Sunday, June 17, 2012

6 Years - Wowzers!

I'm with my one and only.

Currently in ARUBA.

Celebrating six amazing years of marriage.

Oh. And this little thing called a baby moon.

Happy SIXTH Anniversary, My Love! 

(Oh. And Lyla wanted me to be sure to tell you Happy Father's Day).

Friday, June 15, 2012

29 Weeks and summertime funsies

I'm 29 weeks!

And I'm happy to say that I got a very clean bill of health at my last doctor's appointment. No weight gain AND no anemia or pre-gestational diabetes. Woo-hoo! :)

I just have to say I'm LOVING every moment of summertime. And the hubs has been working 12 hour night shifts (boo), but he in turn gets multiple days off in a row. Love it!

Here's the past week in pics:

*29 Week Bumpity

*Showering one of my besties for her BABY BOY! We've known each other since fourth grade and due only 9 days apart. So fun!!!

*Happy Hour on the back deck with the hubs. Don't worry...that's sparkling grape juice. ;)

*LOVE summer grillin'.

*Date night - We read to each other. Just catching up on some Baby Wise.

Happy Weekending!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bumpdates: Weeks 27 & 28

Hello third trimester.

I'm so happy to be posting this bumpdate today.

Three exciting things happened when I entered the third trimester: 1). I started feeling BETTER. 2). I started embracing my pregnant body and 3). I actually began...enjoying pregnancy!

Everything I've read and heard from others says that your second trimester is the "honeymoon phase" of pregnancy: no more morning sickness, return of energy, feeling sexy with an increased (ahem) libido, and just feeling overall fabulous.


Not-so-much. And I was pretty hard on myself for not LOVING pregnancy. I mean, I love my sweet baby girl with my whole heart...but not the nausea, heartburn, intestinal issues, fatigue, swelling, weight gain, and severe lack of feeling oh-so-sexy. And I just felt so guilty about not loving it.

However. Now that I'm in my third trimester, I really do feel like a different person. And yes, I realize a large part of this is because I am on summer break. I'm able to rest if I really need to (which let's be honest...I'm not a rester) but most importantly, if I don't feel well, I have PRIVACY in my own home and can actually take a bathroom break. :)

So, Stella got her groove back.

And now I bring you an uplifting Bumpdate.

How Far Along: 29 weeks today. But I'm highlighting Weeks 27 & 28 


Maternity Clothes: Yeah. Maternity clothes are the only things I really feel comfortable in. Every once and awhile, I'll wear something "normal", but it's either too short or too tight. 

Gender: Sweet baby GIRL. And I don't believe I've shared the full name. 

We mulled over this for awhile. We talked about how "Lyla" is SO sweet for a little girl, but also elegant and beautiful for a grown woman. And Isabell is the middle name of my grandma who passed away just a couple of weeks ago. It's funny, my dad and I always thought my grandma's name was Mittie Bell because that's what she always went by. Can you get any more southern? But when she passed, my dad noticed on his birth certificate that her middle name was actually Isabell. 

And it was PERFECT for our baby girl's middle name. 

Movement: This is my most favorite part of pregnancy. She moves all day long. It just feels so intimate. It's a little secret that my baby girl and I share while we're out in public - it's like she's saying, "Hey, I'm cozy in here, and I can't wait to meet you Mom!"

And now, we're starting to actually SEE her move. It is crazy. I spent 15 minutes last week lying down and just watching her roll around and poke. 

Sleep: I've never loved something so much in my life. I'm LOVING my sleep, and I'm sleeping like a BABY! And those who know me well know I've never really even known what a full night's sleep meant until recently. 

What I miss: Being able to work on home DIY projects. Since I am on summer break and don't have the capability of sitting still, I am just dying to work on house projects...many of which, I am unable to. I know it's ridiculous, but I feel like I'm wasting precious time off work!

Cravings: Chocolate Soy Milk - Obsessed. Oh and bean burritos (nothing really new about this). 

Other crazy symptoms: Things are actually sort of leveling out right now. No major symptoms. 

Size of Babe: Small Cabbage. She weighs about 2 and 1/2 pounds, and her taste buds are in full effect. And her brain is really developing at a rapid speed. Gotta get in plenty of DHA and Omega 3's!!! :)

Best Moment this week:

1). So. I went to my 28 week checkup on Monday. Took the glucose test (which was terribly un-fun), and got weighed in. Remember how I said I didn't change ONE THING, even though my doc said I really need to watch my weight and try to stick to chicken and vegetables

I didn't gain ONE POUND. My weight stayed the same the past four weeks. So my official weight gain at 7 months pregnant is 15 pounds. Very happy about this. 

