CURRENTLY.

Doing: Cleaning. Call it early nesting or just an a lack of keeping up on household chores but I feel like I spend most of my time purging and cleaning our house. We have a tiny house and with two kids I feel like we just keep accumulating more things without letting go of things. I recently went through boxes of kids clothes and shoes that I had been holding on to simple out of laziness. Finally I set up a consignment appointment and was able to get rid of a bunch of things and the remainder is being donated along with a massive amount of my old clothes that are either too worn or I just know I won’t be wearing in the near future when considering pregnancy and postpartum time. 

I must be doing other things than cleaning though right? I have a really great and FREE Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Postpartum and Babies that starts next week (pssst there is still time to join us) and I am working on a Spring Detox starting the first week of April – I’ll share more when I create the group. 

In other ‘doing’ news we went to Seattle for Neil’s birthday at the start of January and then we went to Vermont to visit family at the end of January. As for February the month just flew by and was mostly spent catching up on life after the holidays and all the snow that literally shut down Portland. 

Thinking about: I am constantly thinking about all the things I want to get done before this baby arrives. I’m also thinking about what we need for when this baby arrives because after Alder was born we had decided on having no more children so we sold everything and now all we have is a carseat and a few swaddle blankets. I know babies don’t need a lot but for us we would like to get a nice reclining rocking chair, a bassinet, a new stock of cloth diapers and eventually we will need to figure out clothes for this baby. I (of course) want a new wrap and ring sling – what can I say it’s the babywearing educator in me and knowing that I will be wearing this baby most of the time. Comment below if you have suggestions for newborn products. 

Watching:  Moana. We took the kids to see Moana as their first theater movie when we were in Vermont and since then we have been watching it at home at least every twice per week and when we aren’t we are listening to the soundtrack. I have to say I would watch this movie and listen to the soundtrack even if we didn’t have littles – it is just so good. I also re-watched/finished Haven on Netflix and Neil and I have been watching Top Chef and This is Us on the weekends. What have you been watching? Any suggestions? 

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to this weekend. We have no major plans except Edith’s ballet class and doing a big declutter dump, recycle and donation drop off. Otherwise we are just enjoying the weekend and I’m hoping I can get a bit more organizing done and some work. I am also looking forward to having a mama’s night out to see Matilda at Keller Auditorium. Apparently it is “The best musical since The Lion King” according to TIME Magazine. I have seen broadway production of The Lion King and it was pretty amazing so I am hoping that this lives up to TIME Magazines claim. For those of you who are in Portland the show is running 2/28-03/05 if you want to check it out for yourself. 

Reading: I have been reading Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz aka The Essential Midwife. This book has been one of the resources for my upcoming class series and I have been reading it for my own pregnancy since this is my first really using essential oils. Otherwise my reading has been limited to kids books but I am taking suggestions if you have any.

Loving: Hu Chocolate that I buy off Thrive Market because it is the best deal and the best chocolate I have ever had.I could probably do an entire post on my favorite food items right now – would that be of interest to you? Not food related I have been loving my snoogle and eye mask because without them I don’t think I could sleep. Urban Oreganics Baby Balm that Neil got be for Christmas. This baby balm is wonderful for babies but also expecting mamas and really anyone who could use a really wonderful moisturizing balm. I use mine on my stomach post-shower to help with stretch marks and to soothe my itchy belly.  

What are you currently doing, thinking about, watching, looking forward to, reading and/or loving?

As always this post is inspired by Sometimes Sweet.

My First Floating Experience | Float On Portland

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This past Saturday Neil and I headed to Float On, a sensory deprivation float tank center here in SE Portland, for our very first floating experience. I’ll admit I was pretty excited but I also was feeling pretty anxious as well. The thought of closing myself in a tank, in the dark and just floating there really freaked me out however the benefits which include deep relaxation, stress & pain relief where pretty enticing. 

