.

So often on social media and here on the blog I share the beautiful, picture-perfect moments, but there are also a lot of messier moments behind the scenes. I don’t often share those because a) I am extremely protective of my son and my family and b) some things I like to keep private between just us. I am sure you all understand. We are certainly not perfect and our kids are certainly don’t behave perfectly, but they are perfect in our own eyes and in God’s. Their pure joy, sweet souls, and loving  hearts is the greatest Mother’s Day gift any mother could ask for.

Mother's Day Weekend 2017

So if you have been having a hard day, or a hard week or year, please know that you are a good mother. We are gifted new days to redeem ourselves and to find forgiveness in our mistakes. I hope today you will give yourself grace, find humor in the not-so-perfect moments, and accept that where you are right now is exactly where you are meant to be.

Oh, and I just re-read this post I wrote to Jack last year on Mother’s Day. Cue all the waterworks. Jack Timothy – YOU made me a mom.

05/16/2017

Pregnancy #2: Weeks 19-23

To read about weeks 4-7 of Pregnancy #2, click here.

To read about weeks 8-12 of Pregnancy #2, click here.

To read about weeks 13-18 of Pregnancy #2, click here.

Pregnancy Week 21

Weeks 19-24 brought with it a lot of exciting news for our family! As I shared in this post, we found out at our 20 week appointment (which took place close to the 21 week mark) that we are having a girl. It still doesn’t feel real even when I write the news out. I know everyone always says all they want is a healthy baby, but that is truly exactly how I felt! I am so in love with my baby boy that I figured two boys would only bring double the fun, joy and humor. With Jack I said from the very early days of pregnancy that I thought he was a boy, but this time I really didn’t have that gut feeling either way.

When we found out we were having a girl, I literally had tears start unexpectedly streaming down my cheeks. I really wasn’t expecting her to say that we were having a daughter, but the realness and surprise of the announcement caught me off guard. I now feel like I have 101 things to do, when before I felt pretty ready! Thankfully too everything looked perfect and healthy with both baby’s and mommy’s health, so it’s hard to ask much more than that. She weighed in roughly 13 oz. and her heart rate was 144. Our next step is to get our scheduled c-section on the books, and to pick a name!!

How have I been feeling? During these weeks I felt much more energized and more like myself. However, I have to admit that after I found out I was having a girl I went through a small period of feeling emotional and nervous. I feel so incredibly blessed, excited, and thankful to be having a girl, but I am also so unsure about it. I feel as if I’m a constant change in progress, and I want to be nothing but the most stable, rational and best example for my daughter that I can be. Of course I feel this way for Jack too, but I also know the impact a positive mother-daughter relationship can have on one another. I am looking forward to experiencing all of those wonderful firsts with my girl, while also being her support system (along with her daddy) when the days are hard.

At my 21 week checkup we heard the baby’s heartbeat again both in the ultrasound and with my physician the next day. I was up thirteen pounds this week, when at my 20 week appointment with Jack I was up ten. I am continuing to show and am now constantly wearing maternity clothes. Stretchy pants and dresses for the win!

I also have started to experience some back pain, which is different than with Jack. With him there was a lot more round ligament pain (which may still come this time too..), but it’s a new ache and pain that caught me a little off guard. I honestly think most of the back pain stems from picking Jack up all day long. Toting around a 30 pound toddler was not in the cards during pregnancy number one, so it’s definitely been a change this time. I am also starting to wear my belly band again for walking and workouts. The extra support really helps to take the weight off my lower belly and hips.

Fitness was still lacking during these weeks. I could blame it on the cold weather, but honestly I just still didn’t feel like I had the energy for workouts. I did manage to get 2-3 long walks in during the week, and I think I only made it to the gym and did weights twice throughout this time frame. With the move, my gym space has shifted and its been hard to get back into a routine. I am toying with doing modified 21 Day Fix workouts a couple times a week just to keep up that strength and endurance. The last thing I wanted to do though is exhaust myself because I know if I did I would be done for the rest of the day! When I did convince myself to get moving though, it felt so good to sweat and get my heart pumping again. Endorphins = good for the body and soul!

