Archives for posts with tag: parenting

I am a bookworm. I have been since before I learned how to read. I have vivid memories of my mom reading to me when I was a little girl. After learning how to read, I couldn’t put books down. I would spend hours in the library deciding on which books to check out next. It was always torture that I could only take a few at a time. My grandma would take me to the library with her and we would spend hours? there. To me it seemed like hours. I am not sure how long it was in actual time. As a child though, I was in that magical wonderful place for what seemed like an eternity. In college I spent a lot of time studying in the library. If I had time in between classes I would head there to read, study, work on things, or just be there.

I have worked to pass that on to Jackson and soon Alexander. Their book collection is extensive. I even have a book box where I add new books all the time and Jackson gets to pick a new book rather often. Last night I decided to grab two new books that I wanted to read to him. One of them is titled If I Could Keep You Little.

I bought this book a while ago. I read it in the store and cried. The premise is a mom who would love to keep her child little but knows she would then miss out on all the great things they did as they grew. I think this is my number one struggle as a mom. The idea that one day my boys will leave the nest. That one day I will have to let them go play outside in the big world without my hand a few inches away. I try to not be a total helicopter parent. I don’t hover constantly, especially in our home. I let Jackson play on his own. But outside, in the big scary world? He is only 3 & 1/2. I am not ready to let him wander. I don’t have to be ready quite yet, but one day I will.

The tantrums and arguing back can be hard. The bad days where we all don’t seem to sync up can be rough. But that is not the hardest part for me. With those moments I have about a 2 second rebound rate. I never feel defeated or that it drags out to the next day or even the next moment. Sometimes I can reset with just 20 minutes. It is the letting go that I know I will struggle with more and more as my boys grow.

Having a new baby on the way 4 years after we were expecting Jackson has proved that. I have seen now how much I have let go over the past 3 & 1/2 years. Much to my surprise. Things changed a little every single day. I do it, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. To be honest, I usually still feed Jackson dinner. He can do it. He prefers me to help him. Much to my husband’s eye rolls. But one day he won’t want mommy to scoop his food and feed him. I will probably be trying to convince him to sit down and eat with us! Those are the kinds of things I think about. While I am saying “But Jackson, you are a big boy, you can feed yourself, right? You do it at breakfast and lunch!” In my head I am just perfectly fine with scooping that pasta into his mouth for him.

I made it through the book this time without crying. I didn’t even choke up when I read it to him. I even was able to point out similarities in his life and watched a big smile beam across his sweet soft face. My lap has less room these days. My belly is getting big. Less than 2 months to go until I have two boys squirming for space. But each day we cuddle on Jackson’s old rocking chair and we read books. We adjust every day to that growing belly. I suppose that is what parenting is. Every day you adjust to the changes just a touch. You have to wiggle something over to make room for something new and different. Some new skill, ability, task, thought, need, or want. Sometimes it happens without you even realizing it. When did my belly get so round? When did Jackson have to learn to sit differently on my lap? It wasn’t in one fell swoop. We grew together.

How I long to keep my boys little. Even looking back on infant photos of Jackson, which I have done more and more lately, I wonder, how did he grow into this boy? As we tucked him in and he had to show me one last fancy trick before being snuggled under his blankets I just watched his face. The book fresh in my mind. He used to be this squishy little infant, with a personality, but certainly not this specific personality. When did he grow into this little boy and leave that squishy infant behind? When did I stop using onesies? When did my world revolve around themed tshirts and pajamas? Spiderman adorned my sweetheart from head to toe last night. No more sweet baby blue footie pjs for him. He used to fit into all the clothing I have purchased for Alexander. Now, you couldn’t get a foot in some of those.

But, like that book tells me, if I kept him in those, I would miss out on him calling to me as I left “Mommy one more hug and kiss. Hugs and kisses are my favorite.” They are mine too sweet boy, whether you’re a newborn or a grown man. They will always be my favorite, in every stage you pass through.

Our growing family

Our growing family

Yesterday was my very first run while 8 months pregnant! Over 31 weeks along. I cannot express how much joy that brings me. I set a goal for myself to run throughout this entire pregnancy, until this baby boy is delivered. I know that is a rather big goal, as you never know what can happen on this 40 week journey, but it is what I have wanted to do.