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.32.28 PMOnce we arrived I tried to calm my nerves by reading the Beginners Guide to Floating over and over but after the fifth time I was just making myself more anxious. So I put it down, grabbed a cup of herbal tea (caffeine is not recommended 4-6 hours before floating) and just tried to relax until it was time to float.   
FloatOn-5Once it was time to float Neil and I were given a little tour of the float rooms. We had rooms 1 and 2– the ocean float rooms which are taller and have a light as well. Neil was lucky and got room #2 the room with the star lights on the ceiling of the tank (see photo below). 
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Once we were walked through the steps of floating and I realized just how in control of the situation I was I began to feel less anxious. It also helped when I found out the float tank only contained around a foot of water. 
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Now it’s time to actually float. I put in my ear plugs which transported me back to my childhood when I had tubes and had to wear ear plugs to swim. Anyways moving on. 
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I showered (check out the lighted shower) and then it was time to hop into the tank. I chose to bring in the neck noodle just in case I wanted to use it to support my neck (and I did).

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photo credit http://floathq.com/

I climbed into the tank, closed the door, took a deep breath and turned out the light. I instantly felt super relaxed just floating there. Neil and I both agreed that while floating we felt both heavy and weightless at the same time. Being in the dark wasn’t strange at all, I actually found it completely relaxing and it wasn’t until I started feeling a little stuffy that I really noticed that I was closed in; you really just lose all sense of space. When I started to feel a little stuffy I felt around, grabbed the handle and popped open the door just a crack to let in a whoosh of cool air.

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photo credit https://www.facebook.com/floatHQ

So what did I do while I floated? Nothing really. I just floated and I spent some time focusing on my breath. I actually thought that I would spend a lot of time thinking and brainstorming but instead my mind just calmed down and I really didn’t think about much at all. I just completely relaxed. I thought I might fall asleep as well but I didn’t, I just floated there with my eyes wide open until it was time to get out.

As I said above you lose all sense of space (unless you drift towards a wall and touch it) and you also lose all sense of time. I will admit I started to feel a little bit anxious towards the end because my life seems to revolve around the clock. I start my morning trying to help Neil get out of the house in time for work and then the day revolves around nap times and meal times so not knowing how much longer I had made me want to jump out and check my phone -and I almost did. It wasn’t because I wanted to be done but rather because I had no idea how much time had passed. In the end I didn’t jump out to check my phone because seconds later the music came on signaling that my float was over and it was time to get out, shower and be on my way. 

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The above photo is a perfect image of blissed out Neil. Seriously we both left in a positive state of mind. We were relaxed and just felt absolutely amazing. 

Would I float again? YES! I would definitely float again and I think that the next time I will most likely be even more relaxed because all of those (silly) little anxieties I had won’t be there. I think knowing that I could get out of the tank whenever I felt the need (ie. just feeling uneasy, needing to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, ect.) really made me feel in control and okay to do the float. Once I actually started the float I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner, especially when I was pregnant. I mean seriously what could be better than essentially feeling weightless while pregnant. Plus I truly believe water is a magical thing that just makes life better.

After floating I was thinking about how often I turn to water for therapeutic reasons for myself. I take a shower when I am feeling anxious or frustrated or a bath when I am feeling sore or just need to relax. I give the kids a bath or we do some sort of water play when they are cranky. So really floating is just another level of these things and when I think about it that way it makes so much sense to me why people love to do it. 

Have you ever tried floating? Would you like to? 

*Disclaimer: Float On provided Neil and I with free floats. I was not required to write a positive review and I received no compensation for this post. 

BODY AFTER BABY | Skin Care Products

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I have always been interested in skin care products and make up but I really have never taken anytime to learn more and try products. I basically only use a shampoo/body wash combo, conditioner, deodorant (sometimes- hey just being honest) and when my skin is really dried out I might use a lotion but usually I just end up using a sample when I’m out at a store. I also have a little bit of make up but rarely wear it.

I know from the list above it would seem that I don’t really care about taking care of my skin and hair or taking time to put myself together.  The thing is I DO want to take better care of hair and skin and look more put together but I honestly haven’t wanted to spend the money to invest in it, especially when I feel like I don’t know where to start. That’s where Mamamio Skincare comes in; they generously sent me a variety of samples of their pregnancy/postpartum skincare products and I’m ready to take on the challenge of using them.

As part of my Body After Baby journey I really want to take back myself. I want to not only feel healthy but I want to look healthy and put together. I know that being a mom doesn’t mean I have to look like a slob and that doing a few simple things for myself every day like washing my face (yeah I’m terrible and only wash my face in the shower which is like 3-4 days per week), put on a little lotion and/or body oil and also put on a little bit of make up (don’t worry I’m not going to crazy I’m talking just a little foundation, blush, mascara and lip gloss) is going to make me feel better. I think it will also make me feel more productive during the day and motivated to keep taking care of myself.

