January has been a busy month, and while February looks to be a bit slower, it is definitely going to be month filled with anticipation. With baby girl due in the very first week of March, I know I want everything to be ready in the next couple of weeks just in case she decides to make an early appearance (which I am 100% okay with). I'm hoping to take it easy over the course of the next few weeks, but I'm also hoping this means I can get some really great posts and content out for you! In any case, here's the January List!
There you have it folks!
I'd love to hear what some of your list items are! Share them in the comments below!
So there are a lot of things I haven't been really great about this pregnancy, and eating super well has not been one of them. With both of my pregnancies, my first trimester has been all about the carbs. Second trimesters I've been pretty balanced. But this third trimester I have been feeling pretty exhausted (read: lazy). I would definitely say that I have been lacking in the department of a well-balanced diet - thank goodness for vitamins!
But a couple of months ago, local Miami chef and author Lauren Arboleda of Food from the Heart sent me a copy of her book Pregnancy from the Heart. Her book is really great because it talks about how to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy, along with tips for staying active, and preparing for baby's arrival.
Last week, I was feeling a little yucky with some of the food choices I had been making, and I was really craving an açaí bowl. So I opened up the book to a page I had bookmarked, with the recipe for homemade granola and an açaí bowl. While I didn't have all the ingredients for the granola, I mixed together a few of the ingredients I DID have, and then made the açaí bowl. It was exactly what I needed - it was filling, and it made me feel like I was at least getting some veggies and lots of vitamins and antioxidants in! Read below for the recipe, along with what else I've been loving from this book!
recipe can be found on page 121
1 frozen package of açaí (no sugar added) [Trader Joes has, I also found at Publix]
1/2 cup pineapple
4 cups kale (I actually subbed for spinach because I didn't have kale)
I also added a tablespoon of peanut butter since this was my lunch and I wanted to add a little more protein.
1. Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and sprinkle granola on top.
3. Add anything else you would like - I added fresh strawberries and drizzled with a little local Orange Blossom Honey that we picked up at the farmers market a few weeks ago.
Something else that is different from my pregnancy with Caleb - with Caleb, I made the time to go to prenatal yoga at least once a week during all of my second and most of my third trimester. This time, I never got around to it. But, Lauren has included a section in her book that has all the yoga poses you will need to help with all the typical pregnancy ailments. So I have actually been doing some of these yoga poses to help alleviate heartburn and back pain!
I've also jumped around the book checking my list with hers for how to prep for baby's arrival and what to pack for the hospital.
It's a beautifully illustrated book, and a great resource for a healthy, holistic pregnancy. I think it would make a beautiful gift for anyone you know who has recently announced their pregnancy, or even as a gift for yourself! You can buy it by following this link, or on Amazon, or at Books & Books in Coral Gables (my favorite bookstore ever and actually where I held Caleb's baby shower!).
Keep it cool, mamas!
As a mom, I am always questioning myself. Am I doing this right? How can I be better? I wish I had more patience. Motherhood is a constant finding of oneself. It’s the feeling of wanting to be needed, but also needing time to yourself. It’s all these little contradictions. It’s hard as hell, but it’s worth all its difficulties.
Recently, I was chatting with a friend who is also expecting, but this is her first. She asked me tons of questions about labor, and she confessed to me that she was petrified of labor.
It brought me back to my pregnancy with Caleb. I don’t remember being scared of labor itself, just apprehensive about all the unknowns. When you’re used to being in control of just about everything, something that brings so many unknowns, like labor, can be a little scary.
But whenever the conversation came up, and people asked me how come I wasn’t scared, I would always respond with, “Because my body was made to do this. I was born to be a mother.” The fact that millions of women have been doing this, since the beginning of time, with way less knowledge and way fewer medical advancements, was always a huge comfort to me. I always used the image of Mary, and said, if she could give birth in a stable, surrounded by animals on a bed of hay, then I can certainly do this in a hospital bed, surrounded by doctors.
This time around, I am way less apprehensive about the process itself. My body has already done this once. It can certainly do it again. But like always, those little fears creep in. Should I be induced? What if I forget how to push? What if the pain is too much to bear? What if I don’t make it to the hospital in time?
But every time those fears creep in, I remind myself, I was BORN TO DO THIS.
You can find this tee at Therapy For Moms Shoppe. Therapy for Moms started out as an Instagram account that was meant to just help moms get through the days. Their latest venture has been a shop with products created by moms, for moms. They have some great pieces to help remind you of the journey you are on - some funny and some uplifting. Lisette, the founder, reached out to me a few months back and sent me this tee, asking me to share my story. I thought this was a great reminder of how we as moms can forget that we are made to do exactly what we are doing, and that as much as we doubt ourselves, a mother's instinct kicks in.