When I was told about a month ago that my pelvis is separated, I really thought my running days might be numbered. I didn’t really speak of it in those terms, but in the back of my mind I was slightly panicked. This wasn’t my plan! However, I have good days and I have bad days. I am seeing the Chiropractor two times a week and it has helped immensely. On bad days I behave myself and I skip running. I turn to Pilates and swimming instead. Sometimes, even long walks with my older sweetheart. Yesterday was a good day, so I hopped right on that treadmill of mine. I have had to give up outside running because of the hills. Hills really can flare up my pelvis, which continues to separate even after being readjusted. My OB said this was likely going to continue to happen until after I give birth. At which point, when the hormones have cleared my system, she thinks it will return to normal. Even walking up a hill too quickly can cause some pain. So I modify.

I feel thankful to be a Pilates instructor. It has helped me to adapt to my situation. I am comfortable with modifications and understanding how the human body, specifically mine right now, works. It really touches into all aspects of my life. I understand anatomy. I read voraciously about all aspects of what I am dealing with, about Pilates, running, prenatal fitness, really anything I can get my eyeballs on.

Yesterday while stretching after my run, I could see how my right leg was aligned differently than my left. It was crystal clear to my eye. Which helped me to remember to change my gait and positioning to try to help the situation. I am feeling good again this morning. Nothing flared up from my run and swim yesterday. It is a good day. I was going to get another run in until I discovered that for some reason we do not have any water pressure this morning. Not just low water pressure, but literally, none. Nothing comes out of an faucet. I am taking a rest day at this point. I am not sure when my actual last one was. If I can’t shower I don’t want to be run stinky, I would rather try to be less stinky all day! Ha! I am sure I will get into the pool at some point though.

I have wanted more control over this pregnancy. I was so unsure with my first. I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into, good and bad! I felt a little blind and nervous. This time around I feel so confident. I feel like a seasoned veteran. Things have been entirely on my terms. Same with my labor and delivery plans. I want it to be on my terms as much as I can this time. I am not afraid. When I walk into that hospital I won’t be scared like I was with Jackson, thinking “I don’t think I can do this!” Nope. I know I can do this. I have done it before. It is no big deal. It was over before I knew it. I wish I had this mentality with my first, but you live and learn. In order to grow we must experience. With this baby I do what I want. Please add a sassy head shake to the end of that sentence.

 

Today I got an extra special ultrasound. It has been scheduled for 2 weeks, so it wasn’t an emergency or anything. I regularly hear about how small I am for how far along I am. I got that with Jackson as well. It isn’t just family, friends, and strangers that notice this. My OB has as well. Due to my fundal measurements.

They were concerned about this with Jackson too. They get worried because they think the baby could be SGA, small for gestational age. Or you could be low on amniotic fluid. I got a few extra peeks at Jackson throughout that pregnancy. This time around I am not measuring correctly either. However, Jackson was 7lbs 11oz and 20.5 inches when he was born. He was nowhere near being SGA! So, my OB’s attitude was way more casual this time. But, she scheduled the ultrasound just to take a look and be safe.

My fundal height puts me at 26 weeks! I am 30.5 weeks along. Mister Alexander is measuring in at 30.5 weeks and 3 1/2 lbs! Ha! Just like his big brother. My amniotic fluid is great. Alex is head down, waaahoooo. So somehow I manage to carry my perfectly big boys in a small manner. I am not complaining.

I was hoping to get an adorable ultra sound photo of him today. Our 20 week one wasn’t so clear because he was busy moving around a ton. Today was no different. As a matter of fact, every single time the Ultrasound tech pushed too hard on my belly, according to him, he would kick her. He would kick her hard! I know this one has all kinds of sass in him already. He moves way more than Jackson did. The other day I was getting Jackson some milk and I misjudged the distance from the fridge shelf to my belly, since it is larger than normal, and I bumped my belly. He immediately kicked me back very hard. He is my youngest ninja.

Something else I have been dealing with is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or a separated pelvis. I don’t recall what specifically caused it. Really moving in any manner can cause it. That tricky Relaxin hormone contributes to this happening. It can be incredibly painful. At certain times it has been for me. I have been seeing a chiropractor to help keep it in place as best I can. It does move again on its own sometimes. I actually felt it happen again yesterday. But overall, the adjustments help manage it. My OB thinks after I give birth and the hormones leave my body that it will go back on its own. But I will continue chiropractic treatment until I give birth.

