[Mama Mondays] The Final Weeks of Pregnancy

The last weeks of my pregnancy were a filled with many a worried and anxious night. At 32 weeks our baby had decided to flip to a breech position and little did I know that the next 8 weeks would be a roller coaster of emotions and actions to try and convince baby to flip to head down.  Prior to 32 weeks baby had been head down at various points in my pregnancy so we knew that it was possible for her to be in that position which meant she had the ability to return to head down. 

At 32 weeks spinning babies became my most visited website, I must have gone through 1/3 of a bottle of  peppermint essential oil that I rubbed over the top of my bump to help encourage baby to flip and when she still hadn’t flipped at 35 weeks I went to acupuncture to help encourage the flip.

My acupuncturist gave me a moxa stick to do at home. I’m not going to get into all the details but basically you light it on fire – sort of like a smudge stick or palo santo- and then you hold it for 10 minutes (or rather your partner does) at the outside of your pinky toe. The heat of the moxa is said to stimulate things and can help encourage movement. So for the next three nights Neil spent 20 minutes serenading my left and right pinky toes with the moxa stick while we watched Designate Survivor.  

While I hadn’t fully given up hope I just knew at my 36 week appointment that she was still breech. I was correct and my midwife suggested we go to another midwife who is known for helping manual flip babies so we set up an appointment for the following day. At this point I am on the verge of panic. What do we do if this baby doesn’t flip? I can’t have a home birth but will I be able to have a vaginal breech birth at the hospital or will I end up with a c-section? What do we do with the kids if we have to have a hospital birth? How can I mentally prepare for all of this knowing that this baby could come anytime?!

That night we did moxa just like every night that week and as I lay in bed I felt thought I felt the baby move. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I spent the entire day anxious to see how our appointment would go. We arrived at the office and the first thing Midwife M did was check the position of baby with her portable handheld ultrasound machine. Her immediate response? “You don’t need me.” We couldn’t have been more thrilled. This baby had flipped overnight and now I could relax….or could I?

The next few weeks passed and at my 38 week appointment my midwife suspected that baby had once again flipped back to breach. I was heart broken. We made another appointment with Midwife M and headed straight to her office after my 38 week appointment. As we drove there Edith said “maybe the baby will flip on the way there.” Neil and I smiled and told her that would be great if that happened but it isn’t likely. We arrived at the office and Midwife M first checked manually for baby position and her initial reaction was breech but to double check she took out the portable handheld ultrasound machine she found that indeed babe was still head down. Cue happy dance, sigh of relief, and an intense urge to do anything and everything to get this baby out before she changed her mind and flipped back to breech. 

At this point my midwife and I both had hit the point where we knew it was time to encourage this baby to join us earth side. I started going to regular acupuncture, used naturopath herbs, essential oils, walked as much as long as I  could and went down the standard list of  things to encourage labor. Nothing seemed to be happening though. Only mild Braxton Hicks contractions and nothing else really happened until around 39w3d when I ‘finally’ lost my mucus plug and was convinced that this baby would arrive in the next 48-72 hours. However that didn’t happen and my due date came and went. Feeling defeated and convinced we still had days to go I decided to schedule a last minute date night. I had been invited to a grand opening party for a new vegan pizza spot and since our sitter was free and it was at a time Neil could attend I scheduled our date.  Little did I know that this babe had other ideas.

To be continued…

[Recipe] Game Day Snacks: Sweet & Salt Snack Mixes

2015_12_07_bluediamond-5

I might not love football but I do love snacking and I can appreciate the food aspect of football. I mean who doesn’t love a reason to gather with friends and enjoy sometime together all while eating delicious food? I know I’m game. 

The thing about any gathering whether it be game day or simply a gathering of friends is not to stress about making everything perfect. Focus on making a few really great things, buying a few really great things and just having fun. I have learned the hard way when it comes to stressing over parties. 

2015_12_07_bluediamond-1A simple food addition to any gathering is some really great nuts. They are fun and easy to snack on, you don’t have to do any work and they taste great. Now if you’re looking to do something a little more impressive than try out one of these snack mixes. We have your traditional savory blend and then a fun sweet, salt and a bit spicy blend. 

2015_12_07_bluediamond-2

Sweet & Spicy Wasabi Snack Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons buttery spread 
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and maple syrup. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.

2015_12_07_bluediamond-3

Smokehouse Snack Mix

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread 
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and spices. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.

I have to say my favorite of the two is the smokehouse because I’m just simple like that but my hubby is all over the wasabi mix. I think in that mix the cornflakes really makes it. With any of these mixes you can really sub in any of your favorite items such as bagel chips, other styles of pretzels, other cereals, crackers or even popcorn. The only thing that I think is essential is the buttery spread mix and the nuts. 

What do you like to serve up on game day or at a gathering with friends? I like to do snack mixes like these and then hummus and fresh veggies, olives and one or two cooked snacks such as vegan buffalo wings, artichoke and spinach dip or flatbreads. 

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com

Healthy Lifestyle | Yoga and Womanly Things

stayfree_authorlogo[2][1][6]

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stayfree® via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stayfree®.

