Friday, December 4, 2015

Halfway!


I've totally been slacking keeping updates on this pregnancy vs when we were pregnant with Emma. Obviously we are way busier now with a toddler so that is part of it but also because I feel like we track things more on Instagram now rather than the blog. I've been keeping track of stats and milestones for the new baby in my phone too.

This pic is from Thanksgiving, I was 21 weeks which means we are just past the halfway mark (22 weeks today)! Just a few notes so far with this pregnancy:

- I've had a cold TWICE already! I rarely get sick and have been so frustrated I've had two colds, ugh.

- Around 19 weeks I felt way more run down and a ton of cramping. I had a stressful couple of weeks before that with traveling for work, big work deadline and just a million events and things to do. Mike also worked a lot in November so evenings were mostly Emma and me.

- I'm still feeling a lot of cramping. The midwife said it's normal to feel more and earlier with the second.

- This week Mike was able to feel the baby kick! I've been feeling her move for a while now...I swear I felt her at 13 weeks but that seems really, really early. She's super active on ultrasounds, just like Emma was.

- I feel like I'm about to have a huge belly growth spurt in the next few weeks. I keep hearing my belly is so tiny (even though it feels so huge to me), but all this cramping must mean a bunch of stretching, right?

- I'm still doing my barre and High Fitness workouts when Mike's not working (and I'm not sick). I've definitely slowed down and had to modify, but I'm so happy I'm still able to workout and feeling good about it. I'm starting at a pilates studio in January where I'll be doing reformer, power yoga and more barre classes. I didn't workout at all with Emma (ok, prenatal yoga once a week which was more like a mental relaxation class), so I'm glad I'm sticking with it this time. I'm really hoping starting out healthy and fit before getting pregnant this time and keeping up my workouts throughout the pregnancy will help me recover quicker this time and jump back into things sooner. I felt pretty sluggish, out of it, dizzy and completely off for a long time with Emma. It also took me over a year to fit into old clothes and really start feeling myself again.

- We are throwing names around and have a few good options, but aren't ready to commit to anything quite yet...which means we won't be announcing anything for a while still. We may even wait until she is born, if I can be that patient.

- I've been buying stuff for the new bedrooms but haven't made any progress on those yet. We are getting them painted and moving Emma to a new room. We're also talking about making the girls' bathroom a flamingo themed room. :)

- Thanksgiving was great, we ate so much that weekend! Speaking of eating a lot, I can't seem to control myself with food this pregnancy. I stay up super late and just eat and eat and eat. Yikes.

This coming Monday is our first group appointment with the midwife! We'll be doing a one on one with the midwife for the first part of the appointment and the last part is a group setting with other couples due the same month as us. We accidentally went to the wrong group last month (no wonder everyone seemed so far ahead of me!). We enjoyed it and are looking forward to meeting our actual group!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's a...

GIRL!!!!

We are so excited Emma is going to have a sister! She's healthy and doing well. :) We love you baby sister!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#2

It's about time I post our big news here on the blog. We are expecting baby #2 in April of next year (April 8 due date)! Emma is excited to be a big sister and I'm thrilled to not be 9 months pregnant during the hottest and most humid month again. ;) We can't wait to add another little nugget to our family and watch Emma as a sister. She's so loving and gentle with babies so we know she'll do great!

This blog has been so scarce lately! Between running our neighborhood moms group, managing events for Fit4Mom, MOPS at church and oh yeah that full time job, it's been tough to keep up with everything. I've been keeping track of Emma and new baby's milestones in my notes on my phone for future baby books (yes I STILL need to make Emma's!), but hoping I will share again here about the new baby. I love looking back on old posts about my pregnancy with Emma and about her as a baby.

