Mothers Day and my baby is 1month!!

Hi mamas & friends I hope all you mamas had a good mothers day!

WOW! ONE MONTH & MY FIRST MOTHERS DAY! I never thought this day would come! We’ve passed the 72 hour no sleep phase, the 2 week breast feeding curve, the 3 week cluster feeding growth spurts and I feel back to normal-ok who am I kidding I feel ADJUSTED. When were going through it, it seems like every second drags on but then just when you think you can’t take anymore it eases up.

She starts to sleep longer during the night, she takes naps during the day and you adjust to breast feeding – no more sore nipples.

It feels like yesterday Adora was born but it also feels like we’ve had her here forever. My friend Brittany told me when I was pregnant that my hubby and I will wonder what our lives were like before her, she said we will ask ourselves what did we do before her. It’s so true what did we do before baby? What did we do with our time, with our sleep, who were we before Adora came into our lives? The answer seems to not even matter now because we have her and she brightens our lives. The silly petty things of life don’t even matter anymore.

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Honestly, we spend our time just staring at our baby 24/7. Ever little move and every little coo we jump over. She just started smiling and my heart melted. Our phones and cameras are filled with pictures of her just sitting there or just sleeping. We think all day what does she need should we let her sleep, should we entertain her, put her in the baby gym?

Even our puppy Benz has changed since she came into our lives. He won’t leave my or Adora’s side. He won’t even go out more with Dad because he feels like he needs to be with Adora all the time. We gave Adora her first bath in the baby tub and she was screaming she did not like it at all, Benz came over to us at the tub and started whining and acted like he was saying “why can’t you guys take care of her, I don’t want my new sister crying”. It’s pretty cute when your puppy even wonders what he did with his little puppy life before her.

Every time we look at her we can’t help but smile. We can’t help but think how lucky we are that this beautiful, precious, innocent little baby girl dropped from heaven into our lives.

We say that no matter what, when were tired or cranky or upset we just look at her and everything in the world is ok.

When I am exhausted, because well a month of not sleeping on a normal schedule, and sleeping on my side with boobs out and ready to nurse, I just look at that adorable smile and hold her and its ok. I think I don’t need sleep. I don’t need to do all these extra time fillers or activities to take up my time, I have my family and thats the most important special thing in the world. My little, young, new, growing family is starting to feel complete. When you have a family they say your life changes and that you can’t understand until you have babies, it’s true! You don’t understand until you have that baby that needs you so much and loves you so deeply, when they look at you like your their whole world. You are their whole world and even just having you close to them makes their little heart happy, Its so pure.

So one month wow! Talk about don’t blink! It goes by so fast and it’s only been a month, I can’t imagine how quick this will feel in a few months. Everyone says treasure every minute because you can never go back and the older she does get the more I notice that truth, and it’s only been a month!

We learn more about our babies every day. We learn their faces, we learn their schedules, we learn their potty routines. We’re starting to learn about what each cry means and that cute little guppy face when they are ready eat, UGH, that guppy face or woodpecker as Brendon refers to (it’s called rooting), It melts my heart. When she cries and I pick her up and she makes that face and starts “wood pecking at my chest” hahah its pretty special and we will never forget that memory. We won’t forget any of these moments and the fact that we are the ones that are responsible for teaching them everything about the world. It is a special gift they give to us that every mom knows and a special thing they teach us about our world.

Dating different moms groups

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So first things first… how the heck do you EVEN FIND MOMS GROUPS? Do you go on craigs list and put out an add…

nice married lady, looking for a good time with newborn-Breast feeds-baby carries-church going- yoga lover-LIKES PINA COLADAS but only if they are organic & sugar free…

My mom told me to call all the local churches and ask about mommy and me groups. My friend told me to go on facebook and search mommy and me groups in my area in LA. I know what your thinking don’t I have friends that have babies, well yes but I ALSO LIVE IN LA which means we have the 405 traffic and driving even to another part of the city with a newborn screaming in her car seat is not just an adventure its well … a full day for us. It could be scheduled at the perfect time right after nursing and diaper change between 11-2 and I would totally drive to visit my girl friends and their babies and have play dates and grab coffees and go for walks. Thats in perfect mom world however, in my world I just can’t imagine it going like that, I know my flaws. So I have decided I will date different moms groups.

 

Just like dating first you must find a way to meet said moms groups without being creepy, desperate or needy. You have to somehow invite your self out with said groups or have a member of said group invite you in. And just like dating you must present yourself in all your glory and charm to members of said moms groups so they want you to keep coming back and they invite you to other activities. This moms group dating seems already like it will be exhausting, just like dating. Plus just like a teenager dating I have no idea what to expect when I go out with these moms groups. I am already psyching myself out and I haven’t even put myself out there yet! YIKES! In a normal situation I would just show up somewhere strike up a convo with someone I had something in common with and become their mommy BFF overnight, but it feels like it will be different with a whole moms group. Are you all perfect pinterest moms? Do you go do crafts? Do you meet and talk about having a baby? Do you show up and have to do an intro every week and share time? Or because its LA is it going to be hard to even get into these groups did I need to sign up months ago?