Today was the first day I used any of the Mamamio Skincare products and after washing my face, putting on some of the Tummy Rub Oil and Goodbye Stretch Mark Lotion I am already feeling a little better and I haven’t even gotten dressed yet.  I need to remind myself that I do have 5-10 minutes per day to do a few little things like this for myself. If I feel good then I can be more focused and productive during the day and that’s better for me, my children and my husband. So I am here to say that I am challenging myself to 30 days of using these products and I will report back at the end of the month about how I feel. Also just for fun I’ll be doing a little giveaway of a few Mamamio Skincare products over on Naturally Family; you can check out the giveaway items over on the NF Instagram account. 

What are your favorite skincare products? What is your beauty routine like? Any tips? 

BODY AFTER BABY | THE REAL PLAN

I call this “the real plan” because back in June when I wrote my postpartum weight loss plan those were all just ideas of what I would like to do. Now here we are 7+ weeks postpartum, have dealt with my postpartum realities and I’m ready to take on the task of refocusing on my health.

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Photo from this weekend. 7weeks1day postpartum with Alder (baby #2).

I am currently 20 pounds away from my pre-baby #2 starting weight and I am 40 pounds away from my pre-baby #1 starting weight.  Add in another 15 pounds that I had hanging on me before my pregnancy with Edith bringing the grand total to 65 pounds away from my happy weight (I’d say I’m about 80 pounds from my idea weight but that’s a whole other plan).

Right now I have three goals based on the above considerations. Goal 1: Lose 20 pounds. Goal 2: Lose 40 pounds. Goal 3: Lose 65 pounds. Now I’m not setting a timeline but I will say that I’d like to accomplish goal #3 by December 2016.

August before my pregnancy with Alder.

August before my pregnancy with Alder.

So let me start off by saying my first priority is nourishing my baby boy and taking care of myself. I am nursing and it’s going great and here are no plans to stop anytime soon so I needed to take that into consideration when I created this plan. So here it goes (based on my original postpartum weight loss plan) …

I plan to get back to running at around 9-12 weeks postpartum. Based on my original plan I said 9-12 weeks postpartum and I’m actually feeling pretty great. I have days that are better than others when it comes to healing ie. I still have some light spotting and soreness when I am overly active but have been cleared to start run/walk at 8 weeks postpartum  That being said I am planning to start couch to 5k (or something similar) next weekend. I am terrified but also excited to get back at it. My plan is to slow (not like that will be hard) and just ease myself back into running.

I plan to incorporate 2 days of strength training into my workout routine and light cardio once I am cleared to get back to normal activity. I haven’t started strength training but my plan is to start this week.  What I have been doing is lots of walking and just this weekend a little bit of hiking. Oh and running up and down three flights of stairs many times per day is getting my ass in shape. So that all being said I’m keeping up with the walking and will be incorporating in strength.

I also plan to get back in a yoga routine. This starts this week! I signed up for my first postpartum class for this Monday night and I can’t wait to get back in the studio. I am starting back slowly with some restorative yoga and let me tell you I just can’t wait. I am going to be doing one class weekly or bi-weekly until my punch pass runs out.  I am also planning to do at least one at home sesh per week.

Keep my eating in check! Bah. This has seriously been the hardest. Nursing is no joke and my appetite is often off the charts. Combine that with a busy toddler, trying to keep house and limited time I haven’t been doing my best at eating well. I have been eating far too many sweets and not enough fruits and vegetables. The plan is to BUY more fruits and vegetables because if we have them in the house we will eat them. The second plan is to buy/make less desserts.  The third and probably most important thing is to menu plan so that #1 and #2 can be successful.

Drink lots of water! When I was pregnant with Alder I had no problem downing (reusable) bottle after (reusable) bottle of water. For some reason postpartum I have been struggling with this despite always being thirsty. My goal is to drink, drink, drink and drinks some more water. Cut back on the coffee and up the water intake.

Buy myself postpartum clothes in whatever size I have to buy. This is easier said than done but I did it. I bought myself (with some gifted from my parents): three bottoms (one of which is already too big), six tops and two pairs of shoes because my feet also grew. I was also sent a few nursing tops for review.  My follow-up to this plan is to continue to buy clothes in whatever size I am at the time aka as I lose weight. I have the next size down in a lot of clothes and as soon as I lose a little weight and my hips (hopefully) shrink a bit they will fit me and then after that I will have to buy all new clothes because I have nada.

