Archives for category: Momommahood

Over the last almost 6 years (quietly sobs), I have often been asked the question “how do you keep your workout routine with kids?” This post does not have a one size fits all answer. Because life is not one size fits all. Hell, even my little world isn’t always the same size. Some days work better than others.

A normal day consists of me waking up at 5am on the dot, coffee, then a workout. My workouts vary between Pilates, running, swimming, strength/weight training. On Saturdays I do karate, outside of the house. It gives me an hour guaranteed to myself. By waking up at 5 on weekdays, I ensure that I am up way before my boys (I have late sleepers, I know I am lucky with that) and I am able to usually get an uninterrupted workout in. This wasn’t always the case when they were shiny newborn humans, but as they age, their sleep normalizes.

There are mornings where littles wake up earlier than usual and I have a workout buddy. At this point, Jackson, the 5 year old, can pretty much fend for himself. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes he wanders around the house entertaining himself. Alex, well he is 2 so I keep him with me if he is up. In general, that is how I balance it. They have learned that mommy works out. It is just a simple fact of life here. They have to respect that time for me. I am happy to include them, but I am going to workout. There is no parent guilt in that either. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. You are important too. I am a firm believer in that!

I have been sick for over 2 weeks now. A cold that turned into a nasty sinus infection. I am on the mend. Due to some amazing herbal tea and a black walnut nasal rinse. When I woke up at 5 today I decided I wanted to run. I haven’t ran in over 2 weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to hop on the treadmill. I have a love/(mostly) hate relationship with the treadmill. I decided I would get Jackson off to school and then go running in the forest preserve with Alex. I had EVERYTHING situated to operate smoothly. I spent the time I would usually be working out getting everything together. I even filled the tires on my BoB while Jackson ate his breakfast. I was ready to do this.

Then we were in the drop off line at school. I asked Jackson where his backpack was. It was still at home by the backdoor. He forgot to grab it. School on a good day is 10-15 minutes away. The main road we take is currently under construction. It can now take 20-30. This morning was on the longer end. Meaning now my run was going to be pushed back significantly, maybe canceled all together. I had to drop him off. Then drive home, grab bag, drive back, then hike it back to the forest preserve. That is how today’s workout started. See, not even my days are always one size fits all.

I did all of that. In a little less time than I had predicted. There was less traffic on my second drive to school because it was a bit later in the morning. Some of the work rush was gone. When I realized this I thought “Ok, you can do this. This is working out fine.”

The run started off ok. Not great, but manageable. He complained for the first 5 minutes that he wanted to walk, but eventually I was able to persuade him to stay seated. He had his ipad, snacks, milk, and box (it is a small house he carries everywhere that is filled with his favorite toys. He even sleeps with it). Around the 1.8 mile mark again he asked to walk. We were nearing the park, so I lamented that he stay seated for just a little while longer, we would be at the park soon!

I am a momma of my word, so freedom he had! He enjoyed himself for a bit. Then said he wanted to walk. Refusing to get back into the stroller. No matter how many times I said the word iPad. Which, I suppose is a good thing. But I digress.

There is no running when you are walking with a wandering two year old. I had about 2 miles of actual running under my belt. And about 2 miles to get back to the car. The real adventure began. He had me wander up this cool tree house pavilion area we had never walked up before. I followed his lead.

He is my wild child. My wanderer. My very free spirit. My mischievous little dude. Jackson is a free spirit in many ways. He also has his moments as a 5 year old seeking independence yet still utterly reliant on our constant attention. He has that internal battle going on right now. Such is life at 5, nearly 6. When Jackson was 2, he was not quite so independent. We went on runs all of the time. I cannot recall any specific times he ended up walking. I remember once when he was an infant and I ended up carrying a crying baby home. For the most part, he always stayed put, very content. Alex is a whole different person. He seeks adventure and his curiosity is overwhelming. He has no fear. (unless it is Halloween decorations or the movie Ghostbusters) He didn’t want to stay with me. I tried the trick, “ok mommy is leaving, bye bye!” And I started to stroll away. HE LAUGHED AND THEN STARTED TO WALK INTO THE WOODS! He cares not for my silly bluffs. He knows I am not leaving him alone in a forest. Sigh, he won.