2). We started our labor and delivery classes. Did I mention I'm planning on delivering naturally...a.k.a. without drugs?  Am I crazy? Maybe. I'm still debating whether or not I'd like to do a post on this. I really don't talk about it because I don't like the "We live in the 21st century and you are insane" looks I get. 

3). I got one of my shower invites in the mail! My college besties are throwing me a shower, and the invites are TOO CUTE!

Bump Pics:

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm healthy and I know it...Part II

Thanks for all the sweet comments. I am honestly at a place where I am CONFIDENT I am taking care of my body exactly how I should, but it is nice to hear others who have gone through the same thing. :)

And we'll see where I'm at and exactly what my doctor has to say in 1 hour.

But now I'd like to talk specifically about some of the lifestyle changes I made and habits I picked up prior to when I was pregnant and how I'm incorporating those changes into my pregnancy.

First, let me just back up to fill in some details PRIOR to the last year and a half of my life.

Before: Eating and Fitness Habits

Eating Habits:

  • I grew up in a healthy household. A house where my mom made me eat fruits and vegetables before I could eat anything else. And my plate always had the proper portions from the food pyramid. However, I also grew up in a single-parent household - so because my mom worked, we would often eat what was quick: tuna casserole, boxed meals, canned goods (a.k.a. PROCESSED CRAP).  Oh, and can't forget that I inherited the family sweet tooth - I used to sneak candy and cookies at my grandma's house because we didn't usually have those things at my house. I still have that sweet tooth today. 
  • Then I went to college. Hello dorm and sorority meals: fatty, creamy, processed, sugary. I didn't realize it at the time, but I definitely gained the freshman 15. I slowly started to lose the weight without really trying over the next couple of years. Still eating a bunch of "mass-produced" items, tons of carbs, little fruits and veggies. 
  • I was forced to learn to cook when we got married. Turns out - I LOVE to cook...when I have the time.  Overall, Gabe and I have always eaten healthy: protein, dairy, whole grains, fresh veggies and fruits...and of course some dessert.  Our downfall has only really been eating out. 
  • Oh, and I can't forget when I went on Weight Watchers back in 2009. It worked so well. I don't think I worked out one single day. And I lost 10 lbs. in one month. I loved WW. I've always somewhat followed it since then. But, although it absolutely helps you lose weight - guaranteed - I have come to learn I also picked up poor habits from WW: diet everything (a.k.a. ARTIFICIAL CRAP), and becoming obsessed with a number. 

Fitness Habits: 
  • I was a very active kid. I shot out of the womb with tons of energy. Truly, my mom said I never EVER napped during the day. I just wanted to be awake, enjoy life and go-go-go. Funny how I'm still like that today. 
  • Although I was never really "athletic" in the traditional sense, I grew up dancing. In high school, I had a dance class every single night - this kept me active and in shape. 
  • Then I went to college. I think I worked out a total of 15 times in 4 years. Ugh. That makes me cringe
  • After I got married, I began to work out in spurts. When we lived in Dallas, I pretty much just walked my dogs. I don't think I ever set foot in a gym. When we moved to Rhode Island, I had a gym at work, so I started working out regularly. I worked out 3-5 times a week: running (short distances), elliptical, and kickboxing. I felt great, and I stopped looking at the scale so much. 
Overall: until the past few years, I've never been a regular worker-outer.

Mind and Body: 
  • I've never been a small, petite little thing. Never have, never will. I've got myself a booty, and I've had boobs for as long as I can remember. I think I started wearing a bra in 4th grade. Oh, and my hips don't lie. One big pile of curves, I am. Although I've recently learned to embrace what God's given me, I was absolutely MISERABLE growing up. I seriously hated my body. 
  • I've been obsessed with my weight for as long as I can remember. I can remember thinking I was "fat" in third grade. How sad is that? Again, it goes back to the whole, I've-never-been-really-little thing.  Part of this was because I danced with so many girls with "dance bodies"...something that I would physically not ever be able to have. 
  • In my adult life, I've always had this pesky 5-6 pound fluctuation. And I tend to carry weight in my hips and face. Awesome. But I am always gaining and losing, gaining and losing. I would usually just put myself on Weight Watchers about a month before I had a big event.
  • I've been a size 8 since middle school. I've seriously stayed this same size, even gaining and losing those 5 lbs., for about 15 years. Well...until recently. 

Today: The Secret to MY Skinny

So what's changed since we've moved back to Kansas about a year and a half ago?

Well, it's simple really.

And it's all been so unintentional.