A few things that happened over the past few months (other than the new baby of course):
• I went on a mom's only staycation in July and had so much fun! Little did I know I was 3 weeks pregnant. :)
• Emma turned two! We had a family dinner at our house and a friend party on labor day. She had so much fun celebrating!
• Emma got her first American Girl doll, a bitty baby!
• We were still nursing until I was about 11 weeks pregnant and Emma was a couple weeks past two. I'm so grateful we hit our goal of 2 years. We were both ready to be done. I'm so happy we waited for that time to come, it made "weaning" so much easier and not really much of a weaning process at all.
• Emma is talking SO MUCH. As in non-stop, all day long. She repeats everything and amazes us every single day with her knowledge and the words that come out of her mouth. We feel so blessed to have such a sweet, loving and calm child. If every child could be like this and we could skip over those rough first few months (years?), I think I'd have 5 more.
• Early pregnancy was exhausting and nauseating, but I'm happy to say it wasn't quite as bad as with Emma. My mom thinks that is a sure sign we are having a boy, ha! I have continued working out throughout pregnancy so far, although it's been scarce during the first trimester.
• Speaking of boy or girl...yes we will find out, it will be in early-mid November, no we do not prefer one over the other, we'd be happy with a boy or another girl!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

30

I turned 30 yesterday. Starting a new decade has me thinking quite a bit about where my life is at and where I pictured it being and how that has changed over the years. Not only did turning 30 spark this, but also reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on our recent trip to San Diego and our trip itself. 

I love organization and have always wanted our home to be more organized and orderly, but I just haven't taken the time to do it or really known where to start. I have a plan now and am ready to get going. The book talks about how life-changing it is once you do the KonMari method (the method she teaches in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). I need this. I need the focus, energy, cleanliness and organized spaces. I feel like I've been in a creative slump for way too long and need to get our home in order to get past that.

Our trip was SO. MUCH. FUN. We relaxed, had adventures, tried new things and just lived on the beach for a week. I'm convinced we need to do this every year. Heck, I even considered moving to San Diego for part of the trip! Some of the things we did made me realize we could be doing more of those things at home too though and we haven't taken the time to discover our own surroundings.

But back to turning 30. Here are a few things I've been reflecting on:

- I am married to a guy who has exceeded all expectations of what I always pictured my husband being. He's so kind, loving, patient and calm and loves me endlessly. I'm a lucky lady.

- My daughter is the little girl I always dreamed I'd have with more spunk, personality and humor than I could have ever imagined. She has so many traits, interests and quirks from both of us, it's so fun to watch. She loves singing and music, loves to color, can count to 19, knows most of her colors and is such a petite and dainty athlete.

- We live in an awesome neighborhood in a beautiful home and have been making some pretty great friends here. Never did I imagine that would happen, but I'm so glad it has!

- I'm doing what I always dreamed of doing in my career – being an art director at a publication company. While I always pictured myself living elsewhere doing this, life has taken me down a different path. I am so lucky to be able to work from home and create my own schedule. It allows me to be the mom I always wanted to be. While there are definitely struggles and difficulties that come with this, I do have the best of both worlds.

- We are in a strong financial place and are working on setting ourselves up for living well later in life. I never gave much thought to this and really struggled with managing money in my early 20's. There are times I wish I could go back and change how I did things but it was all a learning process.

- I've always tried to be a kind, generous, outgoing and thoughtful person and I still pursue being that type of person, although it's difficult to learn that sometimes people don't want to accept that or misunderstand intentions.

Part of the KonMari method is to first reflect on what you want your life to look like. I spent some time doing this on our trip and wrote everything out. I won't be sharing everything since some of it is very personal to me or just so detailed that no one but me really cares. Here are a few major points I noted:

- Facilitate and enhance current interests/lifestyle. I feel like I have lost touch with a few things that I have always loved. I need to find my creativity again and feed it.

- Try new things that interest me. I have let so many things go that I always intend to do but never get around to. Time to jump in and DO IT.

- Be conscious…. of time, what we buy, what we bring into our home, what we eat, how we live our lives, everything. Don't get so wrapped up in one part of life that I forget about the others.

- Try new things and explore. Locally in our town, metropolitan area and also day trips around Arizona. There are so many things right here within our reach and we don't take the time to explore it and discover new things.

- Find a way to organize and manage life, work, home, parenting, etc that WORKS!

Cheers to a new decade!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Emma's Allergy Update

Last month we took Emma to an allergist because she had reacted to dairy, wheat and nuts in the past. Her skin test showed positive for peanuts and tree nuts, but negative for wheat. Since her dairy symptoms are gone, the doctor ruled that one out. She had recently been throwing up from ingesting wheat so we were still testing that one.

We went and had blood work done a few weeks ago and got the results during our appointment today. I'm happy to say we had some great results come back!