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Once you join a moms group are you in the group for life and you cant join another moms group, like a mom gang. MGcartoon

And what if you find a group but you don’t like them and just like dating one side breaks up or what if the ring leader doesn’t like you but you love the group? Seriously though I have NO IDEA what to expect or how to find a moms group or what you even do in a moms group. I googled moms group LA for a start… Theres a lot that pops up. The best mom and me classes, moms clubs, moms meet ups, baby boot camp, a bar called moms. I however have not really found a lot of ways to get into moms groups or mommy and me groups or to find out who attends these groups.

And trust me I have read all the advice on how to pick a moms group and where to go and why. Do you want to find friends, YES. Do you want to parenting advice or to talk out parenting issues in a non-judgemental setting, YES. Do you want support on issues like breast feeding, cluster feeding, other mom issues, YES. Do you want a safe and supportive space with no cattiness YES does this place exist? Just like dating you will have to decide what is most important and what your goals are in this experience. Just like in dating you will have to take an oath to not kiss and tell, not literally, but just like in dating you can’t share moms group secrets. Moms share personal info in the meetings and have to trust everyone in the group not to blab away their stories, even when you think its super weird or you’ve never heard of it. Parenting is the most individual experience in the world, and its a right as a parent to parent how you see fit and not to have others judge you or comment on it, plus its hard enough being a mom without other moms making you feel bad.

So just like dating I am going to put my ego aside, get out there, and make the first move if I must, and in a non-mom-blaby way I will document my mom dating adventures. PS if you have any suggestions for moms groups in LA please leave them below for me to check out! 🙂

What I REALLY needed in my hospital bag…

If you were like me you read EVERY post on what you needed in your hospital bag… you pinned like 30 different things so you would remember what you needed and you watched 20 different youtube videos about what to pack.

HOWEVER, WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG?!

For me I literally used like 5 things. We were only in the hospital like 32hours after birth, but I didn’t need a lot. I used my nursing bra, I had a pair of thigh high socks for comfort and warmth, I used my nursing cape for when guests came over, I wore my mama-strut which has shorts(and its an amazing way to help pull everything back together), and I used my 2changes of underwear. (obvi)  I used my toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap & face wash, face moisturizer, etc… And I used the ice pack pads that the hospital gave me and a few pairs of their disposable underwear. I had a cute black dress and my boots for leaving the hospital and a nursing scarf. That was all I needed personally.

I didn’t need to bring extra maxi-pads, the hospital has plenty and they offer you the ice pack ones. I didn’t read the book I brought but I did glance at the magazine my sister in law brought me in the hospital. I didn’t use slippers, I wore my socks and didn’t leave the room(new moms I doubt you will leave the room). I didn’t need my own fancy hospital gown, when your in labor you don’t even care if your naked who sees you or what you have covering you. I didn’t use a robe, but I do know some moms LOVE to have robes just to cover up. I didn’t need a labor ball to squeeze but I did use an empty bottle of lotion to squeeze. I didn’t use the yoga pants, or pajamas, or the change of clothes I brought.

I also packed a bag for my daughter. In her bag I packed an infant boppy for nursing, a warm onesies for her first night (even though we didn’t need it the hospital gives you a beanie, a sweater, a onesie, blankets to borrow, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, disposable changing pads, nasal aspirator, thermometer, and a few other things). I brought an outfit to take her home in and a warm blanket for her first car ride in the car seat. I had her diaper bag packed in the car and ready to go but we didn’t use a thing in it. The hospital said no pacifiers until my milk came in and they provided mostly everything else we needed.

There were just a few things I wish I had packed. My number 1 was snacks the hospital feeds you but only 3 meals a day and you order them at random times, I forgot to order 2 meals because I was so tried. The hospital has a cafeteria and snack store but moms you won’t leave the room. My hospital had a drink room in the hall with juice, milk, sodas, water, coffee, teas, and other items. I wish I had remembered to bring a blanket for her or a swaddle cloth to bring home to our dog. I doubt you will do any make up but if you want to bring a makeup bag you can. Look I’m all about being cute too I curled my hair for my daughters birth and put on makeup for her, but when I didn’t sleep 24 hours of labor and a day later after birth I didn’t care if I had make up on or not. After I took a shower I did however put on mascara and some lip gloss and try to look less tired!

 

 

 

Adora-Dactyl Cluster Feeding & turning into a human milk pump

the journey is BEGINNING!

I am so blessed to breast feed, I keep reading about woman who couldn’t breast feed or who tried it and it wasn’t for them. I get to spend this special time with my daughter skin to skin or just popping out a boob that I truly do treasure. BuT MAN IS IT HARD WHEN THEY CLUSTER FEED! So your nipples hurt, and by hurt I mean they bleed, they scab over, and when baby latches on its not just a pinch its like a clamp. OUCH! And don’t get me started on cluster feeding- it’s a 24/7 attachment to your breasts, literally, it’s a non-stop feed session. My friend recently said this to me “my daughter cluster fed for 3months, your going to have breakdowns, your going to cry, your going to think it never gets better but then it does” my other friend said “I’ve been stuck on the couch for weeks, I literally can’t do anything, I’ve watched everything on netflix” someone online told me “treasure this time because its your special time with her and it goes so fast”