I am still running, swimming, walking, and doing Pilates. I just have to modify things and listen to my body. It has gotten so much better though. Initially, there was no way I could run. I tried after 2 adjustments and I was so upset because it was still painful. I was nearly in tears thinking my running days during pregnancy were coming to an end. They aren’t though. I ran this morning and was successful! Saturday will start month 8 and I am still running along. Maybe not daily, but a couple times a week. Swimming has been my saving grace. AHHHHH! I get to swim almost daily. That feels so great. To feel weightless and pressure free for an hour.

I did tell my husband that after this baby I am done having babies. He replied “that’s fair” Ha! At least he is sympathetic to my adventurous pregnancy, as I have called it.

Other than all of that, I am getting so excited to hold this little boy. Earlier I was thinking about touching his tiny hands. I love how Jackson’s hand still feels in mine and I am so excited to have two sets of little boy hands to hold. We have been getting his room ready and stocking up on new gear we need.

Crib. It is not all done yet. I have things to hang and different sheets but it is a start

Crib. It is not all done yet. I have things to hang and different sheets but it is a start

Curtains

Curtains

New sit and stand stroller. Jackson is even more excited than I am over this buy!

New sit and stand stroller. Jackson is even more excited than I am over this buy!

I can't stop buying these kinds of shirts

I can’t stop buying these kinds of shirts

Jackson is super into superheroes, so we have become a superhero lovin family. Baby Baby

Jackson is super into superheroes, so we have become a superhero lovin family. Baby Baby

<3

<3

I do have a lot of leftover clothing from Jackson, but Alexander deserves some of his very own things as well. Also, I love love love dressing my boys. So much that the size of their wardrobes are comparable to mine. Seriously. If anyone ever tells you dressing little boys is not as fun as dressing little girls, you tell them to shut their mouth. No joke! It is a blast. I even get excited over superhero tshirts. I know it makes Jackson happy, and so it makes me happy.

There is my 30.5 week update. I am trucking along. About 2 months left. Getting more and more excited.

I should start this off with the fact that Jackson has been daytime potty trained since early this year. We started potty training in January. He took to it very quickly. His accidents were minimal. There were better days than others, but overall it wasn’t too tough for us to master! I really can’t complain about our potty training experience. We didn’t follow any kind of “method” or ways to do it in 3 days. We simply waited until he was ready. We rewarded him with small toys for successful moments. We eventually weaned that out and over half a year later here we are.

Sleep time potty training is another adventure. We haven’t pushed it, just like we didn’t push the initial potty training. We communicate with him and we have asked him how he feels about trying at night. He tried a few times here and there, a few successful sleep sessions and other accident ones. Totally fine. I tend to pick my battles with him. Eliminating nighttime diapers is not one I feel needs to be overly dramatic at this point. So, I go with the flow and keep our conversation open.

The last several days my husband decided to bring up that conversation again. Jackson insisted on giving it a shot! We haven’t had a totally dry night since, but he is really trying. He has told us he has gone on the potty once each night but had an accident later on. I always reassure him he doesn’t have to stay in bed if he wet it, he can come get mommy and I will help him. I also have told him if he wants help going he can come get me and I will be happy to help.

Friday night/Saturday morning he finally took me up on my offer. After an accident he came to find me. Around 1am. I heard a little voice say “mommy. mommy” It took a few moments to register that I wasn’t dreaming. He was crying and upset so I ushered him upstairs to help fix everything. My husband hopped out of bed and followed. I changed Jackson while Jason worked on the bedding. After all was dry, in his little tired voice, he asked “Can we read a book mommy?” Of course! We cuddled on his rocking chair and I read a book at 1am.

Unless he is sick he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore. He never comes to our room and crawls into bed with us. He loves his room and his bed. Even after transitioning to his big boy bed and then moving homes a couple months later we only had maybe two nights of him wanting us. I can’t help but totally love the other night. Even though I was a bit tired Saturday morning, being 30 weeks pregnant to start with, I am usually always a little tired! I loved that he found me when he needed me. He knew where to look and decided to remember what I had told him about if he needs me, I am there for him, even if it is nighttime.

I love my sleep, don’t get me wrong. Ha! But there is something about your little one needing you at 1am, and you being the one to comfort them, that just feels so special. I feel that it makes motherhood and fatherhood that much more sacred. No one else in the world is the one they want at that moment. That goes for a 3 & 1/2 year old or even a tiny newborn. You are their person. You are their home. You are the comfort. You are their warmth.