My 4 mile run today turned into a 2 mile run. With a lot of toddler walking. And a nice maybe half mile sprint at the end when I finally got him back in the stroller. Then we headed home. It was after 11am. I had wanted to be home around 10ish. But all of my plans fell apart one by one. I adapted. I didn’t forget to stretch, despite the late time. We headed up to my Pilates Room. I am getting too old to not get a post run stretch in. That shit is for 20 year olds, not women who have had two kids and turned 31 almost 6 months ago. We better stretch our muscles and cool down, lest we want to regret it later.

Which really made my entire chaotic morning worth it. That photo on the right. I can’t! My timing just worked out perfectly. The milk swan. I will be incorporating it into all of my future mat classes! Ha!

The takeaway here? The insightful lesson I wish to impart on all parents looking for a way to stay fit and have tiny humans running around your feet (literally)?

FLEXIBILITY! I don’t mean in the backbend sense. I mean in the life sense. You have to be flexible with yourself and your schedule. You have to be flexible with your children. You have to adapt to your surroundings. If that means that you only run 2 miles, but get a nice 2 mile walk/cool down in, then shit, at least you were moving! You moved 4 miles on your own two legs. Your kid was moving on his legs too! I even threw in a few walking lunges while pushing the empty stroller. Alex stopped in his tracks and laughed, but hey, you are the reason I am doing these buddy.😉 Get back in the stroller and I won’t look so silly!

But seriously, sometimes you have to workout with your kids around. Squats in the living room. Pull-ups on the play ground. Pilates at 5:45 am and saying “hey sweetheart, sure join me,” when a tiny human waltzes in at 6:15. Sometimes your run gets pushed back by a good 30-45 minutes because of a forgotten backpack. I was annoyed, but hey, I survived and I ran! Shower was later, lunch was later, but I got that milk swan photo, so life works out sometimes.

For more Pilates and Fitmommaboom inspiration, follow me on Instagram Colev25 You can find frequent Pilates videos, my often self deprecating humor, adventures with two male tiny humans, and any other random things that inspire me to hit share.

10 days ago I left you behind. For good? I am not certain. For now? Most definitely! I cannot say that it has been tragic or terrible during these last 10 days. As a matter of fact, I feel pretty damn amazing. Incredible. Free. Energized. I would argue that I left you behind and upgraded to a better and more amazing version of you. A version that lifts me up and keeps me going throughout my day.

You always managed to slow me down in the end. Sometimes I would lean on you, hoping for a little encouragement and boost. I wanted you to show me love. I wanted you to pour your energy into me. To let your light shine over me and fill me with an everlasting warmth. A warmth I had hoped I could never find elsewhere. The slow and crawling realization that all I was left with were exhaustion and the dire need for some water immediately, nearly crushed my spirit. I was faced with the reality that I needed to make a choice. Who was more important? You or me?

Who are you?

Who did I leave you for?

These are questions I can answer factually and without reservation.

 

You are Coffee.11008612_10152617806035836_7878154062388228118_n

And I left you for Green Tea.

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I had no set reason for doing this. This wasn’t done to reach some kind of goal. When I would have my second cup for the day, after lunch, I noticed that it actually slowed me down. I often became more exhausted after drinking it. Sometimes even dozing while my youngest napped and my oldest had some quiet time. I traded in my second coffee for green tea. I had much more energy. I didn’t feel so sluggish. I didn’t feel the need for a nap. The change was wonderful. I had energy to stay upright and get things done.

Then I began to notice that in the morning my black coffee just sat too heavy in my stomach. I never add a thing to my coffee, but it just was a touch too harsh. I would wake up a bit from it, but I was just feeling blah. Sometimes I felt a touch acid refluxy. That’s not a real word, but it is how I felt. So then I thought, hm, if it worked in the afternoon, let’s give it a shot in the morning. I specifically chose a Sunday to test this theory out. That is not a weekday kind of test to run! Ha! And low and behold, I felt much much better.

