Exercise Post Pregnancy

Before I write anything this morning, I just have to comment on the TRAGIC events in Sandy Hook, CT. I am still completely heart broken & cannot stop thinking about what happened. As a new Mom it has hit me HARD. Every thought I have is encompassed by thoughts of those families who lost their innocent, young children. It literally rips my heart in two. Every time I look at Gabriella I tear up because of HOW lucky I am to have her & how devastated (& that’s an under statement) I would be if ANYTHING happened to her. Last night I could not sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about the shootings. It just tears me up. G would wake up to feed & I would just hold her tight and cry because of how much this little lady means to me. All I want to say is hold your loved ones tight, tell them how much you love them…not just in light of these events but always. I don’t think anyone will be able to move on from this HORRIBLE event for a very long time. I know that my whole heart, prayers & thoughts are with those families who lost loved ones. I really cannot even imagine.

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Good Morning!

Hope everyone is off to a great start! I cannot believe that it is LESS than a week until Christmas & in a week I will be OLD…just kidding. I will be 26..does that make me out of my mid 20s? It doesn’t right?! 26 is TOTALLY still MID 20s. Yep, I’m sticking with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yesterday I had my six week appointment with my OB-GYN. Hard to believe it’s been six weeks! This was just the standard appointment that every post pregnancy woman has- to check on how you are doing and to make sure everything is heeled and that your bleeding stopped. The doctor said I was good to go & no need to do anymore follow ups regarding post pregnancy- just have to go back in March for my standard annual woman’s exam. (good times ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

When he asked me how I was doing, I replied ‘great! & that I had actually started running (well, more jogging for the first week) 2 weeks after I had Gabriella. At first I thought he might of yelled at me & said it was too soon, since six weeks is typically how long you are supposed to wait, but he just said ‘that’s awesome! & if you were up for it, then good for you.’

Good to know he didn’t think I was crazy ๐Ÿ˜‰

The only reason that I did start running so soon was because of the easy labor & delivery that I had. It was really all thanks to G! She is the one who made it all happen. I was able to start my first workout (weights & walking) two days after having her. I started out walking, then after two weeks of just walking I couldn’t take it anymore….running was calling my name ๐Ÿ™‚

Throughout my whole pregnancy I worked out & I can tell you now that I believe it had a HUGE effect on how well my labor went.
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Hard to believe that was me just a few short months ago!

I actually worked out (including running, elliptical, stair master, & lifting) up until the day I had her. Craig & I went running the day before we went into the hospital, and it was one of my favorite runs ever. I kept telling him that once we had her he could tell her how the three of us went running when I was 9+ months pregnant ๐Ÿ™‚

The first trimester was HARD – I was EXHAUSTED the entire time. It was BAD. I mean I was in bed by 7pm almost every night, the sun was still shining when I would go to sleep, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the life of me. (& the smell of coffee made me want to vomit. ew.) But I would just go to the gym on my lunch break, when I actually felt awake….one of the very few times of day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I got past that first trimester, I was back to my old self- up at 5am to head to the gym for an hour. That hour is always just a time I could clear my head & enjoy my time with my little girl ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s funny because she actually came out still on my gym schedule. EVERY day around 4am (because of the time change) she was up & ready to go for the day…we couldn’t get her back to sleep no matter how hard we tried. Craig realized that she must still be on my gym schedule. ๐Ÿ™‚

I can honestly tell you that I am SO GLAD I kept up with my workouts. Not only for my own sanity, but also because of baby weight. I gained a total of about 22lbs, and lost it all within the first week after having her. And it wasn’t just ‘luck’- it was because I kept up with the gym.

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(8 months pregnant)

Now that I am 6 weeks post pregnancy I’m back to my old self. I’m honestly amazed that I didn’t lose my strength or speed. You know what else? Running with a stroller has made me even faster. When I go running now without the stroller (when Craig is on Daddy duty ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I can rock out some miles! …and my average mile pace has dropped pretty significantly.

Now I’m actually training for a few races coming up- I’m thinking of doing a marathon in February. Still debating a few things, like if it will work out with other plans we have in the upcoming months, but I’m really looking forward to my training runs ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’m actually about to head out for one as soon as I finish this post!)