I didn't really realize I was losing so much weight until EVERYONE started commenting. Seriously, I would see people at weddings, and they would just go on and on about how great I looked. Or, I would see people I saw fairly regularly and they would say, "Oh my goodness, how are you so skinny?!?!"

On the flip side, it got to a point where my mom and close friends were starting to worry because I just kept losing weight. And I was NOT trying.

I went to the doctor twice within a 6 month period. I had lost 10 pounds the first appt. Then another 9 pounds by the second appt. I WAS NOT TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

After determining from the doctor I was indeed healthy - I finally sat down and began to piece together what changes I had made over the past year...
  • I went off birth control. We were NOT trying to get pregnant. I simply had been on the pill since I was 15, and I wanted to get those hormones out of my body. I was ready to be done with it. Best decision I've ever made. I felt happier, healthier, and had more energy! **My doc said this probably contributed to about 5-10 pounds of my weight loss. HA! All these years, and I could have been skinny. ;)
  • We completely changed our eating habits. It all began randomly and gradually. Then, once I began to notice extremely positive changes, I became quite religious about it. These changes included:
1). Smaller portion sizes.
2). Eating throughout the day. I seriously eat all day long. And it has done wonders for my metabolism. 
3). Eating out significantly less.

For the last year and a half, we've done some serious cutting out of processed foods - e.g. no more Lean Cuisines, frozen meals, canned goods, pre-made stuff. Don't get me wrong though. I will open up a can of refried beans or order something from the deli. It's just trying not to eat AS processed as we once were.
We also started eating tons of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, cut out red meat, and eat ONLY whole grains - no refined sugar (e.g. white bread, pasta, etc.). We really only eat fish and organic chicken. Does this mean we NEVER eat a burger? Absolutely not. Do we never pick up grapes that aren't organic? Heavens no. But, we simply try to limit these things.

Has this lifestyle change affected our budget? Yes, some. With fruits and vegetables we at least try to pick up organic if it's in the Dirty Dozen. And does it take more time and preparation? Absolutely. But it is so worth it!

*I must confess, I am currently working on eliminating artificial sweeteners (e.g. Splenda, aspartame, etc.). This is a tough one because as I mentioned above, that's all I ate with Weight Watchers. We've recently made the switch to Stevia which is an all-natural sweetener with no calories. And I do still order Diet Cokes from time to time. Moderation is my best friend! :)

I could go on and on. And I'm honestly shocked if anyone is still reading. But I do have people ask me ALL the time.

Oh. I almost forgot. What were the final results from these life changes?
  • I lost 20 pounds.
  • I went from a size 8 for the last 15 years to a size 6. 
  • I sleep better. 
  • I have more energy. 
  • I feel HEALTHIER. 
  • I've kept the weight off. 
  • For the first time in my life, I am HAPPY with the way I look. 
And just for kicks, here are some before and after shots:

December 29, 2011

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm healthy and I know it - Part I

So. Things are about to get really personal.

This is probably going to be a long post. I'm just going to start writing and see where we go. But I need to write this out. For me.

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I had a really difficult doctor's appointment? My doc basically gave me some news regarding my "health". And I'm only now ready to talk about it.

Close friends of mine who actually do read this blog have been asking me, "So WHAT did your doctor say exactly?" I figured if they want to know, the rest of the blog world is curious as well. I know I'd be.

It's funny.  My very curious friends were sure that my doc told me I haven't been gaining enough weight and/or that I'm too small. (For the record, I get this a LOT. Friends, strangers, family. Most people make comments on how small they can't believe I am...)


At the end of my 24 week appointment, my doctor literally let out a gasp and said, "So, were you planning to leave without talking to me about this weight gain?"

I just sat there. Stunned. And feeling like I was incredibly obese and harming my baby.

I had gained 6 pounds since my last appointment. This brought me to a total of a 15 lb. weight gain overall. At six months pregnant. He is a stickler on gaining no more than a pound a week.

Now. Let me give you a little background on this particular appointment and weigh in. There were a few things contributing to my "weight gain". I knew going in the scale was going to be a little inaccurate. 1). I had been retaining water that week from the heat. 2). I got weighed at 5:00 p.m. - and BELIEVE me the time of when you're weighed makes a huge difference. 3). I had been having quite the intestinal issues and hadn't (ahem) gone to the bathroom in a couple of days.

So. I knew the scale wasn't totally accurate.

Regardless. He told me I shouldn't gain another pound by my next appointment (which was at the time 4 weeks later...). I should stick to chicken and vegetables for meals and string cheese or nuts for a snack. He actually told me to lay off the fruit because of all the sugar.

I left in tears.