So don't doubt yourself, momma. Because you were born to do this.
Want one of these tees for yourself? Visit Therapy for Moms Shoppe and get 20% off your order when you use the code JENISE20. It will get you 20% off your entire purchase, excluding $5 Deals and Therapy Boxes. Coupon expires 2/2/18.
Yesterday, I posted in my Instagram stories about an activity I did with Caleb after school one day. He had received this big cardboard rocket ship for Christmas, and it was meant to be painted. I had been putting it off because I knew that I needed to make this an outdoor activity and that it would certainly require some cleanup. And while I know my kid is excessively messy and loves to smear stuff all over himself, I'm still a little shocked at the reactions that people sent me when it came to my stories. "OMG. I'm dying for you." "Ugh, what a mess." "I don't know how you deal with that." "Ummm, that's my worst nightmare."
On Tuesday, I picked him up from school and he was in some kind of mood. I let him be for a little bit and after a few minutes of silence, I asked him if he wanted to paint his rocket ship this afternoon. He yelled, "NO!" loudly and shook his head. I let him be again, and after about two minutes, he said, really softly, "Mommy, I want paint my rocket. You paint with me?" Of course, I had suggested it, so I wasn't about to say no.
The rest of the way home, he was way more low key and mentioned painting a few more times. By the time we reached home, he was ready to go. He wanted to paint right this minute. I knew this was something I needed to do a little bit of prep for, so I kept giving him tasks he had to complete before we could go out and paint. I had him change out of his uniform and into play clothes, I gave him a snack and some water, and made him use the potty. He was clearly annoyed with me. But I knew once we were outside painting, I wasn't letting him back in until he was completely done.
While he did all of that, I prepped the paint, and pulled out his smock and some of his paintbrushes. (One small tip - keep all of this stuff together in a basket or bin so when you need it, it's all in the same place and you don't have to hunt stuff down; also, use disposable plates and cups to hold the paint so cleanup is just throwing those things out). We took everything outside and went to town on that rocket ship.
For the first few minutes, he worked really quietly. I watched, I took a few photos, and I relished in the fact that I had managed to bait and switch him into a good mood. He was completely concentrated on what he was doing. Then he turned to me and asked me, "Mommy, can you paint with me?" How could I say no to that? So of course, I joined him. We painted in silence together, no distractions, no arguments, me not bossing him around. And he looked over at me, often, to make sure I was still "on task." I painted with him for over twenty minutes, and guys, let me tell you, I will cherish those twenty minutes of doing something with my son for a very long time.
After twenty minutes, I sat back down, because, well, pregnancy. I let him keep doing his thing. I watched and I talked to him and asked him questions. And then all of a sudden, he was smearing paint all over his smock. Then in his hair, and all over his face. But I didn't tell him to stop.
You see, kids don't have this same sense of order that we do. They also explore in lots of different ways. Caleb likes to feel things. He has, on numerous occasions, smeared himself with paint, yogurt, hummus, and a few other food items. I know that my kid is prone to doing this. So I'm proactive about it. Instead of flipping out because ohmygodhesmakingamess, I make sure I sit him in his high chair, or we take the paint outside. He doesn't feel like he's being stifled, and I'm not really freaking out because it's a controlled mess. Also, having been a special education teacher for many years, and working with a number of kids on the Autism spectrum who suffered from sensory issues, it always warms my heart a little to see that my son has no sensory issues.
But really, at the end of it all, we killed well over an hour of time, we spent quality time together (I consciously only took a few photos with my phone), and he had a chance to do some sensory activities, which is never a bad thing. I'd certainly consider that a win in my book.
And afterwards? There was nothing a little bath time couldn't fix. ;)
So let your kids make the messes. As a matter of fact, make the mess with them. I promise, it's not a moment you will soon forget. And at the very least, you'll get some fun pictures and amazing memories out of it.
One of the first things people always ask me when they find out I am having a girl is, "So have your pregnancies been different?" The short answer to that is a firm yes. There are so many ways in which my pregnancies have been different, but a lot of them are not huge differences. And while I'm going to attribute some of the differences to the difference in sex, I'm also going to say that age, circumstance, and experience have a lot to do with it as well.
I will say that one of the biggest differences has been that when I was pregnant with Caleb, since I was a first-time mom, everything was a big deal. I worried about everything, and my pregnancy was basically all I thought about. When you have a child outside of your belly already, you don't have the time to focus as much on your pregnancy.