In the midst of this human cow phase where your boobs are not longer sexy but become a human feeding machine, a pacifier when they want to soothe, and a constant bleeding scabby mess you realize how this is so not what you thought the “newborn phase” was. Didn’t someone tell you newborns sleep all the time and have schedules where you can nap and get stuff done when they nap? You stop wearing a bra completely because well whats the point at home when you know your baby is about to latch on in the next 2minutes even though they just fed twice. You worked so hard to not get stretch marks during pregnancy but you’ve come to realize that you are going to have them on your boobs because you can’t use fancy creams you don’t want to use anything with chemicals that baby could smell or touch or taste, you try coconut oil on the whole boob hoping there won’t be marks but then you realize your baby is about to latch on the second after you put on any type of oil or the nipple balms they make. You have accepted the fact that you will take a shower maybe every other day, if you take a shower daily your lucky and you should high 5 yourself if you do! You realize that you really won’t be going back to the gym or yoga studio or salon anytime soon…. you planed on it you pumped a bottle you have grandma ready and then your lil one won’t accept anything except your boob and some mommy cuddle time! It makes you feel very special but its also a bit overwhelming. My daughter literally just wants to be attached to me every second. I bought an app for baby development and it says that “baby views mom and baby as one entity” THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME! My daughter thinks we are still attached and when we are not she is not a happy baby.

Don’t get me wrong I AM IN LOVE WITH MY BABY! I am in love with her crying, her cute lil’ cooing, her cute teradactyl screams, her constant need for me and that I am her everything. I wouldn’t change this for anything but it is hard! You do want to cry a few times and you do sit around thinking who am I at this point in my life? Then you get creative, my Zen is my ergo carrier right now because my baby will actually nurse, fall asleep and I can be hands free.(thank you aunt Jeanie) And my light weight baby jogger because its quick out of the car  (thank you aunt Elissa).  I take her on walks and we get out as much as possible. I also spend my time reading mommy blogs and advice on breast feeding. What to eat, what to make, how to check the latch and how to not go crazy. I found a way to do baby sit-ups (yes this is a thing) I stretch out when I can because I can’t find an hour to make yoga so I do little yoga session between milk comas. I eat and type now when baby is nursing I found two boppys and pillow stacks very helpful for this, although I have to shamefully admit I have spilled food on her onesies, I even put receiving blankets over her so I don’t and somehow I still manage to, she doesn’t seem to mind though she just keeps getting deeper into her milk comas. Our pediatrician told us that they cluster feed during growth spurts, well I guess our lil’ Adora-dactyl is growing a lot and I am happy for this and for netflix, hulu, HBO now, CBS all access and iPhones (she did gain all her weight back-YIPPIE!)

I realize that this new baby time is precious and priceless and that I should enjoy it because they do grow up so fast she’s already 2weeks old! I cried because at babies r us they had a keepsake box for their little shoes and newborn hats! So trust me moms out there I am not taking this time for granted and I am so in love with my baby, but its hard, and all you moms know what I’m talking about. We’ve had help gosh I can’t imagine if the moms haven’t been here to help, my mom was here 2 weeks and Brendons mom is here now! This new mommy phase is so crazy but no I wouldn’t change my life right now for anything in the world, and I can’t wait to watch my lil’ angel grow up. So when you see me with puffy cry eyes, or bags because I haven’t slept in days, when I have the same outfit on or when I post an insta trying to look like I have it all together don’t judge just know I’m trying to figure it all out too, and experience everything – after all we only live this time in our lives once I will never have a first baby again and I will never get to experience this time again with such a sense of newness and wide eye amazement because after this I will be a pro (ha!) and the first time confusion wondering and constant praying you don’t mess up will seem like a dream. So I’ll take this time like I do everything else in my life and go for it 100% and experience everything I can and really enjoy this part of life also, even when the going gets hard and tiring, I wouldn’t give up this part of life or this part of my journey for anything.  OH AND GRAB A LITER OF WATER, SNACKS, YOUR SMART PHONE, A FEW PILLOWS AND GET READY FOR A MARATHON.

MY NATURAL 24HOUR BIRTH! bounce back & only one side tear!

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I want to start this post by saying stating that Brendon and I DID NOT GO to any birthing classes. In part because I didn’t want to poison my brain on how hard it would be. In part because I wanted to experience this the first time when I was in the delivery room. My entire pregnancy I told myself that labor would be easy and I told myself that no matter what the end goal was our baby and we didn’t want to put pressure on myself and Brendon was open to whatever I needed in the moments of labor. I kept telling everyone I met Im not worried about it I think she’ll be like 3 pushes and come out and it won’t even hurt.

I did watch a few youtube videos on labor but nothing that talked about pain and nothing that mentioned any hard labor or difficult labor or labor pains etc. as soon as it did I turned the video off.

Bottom line I wanted to go into labor with an open mind and no expectations! 

The day we went into labor, yes ladies I said WE, sorry but Brendon was just as big a part of this as I was. No he didn’t push or feel the burn but he was by my side the entire time he didn’t sleep and he had to help me work through each contraction to have the mental ability to do this. I am so blessed to have him and he showed me again how much of a man and a partner he really is! I have a new respect for him.