Not only did I feel disgusting and fat, but I was baffled.

I am probably one of the healthiest pregnant gals out there. Seriously. I eat incredibly healthy, and I work out I think I've missed a total of 5 workouts my entire pregnancy - which was when I had the flu and then a sinus infection!

I'm not kidding - when we go to the grocery store, we've had people comment on how healthy our cart is. Veggies. Fruits. Lean, organic meats. Whole grains. NO unhealthy snacks.

And I admit it. Yes, I've given into some not-so-good things too: frozen yogurt from time to time, I think I've had ONE cheeseburger, and a few nights where I binged on more than one cookie. But those times are VERY few and far between. And I'm human for goodness sakes. Oh, and not to mention PREGNANT.

After crying to the hubs and then crying to my mom (who were both FURIOUS because they know how healthy I am), I felt a little better. They made me promise that I wouldn't change my eating habits...especially not go on a diet.

And so I didn't change one thing.

And 2 days later, I was down 4 pounds.

And here I am 4 weeks later, and I'm still at that same weight. We'll get the official weigh in on Monday!

Now, I'd REALLY like to share more of my health journey from before I got pregnant - because I've become super passionate about health and fitness. And I'd also like to share a typical day in my eating habits. But I'll save that for part II.

And one more thing. My doctor isn't a bad person OR a bad doctor. I promise. In fact, he's known to be one of the top delivery doctors in my area. He is truly just a stickler on weight. Actually, after talking to some others, he's actually KNOWN as the "Weight Nazi". He's seen a lot of women become obese during pregnancy, and that can cause so many problems...especially later in life. Unfortunately with me, he wasn't looking at the whole picture.

But I am SURE I'm on the right track with my weight and health.

And because this post was so wordy...I obviously have to leave with a pic of my sweet and wonderful support system. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thankful. And born to teach.

Now that I've been on summer break for 2 1/2 weeks, I feel it appropriate to reflect back and really share how incredibly THANKFUL I am for my teaching job.

It's hard to believe that it's been well over 2 years ago that I quit the corporate job I LOVED to totally commit to pursuing a teaching career.

Are there things I miss about the corporate world? Oh my. Yes.

I totally miss the travel.
The wining and dining.
The nervous feeling before giving a presentation before the CEO and 100 other people.
The hour-long lunches. (Miss this the MOST).
The flexibility in when to take vacation.
The ability to sit in my office and not HAVE to talk to people if I don't want to.

With teaching, it is a whole different ball game.

The biggest adjustments for me were absolutely NO down time whatsoever and half the paycheck I was used to. And with being pregnant for half the year, the no down time thing was incredibly difficult with me being sick and all.

You are on 100% of the time. And you exhaust every ounce of energy with the students. I mean EVERY ounce. Not to mention the pressure of making sure every student (no matter what their needs, learning style, or ability) is to meet standards on state assessments. Sheesh.

But I can whole-heartedly say after my first full year of teaching, I ABSOLUTELY made the very best decision. It is truly the most difficult job I've ever had, but I was born to do this. Truly. And I love it. Even the tough moments!

Just wanted to share a few quotes. Our superintendent sent us an e-mail on "99 Reasons Teachers Rock". Here are just a few that I found to be the truest!
  • Teachers put up with everyone in the world thinking their job is easy with early days and a big fat summer vacation. - Oh, if I had a nickel...
  • Teachers rock because we have bladders of steel ~ Cheryl Bremson Ha. I've got peeing twice in one day down to a science!
  • “If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.” ~ Donald D. 
And a cartoon I LOVE along the same lines of meeting every child's individual needs...

But I must say. There is absolutely NOTHING in the world more rewarding than actually witnessing a student's improvements, receiving dozens of little notes saying how great you are, watching "that lightbulb" go off because of a way YOU explained something, and hearing a parent say that you made a difference in their child's life.

Oh. And I've gotten really good at not laughing at really awkward moments like when a students says "orgasm" instead of organism or "lesbian" instead of Lebanese. :)

My heart melts.

And. I am beyond blessed to work in the district I do. So.thankful.

AND. This year, I had incredible room moms who made my first year a dream.

Here were some of the parting gifts they left for me for teacher appreciation and end of school.

Flowers left on my desk at the beginning of teacher appreciation. I die.  

 Cute little jar of M&Ms with a little poem about being a great teacher. 


A homemade baby bag with lots of baby goodies. 

Complete with a "Baby Book of Advice" from my kiddos.  I laughed the whole way through this!!

 A summer survival kit

 And ANOTHER homemade diaper bag for good measure. 

Like I said: Incredibly blessed. :)