Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pregnancy: tips for surviving the first trimester

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pregnancy: tips for surviving the first trimester

Now I'm not claiming to know it all or saying that what works for me works for everyone. I whole heartedly believe that every woman experiences pregnancy a little bit different, but I think for the most part we can ALL agree on some major key points. This being my 3rd go round, I have found a few things to make pregnancy a little more comfortable so I wanted to share. Whether this is your first pregnancy or last it is special and you still have to go through alllll the changes. So, with that being said let's break it down.


The first trimester in my opinion is probably the hardest. Everything about your body changes from the moment you conceive. Your boobs will either grow or be very tender. Your belly will go soft, pudgy and you will just look like you've gained more weight. (No matter your pre pregnancy size your body will feel foreign) You will be exhausted, peeing all the time, and having crazy hormonal changes, which might include breaking out and feeling exceptionally emotional. And never forget the dreaded "morning sickness" which in reality can be at any time of day or even last all day for months. I've had a few blessed friends who have not experienced some or any of this which is rare but I think we can all agree we feel different and that can be hard physically, and mentally. 

The first trimester has always left me feeling the "baby blues" some women experience AFTER baby. My clothes don't fit, I'm not sure who I want to share my pregnancy with or when, and of course I have no appetite and then binge on things I shouldn't and feel shame! But I have a found a few things that have helped me feel a little more normal and get through the rough stage...


Find an outfit that you feel good in no matter what. This might sound dramatic but trust me when your belly starts to get mushy and round and none of your clothes fit. Your hips feel wide and your boobs are busting out of your bra, you will DREAD getting dressed and feel so self conscious. I hate wearing jeans in general (personal opinion), and maternity jeans just don't quite fit right yet so I have stuck to leggings to feel tucked in and secure. Find a GOOD pair. The kind that fit tight all the way through the legs and have a high rise over the new belly. Maternity leggings are an absolute MUST for me later on because I get so big but some women manage without them. I can't wear regular leggings after 1st trimester they literally dig into my hips and belly so bad. Point is, wear what makes you feel comfortable. If you like to wear dresses and don't mind the belly looking a little pudgy and not pregnant then girl wear that and own it. 

Find a comfortable bra if you have (uh hem) grown a bit. I always go back to my nursing bras when I'm pregnant because well they fit and they're comfortable. It will make you feel so much better to have things fit right as your body changes and comfort is absolute key. 

My favorite maternity clothing item is a white maternity tank. If this is your first pregnancy you probably won't "show" for quite a while but if it's your 2nd or on, you'll probably want to pull out or go buy a new maternity tank. They're long, stretchy and super comfortable and will grow with your body. I wear them under loose fitting shirts to kind of disguise the belly and cover the space where it can kind of stick out. You'll wear it the rest of your pregnancy and post-partum so it's worth it! (The really stretchy spandex kind don't turn yellow in the arm pits!) or just buy black. 


DO NOT TRY TO FORCE YOURSELF INTO OLD CLOTHES THAT DON'T FIT. I repeat. DO NOT. I've known girls that have tried to squeeze their bellies into their old jeans as long as possible and they end up cramping or feeling uncomfortable. It's not a competition of who can stay the skinniest the longest. Do I even need to say that?! Embrace the changing body no matter how hard it is. You can look in the mirror and say wow I don't recognize myself, but just adjust. Wear loose fitting tops and go up a size in underwear. Nothing is worse than clothes squeezing you in your lower belly or hips when they are growing and already feeling huge. 


Make yourself a smoothie or milkshake with the nutrients you might not be craving. In the beginning it's so hard to want to eat and you won't have an appetite for most foods so it's important you are taking your vitamins (I take a prenatal multivitamin, omega oils, and vitamin D everyday) and getting some greens in your diet. I like to make a protein shake with spinach and peanut butter and chia seeds. It's super important to make sure what you are NOT supposed to eat so talk to your doctor or midwife about that as well. 