Well the day we went into labor I felt like I was going to have baby today. I just knew. My contractions were close and painful. My body was slow, tired, and felt heavy, I actually felt like I was dragging the entire morning. I started bad contractions at 5am. I had a doctors appointment and an appointment for another NST in the afternoon, Brendons mom and my sister and mom were on their way to come out for the birth and to help. This was going to happen today, I was so excited even through the pain, I think so excited that the nurses all thought I was a bit crazy and that there was no way I was going to have baby today. They all told me I was calm, excited, smiling, beaming, and seemed like I wasn’t even going to have a baby. I knew she was coming, mothers intuition. I had my appointments and was dilated 3cm! YAHOO! My OB told me I was going to have the baby that night she told me we could stay and go to labor and delivery or go home and rest and try to take my mind off of everything. So living a mile from the hospital I decided to go home and wait it out. I couldn’t rest, between contractions and excitement I couldn’t even lay my head down. I was REALLY tired but then a contraction would come and it was painful so I worked my little energy into breathing with the contractions and Brendon would literally rub and squeeze my feet every contraction. This was amazing make your partner do this! TRUST ME LADIES! The hours past and when I started to REALLY feel contractions I went back to L&D I was dilated to 4cm UGH but baby was low and my water bag was tight. This was around 8pm and I was just ready to start everything, I was in pain and nervous now and anxious to meet my baby. The OB on call said I could stay or go home again but I wanted to be at home where I was more comfortable at least for a few hours. 9:30pm OUCH! still hanging on. To cope with these contractions we used a heating pad, Brendons rubbing of my feet, yoga breathing (deep breaths in and out), positive thinking and coaching from Brendon (examples: just think your going to have baby after this) and just pushing through. We then watched the American Idol finale so that helped distract me. 10:30 unbearable contractions, Brendon and I jump into the warm shower and I take 2 Tylenol. This helps temporally, he tries to set up a bath for me but this just didn’t help, I got to hot and felt awful, I couldn’t relax so I went down to bed to try to rest a bit, I swear I heard a pop(it probably was in my head) but I told him we had to go back to the hospital at 12. We arrive in the ER and they send us up to L&D. I am dilated 9cm! HECK YES BABY IS COMING! We also had just passed the most crucial parts of dilation from 7-9cm so now its smoother sailing, or so I thought. Once we were sent to a room it started, going from 9-10cm dilation  and this lasted hours or so it felt, the contractions at this point were really hard but with the help of our nurse April who I swear is the contraction whisper and Brendon I would inhale and blow the contraction out. Brendon held my hips at every contraction and this also helped. I was on my knees holding onto a bed and squeezing an empty lotion bottle though the contractions, I listened to relaxing music, April brought lavender essential oil to me and we worked through all the contractions.  I actually didn’t mind them, everyone was joking with me about how well I was doing and how easy I made labor seem. Finally my water broke and the pushes started up. Yes, people contractions are NOTHING compared to when you actually have to push.

This is me pre-hospital room dilated about 9cm! I don’t look very happy

Take note again contractions are nothing compared with when you have to push. So I started the pushing around 5:30am. This was intense! It happened without me trying my body was just pushing my baby girl wanted out of womb. So we started with the pushing I tried hands and knees, I tried my original birthing plan of squatting and letting gravity do its thing but I just didn’t know how to push, I was trying to relax into these pushes and it wasn’t helping. I tried one leg up one leg down, that was a disaster. So I tried facing the wall on my knees and I couldn’t get a push out. So we had to go on my back with my legs up, the nurse grabbed one leg and Brendon grabbed the other leg and coached me through the pushes. I was so tired, at this point, I just wanted this to be over. I had to literally give it everything I had at that second to push through these pushes. Finally I figured out how to push and my daughters head was crowning. Brendon said it was the most amazing thing he had seen. I however, was not having it, I sang I can do all things through Christ who strengths me in my head the entire time pushing. Out loud I kept telling everyone it burned and hurt and I needed a break but they told me to keep going. So I did finally, 2+hours into pushing out came my princess. I didn’t yell at my husband or cuss the entire time all I did was let out the 2 biggest screams of my life the pushes right before I gave birth and when my baby came out. My life will never be the same. Brendon and I cried. My mom, my sister and Brendons mom all cried. They were in the room while we were giving birth. I delivered my placenta, Brendon cut the cord, I had a minor tear on the side and we went skin to skin.

I never knew you could fall in love so quickly and that your heart would forever be changed. More on that in another post, but honestly just staring at my daughter has made me want to be a better person, it has made my heart so full I just look at how beautiful the world is and how blessed we are to have been given the gift of life. How something so small and innocent needs me so much for everything. She’s so beautiful and sweet I can’t express into a word that is big enough or pure enough for how much my heart feels toward her. I literally already did forget how painful birth was or how crazy my pregnancy was because I have my daughter. There are a million things I think of daily of whats next, but I put my faith in God that it will all work out. I just want to enjoy every little moment with her that we have because I know that they go by so quickly and before I know it she won’t even be a baby or a newborn. I started crying at Babies R Us because they have a keep sake box for her first little shoes, and her hospital band.

My final advice for a drug free natural birth is to have a strong partner. Maybe you need to take a class for your mental prep, maybe you need to have an epidural because you just can’t do it but don’t put expectations on your self. Have a strong partner with you who is just there to love and support you. Breathe through everything and tell yourself yes you can, because honesty you can do anything you put your mind to. Yes you can.jpg

Oh and mama is doing well too! Im ready to work out and resume normal activity! My tear is better and no bad constipation I didn’t even poo during labor. I don’t feel like I just gave birth, however, the no sleep baby up all night thing isn’t easy! Im drinking ALOT of water for my milk and my nipples are bleeding and cracked 😦 but thats ok! Coconut oil and mamas love have helped but OUCH bleeding scaby nipples are not fun at all, however, I will take them for the opportunity to breast feed.  I have been using amazing postpartum bands, I choose mama strut and I LOVE IT! Its comfy I started to wear it in the hospital the day of delivery and my squish is almost gone, bleeding is better and I feel like everything is getting back to normal. I also have been using all the fun baby carries and trying out all my baby items! Ill post more about that too! 🙂 In the hospital the only two things I wore were my mama strut(comes with shorts) and my nursing cape & nursing bra. At home I like to get dressed up for Brendon but have been lax lately because were so tired! Baby is sleeping about 2hours then she feeds then she sleeps and we change her.