I am not a coffee hater now. Not by a long shot. I almost felt embarrassed to admit that I had dumped my coffee for a new beverage. Coffee is so integral to my existence, that this was hard to admit. My husband pointed out how he had to go buy coffee for the house because he noticed since I quit it, I also forgot to restock it. HA! TRUE! Whoops! I have plenty of tea though. I may go back at some point. Maybe my system just needs a break. Your body changes in your 30’s. ::cringes:: Who knows when we shall meet again.

Both have their benefits. I love them both. Perhaps not equally at the present moment. But they are lovely beverages that can make your day a pinch brighter.

Thanks for all the memories my old friend, coffee, it’s been real. I’ll never forget.

 

Here is a fun infographic. Strictly for no other reason than I love infographics. (And clearly, tongue in cheek blog posts about dumping a beverage!)

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com

One worry I had even before getting pregnant with Alexander was “How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jackson?” It was one reason I was hesitant to even try for another baby. I just wasn’t sure how it was possible. Even after finding out I was having another baby, I was slightly worried. Jackson has been my whole world for 3 & 1/2 years. How is there room in my heart for more love like that? I know other moms who have had the same concern, so I know I am not alone in that thinking.

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I am here to say that it is entirely possible. I have discovered that your heart just doubles its love storage. It simply opens up more space without even trying to. That baby left my body and in the space that was left over my heart took the opportunity to expand. I easily feel the same way about Alexander that I did about Jackson the moment I saw him. Pure, simple, astounding, overwhelming love. I would move mountains for both of these boys. At the same exact time if I had to.

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Reading a book to my sweethearts

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I also have more love for Jackson. I swoon every time I see him melt over Alexander. Let me just tell you what he decided to call Alex all on his own: Sunshine Face. That is what he calls his baby brother. I sometimes call Jackson that and on his own he just decided that would be his nickname for his baby brother. I about died of love when I heard him say it for the first time. A 3 & 1/2 year old using a nickname like that for his little brother. I thought to myself “I am doing something right here.” He wants to help me with everything. If I need the binky, he is there to find it. If I need a diaper, he will get one. Or any other number of small things I need help with, he is there to lend a hand.

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Watching my husband be a parent to two children has also made me love him more. He is my partner in crime. We work together and we divide and conquer. It has only been a week! Somehow, we effortlessly slipped into this rhythm. There was no laid out plan of who does what when. We just flow together and handle all that has been laid before us over this week. One night Jackson helped me cook dinner while Jason hung out with Alex. Last night I snuggled with Alex while Jason and Jackson made caramel apples together. Earlier in the day all four of us hung out in bed watching Jackson’s shows. Jason even drove to two different stores in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm to find gas drops for Alex. He had awful gas on night and was so upset and in so much pain, we had to do something right then.

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When you look at all of this, it is safe to say maybe my heart more than doubled. It also squeezed out some more space in the Jason and Jackson spots. Everybody got some more room.

And me? I am feel very confident as a mom. I am feeling that even with the challenges that we have faced this week (there have been a few concerning Alex’s health. Jackson has had a couple of jealously moments, which is totally normal!) that I can and will do whatever it takes for all of my boys. Last night after getting Jackson in bed Alexander was hungry. Jason was holding him as I moved around the house trying to get things in order. I had to pee, I wanted to change into a nursing tank, I had to gather my boppy, water, etc. Jason was whispering to Alex, “Mommy will be ready soon. She is very busy. Lots to do here. She is almost ready. She is a busy lady.” It was true. Getting two kids situated for the night while healing from delivery is a busy time! It was nice to hear him appreciate that.

My first photo with both boys!

My first photo with both boys!

My belly is much smaller these days but my heart is much bigger. I will take that trade off any day!

I am in the middle of week 34. It is crazy to think that this baby boy could be here in 5 & 1/2 weeks. 

34 weeks 1 day. I can't wait to put all of these belly kiss photos together.