Belly Shape & Size
With Caleb my belly was pretty big, and it was high and wide. I felt short of breath from very early in my pregnancy with Caleb, and he stayed high up right up until I was in labor! This pregnancy, my belly has been way lower from the beginning. It's also not as big. My stomach did bloat right away with this pregnancy, but it ended up leveling out. Since my belly doesn't protrude as much, I definitely feel more movement from her than I did with Caleb.
With Caleb, I lost weight in my first trimester, then gained weight steadily throughout the rest of my pregnancy, with a total weight gain of 24 pounds. With this pregnancy, I have gained a whopping total of... wait for it (and don't hate me, please)... FIVE pounds. I'm actually almost embarrassed to say it, because most women who have been pregnant roll their eyes at me. At first I chalked it up to the nausea I experienced in my first trimester. But then the nausea stopped and I just didn't gain weight. I think there are a few factors at play here, including the fact that I was very active, what with chasing around a toddler, and working all the way through my busy season as a photographer. I've also not been able to eat very large meals during this pregnancy, and have been congested through most of it - which has definitely given me a decreased appetite.
With Caleb, I barely had nausea. I had terrible sciatic pain in my first trimester, then it went away when I started using a pregnancy pillow. I had terrible heartburn all throughout my pregnancy with Caleb. I also had minor swelling with Caleb, and my nose definitely widened some. My feet grew, too!
Like I mentioned above, this time around, I had nausea through the whole first trimester. I have had sciatic pain on and off throughout my pregnancy, usually when I spend too much time on the floor for whatever reason. I've had some heartburn with this pregnancy, but more often when I let my stomach get too empty. I've also had no swelling, and no changes to my nose or feet (praise Jesus!) yet!
This has been where I have experienced the biggest difference. My thoughts this time aren't consumed with a new baby. My thoughts are consumed by Caleb. I had more feelings of guilt this pregnancy than anything else. At one point, when Caleb was really sick with Roseola and battling high fevers every day for over a week, I was exhausted and on the verge of tears. I called my mom and told her, "I feel so guilty because I keep forgetting I'm pregnant, and all my attention is going to Caleb." Her response made perfect sense to me. She told me, "The one in your belly is taken care of. Make sure you take your vitamins and drink water, but don't stress over that baby. The one that's not in your belly needs you right now, and he can't take care of himself. Let go of the guilt and do what you need to do." And you know what? She was 100% right. The moment I let go of the guilt and reminded myself that that baby in my belly WAS perfectly cared for, I was able to be a better mom to Caleb.
Those have been the biggest differences I have noted during this pregnancy. I have thus far been blessed with very healthy, very easy pregnancies, for which I am eternally thankful.
Did you have big differences between your pregnancies? I'd love to hear about them! Share in the comments below!
Chalk it up to not being a first-time mom or something like that, but I have been terrible at documenting my belly this pregnancy. For some reason, when I read my 33-week update this morning, I felt a little guilty about not having captured my belly more, so before we headed out today I had hubby snap a quick one on my phone.
So yes, I am 33 weeks along. You read that correctly. Thirty-three! I can hardly believe it. That means that in just about seven weeks, there will be a new human living amongst us. Pretty crazy thought. I've been feeling about as decent as it gets when it comes to pregnancy.
Some things I'm feeling:
And since the holidays are gone, Caleb's birthday has passed, and my due date is drawing near, I'm getting my butt in gear and starting to prepare for this little girl's entrance into the world. Here are some of the things I'm working on:
There are about a million things running through my head at the moment and the mental load is real. But I'm so excited to become a family of four and I can't wait to have my little princess in my arms!
Until next time!
Three years. I can't believe that three years ago today, I had yet to meet you. I would never be ready for what was about to come my way, but I was more ready to meet you, this little man of mine, than I had ever been for anything in my life. But even though I hadn't yet met you, today I can't remember my life without you.
It's been a year of growth for all of us. And if I had to pick an age that has been my favorite so far, two would be it. As challenging as some days have been, it has been a year of adventure, of learning, and of loving. The terrible twos, when you think about it, aren't really that terrible after all. Sure, tantrums abound and limits are tested and patience runs thin. But man, is it fun watching you grow and learn.
You fight us hard. We've battled over everything from school uniforms to what color crayon you want to use. We've had to discipline you and reprimand you, and sometimes I've even had to reprimand myself - to remember that you are still little. And that you won't be this way forever. That eventually, the tantrums will go away and they will be replaced by different problems, bigger ones.