Now let me just say that yesterday Emma accidentally consumed wheat and peanut butter (Tagalongs!!) and did not throw up but had hives on her face from the peanuts. You can imagine my response when I walk in the door from Pilates and see the epi pen on the table, out of the case! We ended up not needing it, but so thankful Mike was ready to use it if necessary. 

So the blood results...she came back negative for wheat and a very very low level for peanuts and tree nuts, but so low that some labs would say negative.

Here's the tough part...there's not enough research to know if avoiding or constant exposure will help. The doctor felt that constant exposure is the way to go though, so we are cautiously going that route (with epi pens close by). Every day we will give her a bit of wheat, peanuts and cashews. She will probably get some hives, but the hope is those will stop and we can keep increasing the dosage over time.

I'm excited, but also nervous and cautious. I so badly want Emma to be able to eat pizza, cake, cookies, PB sandwiches on occasion and not have to be the helicopter mom at the parks when all the other kids are eating goldfish. It's a huge relief knowing her level of allergy to these things, although the doctor said symptoms CAN get worse and that is where they just don't know if avoidance or exposure is best.

Please pray our at home testing and exposure experiment work and we can live a bit more carefree. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Whole30 Results!



It's day 31 and we're ready to share results! I must say how proud I am of my husband. He has done so well with this journey and eats anything I make...and is very kind if something doesn't taste quite right. He resisted temptations at multiple family parties, two Suns' games and late night snacking. He put his sugar dragon to rest, a huge accomplishment! He says he just feels so much better and never feels that sick or heavy feeling after a meal. Here's the kicker, he lost 19 POUNDS! He truly dedicated himself to this and I'm so proud of him!

My results are quite different and that just goes to show that this program affects everyone in so many different ways. I lost about 3 pounds, but dropped a clothing size (hardly anything fits now so of course now I need to go shopping, right?!). My stomach is flatter and I feel much leaner. I've been doing strength training with Pilates, so that has been a great compliment to the Whole30. My big results are in how I feel. I struggle with anxiety and I can tell it is much, much better after doing this and I can manage stress a lot better. I am now able to wake up very early and am energized in the morning and ready to start my day. I'm still having a bit of stomach issues, but it has definitely improved. I've learned to eat a large, hearty breakfast which has always been a struggle for me.

I'm so grateful for this experience and have learned so many things about food, recipes and myself. Tonight we are taking a date night and it will be my first night of not cooking dinner in 30 days! Now we begin our journey of learning to balance.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thoughts on Post-Whole30



We're on Day 18, which means we have less than two weeks until we are done with the Whole30. Our cravings haven't totally gone away, so we are excited to have some of our old foods again (even things like brown rice!), but we've also realized how those foods have been affecting us after eating them daily. I'm hoping we can take on an 80/20 approach to things…80% of our meals paleo, 20% not. That means about four meals per week are not paleo where we can use beans, rice, sugar, gluten, dairy, etc…or go out to a restaurant and eat those things.

I've been gluten free for over three years, but still always had some slight stomach issues. Over those years of being gluten free I've heard and read a lot from naysayers, saying that it's "all in my head." Ha, I beg to differ. The summer after we were married I was so sick, bloated, crampy and gaining a lot of weight (there are other reasons this happened so suddenly, but I had struggled with these issues for years, ever since I got food poisoning in 2006 in India). Going gluten free gave me an almost immediate and dramatic relief to those symptoms. I cut gluten and tried not to replace them with unhealthy gluten free options, so I also ended up losing weight.

After doing Whole30, I feel refreshed, healed and rejuvenated! I can see how grains (even gluten free ones), dairy, processed food, sugar and legumes affect me. But, I am very curious, after over three years, if gluten would still have the same affect on me. Honestly, I'm totally fine being gluten free and even paleo at home, but it is really difficult when out and dining at friend's houses. I'd like to have the option to not bug everyone about what is in their food. So, I'm going to try eating a bit of gluten after the Whole30 and see what happens. I don't anticipate intentionally eating a lot of gluten in the future since I generally don't think it's a healthy thing to consume, but it would be nice to not worry about it hidden in things.