I have to admit that I am a little nervous about recurring sleepless nights come October. Mostly because this time I won’t have the same luxury of napping all day when the baby sleeps. I have a preschooler to care for too. But that little taste of being needed in the wee hours of the night helped to settle my heart about that. See, this time I am wiser. I know it doesn’t last forever. It may seem like it is lasting far too long, in that season. But at some point they grow. They are 3 & 1/2 and only come and find you when it is sickness or a bed wetting incident. They learn to sleep all on their own, every single night. That phase of your parenting fades away slowly over each day, night, week, month, and eventually years. You only have that for a short time.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be a day where I am crying to my husband that I really just need a nap and could he please entertain our sweet boys for an hour! Ha! No, we all need some sleep at some point. But my wiser parenting brain will be in the background reminding me how quickly it all changes. Sleep shall return and then I will savor the nights when a little voice makes it way to my side of the bed and whispers “mommy mommy I need you”

 

30 Weeks pregnant. Both of my little sweethearts!

30 Weeks pregnant. Both of my little sweethearts!

Today it is pushing 90 degrees where I live. I am not complaining! After the terrible, long, brutal, 50 below 0 winter we had, I welcome the sunshine and warmth on my face! But being pregnant in summer is far different than being pregnant in winter. Jackson is a February baby. I was in the nitty gritty of pregnancy in much cooler weather with him. This time I get the joy of a summer pregnancy. Both have their perks I think and both have their challenges.

I wanted to share some summer (and not necessarily summer) pregnancy essentials that I am obsessed with.

1. I used this with my first pregnancy and I escaped stretch mark free! I swore by it, I swear by it, and I share it with most new preggos I know. Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
photo 3 (1)It always soothes an itchy belly for me. I usually use it twice a day. It can be a bit greasy feeling initially but the way I see it is, it soothes the itching and I was stretch mark free. So far I am as well. Greasiness is a small price to pay for both of those! You can find it on their site or Amazon. I am a fiend for ordering it from there. This is my current tub and I have two or three more stored in a cabinet. Just watch the price on Amazon. I have sometimes noticed it to be priced higher than their retail price.

2. My Gap Maternity jean shorts. I have two pairs that I love. They are so comfortable. They are the same pair but different dyes of jean. Unfortunately it appears that the darker wash I own is no longer anywhere on their site!

photo 4I am wearing the lighter wash in this photo. I was 16 weeks here. I am a few days into 24 weeks now and I am comfortable wearing them today. They are still loose but comfy! I also like that they are a panel at the waist and not a full panel. I wore full panel shorts one hot day recently. We walked to the park. That was a mistake. I was so hot, sweaty, and itchy that as soon as I walked in the door off they came. Never again!

3. Three goes hand in hand with the above photo. I am obsessed with any kind of ribbed tank. The one above is also from Gap. One of their Essential Tanks. I also have the white one I linked to. I am again wearing this tank today at 24 weeks and it is still way comfy and fitting. I have ribbed tanks from A Pea in the Pod too.

IMG_5657This was Memorial Day. Also, note the shorts ;-) These kinds of tops are just so comfy and keep me cool. Plus they show off my shoulders and arms. They are fitted so I don’t feel overly billowy. Tank tops are just a must have summer pregnancy staple for me.

4. Be Maternity BeBand. I know I said I hate full panels, and that is true, unless I am running! I need the belly support. I have found that two of these or one with a full panel maternity running capri keep me supported enough to not have any ligament pain in my low abs during runs. I have 4 of these. Two white and two black. Not that colors matter for me because I wear them under a fitness top. I have tried another band, a more elaborate one but right now, at this stage, it was more cumbersome than helpful. Perhaps as I get bigger in the next 3 months I will be switching. But for now, these rock my running world.

5. Pacifica Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells so good I could almost eat it in the shower! Ha! Just kidding but really it smells fantastic, if the smell of coffee doesn’t bother you. I find it amazing.photo 2 (2)

This product leaves my skin so fresh and smooth. It is the last thing I use in the shower. I go through it quickly because I use it all over my body. So, it can be a bit of a splurge. But it is so relaxing and refreshing to start my day with this. I initially found it at Ulta. I have also ordered it directly from Pacifica. I also have read that Target carries this brand. I keep forgetting to look for it when I am there, so I cannot confirm or deny if they have this specifically.  Like I said, it is a splurge that it is worth it for my pregnant self.