Have Fun and Enjoy Life. Stop focusing solely on the number and focus on how I feel. I have two beautiful, healthy children and an amazing, supportive partner and they need met to happy and healthy and to enjoy life with them.

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Postpartum Body | Realities

orbit upside down family photo basecamp Life after baby is pretty wonderful. We are settling in as a family of four and I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and father than Neil. Edith is loving being a big sister and she is pretty amazing at it. While all that is wonderful adjusting to my new body isn’t going quite as well as I had originally hoped. Here is the reality….

  • None of pre-pregnancy clothes fit. I’m 5+ weeks postpartum and none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. It’s honestly a little defeating. I know it’s still early and I know from my pregnancy with Edith that they weight doesn’t just fall off for me.
  • Buying new clothes sucks. I have attempted to buy new clothes that fit my current postpartum body and honestly I am just feeling super defeated. I am trying not get get upset about the size on the tag but it’s really a challenge. I am also feeling frustrated because I honestly don’t know how to dress this postpartum body. Nothing seems to fit right or fall in a flattering way and well it’s no fun, none at all. I ended up buying a pair of cropped pants from Loft and I bought them because I didn’t hate them and they fit. Now wearing them I feel like an old lady. Blah.
  • Being kind to yourself is sometimes easier said than done. I know that I have a beautiful baby boy and I am less than 6 weeks postpartum and not cleared for regular activity but I am not happy with how I look and feel. I know I need to be kind to myself and I really try to remind myself of those great things but some days it’s just not that easy.

When I was still pregnant I was feeling really hopeful and positive about things but right now I’m feeling pretty down about it all. I had vowed to go shopping for clothes that fit well and to not stress about things but when you have 10 pieces of clothing and 9/10 don’t make you feel like you look good it’s really challenging to stay positive. I’m working on it though. Everyday is a new day and I know I need to work on being kinder to myself. I need to listen to my husband when he compliments me or encourages me to do things for myself. I need to realize that 5 weeks is not very much time and that right now I need to focus on healing taking care of myself and my family.

I know this post is kind of a downer but I wanted to share my realities. Life isn’t always rainbows and kitty cats. I’m not always feeling great and sometimes I find myself feeling negative about myself and my body. Now that I have said all this I can tell you I am already working on changing the way I think about things. Improving myself and my attitude. I’ll be posting more on that and my “plan” next week.

Have you ever felt down about your body? How did/do you deal with it? If you have had children how did you react to your postpartum body?  Two years ago I wrote a similar post all about my foreign postpartum body.

Fit Pregnancy: The Birthing Month

I have finally reached my birthing month. Today I am 36w4d pregnant and that means this baby could come (almost) anytime now. Since I was 10 days early with Edith I am keeping that in mind by also preparing myself to go to 42 weeks as well if that so happens (which I hope isn’t the case).

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I have to say this pregnancy has been less intentionally active than I was when I was pregnant with Edith and more active as a result of having an active toddler. Before I go further lets compare the two pregnancies:

  • Pregnancy With Edith: (Working a desk job) daily 1-2+ mile walks, yoga class once per week, strength training 2-3x per week and yoga at home once per week
  • Pregnancy With Baby #2: (Stay-At-Home-Mom) chasing a crazy toddler, 1-2 mile walks 2x per week and yoga or prenatal workout video 2x per week.

As you can see my pregnancy with Edith had me sitting more hours during the day at my job but I was making time for consistent and intentional workouts. With baby #2 I have been trying to stay active with semi-intentional workouts but most of my time has been chasing Edith, cleaning or being up around moving around the house (less just sitting). However, once 35 weeks arrived I suddenly realized that this baby could come in as few as two weeks and I suddenly felt this crazy urge to get myself more intentionally active.

Since around 35w4d I have been going out for daily walks with Edith and/or Neil, working on squats around 10 per day held for 30-60 seconds each, lunges, and lots of cat-cow on top of chasing a toddler, packing our house and nesting. While this may not seem like much it is actually a significant change in my activity levels and I’m feeling great. Feeling ready to have this baby and want to make the point that it’s not too late to be intentionally active.

I don’t over do it, try not to push myself to much and am making sure to rest, drink tons of water and listen to my body. Now on to having this baby!