How I overcame Gestational Diabetes & still enjoyed dark chocolate!

FAIRY

Its been a long course but TODAY is my due date! 9months of pregnancy …. which actually ends up being more like 10months and a few days. I’ve had my ups and downs and food issues throughout the whole process but today I am proud to say my gestational diabetes is under control. My fasting levels are normal and have been for over a month, I’ve actually only had a few days that they were over 92 and only 2 days they were at 95! I was able to take my pricks down to twice a day, fasting and after my evening meals.

Now to get to the point, how did I do it?

First thing I had to do was really study, but I did that for you so just keep reading, I read everything they had online, scientific journals and articles and even books about gestational diabetes. My conclusion is that there really doesn’t seem to be any one reason that woman get gestational diabetes. There does however seem to be ways to prevent it. It seems to appear more often in woman that are older upon gestation and sorry I’m not talking 40s I’m talking late 20s early 30s and beyond. I also noticed trends with first pregnancies, maybe we just don’t know what we are doing? For whatever reason it is a really scary thing to find out you have. You don’t want to put yourself or your baby in harms way and you don’t want to come out of pregnancy with high sugar levels or having to take insulin. There are many risks, but thats not what this post is about. This post is about the positive how we can overcome odds and end up healthier then ever! Also at the end of my pregnancy I think I look better then I ever have! My body is on point and so is my skin. Yes I’ve gained weight and I love my curves and my little baby bump. I feel healthy and have a lot of energy. So I took this as a wake up call and also an excuse to cut the bad stuff out of my diet and focus on a healthy me!

My typical meals consist of eating 4/5 times a day. Thats fine with me since I love food and also it keeps me full throughout the day. This is also a way to stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t have any crazy crashes or high levels. I am making a whole meal plan/recipe book for my journey so I will post that ASAP! Typically I enjoy some sort of carb with fruit and dairy and a nut fat in the morning. I enjoy a fruit and veggie snack mid morning. For lunch I go big with carbs and protein. I usually treat myself around 1 or 2 with some dark chocolate. I found that if I enjoy 70% or higher my blood sugar isn’t affected YAY! 🙂 I will wind down my sugar intake around 5pm so I will try to have another carb and some more natural sugars, then at 7 I eat a healthy protein like chicken meatballs. If I’m starving between meals I will snack on a cutie/grapefruit or mozzarella cheese stick and I always have some salt free nuts on hand.

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Pretty balanced and pretty easy right! I skipped out on all sugary beverages and opted for teas, milk, lots of water, and mineral water. That was hard and I will admit I have my days where I went for a soda with splenda (mostly stayed away from diet coke). My vice was the soda machine with 200flavors, I would go and mix soda water with sugar free flavor and maybe diet ginger ale or diet sprite. I couldn’t have frozen yogurt so this was my craving cure. I also would split up drinking this into a few days, it’s hard but it’s discipline! Honestly however, as long as I was eating throughout the day I was always satisfied, and I didn’t crave sugar.

Ill be honest the first 2weeks of no sugar were awful! YES TORTURE AWFUL! I was grumpy and mad and just in a bad mood the entire time. I stuck with it and went to the gym or on a hike and took myself away from my cravings. I was able to combat sugar with proteins and healthy fats and still enjoy dark chocolate(daily).

I also exercised 4/5 days a week and did yoga on my days off at least for 20minutes. YES YOU CAN DO THIS LADIES! YES YOU CAN! It sounds hard and painful and you say where am I going to get the time, wake up 20minutes early and stretch it out. Go for a walk for an hour in the evening with your hubby and kids or dog. Go for a walk at lunch and bring a friend along for a good healthy friend date. If your friends want to have a ladies night suggest going on a hike on a Saturday or Sunday. YOU CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN! Its all about doing it. I would go to the gym and go on hikes with my friends or go for a walk at the beach. I even started to walk to my doctor appointments. Give your self a break for health and you can accomplish anything. I would do yoga while I watched Jane the Virgin or just sitting in my room. I would do meal prep on Sundays and have food for the week so I could have more time to relax and enjoy my workouts. I studied prenatal health with AFAA and group fitness and I have taught yoga, spin and group fitness and trust me its all about just doing it. The days I felt best this pregnancy were the days I just went and did it even when I didn’t want to. SWIM, HIKE, SPIN, YOGA, WALK, DO THE STAIRS!

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Just remember this is your health and your babies health and YOU CAN DO IT! 🙂 The days I worked out my sugar was lower the next day, and I could even push the limits a little. I just couldn’t eat major carbs after 8, but thats ok you WILL MAKE IT WORK!

i believe in you!

 

 

#BABYSHOWER #BRENCHELBABY

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YAY! Its that time of pregnancy where your friends and family all get together and shower you with gifts and compliments and love! WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT! 🙂 Especially when your 9months pregnant… you girls know what I’m talking about!