6. On the same brand note, I am loving their Coconut Crushed Pearl shimmer lotion.photo 4 (1)

It gives a nice sparkle to your skin. It is also very moisturizing. I was playing in the pool with my husband yesterday and he kept trying to grab my arms and legs. I was swimming away. Each time I was able to slip right from his hands. I bragged about how I can get away because of all my lotion! Ha! It leaves me glowing and moisturized. It smells lovely as well!

7. Ok, this is the last Pacifica product…..for now! Indian Coconut Nectar hand cream is a must for bedtime for me. I put it on every night.photo 1 (2)

I will also use it in the morning after getting ready and before I put on my rings. It keeps my hands soft and smelling lovely. I wash my hands so much between a 3 year old who is potty trained, but sometimes needs help, and the washing of the dishes or cleaning in general, that they get dry even in summer. I also have the Tuscan Blood Orange. It smells lovely too!

8. This is by far my favorite foot lotion, pregnant or not! I have been using it for years. It feels especially nice before bed after a long day. H2O Softening Mint Foot Rub.photo 5 (1)

It is cooling and moisturizing. I will usually sit with my feet up on a pillow in bed for a few moments after and the cooling feeling is so refreshing. That is especially important as a pregnant lady in the summer! I usually buy it at Ulta, but you can also order it directly from H2O or go to one of their stores.

9. A reusable water bottle of your choice. I am on the go so much with the little man. I have an assortment of water bottles I can fill and take with me. Especially if we are walking to the park. You have to stay hydrated while pregnant and even more so in the summer heat.

10. Pilates/yoga/birth ball. Ahhhh!! Again, one of your choice. I love to do pelvic tilts and circles on mine at the end of a workout. It is also a great way to stretch. I am planning a medication free labor/delivery and I will be bringing it to the hospital as a birth ball as well. It is so versatile. It is not just for pregnancy either. It can easily be used for anytime workouts! I have had mine for a few years. I love it.

11. A good swimsuit of your choice. I have played around with a one piece and several tankinis. I was so miserable in them! I always felt puffier than I am sure I appear to everyone else. I am just a bikini kind of gal. I love them for swimming. I feel so much more free in the water when I wear one. photo (6)

I actually found a non maternity top that fits me nicely. On the clearance rack at target. I am normally a small but I bought a medium for my much larger chest (two freakin cup sizes!) Those bottoms are maternity bottoms from Target as well. I happened to buy them to go with the aforementioned tankini tops. A bikini during pregnancy may not make you feel more comfortable, and that is fine! That is why you just need to find one that makes you feel sexy and beautiful. Getting in the pool while pregnant, any time of the year, is so wonderful. You feel weightless. You can float on your belly! You can get in a workout. You can cool off. It can even help with water retention. I usually have to pee a ton by the time I get out of our pool. So if you don’t have one, check your local Y or gym for a prenatal swim class. I did that with my first pregnancy. This one, we have an indoor pool so I lucked out. I just train myself in there.

Do you have any pregnancy essentials? Anything you could not live without during your maternity time? 

 

Today was Jackson’s last day of soccer. He is 3. There were no games. It was basically indoor skills practice. He has had a difficult time with soccer. He is good at dribbling and scoring. He enjoys playing it, at home. The boys he plays with are mostly 4 year olds. They have played before and can be aggressive with each other and the ball. My little man tends to be on the more non confrontational side. So there have been many tears on Tuesday morning trying to convince him to get in the car to just finish up what we joined.

Over the past 3 weeks his confidence has grown. I could see him enjoying himself a little bit more while he was on the field. This morning I had been thinking I wished there were one or two more weeks because I feel he would start to say he enjoys it. But all things must end.

Today there was one 4 year old boy that was being quite nasty. He was throwing elbows when trying to steal the ball. He was pushing Jackson. The worst moment? I saw him actually get close to my son and spit in his face! The coach happened to not see that. He has about 7 little 3 and 4 year old boys to guide. His back was turned. I could see my son’s face from the sidelines. I wanted to get up and scream at that little monster. How dare he! What do his parents teach him? I held my tongue. I watched my poor son aghast take a step back. I could see he said something like “no” to the boy. However, that was all he did. He is non confrontational. Not that I want him to spit back, because I don’t! But it made my heart ache to see this happen to MY kid. One of the most disgusting and disrespectful things.