Symptoms

  • Fatigue (Less than the first trimester, but still present)
  • Nausea (Less than the first trimester, but still present at times)
  • Bloating (Continuing to to show and grow more now than I did with Jack at this point!)
  • Hungry all the time. Constantly needed to be snacking on something! This really helped my nausea and energy levels.

Food Cravings

  • Mexican food, Chipotle, Guacamole and Chips
  • Soup of all kinds – Broccoli Cheddar, White Bean and Ham, Cheesy Potato Soup
  • Cherry tomatoes with lots of sea salt and black pepper
  • Trader Joe’s Pink Lemonade with lots of ice
  • Potato Chips still have my heart
  • Deli Sandwiches
  • Big Salads with ranch dressing
  • Pasta with marinara

Food Aversions

  • Depends on the moment, but my aversions were getting less-and-less at this point.
  • Coffee, chocolate and peanut butter were still not my favorites, but they began making an appearance in my diet again.  I was finally able to have a few lattes so that made me very happy!

Thoughts

I am writing this post smack dab in the middle of the second trimester, and I’m already forgetting those early weeks of pregnancy! Although I still have more than 20 weeks to go, it feels as if this pregnancy is flying by. I am not sure if it’s because I’ve been busy with Jack, or if it’s also because everything this time doesn’t feel quite so new and scary. Maybe a combination of both? It’s nice to feel a little more settled and to know so much of what’s to come next. When I was in the thick of my worst days with nausea and fatigue, I tried to remind myself that those weeks are limited and that relief will come. I have also been feeling really sentimental about adding another little one to our family. I pray every night that Jack and the baby will love each other, look out for one another, and be buddies for life. Having a close-knit family is the most important thing in the world to me, and I pray for a smooth transition for Jack as he becomes a big brother. The good news with Jack also being little when the baby comes is that he won’t really comprehend or anticipate the change. He will literally never remember a time in life without his baby brother or sister.

Read More Posts from Pregnancy #1:

Pregnancy Posts: Weeks 13 & 14

Pregnancy Posts: Weeks 15 & 16

Pregnancy Posts: Weeks 17, 18 & 19

05/12/2017

Food, Body Image & Exercise During Pregnancy No. 2

Hello, hello! I’ve been a little MIA this week as one of my many part-time jobs – I not only write this blog, do freelance writing work, and am a Beautycounter consultant, but I also work in PR for a large school district – has needed my extra attention as we wrap up the end of another school year. The next few weeks should be busy, but if I can make it to June everything should be a bit smoother sailing!

Next week I’ll be sharing a pregnancy update post for weeks 19-23, but today I thought I would talk about a topic that’s been on my mind since finding out I was expecting again: Food, Body Image & Exercise During Pregnancy No. 2.

Pregnancy 101: Baby #2

Does this topic make me feel a little shallow and uneasy to discuss? Absolutely. However, I think if I didn’t mention it I would be avoiding a discussion that so many women can relate to and worry about. I honestly cringe writing about this because I don’t want it to take away from my blessing of expecting again. I think it’s fair though to be both over-the-moon thankful to be pregnant, while still having moments when watching your body change is a struggle, yes?

To begin, I do have to admit that gaining weight has been a little easier the second time around. When I was pregnant with Jack, I felt nervous in the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to get the extra weight off. I also second-guessed myself about whether I was gaining too much or gaining too little. Was I eating too much, or not enough? However, as the weeks went on, I started to embrace my pregnancy body and let go of so many body insecurities that I had before.

Pregnancy Posts: 34 Weeks

34 Weeks Pregnant with Jack at the Beach!

After I had my perfectly healthy 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy though, the weight started to quickly fall off and I realized that my body knew what to do if I let it. So many of those pounds I worried about were bloating and essential fluids, and of course that eight pound baby. I learned a very valuable lesson that is I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, indulge on occasion, stay moving, and get enough sleep, my body knows exactly what to do… Go figure!

And you know what else? Besides  having a modest weight gain, the biggest takeaway was how good I felt even at the end of pregnancy. I was still walking every day, had very little body aches and pains, slept well, and truly felt better at 40+ weeks than I had at 20.