Our baby shower like most parties planed by family and friends had a few chiefs in the kitchen but once everyone got on the same page it went swimmingly well! It was one of the best days of my pregnancy!

We went with a DIY ADVENTURE theme! My friend Jeannie has recently got me addicted to Pinterest so naturally when she started the planing the first thing we did was make a pinterest board. We pinned ALOT I then turned that into a presentation for a model of what we were thinking and then Jeannie and I made the decorations a reality, while my mom and sister made the PINK GLITTER & FOOD happen! I think you will agree with how adorbs it was and how much our friends LOVED every minute! So I have to say a big THANK YOU to Jeannie, my mom Noreen and my sister Elissa for making this day a reality! 🙂 (esp. since they had to fly out to make it happen!)

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So more about the party!

We wanted to go with an adventure theme based off of a picture that LoveDesignShop had created for us!

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The entire shower was made from the theme of this!

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So added from this theme to the rest of the party… Brendon and I had been on so many fun adventures that we wanted our guests to come to our party and feel like that had an adventure waiting for them when they walked through the door.

First thing in an adventure is food obviously so we went with DIY candy & cookie making, I dipped the chocolate which you can find recipes on my youtube page DIY Candy Making! Doesn’t that look amazing!

 

 

Ill post a blog about how to make the chocolate dipped pretzels, shortbread cookies, pink rice crisps balls, and the chocolate dipped wafers. YUMM! The rest of the food was amazing too. We went with two kinds of sandwiches, vegetarian stuffed olive leaves, grilled chicken salad, chicken meatballs, shrimp, veggies and fruit platter and of course chips and dips. These foods were simple and easy for people to snack on. We had a few food stations for easy access. I think what I learned at the baby shower is don’t make food to complicated. Serve finger foods for people to munch on and a lunch type food, we had about 40-50 people at the party and we had food left over. The meatballs and olive leaves went fastest. People love to snack on finger foods.

We wanted our guests to enjoy the outdoors so most of the party was outside, after they grabbed a mimosa , beer, water or mocktail they headed outside.

 

The first thing we had set up was a craft table with help make #BabyBrenchel baby tutus, baby barefoot sandals, baby head bands, decorate a onesize and craft a necklace! It was a lot for the guests at first but once we explained this to them they understood what they were going for. I think if I could redo this part I would have had someone at the table the whole time to explain the crafting to them. I explained the crafting basics to a few people and they passed the word along. It was more about the guests being creative for baby brenchel anyway! Check out some of what they made!!

We had a help make BRENCHEL BABY an ABC Book this was fun because it gave the guests a chance to decorate a page and also get creative… but also a nice memory for us rather then a guest book. I think the most fun of this was reading the baby book at the end of the day.

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For this idea all you have to do is get a scrap book, some card stock, a lot of stickers, markers and some stamps. The guests do the rest. We made a starter page for them to get the idea but they really took it away when they start adding their own ideas.

No adventure is complete with out some face painting, flash tattoos and kids crafts. Since this was a baby shower and we had asked guests to come out we didn’t want to leave their kids out of the party so we had plenty of little kids things set up by the TP.

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I envisioned the kids playing in the TP with some of the crafts, and playing with the bubbles or the face paint doing a flash tattoo(but lets be real I did one too) but a lot of the kids just did the sticker tattoos and grabbed the bubbles.

Ok on to the backyard decor!

Jeanie and I spent a full day working on the hot air balloon lanterns for the theme, the dreamcatcher I made to go with the TP(this took about a day) and the TP Jeanie and I started and I finished(Ill post a blog about all the DIY stuff) and also as an accent for the nursery and we used the beauty of the back yard as the back drop for the rest of the decorations. We really liked the touches that the hot air balloons brought to the party and the significance was that Brendon had taken me on a hot air balloon ride to propose!

No party is complete without your take away bars. We had a popcorn bar and a candy bar! We also made up mini baby bottles filled with candy for the guests to take home and as an added touch with the thank you notes they will be receiving tea with cute reusable strawberry tea filters.

DIY CANDYBARDIYPOPCORNBAR

 

MORE PHOTOS THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS FROM FACEBOOK 🙂

#BABYMOON

Our baby moon!

First thing first it was amazing! Not the flight but you can read about that in my previous blog, that flight was torture for me and my poor hubby. I LOVED everything about our trip to Australia it was literally a fairy tale trip. We would have never taken this extravagant of a trip if we didn’t win it on Amazing Race(I’m frugal). We also wouldn’t have made it out to the Great Barrier Reef if we didn’t win that as part of the trip. I feel so blessed we actually got to enjoy this.

It had always been a dream of mine to go to Australia, to travel to the great barrier reef to see the amazing fish and the amazing coral, I just didn’t know when that would happen. Well we did it for our over the top baby moon! 🙂

We flew from LA to Sydney (a long 14+hour flight) and upon arrival it was a totally different everything. Yes the people were amazing and nice and the weather was hot and humid but it just felt like we were on a different continent even with everyone speaking english and all the familiarities and comforts we were used to it still felt different.