34 weeks 1 day. I can’t wait to put all of these belly kiss photos together.

Realistically he will be here sometime in the next 6 weeks. I am hoping for 5 1/2-6 weeks, not sooner. Big brother Jackson was born 4 days after his due date. He thrived. He was alert from the moment he left my body. Born with wide open eyes. This is the first photo of him I shared with people. 

Jackson

Jackson

See, very alert just an hour or so after he was born. I want the same for this sweet boy. Healthy, strong, alert. So I am fine with waiting past October 4th if I have to. But either way, 6 weeks will fly by with a 3 & 1/2 year old to keep me busy. 

We made a lot of progress this past weekend on Alexander’s bedroom. It is practically done. All I am waiting on is my new glider. It was set to arrive at the end of August, so tick tock. But the major things are all completed. 

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Crib, bunting, and garland

This was the first thing I had completed. It was all by its lonesome while we waited for a situation with the dresser we ordered to be fixed. I am so excited about his color and pattern schemes. I have had some fun mixing different patterns and colors. It feels so fresh in there. 

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Hand painted sign and toy basket

I painted that sign for him. It is one of my hobbies. I don’t paint as much as I would like but I do from time to time. My favorite things to paint are things for my boys. Jackson has an assortment of paintings. This sign in particular is special for Alexander. It is from the song that inspired his name. I fell in love with the name Alexander because of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ song Home. I had to incorporate it into his room somehow and I solved the problem of creating my own painting. The basket is a Colonial Mills rope basket. I have a few of those throughout his room. I also have a couple from Target. I went with the woven basket theme for storage. 

Speaking of storage….

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Closet

This is his walk in closet. It was the only bedroom closet on the 2nd floor the previous owners did not have redone at The Container Store. I felt I had to spruce it up a touch. I simply lined all the shelves, 9 total, with chevron shelf paper. It took a bit of time to cut them all down but I am very happy with how it brightens up his closet. Those grey baskets are the woven ones from Target. 

Dresser

Dresser

This dresser was an adventure. It took us over a month to get all the pieces from the company. I won’t go into the long story. It looks really nice though. I am obsessed with that lamp! I had to have it. It is by Zutano. I purchased it off of Amazon. The curtains are from Pottery Barn Kids. They are blackout curtains. Grey chevron. They are lovely and do a great job of blocking out the sun. The blue basket is Colonial Mills and again the grey is from Target. The floating shelves are also from Target. I like Target, ha! The seat turns into a bassinet and we may use it in our bedroom for a little while. We will see. Jackson was in his own crib about one night after we got home. But this chair easily switches from a bassinet to a seat while baby is in it, so it will be perfect for use around the house. 

That is where we are with Alexander’s bedroom. Once my glider arrives and I get my pouf and side table I will share that set up. All of his clothing is washed, folded, and put away in his drawers. He has newborn diapers, wipes, tons of blankets, and swaddlers. We are using Jackson’s infant carseat. I have our new Joovy Sit N Stand stroller. That hangs out in our dining room. 

Carseat, Joovy Sit N Stand stroller, and a carseat cover from Etsy

Carseat, Joovy Sit N Stand stroller, and a carseat cover from Etsy

I am also obsessed with this carseat cover. I love it. Being an October baby in Chicago, I am guessing he will get a lot of use out of it. 

I even have my diaper bag, which I definitely treated myself to. I decided that since my whole world is now men, that I would get a diaper bag that screams me and is truly for me, reflecting my style. IMG_0015I have an obsession with Kate Spade everything. Not just diaper bags. I keep this sweet thing in the plastic wrap in the shipping box. I haven’t taken even one tag off yet. I have considered starting to pack it a bit for the hospital. That will probably happen in the next week or so. A small secret? I definitely got this during their recent flash sale. So not only did I get a perfectly me diaper bag by my favorite designer, but I got it at a steal of a price. Triple score. 

And now, we wait out the next handful of weeks! I cannot wait to cuddle with both of my little boys. 

 

 

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

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!

