25 February, 2016

Bump Update: 18 Weeks

How far along? 18 weeks!

How big is baby?  According to The Bump Baby's about 5.6 inches long and about 6.7 ounces now and keeps on growing rapidly. (That's why you're probably feeling so hungry.)

Total weight gain? about 8-10 lbs. It's been a nice slow and steady gain.

Maternity clothes? Yes. Started looking for a maternity swim suit to wear on the boat & to the beach. HOLY HECK. Apparently pregnant women with 36H chest don't get to go swimming. I am going to order this one to try. 

Stretch marks? Nothing new. Belly is starting to get itchy though. Time for the Belly Balm.

Belly button? Eh. It's stretched out.

Exercise:  I've been sick for about 10 days, but I get to Pure Barre when I can. I took Eric for the Couple's Date night the Friday of Valentine's weekend.  It was awesome!!!

Sleep: It's been pretty erratic with being sick (see below), but for the most part pretty good. 

Movement:  Not much at all. I keep wondering if he's in there. Looking forward to the ultrasound next week! 

Food cravings:  Not a whole lot, honestly. I've been pretty nauseous with the cold & flu that I've had.  I've discovered steal cut oats with sea salt and maple syrup. It seems to satisfy the sweet and salty. 

Food aversions: Nothing really.  Though I am just tired of eating.  

What I miss: Not having restless legs at night.

What I am looking forward to: Seeing baby boy on the ultrasound next week! And the sprinkle my sisters are hosting for me in a few weeks. 

Milestones: My belly has firmed up and I am decidedly pregnant looking.  

Say What?
So far nothing more than the "You're officially a Catholic family with three kids" comments.  We have shockingly not received too many questions if we'll have more kids. Maybe folks assume because we have 2 + 1 that we're done?

Sweet moments:  Evie loves to kiss my belly and talk to baby brother. The other day we were talking about all the fun things we're going to do at the beach this summer.  She asked me if I thought Brother was going to like jumping in the waves (in my belly) with me because he can't build a sand castle. I love how much she gets it! 

Make room for baby:
 My sister, sister-in-law and friend are hosting a little Sprinkle for me in April.  We have plenty of hand-me-down clothes, but we'd like some boyish swaddles, burp cloths, and cloth diapers.

Oh, and THIS: So this last week the family had a cold for about 4 or 5 days. Everyone seemed to be feeling better by Tuesday.  Wednesday morning I woke up and had the hit-by-a-truck feeling.  No something that happens on day 4 of a cold. I took a turn for the worse. I was so dizzy I couldn't move my eyes left or right without feeling faint.  Eric called my midwife who sent me to my primary care with the instruction that if they couldn't see me that I needed to go to the ER.  Primary care had an opening within the hour so Eric took me in. They ran a few tests.  Turns out I had the flu on top of the cold. Thankfully we caught it within the first 24 hours so they were able to give me Tamiflu.  However, that first night it gave me wicked insomnia. I felt a surge of energy until 3:30 am and I woke up at 6:30.  That next night my grand mother needed emergency surgery at 11pm and I stayed at the hospital until 3am and didn't get home until 4am.  Needless to say it's taken me the rest of the week to recover from that sleep deprivation on top of the flu.

Maggie at 17 weeks19 weeks  | Evie at 18 weeks

19 February, 2016

Planning our Disney Trip

A few years ago our friends took their daughter to Disney World for a surprise 5th birthday trip and I fell in love with the idea.  As we approach Evie's 5th birthday, we've been working tirelessly to plan the perfect birthday princess trip for her special day.

Having grown up a little over an hour from Disney World, my experience and memories of Disney trips are much different than Eric's, which did more of the week long family trip instead of the day trips, like I did.

Fortunately, I was at Disney a few years ago for the Princess Half Marathon so I saw a glimpse of all the changes that have taken place, most notably, the Fast Passes.

My head started spinning then at what the trip planning must be like for a family these days; a far cry from showing up after church on Sunday, sharing a few Mickey shaped treats with 3 other siblings, and watching the evening firework show as we ran to the car as to not get stuck in the mass exodus.

As soon as Eric and I agreed on this trip I began reaching out to friends to find out about using a trip planner vs planning on our own and quickly decided that using a trip planner is the way to go. They're FREE! (Disney pays them) and they have a wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks...and they do the dirty work, like waking up early to make your crazy dinner reservations. Already I've loved our planner's suggestions for planning strategic meal locations and times.

I am feeling so much more organized and at peace our spending so much money on a few days of vacation because I know I have someone who is helping me maximize my budget.  I'm sure future trips I'll be able to do this on my own, but I love having a human to talk to and not just rely on all the trip blogs for advice (and I've been doing my share of Disney blog reading!).

Things we've decided:

  • Staying at Art of Animation in the Little Mermaid rooms (Fall room/dining packages may change thing)
  • We're bringing my mom to help
  • We're doing the Dining Plan
  • We're not bringing cloth diapers
  • We're not doing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (I know, I am a terrible mom!)
  • We are doing 2 days at Magic Kingdom unless Hollywood Studios is done with construction (or we can get extra tickets with the Fall packages)
  • We're keeping one day open to hang out and enjoy the resorts, recuperate, ride the monorail, etc

Things we're planning but are open to suggestions:

  • Day 1: Elizabeth, Eric, Evie at Magic Kingdom with birthday dinner at Cinderella's Table
  • Day 2: whole family birthday brunch at Chef Mickey's, day to play
  • Day 3: whole family day at Magic Kingdom with lunch at Be Our Guest. Eric and E stay for terrace dessert and fireworks party