Stick to your regular routine as best as you can. If you have no motivation to work out, go for a walk and get some air. If you don't feel like getting anything done, go at your own pace but don't stall out. I have done this for weeks and end up feeling miserable, unproductive and stuck. It helps to have a friend to call or to hang out with other moms who know exactly what you are going through. 

If you're tired. REST. The number one complaint of women even over sickness during pregnancy is exhaustion. NO KIDDING! If you are needing to go to bed earlier or take a quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the day it can really improve your mood and energy. Treat your body good even when it's hard. You're sharing it with someone else! And I'm not just saying this I napped today with my toddler and have no regrets. I wasn't able too with my first two pregnancies so I'm taking full advantage.

Drink lots of water. It sucks to pee all day but it sucks even more to feel dehydrated, lethargic, or grumpy so keep up your intake of water. It will improve your skin, appetite, and energy! I need to do more of this for sure! (If water makes you feel sick try adding lemon or fruit slices) Find a good time of day to take your vitamins. If you feel sick in the morning take them with lunch. But I don't recommend taking a bunch of vitamins before bed. I made this mistake with my 2nd pregnancy and complained to my midwife I quit sleeping. She reminded me of course I was giving myself a little energy boost right before bed! (try not to do this!)

Get yourself something nice or do something for yourself. With the changes your are experiencing emotionally it can be really hard. A few times I have escaped during bedtime(thank you Dylan)  to go take a lavender bath when I have felt stressed out and uncomfortable. (free!) But my mother in law paid for me to get a pedicure and it made my entire week. It felt so good to have a massage and clean feet even though I felt sick and miserable inside. It totally lifted my mood. The other night my girlfriend and I put our kids to bed and took turns foiling each other's hair and just hung out. 

Document everything. Even if all you are writing is "sick and sad today" "sick again" that's okay. I have written that many days when I had nothing to say. I have taken awful post-shower belly bump pics and I always laugh looking at them so maybe try to do it on a day where you got half way ready but I love looking back at my journals from previous pregnancies and realized how different they were or what I might have been experiencing. I wish I would have taken weekly bump pics but never felt good and always put it off so this time I'm choosing not to feel bad about it but do it if I remember too for sure!
I'm getting a Promptly Journal this time around and wish I had-had one for my first 2 babies! This is a fool proof way to remember and document your child's life from in the belly to 18 years old!

I hope some of these tips helped you or gave you some motivation to get through this time of pregnancy! I plan to do tips for the 2nd trimester and 3rd so look forward to those and of course please share with me if you have your own tips or something that has made you feel good! 






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Monday, December 18, 2017

Surprise! We're having another BABY + my real feelings about it

Monday, December 18, 2017

Surprise! We're having another BABY + my real feelings about it


Soooo baby no. 3?! I know right. I feel like in this day and age anyone who has more than one gets an immediate "another one?" I know what you're thinking and I probably have thought it too haha. I have put off writing this blog post for some time now and I've always been an open book but it's been hard to put into words how I'm feeling. Let's just say I'm excited but not without nerves.

First off let me start with --  we are thrilled to grow our family in any capacity, especially another person. I feel so incredibly fortunate to get pregnant easily and to so far have 2 amazing healthy born kids already. I have never had any complications or miscarriages and sincerely feel blessed for that. Dylan and I have faced many many other challenges in our life and marriage but that has not been one of them thank goodness.

I think it's pretty easy to feel a little nervous to share the news that you're having another baby after your 2nd. People don't really care to be honest, and that's totally okay cause guess what WE DO, and we get to have the baby. Enough said. But when you go to share with people you don't necesarilly want them to have a less than enthusiastic response.  I'll admit I have had mixed feelings. I have always wanted a big family and knew we would have more children. I thought I would be so excited but my first reaction was kind of "OH. Wait..." Silly right? I think the idea and the reality of a new baby are much different things, and I would know. Ive done it twice. So this time around I thought life would magically be different. More financial stable, bigger home. But here's the thing. I've had lots of time to think about this and what I always come back to is what matters. Our families, our memories, and what makes us happy. And you know what my good friends have reminded me countless times over the last 14 weeks... IT ALL WORKS OUT! And they are so right. There's a funny thing about life, it just keeps going and it usually works out and things typically are as they are supposed to be.