Being a mom is one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. I have traveled. I have gone all over. I have had adventures close to home. I have seen some crazy things living when living in downtown Chicago. But I will say being a mom is still the most adventurous thing I have done. Every day is something new. The moment you feel like you have everything figured out, things change. That doesn’t mean in a bad way either. Life is just always evolving when you have kids. Your kids are always evolving, growing, learning, and changing.

I LOVE to have adventures. I love doing things with Jackson and soon with Alexander as well. I do not think there is a week that goes by where Jack and I don’t leave the house and do something, anything, just enjoy the world. We stay busy on a regular basis. Last week alone we made a trip to the park, Navy Pier in downtown Chicago, a local fest, and a Chicago White Sox baseball game. Spending time with him is truly one of my favorite things to do. I miss him if I go to the grocery store by myself. He loves to help me and is a fantastic helper. I know I see a lot of sarcastic things out there saying something along the lines “you know you are a mom when going to the grocery store is a vacation” I don’t really follow that motto deep in my heart. Sure, there are moments where I need a breather, but give me 20 minutes by myself. Even quietly sitting on my couch, and I am usually able to reset.

We have had so many adventures together in the 3 and 1/2 years he has been my little partner in crime. I had so much fun downtown this week. He is getting to the age to finally understand the city. He was so observant. I have taken him down there before, all over. In fact, he has been to Navy Pier many times already. This time though, he had a million questions!

We went to the Dinosaur exhibit. It was a temporary thing going on. It was not our favorite part of the day. I don’t think it will be something we jump at going to next year if it comes back, but we made the best of it. Then moved on to other cool things at the Pier.

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As you can see in the top photo, he was not impressed! Ha! Mostly he didn’t want to stop for a quick photo. We really didn’t spend much time here. It wasn’t as cool as the commercial made it seem.

We went and ate our lunch. I was the only crazy (smart?) parent who packed her own lunch. There are so many restaurants to choose from that people usually eat at those places. We love our picnics though. I even offered to skip our packed lunch after he saw all the places to eat, and as always, he picked my lunch! Then we made our way to get some ice cream for Jackson. In a waffle cone! It was messy and delightful for him. I don’t eat ice cream, but I enjoy watching him eat that special treat once in a while. He loves it so much and the delight on a child’s face when the eat a big ice cream cone is something you can easily get lost in.

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We made our way to the carousel and HUGE ferris wheel. That ferris wheel is so big! I was proud of him for being brave enough to want to try it. He was so excited. We talked about how we could see all the different things over the city. He was pointing out different boats he saw zipping around Lake Michigan. I had to keep prepping him for the exit, because you have to get off while it was still moving. That was a little tricky for him but mostly because he was in his own world still wanting to observe everything. Ha! IMG_6692 IMG_6702 IMG_6695

 

Our plan was to next head to Build A Bear to make a Ninja Turtle. They recently started carrying them to promote the new movie. We saw the display when we arrived that morning. We made our way behind all the action and ended up walking through the Crystal Gardens. It was nearly empty and very quiet in there compared to the rest of the Pier and to the rest of our day! Jackson was enamored with what he called “the jungle!” He wanted to see the plants and wanted to see all the cool different water fountains they had. We were in there for quite a while. I know where we will eat lunch next time. They even had tables and chairs for meals set up and they were nearly all empty. He sat watching this one fountain for quite sometime. I asked if he wanted to take a photo with the cool fountain and he said yes. Then instructed me he wanted it like this:

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He is such an old soul. I had a hard time getting him out of there. He probably could have spent an hour in there. Next time, I know we will hang out in there a bit longer.

Eventually we made our way to Build A Bear and he made his Turtle. Raphael. He hasn’t slept without him since that night last week. He thinks it is the coolest thing ever. He has made animals there before, but again, something about 3 and 1/2 makes a difference. He gets it now. He is excited. He is inquisitive. He remembers.