We rented a car and since we had no GPS we old school maped our way out to the hotel and Sydney harbor. We were warned about some crazy toll highway so I had to pull my amazing race skills out of hiding and find our way on the local roads. This was actually nice it was a fun way to see Sydney and give ourselves a tour of the city. Originally we were going to take the subway its so easy in Sydney or take a cab, but we decided to get a car and give it our best shot. Sydney is a beautiful city and pretty easy to navigate, especially with Brendon driving. We took our pic at the opera house and headed to the hotel on the water 🙂 Thanks bookie for booking! It was fun but we did dinner for room service and feel asleep! haha #pregnancy #gettingolder #jetlag #sleepygirl haha

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Goodbye SYDNEY AUSTRALIA ON THE WAY2 #haymanisland

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We hoped on the flight the next day to Hayman Island. I had read online to BUY OR BRING FOOD before you get to the islands so we went shopping in Sydney for snacks and food. You have a mini fridge in your room so you can get keep some things in there but not much. SO BRING FOOD FOR YOUR MINI FRIDGE! 🙂

So we arrive at our room at the Hayman Island: THIS WAS OUR VIEW NO LIE!

So basically we were spoiled, not only was this a trip of a lifetime but lets be real my hubby is in grad school right now like we would have spent the money to do this… haha

So first thing first we head to our personal trip concierge, yes that fancy, to get some info on what we can do on our trip. I was NOT about to waste a minute of the day so we set off on our first excursion to the beautiful and amazing blue pearl bay 2. There are stingers in the water this time of year so I went a little crazy on my stinger gear, I even asked for an extra face mask. I will NOT let an irukandji jellyfish ruin my trip. Side note there were 3 stings the past week in the islands by where we were staying. Not at our island and not at blue pearl 2. However we did see 3 stingers right when we got to blue pearl and I’m not lying I think one was irukandji. YIKES!

Seriously the best snorkel we took on the island trip was at blue pearl. We were told by the locals that this was the best place for coral and fish outside of the actual “outer REEF”. It was amazing I can’t even express the colors and vibrance and variety of fish we saw. Not to mention the amount of fish. It was a living food buffet for all the fish in the ocean I think and we saw so many.

The photos really don’t do the beauty of the reef justice. It was so incredible I can’t really put into words what we experienced, but to say that God is truly a creator of amazing art, and that this was one of his masterpieces. It was breathtaking.

The snorkel was fun and Brendon and I had a romantic swim and enjoyed our first adventure but this was just day 1. In the evening I talked Brendon into a night hike. They take you to the top of mountain for a sunset hike, and its free! Of course we had to take that. Just remember to bring your hikers because it is rocky on the way up but so worth it. We had the best guide, Sophie she was an zoologist so she could tell us everything about the island and everything about the critters we were going to see.

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Hike2 lookout point! Amazing views!

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WE SAW A WALLABY which were brought to the island for a project to save the species, then they over populated but still have about 400 on the island.

Brendon tasted the butt of a citrus ant which is actually a thing down here! Go figure I didn’t do it but I watched hahah

After a long day of hiking and snorkeling we were beat, we actually went to bed at like 8pm every night. I wonder if it was because I was so pregnant or because we were so busy?

This was our view EVERY morning from our complimentary breakfast buffet, which was amazing by the way. It had EVERYTHING you could want on it. I couldn’t eat everything but what I could was amazing. I had a made fresh omelet every morning and various other diabetes friendly dishes, while Brendon had well everything on the menu.

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Morning from @oohaymanisland

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The buffet seating was on the ocean daily and it was a breathtaking view to wake up to we looked forward to it every morning.

Without boring you since this post is long we tired every snorkel tour you could do on the island. Blue Pearl Bay 1 & 2 and the one where the turtles live. We saw a turtle but the snorkeling wasn’t as good as my blue pearl tours. Blue Pearl 1 is also a must do but its a hike to the beach so just remember to bring your hiking shoes and expect to be tired. Oh and you have to carry your own gear so it may not be the best hike if your not feeling up to a challenge.

We then had the most amazing helicopter tour of my life! I mean we’ve done helicopters in Hawaii, and LA but this was over the GREAT BARRIER REEF OVER HEART SHAPED REEF!

WOW!

Talk about first class luxury tour. We got the full package. We had a private helicopter tour over the reef and a landing on white sands beach a private landing with a private beach we could enjoy for 90minutes with champagne, snacks, and OJ. The beach sand was the most pure most beautiful sand I’ve ever felt in my life Brendon and I snatched some to take back to the states.

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Amazing views over the islands!

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The entire trip was once in a lifetime and honestly worth every minute and penny! It was so incredible that we could enjoy this adventure, as part of our baby adventure. One day we hope to take lil’ BRENCHEL BABY back to the islands! 🙂

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#sunset #nofilter

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Travel 7months pregnant across the Pacific!

#BABYMOON

How often do we see this #babymoon, by all the pregnant couples on instagram or twitter? WELL Brendon and I are no exception we totally took one too! We had won a trip on the amazing race back in 2014. The trip was to Australia great barrier reef staying at the amazingly beautiful Hayman Island so we had to take it. We planed on taking it for a graduation trip when Brendon was done with school, but it was going to expire so here I am over 7months pregnant and half dreading traveling across the ocean for 18hours (Cue monkey with eyes covered emoji) or miss out on the trip of a life time.

Well you know how adventurous we are so WE WENT! Thank you Travel O City!

Travel across the ocean for 16hours straight flight was NOT FUN I won’t lie to you. Delta was amazing but completely full from the way LA to Sydney, how many people travel that in January? Apparently ALOT because they were sold out 100% how crazy right. So Brendon and I had an isle and middle seat. Pregnant ladies do yourself a favor and if you can afford it just upgrade to the seats that are sleepers you will be doing yourself, your baby, and your hubby a favor. We had done long flights on the amazing race in coach and I honestly would have a glass of wine watch a movie and pass out but this time was different.