A few moments later he stole Jackson’s ball. I cheered for Jack to go after him and steal it back. He did. The kid threw another elbow. The coach saw this time. Jack came running to me to tell me what happened. I assured him he was ok and that it wasn’t nice that he did that but to keep trying to get the ball and score a goal. Meanwhile the coach started lecturing the other boys on how they do not use their hands and arms to get the ball from someone, only their feet.

I am protective of my child. Most moms are. I have yelled at other kids at the park who would throw sand when he was a baby and playing in the sand. I have told nasty older children to be mindful and nice to the toddlers at the park. But he was a little guy who still wobbled when walking and often needed help on most things at the park. This was one of the first times I did not step in. He is starting to become a child. Not just a baby. I wanted to step in. Everything in me screamed to go say something to the coach. “That boy SPIT in my child’s face!” What would have happened? Nothing. It was the last day. It is preschooler skills development. There are no yellow or red cards. The coach would have just told the other kid not to spit.

This was the first time I had to face the fact that shitty things are sometimes going to happen to my boys. And during some of those shitty things I won’t be able to intervene. All I will be able to do is be there after the fact to console them, listen to them, love them, and let them know it will all be ok eventually. On our way out we chatted about the things that had happened. I told him I saw what that boy did and it was nasty and wrong of him. He shouldn’t have done it and I was sorry it happened to Jackson. I also explained when he does play soccer with other kids it is ok to keep trying to get his ball back with his feet. To follow through and stick with it. I didn’t tell him to throw an elbow if someone is being particularly douchey, though I was tempted. Ha!

Milestones don’t end after the first year or so. They just come in different forms. Sometimes they are milestones for your child and sometimes they are actual parenting milestones for you. Today, this was a big parenting milestone for me. It will probably bother me for a long time that some little jerk spit in my chubby cheeked sweetheart’s face. I probably won’t forget this day in particular. A little piece of my heart was left on that indoor soccer field this morning.

 

I have heard that each pregnancy is often very different and unique. I have to admit, I stubbornly thought that was ridiculous until I experienced it myself. Regardless of the fact that I am having another boy, this pregnancy has been a lot different. I won’t go into each detail though. I do want to focus on one super cool aspect.

I felt this baby, Alexander, move MUCH earlier than I ever felt Jacky move. I am 18 weeks pregnant and I have been feeling him wiggling around in there for weeks now. It started off very faint. To the point where I wasn’t even convinced that is what I was feeling. As the days passed I began to understand exactly what I was feeling again. Now I feel him move every day, multiple times a day!

One of the coolest things I can do is actually make him move with some Pilates. It all started with a prenatal mat series I did on my vacation.

It starts with a series of half roll downs with bent legs. Roll halfway down, then all the way back up. You continue to build on that. You move onto rolling halfway down, holding, then tiny pulses up. The next part of the series is rolling halfway down, holding, then twisting to the right (obliques!) for several counts. Coming through center, hold, twist left for several counts, come center, roll up. Repeat.

Immediately after that you lie down for bridging. Once I articulate up into a bridge the little man moves to the very front of my lower abdomen. I can actually feel a little ball of a baby. I can feel him shifting around as an entire unit in there! It becomes so pronounced that my husband was able to feel the little baby ball (as I call it) as well! It never fails. I have done this series multiple times now and I can always count on him to wiggle his way to the front of my body and say hello to me!

It is no secret that I love fitness (um my blog name!) So when I find something even extra cool about it, I am overjoyed. I would do that series regardless of finding baby Alex in there, but the added bonus is a few moments of utter connection with my sweet unborn son. I love having this body awareness that Pilates (and proper fitness) provides you. Sometimes it feels like I am walking through this world with an extra sense. Or a more intense sense of feeling. Not emotional feelings, but a the actual physical sense of feeling within my own body and person.

Prenatal fitness is so important to me. Not just for myself. I advocate it to all women I know. I am probably annoying to those who don’t enjoy working out (which that concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, haha!) I truly feeling that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life. It gave me a nice healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t know what I was doing then as well as I do now, with my added education in this field, but I found classes and videos. I searched for the answers then. The day I went into labor (past my due date!) I attended my prenatal swim class. I know every body is different and some women are severely restricted while pregnant, but if you are not, get up and move. Groove, dance, run, walk, find a class, do some planks, swim, just move. It is good for you. It is good for baby. And maybe, just maybe, your little one will poke to the front of your belly and say “hey momma! Thanks for moving and grooving this morning!”