I would LOOOOOVEEEE to hear from friends, family, readers -- 

  • What's worth carrying around, like autograph books, water bottles, extra snacks, ponchos, etc?
  • If at any given time you'll have 1, 2, or 3 kids with you (ages at time of travel: Evie [5] Maggie [2] and Brother [3 months]) what would you bring: single stroller with kick-board? side-by-side lay-flat double stroller? toddler Tula, Ergo, Ring Sling, and/or Moby Wrap?  Ideally we'd bring them all, but we are fitting 5 of us in a Honda CR-V as it is. (Keep in mind I hate schleping stuff around, like HATE it, but I also don't want to carry crying/lost/whining kids)
  • If you did Memory Maker Photo Pass did you still bring your DSLR? 
  • If you're not sure from if your kids are going to adore meeting characters or scream at the sight of them, did you book FastPasses for them? Or do you schedule a few character meals and call it a day?
  • Did your girls dress up in princess costumes? Did the dresses get annoying?
  • What surprised you the most on the trip?
  • What about your children surprised you the most on the trip?
  • What were your favorite places to eat?
  • Favorite restaurant to celebrate a child's birthday
  • After all was said and done and you came home, what remains your favorite trip memory?
  • What do you wish you brought from home or made or bought ahead of time to save money (for example, I hear to bring dollar store glow sticks for the parade)?


I am in total trip planning mode since our dining reservations are due in a few weeks, with Easter and Spring Break in the meantime.  Then we hit end of the school year, beach trip, Baby Brother Arrives, Back to School, and then our Fast Pass selections and final payments are due!  Just trying to get my ducks in a row so I can plan in plenty of time to shop/craft/order off Etsy while Evie isn't home, or while she's sleeping.  
Okay, and because I'm a little neurotic, but you knew that ;)

In all seriousness, it's so easy to get carried away, and I know that I have already.  We're not doing EVERY SINGLE THING this trip because we know we'll have other trips. We also don't want to raise the bar too high or set expectations we won't be able to meet every trip.

03 February, 2016

You Are Stronger Than You Think - My 100 Pure Barre Class Journey

It is beyond my wildest dreams that tonight I hit a milestone of 100 Pure Barre classes (at my home studio). I was hoping to have reached this goal about 6 weeks ago, but life happens.  And that's the biggest lesson I have learned this year:  just because life happens doesn't mean that your fitness routine is toast. Get up and keep trying.

I was 8 months postpartum and really struggling with my back and hips hurting.  My chiropractor said my core was probably horribly out of shape from having two kids and not really exercising.  She got me back on my feet with a daily walking challenge of one mile, two miles, and then three miles.  Once I was able to do that she suggested adding yoga or pilates classes to my weekly regimen to start building my core while protecting my back.  I liked those well enough but I was hesitant to invest that kind of money into something I only liked okay.  Providence had me leave the Target parking lot via a different exit one day. That's where I discovered the sign for Pure Barre.  I wasn't even to the traffic light and I was already asking Siri about Pure Barre.  I pulled over and devoured the website. Before I was home I was calling Eric to ask if I could try my first class.

I watched all the what to expect videos on the website, donned the prescribed leggings and fitted top and headed in for my first class. I was greeting with enthusiasm and treated like I was part of a family from the get-go.  I had no idea what I was doing, but the instructor kept quietly correcting my form and loudly praising my accomplishments. So refreshing.  I loved the personalized attention that was so different than any other group fitness I had participated in before.

Before I left I committed to my first month's package.  Each class made me more excited for the next. Something I had never experienced before. I loved that I could wear comfortable workout clothes, that I didn't need a super binding sports bra, and that I didn't need any special shoes.  I loved that I left feeling totally and completely worked out, but not out of breath or exhausted. I got the workout high without all the overly gross sweating (don't get me wrong, I certainly sweat!).  And best of all I was started to see my body change shape faster than I ever had before.

When I started I couldn't do a full body plank, and could barely manage the 90 second plank series even with modifications.  I couldn't do the sit-up series without a ball behind my lower back.  And I couldn't do the tricep work with any weights.  After a few months (before I got pregnant) I could hold the whole 90 second plank series, I could rock the whole abs series AND boost my heart rate while doing it, and was able to do the entire weight works series with 2 lb weights (the standard at PB) and barely drop my arms.  Of course, things are a bit different now that I have a baby belly.

The slow improvements, the welcoming environment, the encouragement, and the Pure Barre Family (they're not kidding, it's a family!) have kept me coming back even after the flu, pulled muscles, and some pregnancy complications. It's also why for the first time in my life I actually sought out a place to workout while on vacation.  Pure Barre has become such a part of my life that last spring I went to the Savannah studio, this summer I went to the 30-A studio and the Charleston studio (none of these classes count towards my 100 either!).  Normally I'd find any excuse to give up on working out, or throw in the towel at the onset of injury.  Not now. Now, I cried when the doctor said I needed to take some time off in early pregnancy while my body was adjusting....BUT MY 99 and 100 classes!!!! They just had to wait.

Besides the 2 pants & dress sizes lost, the firm arms, the definition in my core, and my solid legs, the BEST benefit I've found of my 100+ Pure Barre classes is what they call the "mind + body connection".  Through their coaching I've strengthened my mind and willpower.  Their motto of "You are stronger than you think" has become my personal mantra.  I never thought I could stick with someone or become so confident in myself or my abilities (who knew I could climb Stone Mountain with Maggie on my back and not get super winded?)

Thanks Pure Barre Family.  You've really changed me -- mind and body!  And thanks to my friends and family who have come to classes with me.  And a big thank you to my husband who has encouraged me, come home early from work so I could make a special class or meet a monthly challenge goal, tucked the girls in bed while I was "tucking" at the barre, and pushed me out the door on days when I wanted to give up.