One big difference was my food because of my diabetes I couldn’t really eat the airplane food and I couldn’t have the snacks they offer (cookies, chocolates, really depressing for me). So I packed a pop-it container full of raw nuts, I brought nugo slim diabetes friendly protein bars, and some cuties(the little oranges), tuna packets, and lots of water! I went through over 4liters of water … YES 4 LITERS of water on the plane I was nervous for the baby to not have enough water. I also got up throughout the ride to have more water, thank goodness they provide bottles and cups. I literally got up every hour to walk around stretch and just stand up. I also wore these amazing pants from Victorias Secret they are the high rise so they fit over the bump and they are SUPER fitted and more comfortable then compression socks because they go all the way up. I also bought the maternity compression panty hose from motherhood maternity, but to be honest they were AWFUL they ripped just by me pulling them up and they didn’t really hold up under wear. I actually wore them just on the way up there before they were split. I really like the pants tho they fit all the way over my bump and they were tight and made me feel more comfortable on the plane, I worry about DVT! (deep vain thrombus)

Long story short the baby moved around a lot I don’t think baby liked the flight it was long, but I MADE it out alive! haha I wouldn’t really recommend it if you can avoid it, but if you really want to go on a super long flight over 28 weeks then bring water the essentials and prepare to not sleep the whole flight. I actually slept for the rest of the day when we arrived in Sydney until the next day we were so tired. Without being super long winded the flight home was about the same as the flight to Australia, long, and I had on the compression socks to be safe since my panty hose had ripped. They didn’t do anything for me so I wouldn’t recommend them either, just the VS pants they were tight enough.

Essentials for travel on long flights over 28 weeks:

some sort of compression gear (I picked the VS pants and wore maternity hose)

bottles of water (LOTS you will get thirsty and you don’t want to have to run out)

Snacks (especially if your on a special diet-but even if not you will get hungry)

something to take your mind off the plane (I brought my kindle)

ear buds and belly buds (i felt like the baby could listen to peaceful music to soothe)

of course your neck pillow/blanket/and wedge for comfort esp. in economy

Stretch every 2/3 hours & try to get up and walk around a lot (I did every hour)

oh and if you have anxiety (like me ugh) then just breathe and practice relaxation techniques.

You WONT sleep maybe an hour but not much more so be prepared for downtime when you arrive

You Will feel baby move a lot so be prepared for that

You will feel pressure on your belly but all the Drs say this is ok and normal/ Also that it doesn’t hurt baby

Don’t worry b.c that gets you no where and you’ve already decided to go, just sit back and enjoy!

4D ULTRA SOUND!

 

OMG! My reaction to the 4D ultra-sound can only be explained as OMG! It was so amazing 🙂

We went to a baby visit in Riverside, CA. We entered this cute lil’ lobby with photos of newborns and 3D ultra sounds. We were then told to go into the room where the ultra sound would be preformed. According to Hippa regulations we couldn’t film inside the room but let me just explain. IT WAS AMAZING. It was set up like a theatre with huge couches and a movie size screen and they project our babies image onto the movie screen. There was a bed in the room with the ultra sound equipment for me to lay on. The ultrasound tech was so nice she had warmed the gel for me and and was ready when we arrived. The baby was JUST waking up when we arrived. We read online that the BEST thing to do was to drink juice 15-30minutes before the appointment and have some cold water when you get into the appointment. That really did help because our lil’ angel was waking up and ready for baby Villegas’s big debut when we there.

The ultrasound tech. did a 30minute session and we were able to see our baby in so many different poses and get the weight and #BrenchelBaby even yawned for us! We got the whole 30minutes on video DVD to take home. We did a heart beat stuffed animal(that I played the entire night for Brendon and the next day). We got 2 keychains, 2 color printed photo albums(150 photos), 12 black & white ultra sound pictures and a 30minute video. It was so special I can’t explain how amazing it was.

I was giddy for the entire time and all night long. The smile on my face from ear to ear wouldn’t stop. It was as if we were on a different planet and in our own worlds. It’s so crazy how you can focus so deeply on an exciting moment in time and be so present in the now that everyone else in the world disappears and fades into the background. It makes you feel like your in your own place and everything else is just background. Brendon said he hasn’t seen me that giddy since he proposed or since our wedding. Its the special moments in life like this that REALLY make it all amazing. Seeing our baby for the first time is such an amazing experience and such a once in a life time occurrence, our first baby, something that Brendon and I created out of pure love. Our lil’ baby is a mix of my husband, my best friend and myself. To see a little bit of personality in the womb, the baby had a little attitude, the baby had sas and spunk. The baby posed for pictures and even held up its hand when it was over it. You could see in the face when the baby was upset and when the baby was happy. It seems like the baby truly has emotion.

We CANT WAIT TO MEET OUR PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD! Babies are a gift from God and after seeing that much detail and personality even while growing in the womb, I know that there is a little person inside of me. The baby cant talk to me yet, but they communicate in other ways. When baby Villegas was annoyed with us moving, baby Villegas kicked my belly or put up a hand! Baby V stretched moved and even had hicups! I thank God for our gift and truly cant wait to meet our angel and new member of our family!

XO Rachel