So yes, we are very excited to welcome a new baby to our family. Even the 3rd and even the next one if we choose to have more. It has taken me some time to warm up, I think it's good to be honest about that. This baby was no surprise to us but the emotions and insecurities that followed were most definitely unexpected. I know many moms can relate to this. Less than ideal circumstances, less than growing financial security, a husband going back to school and working full time.... It's a lot to think about! But babies are the purest and sweetest blessing there is no matter when they come and our boys can not wait to find out if they're having a baby brother or sister. Dylan and I are convinced it's another boy. My mind can't comprehend a girl but that would be a very pleasant surprise.

If you shared a congratulations or thoughtful word here online, Instagram, or in person... THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. No matter if it's your first or last every pregnancy should be celebrated and appreciated and it always feels so good to have the support and love of those around you. In some ways I feel like a total vet, and yet this is a new pregnancy, a new baby, and a new time of life so I'm trying to take everything slow, really appreciate it for what it is and remind myself over and over THESE ARE THE GOOD DAYS. Having babies, little ones, and a growing family is the biggest blessing and I can't believe how fast time passes. Feels like yesterday I had Dash! (Not excited for him realizing he is the middle child HA) Anyways, It took me a while to feel comfortable to announce and now I am so excited to just enjoy it and prepare for this new little babe due in JUNE!



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Friday, December 15, 2017

Stocking stuffers for KIDS! Affordable, Simple + Easy

Friday, December 15, 2017

Stocking stuffers for KIDS! Affordable, Simple + Easy



Our kids are still young and have simple needs so I like to keep like the stocking stuffers easy and fun. I found most of ours at the dollar store so it doesn't need to be expensive! I try to avoid crap I know will never get played with or tossed out so my rule of thumb is useful and minimal. A good rule of thumb is to get them things they need or things that you might not traditionally "wrap" like animal figurines and individual play dough containers and art supplies. I try to add something that my kid's always ask me for at the store but I never want to buy them - like an over priced Star Wars Keychain for Krew's backpack. One thing I'm excited about is glow sticks! They're at the dollar store and the kid's love them in the bath or to play in a fort with. Cheap fun! For girls I think it's always fun to get them lip gloss or cute bracelets, maybe a more expensive one that matches with mom? So cute! Anyways, here are some fun and easy ideas... pick 5 and you're set!

LITTLE KIDS

Playdough
Animal Figurines
Glow Sticks (pack of 20 at the Dollar Store!)
Bubble Bath or Bath Bombs
Stickers
Candy or (Healthy Snacks)
Nail Polish
Hair Clips/ Bows
Tooth Brush
Socks
Sips Cups
Crayons or Markers
DVD
Bubbles
*Small toys you don't want to wrap!


BIG KIDS

Socks
Movie Tickets
Gift Cards
DVD
BackPack KeyChain
Candy
Watch
Art Supplies
Beanie or Gloves
Phone Case
Jewelry// Bracelets
Hair Accessories
Lip Gloss// Chapstick
Card Games



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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Season of Life

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Season of Life

I've probably re written this blog post in some way or another at least 4 or 5 times trying to find the right words to share. Beyond finding the courage to share that I'm in a bit of a rough spot in the mother and personal identity areas of my life I've struggled more to find even the time and energy for it. I've shared with many close friends and family often times "over sharing" how hard this time of life feels and how complexly exhausted I feel but I think it's important that we share these things. The truth has a way of cleaning our slate and giving us a breath of fresh air and I'm hoping that maybe some other mamas out there can relate, and if you can't -I'm truly happy for you because enjoying motherhood is sincerely one of the greatest joys of life.