I've decided not to care what people think. I'm going to eat what makes me feel good, and I know my body better than anyone. So if that means I can eat cross-contaminated food and not feel sick, I will. Or even having one cookie and be ok, I will do that too. But if eating an entire sandwich or plate of lasagna doesn't feel good, I'm not going to eat that. Our recent visit with Emma's allergist assured me of that, he said if I feel better eating a certain way to do that and not listen to naysayers. So nice to hear that from a medical professional.

We still need to be careful of what we feed Emma though, she has thrown up every time she eats gluten/wheat and we don't know why. We also just found out she has a tree nut/peanut allergy and now have epi pens just in case. I'm pretty scared and nervous about all of this and we're still waiting for blood test results to come back…that is a whole other post though.

In general, I want to focus on just being healthy overall, with a few special occasions here and there (but keep it out of the house!). I haven't felt this good in a long, long time and I don't want it to go away. I feel like post-Whole30 will be the beginning of a whole new perspective for us. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Whole30: Halfway There!

Yesterday was our halfway point through our Whole30 journey! The first few weeks were pretty tiring and exhausting…not only from prepping so much food, but from the foods we were cutting and our bodies getting used to this new way of eating. It's day 16 today and I have officially hit what they call "Tiger Blood!" I even woke up at 5:30 this morning (and not because of Emma)!

If you know me, you know I have gut issues. I'm happy to say that I have not had ANY issues lately and feel so great. No bloated feeling, no stomach aches after meals – it's pretty awesome! We really miss certain foods still and most of all, we miss going out to eat as it's something we really enjoy doing as a family, but we can have that again in 14 days. That's what I love about this program, it's not a forever thing, but we have a totally different perspective on healthy eating now. My hope is that we can eat mostly paleo at home, incorporating some brown rice, quonia and beans into certain meals. After going this long without going to a restaurant, we've decided to try to limit that to once a week after this program is over. It really will save us money too!

Another huge perk is that I am losing my belly pudge that I have never been able to figure out how to get rid of! I'm doing pilates reformer classes too, so I'm sure that's helping too (they are obsessed with workout out core muscles, which is exactly what I need!). I'm feeling stronger, energized and more athletic…although I can tell you that was NOT the case on days 4-9!

Can't believe I'm posting this picture, but here is me yesterday after my pilates class. Feeling good inside and out!



























On Sunday I ran a 10k with my aunt at the PF Changs Rock n Roll marathon. I didn't get in the training I had hoped for (getting sick twice, teething baby, holidays…I know, I still could have done better), so the goal was to just have fun. We really did have a ton of fun, I enjoyed the quality time with my aunt. She is truly such an inspiration, I feel so energized after spending the weekend with her!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole30: Days 1-10

January 5 we started our very first Whole30 journey! We weren't sure what to expect and I was pretty nervous so I spent quite a bit of time food prepping that first week. We know more of what we like and need for the week now so the second week wasn't quite as bad, but it is definitely a huge help to prep things like precooked meats, sauces (homemade mayo is a MUST as a base for delicious sauces!) and cut up veggies. Above is just a sampling of some of the new delicious meals we've been trying. I'm really enjoying the new recipes we've been trying and it has re-energized my creativity in cooking.

The first few days were tough, they call those the "hangover" days, but I struggled more with cravings at night to snack. Days 6-8 brought on extreme tiredness and day 9 brought on a bloated feeling. We're now on day 10 and things are going much smoother, as long as I can wake up early enough to get a big enough breakfast in before my workout. I'm nursing, so I get hungry quite often and allow myself mini-meal snacks (especially pre and post workout).

I get a lot of questions about this program and why we are doing it. Here's a few details:

• It is ONLY for 30 days! This is not a full on lifestyle change, but a way to recognize unhealthy foods, train your body not to crave those foods anymore and heal your body from all the junk.

• We are doing this to be healthier, kick our cravings (for me its salty snacks at night, for Mike its sweets) and to help motivate us to explore new and exciting recipes/meals.

• It is very similar to paleo, but has rules like you can't make "junk" food out of compliant ingredients (like banana/egg pancakes).

• It is near impossible to eat at a restaurant during this. We just don't see the value in going out to eat only to order a dry/unseasoned piece of meat with a dry salad. Our meals at home are much better tasting and we save money by doing that!

• The basic rules are no sugar, alcohol, grains (including quinoa), dairy (except for ghee) and legumes.

20 more days to go! :)