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Our plan that day had been to just go to the Dinosaur adventure. I figured on a lunch break, then we would head back inside and keep doing fun Dinosaur things. My plan didn’t include many actual Navy Pier attractions. But, life is an adventure! I was so happy that we just went with the flow and ended up having a blast all day long. Doing all the cool things we wanted to do, even if the initial thing wasn’t as cool as we hoped.

I have been getting out and about with him since before he was a month old. I started mommy and me classes when he was 7 weeks old. I love keeping active and busy. I know things won’t change once Alexander comes along. We might get out the door a little slower at first, but I know we will still be getting out the door on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, Alexander will be born smack dab in the middle of Jackson’s fall soccer time!

What does this week hold for us? I am not sure yet. We might go to the park today. Possibly go see Planes tonight. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays are usually our adventure days. But today I have a Dr appointment and tomorrow night we have a Natural Childbirth class (I hope to write about that!) So Thursday will have to be our big day out, but what shall we do? All I know is, I will be spending time with that little man. Holding his hand and being adventurous together.

 

It’s the 3rd Trimester! I am one day into it, actually. Yesterday was the official 28 week marker. I have said this about 100 times this pregnancy, I cannot believe how FAST it has flown by. I should probably stop saying it. Ha!

I am still keeping up with all my fitness. I am still running. As a matter of fact I celebrated the start of my 3rd trimester with my fastest run since probably early on in the 1st. I even managed to go for an outside run yesterday. Instead of my treadmill.

On Thursday I ran over 2 miles, went to the Children’s Museum for the better part of the day, then swam in the pool before dinner. I did a Prenatal Jumpboard class on Friday. It was amazing. That is one Reformer accessory I don’t have yet and I will be purchasing one this week I think. Yesterday I ran and swam. Needless to say, today will be a rest day. With a swim, though, I am sure. I rarely get away without swimming almost daily. When you have an indoor pool and a 3 & 1/2 year old who has been swimming since he was 3 months old, it is hard to skip a day of swimming. I am not complaining though!

This was from the 4th of July. So I was just shy of 7 months.

 

July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

You can see the 3 & 1/2 year old swimming his heart out in the background! My little sweetheart fishy. I am assuming this one is going to be the same, since he won’t know life without a pool to take a dip in. I plan to introduce him into the pool as early as I did Jackson, if not earlier. We are swimming people in this family.

I am still maintaing my clean eating. With occasional cheat moments. Which is kind of normal. By this I mean, I allow our family to have pizza night from time to time. Or I will indulge in some kettle corn. But for 98% of the time I am making my own meals and keeping it nice and fresh and healthy.

My husband is about done with painting the baby’s room. Today he will put together the crib. I have to order a mattress and a dresser. We are waiting on the glider to be shipped. It is all coming together.

Jackson keeps me busy as ever. He loves to do things and go places. And when he has had enough of our activities he will tell me he just wants to stay home for the day. I love being able to communicate with him so easily. Preschoolers are great that way. They are so honest and can tell you exactly what they are thinking. Sometimes it makes life interesting but for the most part it makes life a little easier. He is so excited to be a big brother. I didn’t really want a second child for the longest time. I planned on him being an only child. But now that I am 12-13 weeks away from having a 2nd, I know this was the right choice. Our first was born to be an older brother. He kisses my belly and rubs my belly daily. Here is he is giving me a check up, another thing he does all the time . “I want to check your baby”

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A few weeks ago on a walk to the park he said “I just wonder what his face will look like mom.” I think that every day! What a mature thing for a 3 & 1/2 year old to be thinking about. His heart is so warm and big that I feel we are giving him one of the greatest gifts. The chance to be a big brother and have that sibling relationship. I am aware not every moment is going to be sunshine and butterflies. I have two younger brothers of my own. I remember the brawls and fights between the 3 of us. Heck, sometimes we still go at it, but overall, that is a good love. Jackson is always thinking of Alexander. He wants to buy things for him. He gets worried if we have enough blankets for him and other baby items. Recently he asked me if we had any baby diapers. When I said we didn’t yet, he was very adamant that “We need to get some baby diapers!!!” Out of nowhere he asked me that. We were not even talking about diapers. These are the things his mind thinks of.