Pregnancy Posts: Week 40

40 Weeks Pregnant with Jack!

Read more about my Post-Baby Body here.

When I found out I was pregnant this time around, I felt confident that if I followed a similar routine to before then I could once again have a healthy pregnancy. However, no two pregnancies are the same, and no two experiences (even with the same mama!) rae the same. I was much more nauseous during the first trimester and also had to deal with vomiting. I also had a busy toddler who didn’t allow for me to nap whenever I wanted like I did while pregnant with him. I also wasn’t guaranteed a full night’s sleep without interruptions, or the ability to kick my feet up after a long day.

Although I didn’t exercise a ton during the first trimester while pregnant with Jack either, I picked it up as the second trimester began. During this time with pregnancy number two though we were in the midst of a move and I didn’t carve out the time to fit in those extra sweat sessions. We also moved away from our home gym where I felt comfortable taking Jack to the daycare, and I didn’t transition to morning or night workouts when Tim would be home and I could go. Oh, and all of those treats I had during those early weeks were just so yummy and easy, that it became a routine that carried over even once the nausea was at bay.

Coldstone Ice Cream - Cake Batter + Oreos

Even with all the adjustments to my routine, I’ve gained about the same amount of weight so far as I had with the first. Although I definitely showed quicker this time – and people were very quick to point this out to me, which didn’t help with my already mounting insecurities – my body still knew what to do.

Pregnancy #2 Posts: Weeks 13-18

Week 17 Pregnancy with Baby #2!
Pregnancy: Weeks 17, 18 & 19

Week 17 Pregnancy with Jack!

However, I’ve definitely felt a little more sluggish during pregnancy number two, and I think a combination of a little more exercise and a lot more rest would really do my mind and body good. It turns out that you can be lying down, but if you’re on your phone or your mind’s going a mile a minute thinking about a to-do list, it’s not really rest.

I can choose to look at my current circumstance in two ways:

a) Either I only have fifteen weeks left of pregnancy so I could keep doing what I’m doing and just get through it…

b) Or, I still have fifteen weeks left of pregnancy and I want to spend those days being the healthiest that I can.

I definitely think ‘a’ would be the easiest option, but I realize that fifteen weeks is a long time and can make a world of difference if I use it in the right way. Plus, it’s  much easier to bounce back after baby if you stay healthy during pregnancy. I figure that with all my mastitis issues the first time around, I will most likely need every bit of a healthy immune system + strong body to fuel myself and my little one.

I do best when I set goals for myself out loud, so I thought I would share mine with all of you to hold myself accountable:

Exercise

  • Three Days of Walking Each Week (Currently I am doing about two days of 1 to 1 1/2 hour walks)
  • Two Days of modified 21 Day Fix strength workouts (Currently I am doing no strength training)
  • One Day of 30 minutes to 1 hour of Yoga (Currently I am doing no yoga or stretching… !)

Food

  • Focus on having a fruit and / or vegetable with every meal
  • Watch portion sizes

Self-Care

  • 8-9 hours of sleep each night (on average)
  • Read for 15 minutes to 30 minutes before bed
  • Less mindless screen time (Focus on getting work done while logged in, not mindlessly scrolling)
  • Take more time to pamper myself, even if that’s just taking a warm bath, painting my nails, using my heated neck wrap, or doing a facial mask

Family

  • Work on being truly present with my little family!

Most of all I just want to be the healthiest version of myself and for my baby girl. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on both our bodies physically and our minds emotionally, and I think it’s so important to recognize when you’re traveling down a slippery slope, and to make any needed adjustments as quickly as possible. For me, being honest with myself and sharing my current state with all of you allows me the opportunity to learn from mistakes and to hopefully let anyone who has felt this way (pregnant or not) know they are not alone! And the best thing about pregnancy? The end result that will melt your heart!

Jack Newborn Pictures

Conversation time.

  • If you’ve been pregnant before, do you remember having any fears or doubts when it came to weight gain or body image? What were the healthiest habits you took with you into pregnancy, or which were the ones most difficult to keep with?
  • If you haven’t ever been pregnant, what are your biggest fears with expecting someday?