But even though you fight us hard, you love us hard, too. You run to Daddy when he gets home from work, and you kiss me every single night and say, "Good night Mommy, I love you." You love to cuddle with us on the sofa, and your hugs can make all our biggest worries disappear. Your emotions run deep, and our love for you grows deeper by the day.
You have grown to be independent. While it was always important to me that you were independent, it's a little heartbreaking to realize you don't need me for everything anymore. Declarations of "I can do it," and "No, Mommy, let me!" sometimes make me wish you needed me more. But you want to feed yourself, and bathe yourself, and go to the potty by yourself. Sometimes, though, you still ask us to hold your hand so you can go into the dark bedroom and get the toy you want from there. And in those moments, I realize that you're still my baby. I know as time goes on you will only become more independent, but I hope to have little flashes of you needing me for a long time.
Watching you explore might be my favorite thing to do. You take in everything around you and you notice the most minuscule little things. You love to check out the world around you and you analyze how things work with a curiosity that I never knew existed. You watch us complete a task once, and you can carry it out yourself right after. You've even learned to ask Google to play your favorite song. I can't wait to see where that mind of yours continues to take you.
You started school this year, and you have made friends, and you have learned. I always knew that having you start school would broaden your world, but I never imagined just how much. You talk like a little parrot now. I can't believe that I was worried about your speech development at 18 months, and now you never stop talking! Your social skills rival that of many adults I know, and you insist Daddy and I "look at you" whenever you are trying to talk to us. I always knew you were friendly, but hearing you talk about your friends, and tell me you want to invite them over has been music to my ears.
You are active. You don't stop unless you are asleep. You're always in motion, and while it can be exhausting, it's also kept me in the best physical shape of my life, even through my eighth month of pregnancy with your little sister! You're running, and jumping, and being a loud little boy for most of your waking hours. And I wouldn't change a thing.
Tonight, on the cusp of your third birthday, we want to tell you how honored we are to be your Mom & Dad. To let you know how lucky we are to be the ones to watch you grow, hold your hand, and share your joys and your trials. You might be growing up, but you will always be our baby.
Happy Third Birthday, Caleb!
Mom & Dad
Happy New Year! I'm so excited for what is to come in 2018, including the arrival of our baby girl! A couple of months ago, Justine over at Little Dove reached out and said she wanted to do a giveaway at the beginning of the year for expectant mamas. Her idea was for each of us to contribute something that we absolutely could not live without when it came to our babies, and then one lucky mama would win all of our favorite things. I decided to go with the fridababy Bitty Bundle of Joy Mom & Baby Healthcare and Grooming Gift Kit. I actually had this kit on my registry, and received it at my baby shower, along with duplicates of some of the items to keep in my diaper bag.
If you are pregnant or have had a baby recently, you probably grimaced when someone first told you about the NoseFrida. I know I did. When I was pregnant with Caleb and we were working on our registry, I shied away from this product when I realized how it worked. Suck snot out of someone's nose? No way.
One day, Eddie and I were in a baby store, and he pointed out the NoseFrida and asked me what it was. When I explained it to him, he was a little put off at first, but then he said, "That actually makes a ton of sense. We should definitely have one of these." Fast forward to Caleb's first cold, and boy was I glad I had this baby on hand. I actually ended up with a second one that I kept in our travel bag.
Something similar happened with the Windi. Someone gifted it to me and I was like, oh heck no. That is NOT happening. Well, lo and behold, one day Caleb was crazy gassy and fussy and hadn't pooped. I pulled these babies out and NEVER LOOKED BACK.
The NailFrida is awesome because it has a little window so you can see exactly where you are cutting. We actually nicked Caleb the very first time we cut his nails so this will make me feel much better the first time we cut baby girl's nails.
And the final item in the box is the Fridet, or momwasher. Raise your hand if you took home like four of those plastic squeeze bottles from the hospital, because I certainly did. This is a little like those, except the nozzle is formed in such a way that you don't have to contort yourself (a hassle in and of itself after giving birth) to tackle your perineal care.
So these products aren't glam. But I promise you will get so much use out of them. So SO SO much use. But with our giveaway, you too can have these products! If you're a resident of the US or Canada, follow the link below and make sure you complete all the steps to enter before the contest ends at midnight on January 13!
Also, make sure you check out the other ladies' posts so you can read about why they included their items!
Justine at Little Dove
Shani at Sunshine & Munchkins
Mary Leigh at Live Well Play Together
Marette at Floradise
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.