Right now things are hard and uncertain. I'm struggling to find who I am as a person, wife, mother while juggling my children's needs and being home full time. There are a few changes in life ahead.. ( my husband Dylan is going back to school and working full time, and we are very proud and anxious) etc. Our son Dash has increasingly had behavioral and speech problems to the point where it's affecting our family and our ability to do things that used to come so easily. And personally I feel stuck in our current lifestyle. It seems like thinks have been building up and the last month has felt like chaos as Dash's sleep schedule has radically changed and we have started getting some therapy help at home. Now, I don't share these things to label our son. I just think it's important to share that we noticed Dash not progressing in speaking to us and starting to change his behavior and become more well, crazy than normal haha. There are many normal things about having crazy little boys but I've been learning through talking to other moms and experts that when you feel like something is off or you aren't able to help your child the way they might need that it's always a good idea to seek help. And we are so glad that we have! It's still very new to us and I will continue to share more about speech therapy as we learn and hopefully progress but right now its just HARD. It's taking every second of my energy and time and I have felt over whelmed. I want to admit that I'm not a perfect mom and have struggled so much to be able to manage my 2.5 year old that has taken up so much of my energy lately, I have hardly had time to eat, sleep, run errands let alone take care of Krew my oldest. It can drain you as a person to not be able to leave your kid's alone, have furniture broken and sleep as little as when you had a newborn! But we are trying and dedicated and sometimes I can't see through this storm.
As a mom I think the most important thing is finding a balance for yourself and being HAPPY. And when we're not it's easy to feel like a failure. Our children notice and it effects them just as much. But then the guilt sets in because when you're in a funk like this you can't see a way out. You feel mad at yourself for not being happy and confused as to what went wrong or why things feel so much harder for you right now. " So and so has 5 kids and seems like life is perfect!!" I know for me personally I compare myself constantly and have the tendency to "react" to things before I have a chance to think it through and I've always felt so guilty about that. Especially when it comes to my children. I want nothing more than to be the happy and loving mom they deserve and when I'm hurting inside it's so hard to give up more than I have to offer.

Through the last weeks, months I've spent days crying the whole day calling my mom, my husband, not leaving the house and rebounding hard trying to over compensate for a shitty day as a mom and trying to make it up to my kids. I've spent days trying to find what works for Dash and what I can do more to help him stay active and happy and how I can better understand what he may be frustrated with, and I'm often left feeling burnt out or temporary relief. I've felt guilt leaving him for any amount of time with someone else and resentment for not being able to take care of myself at all. I've had people tell me they think I have tall together or I seem so happy or relaxed and I have to laugh because if you talk to me for more than 2 minutes I'll lay down the truth for ya right there haha. It's also opened my eyes to realize that there may be other mamas out there that I admire or think seem so happy that may be struggling too. I think about my minor problems with Dash, (no disorders or disabilities) and think wow I can't imagine if this was worse or there was no way to help my son and try to put my small problems in perspective but I want to also emphasize that our problems may be insignificant to others but they are real to us and it's okay to hurt and it's okay to say THIS IS SO HARD AND I FEEL LOST.

I've talked to many experienced moms who have shared "this is just a season of life" and while I absolutely know they are right! it feels like a season that won't end. It feels like life should be getting easier or I should be handling this better and things are getting worse. But I also look back on times in my life that were this hard or much harder and realize it's just so true. I've experienced harder and this too shall pass. So in the mean time I want to share yes I'm alive and things are generally pretty good here. I have many many blessings and things to be grateful for and while I'm crying at the end of the day and my poor husband doesn't know how to help me, I say my prayers and thank God and continue to pray for help and guidance. Because as a mama what more can we do than rely on other women and God? I hope if you have felt this way or are feeling this fog of motherhood that you know you are not alone and that you are doing an amazing job if you are trying your best and praying to be better each day. This motherhood thing is ROUGH and so beautiful. I've tried many times to add a silver lining to an IG post lately but in reality I just can't. The silver lining is that we made it through the day and that's about it.

If your a mama hurting or just feeling stressed don't give up. Make a list of a few things that make you happy or call someone you can trust to come and help you. (Thank you mom so much for getting Dash down today and making me lunch! 445 am was way to early for me to function 3 weeks in a row with difficult toddler) When you feel like you can't do anymore you probably can't and should take a break for yourself to regroup and come back ready to try again. I need to remember that too. You got this mama, it's just a season of life.




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