On that note I will go up to my Pilates room and move myself. Tonight, we have plans for a swim in our pool. On top of chasing around a 3 year old boy! Moving is all I do. Ha!

Happy May! It has nearly been a month since I last wrote. Yowza! In all fairness we were on vacation for almost 2 weeks out of that month. I was hard pressed to sit down and write when I had lots of fun things to be doing with my family. Like playing in the ocean, sailing, or exploring the Smokey Mountains.

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Tomorrow will mark 18 weeks of pregnancy. I cannot believe that I am about 1/2 way through this adventure! It seems to be going by much faster than the 1st. I am sure that is because Jacky keeps me busy busy busy every day. He is such a wonderful and full of life 3 year old! He still talks about his little brother Alexander daily. He asks me a ton of questions and always wants to buy new things for his little brother. Yesterday, he informed me that our cat had a fuzz hanging from her mouth. He was very serious about me getting it out. He is going to be one helpful eye around here with a little one toddling around.

I am over the moon that I am having another boy. I have always wanted two boys and my wish has been fulfilled. Yesterday was my birthday. Alexander spent the day being an extra wiggle worm. It started with my Pilates Chair/Reformer workout and continued all day. It was the most I have felt him move in one day! Definitely and extra special birthday treat. He is going to be one active little boy, just like his big brother!

As fat as this pregnancy goes….

Exercise:

Still running, several miles each time I run. Usually a couple times a week.

Pilates. Mat, Chair, Reformer. I just modify my work based on how far along I am. I also sometimes watch some Prenatal videos on PilatesAnytime. I mostly do Chair and Reformer.

Swimming. I also incorporate water aerobics/Pilates into my swims. I have some equipment for that

Barre. I am going to be starting some Barre classes tomorrow. I miss Barre!!! I incorporate it at home, but I haven’t been to an actual class outside of my home in a while.

Cravings:

Limes! I love lime juice on everything. Rice. Fruit, grapes, bananas, apples, honeydew. Shrimp. Oh my gawwwd. If I could eat shrimp every day without worrying about mercury, I would. I have to limit myself and that is hard. Cottage cheese. Spinach, cilantro, arugula, veggies!!! I cannot get enough veggies in my dinners.

This is all much different than Jackson as well. I wanted to much junk with him. Or maybe I have learned how to eat better with pregnancy after going through it once. Either way, I am not complaining!

This was last week. I haven’t take one this week because we have been busy getting home and unpacking and celebrating my birthday. Plus, what’s a better background to a belly photo than the Atlantic Ocean?

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Now I am off to workout. Debating a run or Pilates. Choices are hard ;-) Just wanted a fast update, since it has been so long. I didn’t vanish again. I swear! I was just busy enjoying life outside of blogging for a bit. That happens and is good.

 

It’s a few days into April here in the Chicagoland area. You wouldn’t think it though. It is still very cold and windy on a regular basis. I am not entirely sure summer will ever arrive for us. I am starting to accept that. (Ok, maybe not. I still long for warm sun and playing outside without shivering)

I am into my 2nd trimester. I have a 3 year old that is as active and hilarious as always. I also know what this second baby is as far as gender! We got our Panorama test results back earlier this week. My family is coming by on Sunday for us to tell them. I didn’t do anything cutesy with Jack and I decided I wanted to do something cutesy this time around. I am over the moon about what we are having!

My energy levels have been way up. As a matter of fact, today is my first “rest day” in over  a week! I have been running and doing Pilates. It feels great to not feel like total death on a regular basis. I feel slightly like my normal not pregnant self. Jack hasn’t asked me to “not be cranky anymore” in a while. So, he too has seen the improvement. I felt bad every time he said that to me, but hormones man, hormones. I always apologized to him and explained sometimes having a baby in my belly makes me cranky and it will get better.

The checkout girl at Whole Foods yesterday asked me if Jack was a “helper or a hinderance” as far as grocery shopping. He is a chatty kid and I always speak to him like he is an adult, so I answer his questions and have conversations with him. He was being his chatty self in line. Helping me put all the food on the belt. Talking about each item and asking me questions. I was answering them. Telling him no to more candy and reusable bags (the kid has probably 50.) The comment took me aback. Obviously he is my little helper. Even on days where I wish I could just do it all myself, I always think “one day I will want him to help and if I always deter him now, he may not be interested in helping at all” I wanted to tell her that. To give her my insights on how to parent, but I just smiled and said “he is my little helper!” I really try to avoid making him feel like he is in the way. I would certainly never tell a stranger, right in front of him, “oh, he hinders all of my errands. We never get anything done!” I am convinced that often, people do not think before they speak. I don’t think I would ever ask that of someone. And as a matter of fact on every other errand we have ever been on and someone sees his utter exuberance for life, they always say “You have a little helper on your hands!” They smile and usually tell me how cute he is.