I first started practicing yoga at home using DVD’s and podcasts and as I became more confident in my ability I started to attend classes. Nowadays, I find that the amount of time I spend on my practice goes in waves. Sometimes I practice every day of the week and other times it’s only once per week. When I was pregnant with Edith I had the most consistent practice and not only did it keep me active while pregnant but it gave me confidence in my body, strength, and a sense of community. 

yoga

While I didn’t practice as much yoga during my pregnancy with Alder I have returned to a regular yoga routine, especially gentle yoga for post run stretching. The problem is, and this may be TMI for some of you so if it is skip to the next paragraph, but as a postpartum mama sometimes in the early months you just need a little extra security so I’m thankful for the creation of things such as  Stayfree® pads, kegels and pelvic floor physical therapy. Luckily yoga has also helped me to strengthen up all of those muscles I forgot I had when I was pregnant and hopefully I won’t need to use anything for extra security, of course until that time of the month makes its impending return. 

yoga3

These days making it to the yoga studio isn’t the easiest but I have a few times since Alder was born and hope to get out more as the months go by and he gets to be a bit older. While I can’t make it to the studio that doesn’t mean that I’m not practicing, it’s actually quite the opposite. I have been using My Yoga on Gaiam TV for going on four months now to get my dose of yoga in each week. Some days I do a longer practice and most days I go for a quick post run stretch. I am thankful I am able to find time to quiet my mind and relax my body even if it’s just 15 minutes at home in between building block castles and changing diapers.  

261908_541552219005_3614391_n

New year, new you! Yoga is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and who better to lead the yoga-lution than you. Inspired by athletic wear, Stayfree® pads feature flexible layers that move with your body from child’s pose to side crow. Visit http://www.stayfree.com/ to find which product best fits you or visit our Facebook to learn more about our mission. Also, don’t forget to use your Stayfree® purchase to get a 30-Day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV and access FREE yoga classes online now through March 12!

Mother’s Day Weekend

Happy Monday! I’m seriously exhausted today and I don’t know if it was the terrible sleep I got while away, the running around all weekend or just the third trimester slump – or maybe it’s a combo of everything? Anyways I am wishing I could have a coffee IV right now but I don’t think my midwife or body would approve.

IMG_7299This past weekend Neil, Edith and I escaped to the coast for a little family get away. We hadn’t planned to do any more trips away before baby #2’s arrival but at the last minute we decided to use our gift certificate to the Surfsand Resort that my hardworking husband received as a gift from work. Since the cost of rooms there are a little out of our normal vacationing budget we had planned to just go to the coast for one night but around lunch time on Friday I suggested to Neil (who apparently was already looking into hotels) that we might go for an extra night away. We agreed and decided to extend our weekend as an early anniversary celebration. We found a room in Seaside and headed there once Neil got out of work, which was early thankfully!

IMG_7339The forecast for the weekend was pretty ominous but it didn’t matter we were ready to enjoy a little family time away. it rained the entire drive to Seaside and then off and on all evening. I checked the weather forecast one more time (just in case) to see what Saturday would be like and again it predicted rain however to our delight it ended up being the most beautiful day!!

Seaside-MothersDayWeekend-ToddlerWearing-KissesWe decided to spend Saturday in what has become our favorite spot in Oregon –> Astoria. You might be familiar with Astoria from the 80’s film The Goonies or Arnie’s Kindergarten Cop. Anyways over the past 13 months we have visited Astoria three times and we are seriously in love.

IMG_7476 astoria-bagelsOur adventure in Astoria started with a stop to the 14th Street Coffee House for a (second breakfast) and coffee. Then we were off to the Columbia River Maritime Museum which we had heard was pretty great but had never visited on our previous trips. We were seriously impressed with the museum and all three of us had a blast. We will be back!

IMG_7493After the museum we decided to take the Astoria Riverfront Trolley which we were able to pick up right outside the maritime museum. We had never really considered riding the trolley until this trip and Edith’s love of all things trains (choo choo!). We were pleasantly surprised to find that the trolley was actually a lot of fun and something we will be doing again. We were hungry so we only ended up doing half of the ride (you can get on and off all day for only $2pp).  Next time we are in Astoria we will be riding again.

Our last stop in Astoria before heading to Cannon Beach was at Buoy Brewing Company, a new brewery that just opened this year. We stopped in for lunch, beer (for Neil) and to see the sea lion that lives under their building. The food was insanely good, Neil loved the beer and we all loved the sea lion. Now you might be wondering how does a sea lion live under the brewery? Well the brewery is in an old building that is literally over the water so when the owners were renovating they decided to put in a glass floor in one spot where you can look down into the water and there is one giant sea lion who loves to stay there and sometimes you can see as many as 20 sea lions there at one time. Processed with Rookie

After lunch we headed straight to Cannon Beach and to our hotel. We were about 20 minutes early to check in so we went straight to the beach to get a view of Haystack Rock and for Edith to play a little ball. Once we were able to get into our room I took advantage of it being Mother’s Day weekend and decided to take a soak in the giant tub with a view of the ocean while Neil and Edith headed back to the beach to play in the sand. That evening we got some dinner and called it an early night.

IMG_1768

Sunday (Mother’s Day) Neil went for a run and Edith and I played in our room for awhile. Once Neil returned we headed back to the beach for awhile to play in the sand. We decided to head back to Portland early to get lunch since while the beach is beautiful the food options are lacking so we were in need of a good meal. We spent Mother’s Day eating, grocery shopping and enjoying some time in the sun.

IMG_7539What did you do this weekend? How did you spend Mother’s Day? Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s and mama’s to be!

Check out more snapshots from our weekend over on Naturally Family.