I mentioned I did my fastest run in months and trimesters. The time is not what I would consider fast on a normal run. As a matter of fact, if I ran a mile that slow while not pregnant I wouldn’t even talk about it. I was in the 12 minute/mile range! Yikes. I am normally in the 8:30ish range. So accepting how much I have slowed has been hard. I actually don’t talk about my time much anymore. I even turned off the voice update on my running app yesterday. When I am on the treadmill I usually have my iPad over the screen and just slide it over to see how far I have run. I know once I have the baby and start retraining myself I will get my times back to normal, since I have done it once before. So I try to not overly focus on my current snail’s pace. My trainer asks each week how much I run. Whenever I tell her I usually say something like “Oh only 2-3 miles each run” The other day she said “You say that like it is no big deal, but it is because you are 7 months pregnant!” I hadn’t thought much about it that way. I am 7 months pregnant and STILL running multiple miles a week! That is a great achievement, no matter how slow those miles end up being.

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

I am looking forward to the rest of this trimester and eventually holding my sweet baby boy in my arms. And eventually cuddling on my couch with my two little sweethearts.

Saturday will bring me into my 6th month of pregnancy. I continually say this pregnancy feels like it is going much faster than my first. I am just far more busy and active than the first time around. I already know what having a child is like. I already have a million child raising tasks to complete each day. My sweetheart keeps me distracted. It is easily the best distraction possible.

I always make time for myself. Part of my parenting motto is that you have to take care of mom to teach your kids that self care and respect is important. I especially make time for my fitness. Jackson knows that mommy has to get her workout in. He is so great about me fitting these times in. He often hangs out with my in my Pilates room. He even tries a few things himself. I am happy to take a moment to help teach him a move or snap an adorable photo.

My fitness has taken no break since becoming pregnant. Certain techniques may have changed over time, but I still workout nearly every day. If I take a rest day I am sure to be active in some other manner that day. I walk to the park or deep clean the floors. I keep on moving. I have even started working with a private Pilates instructor once a week. I know I am a certified instructor, but it is nice to take a break from having to think about what I need to do that day. It is nice to get suggestions from another instructor. It is nice to have someone else correct my form and imbalances.

My diet has remained very clean and healthy. I have little to no cravings for anything junky. I crave limes, vinegar, fruit, carrots, all sorts of healthy things. My first pregnancy wasn’t the same. I loved junk! My husband has been so disappointed this time. He was certain he was entering another 9 months of me approved junk food runs. No such luck. Which I am thrilled about! It is much nicer to satisfy a craving for limes.

I did prenatal swim classes with my first pregnancy. I had a nice purple tankini that billowed around me. This time around I bought a few tankinis again. We have an indoor pool, so we are swimming quite often. I felt pretty miserable and gross in these swimsuits. I really enjoy bikinis. I finally decided to go ahead and get a bikini. I found a size medium cute bikini top on the clearance rack at Target. I had some bottoms from the tankinis I already had. I feel SO much more confident now. I don’t feel sloppy or frumpy. I have decided to embrace my round belly in a bikini this time around. My husband likes me in a bikini, pregnant or not. He prefers it to the tankinis I was wearing! Plus, I do Pilates almost daily! I swim. When I am not battling the worst cold of my life (have been for over 2 weeks) I run, I walk to and from the park pushing a 36lb preschooler in a stroller, I run/play/dance/move with that preschooler, and often I carry that preschooler. I do a lot of physical activity and I eat very clean. So why not accept my pregnant healthy body?

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So there you have it. 6 months of baby belly in a bikini! Baby #2 that is. I know I still have a bit to go and this belly is going to get larger but I am feeling pretty good right now. As a matter of fact in the past week and a half I have counted 8 people who have been in shock that I am as far along as I am. I will take it all as compliments. I would rather hear that than people saying they swore I was ready to pop at this stage.

How do/did you stay fit during your pregnancy? Did you wear a bikini if you happened to be in a situation that called for swimming?

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.