My kid isn’t a hinderance. This second one won’t be either. Sure, sometimes it takes longer to get out the door than I would like. Sure, sometimes we have to stop in a public bathroom, which I hate because they are gross. Sure, sometimes he wants to put the jam on his toast and I am thinking we have to eat now so we can get out the door for school by 8:30. Sure, sometimes he spills food or drinks during dinner. But that is part of it all. That is part of childhood. That is part of parenting. That is part of this whole adventure together. It is my job to build him up, not tear him down. It is my job to teach him how to put the jam on his toast and to cheer him on as he does so. If he thinks I will scold him for those small unimportant mistakes, then what will he think when he makes a big one? I don’t want him to keep big things from me. I want him to know that he can come to me and sure, I may be upset, but I won’t hate him. I will help him. I will love him.

Don’t tell you kids they are a hinderance. Just don’t And certainly don’t ask someone that in front of their child.

When you’re a parent it is your job to help your child through difficult parts of their life. Jack will be 18 months on August 4th, so the difficult things in his life aren’t overly tough to handle. For him they are, but as an adult they really are just small bumps.

I love to be creative. I am a creative person by nature. I have been my whole life. I march to my own beat. I have embraced that. Jack is a lot like me. I try to remember that when trying to overcome certain bumps in the road.

Most recently he went from going to bed quietly and peacefully to full on hour long scream sessions. He was tired. He goes to bed very late. 9-10pm some nights. But suddenly he was acting terrified of his crib. Clinging to me like he was terrified for his life as I tried to lay him down. His face would break my heart. I knew he wasn’t just being a brat. He was upset about something. It was like he was genuinely scared. We have crib toys that light up for him. Two of them actually. We turned them on for him, as night lights. He also knows how to turn both on himself. So he had a light night on a timer. But the problem wasn’t so much in the middle of the night as really when it was bedtime. We read stories before, we have those night lights. What is going on here? I can’t listen to this sad crying anymore! My poor poor baby! But I am also not going to rock him all night long and sleep in a chair. He is almost a year and a half, close to 30lbs and closer and closer to 40inches. He is a big kid and not a newborn!

Then we decided to step up our game. By nature, he is not a scaredy cat. Not at all. In fact he is incredibly brave and usually has no problem jumping right into trying something new out. So we decided to make bed time a little more fun. We started pointing out all the amazing things about his room and his crib. He is very bright and understands everything we say. He responds to requests and questions. He has a lot of words for a 17 month old. So we know he understands as we explain this. He has glow in the dark stars on his walls and ceiling. He can say star. So we reminded him of those and how at night if he is upset to look at them because they glow and THAT is awesome! We pointed out his Cars bedding, his sheets, big blanket, and pillow. Mater and Lightning are all over them. Then we point out his stuffed Lightning and Mater. We remind him that he can bring his books to bed with him, if he feels like reading. Finally we point out his amazing crib toys that light up and all he has to do is press the button!!!! He started to get so excited and smiled and REACHED for his crib. We have done this a couple nights in a row now. Bedtime has been going much more peacefully.

With Jack we are lucky to be able to put a positive spin on things, distract from the negative (most times, not always like a tantrum at the grocery store where he is DONE running errands! ha!)

We also recently did this with an amazing thunder and lightening storm. It was loud and bright. He is older now so I thought he might get frightened if this is going on when he is sleeping. We all went upstairs, to our bedroom. Opened our big blinds. We have huge windows that overlook the lake. I turned off all the lights inside and we watched the lightening like a fireworks show. Jason and I ooooo’d and ahhhhh’d. Jack LOVED it. Stood on the window ledge (we held him still) and tapped the windows, smiling, making noise himself. That night we didn’t hear a peep from him.

So we keep trying out these “making things cool trick.” It works for now. It is a great trick to have under my belt. It helps that his personality is more tuned into responding to this kind of spin. No doubt about that.

What do you do to help your child(ren) through a tough time or stage? Are yours easily frightened? Or do they tend to barrel through life and think after, like Jack. How do you handle bedtime protests?

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