This isn’t a post to brag about how well I’m doing post pregnancy. Trust me, it’s NOT that at all. It’s a post to tell those considering getting pregnant to NOT stress about baby weight. I know I did. Before I got pregnant that was one of my fears- that I would gain a ton of weight. I know that sounds selfish, but I’m just being honest. I would NEVER do anything to harm my baby, or not eat enough, I was just worried how my body would react to pregnancy.

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(8 months pregnant)

I know some women have terrible morning sickness, or are not allowed to exercise during pregnancy. But if you can keep up with your workout routine, I would definitely suggest it! Not only did it help me with my labor & delivery, but it help with my sanity ๐Ÿ˜‰ …and I know my husband appreciated that ๐Ÿ™‚

Now the best part of my runs are when I get to run with Gabriella. As I run I just stare at her & smile…and sometimes I sing to her as I’m running, but I swear she covers her ears. Poor girl has to deal with my terrible singing ๐Ÿ˜‰

OH, and I just realized I need to do a post about how my Crohn’s disease was during my pregnancy & now post pregnancy- I’ll have to do that in my next post!

Have a great day…and call your family members and tell them you love them!

One Month

I’m sure you can tell by now, but we are just a tiny bit obsessed with this new little lady in our lives. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s hard to know what we ever did without her. I know that sounds kind of crazy (if you don’t have kids) but she is such a HUGE part of our lives now..it’s like HOW did we live without her before?!

She is already a MONTH old. Well, more like 5 weeks & one day as of today. (yep, you will TOTALLY count the weeks & days when you become a Mom, just wait ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) WOW, time does fly.

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Now I can’t say the first month was EASY. I really don’t think anyone’s first month with a newborn is ever ‘easy.’ BUT we have been really blessed with her. I have heard HORROR stories of the first few months of having a newborn, and I can honestly tell you we don’t have any of those yet. (****KNOCK ON WOOD!!****)

Yes, there have been sleepless nights…but isn’t that what coffee is made for?! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, there has been times were she will FIGHT sleep like no one’s business. I mean we have had days (& nights) were she absolutely REFUSED to sleep. But hey, it happens.

You take the good nights with the bad nights. Can’t have the good without the bad.

We have been blessed with quite a little eater, and I am so thankful! She had NO problem latching…she actually latched within the first two minutes. I was so worried about her not latching before she was born…and she came out wanting to eat, so we tried it…and boom! We had a little leech ๐Ÿ˜‰ The other good thing is that she will take a bottle. So if need be, I can pump & Craig can feed her.

This month HAS been trying at times, I’m NOT going to deny that. There have been two major meltdowns by me, I was crying, G was crying & poor Craig didn’t know what to do with his two girls. BUT times like that I feel like Gabriella & I grow closer. I think we just have to get those big cries out so that we can really just learn each other’s quirks a little bit more. Everyday I feel like we learn something new about EACH OTHER. It’s the COOLEST thing in the world.

This month (well, 5 weeks & 1 day ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) has been the BEST month of my ENTIRE life. There are NO words that can ever express HOW MUCH I love this girl. She has changed my life completely…and all for the better. It’s amazing how just thinking about how much I love her brings tears to my eyes. She has no idea how much her little self means to me. We have an unbreakable bond that will last for my entire life.

On that note, before I really do turn into a blubbering mess ๐Ÿ™‚ , I thought I would share a few of my favorite newborn photos. – we did these when she was 8 days old. I would post them all because I LOVE them all so much…but I don’t figure you want to see 100+ newborn photos ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Literally MELTS my heart everytime I look at this picture. It looks like she is laughing at her Daddy’s jokes. Love it โค She’s going to be such a Daddy’s little girl..and I’m SO excited to see that. I know HOW SPECIAL my bond is with my Dad & I can’t wait to see Gabriella & Craig share that similar bond. Continue reading

A Christmas Survey

Good Morning! Happy Monday to you! Hard to believe it’s only TWO weeks until Christmas eve. Goodness. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t really feel very Christmas-y to me this year…maybe because it’s Florida & still like 84 degrees out..haha!

Anyways this morning I thought I would do a Christmas survey from my beautiful friend Janae. I just can’t get enough of little Brooke’s pictures…and I know her & G are going to be best blog friends forever…bbff ๐Ÿ˜‰ & they are both going to take after their Momma’s & grow up to be little runners. ๐Ÿ˜€

1. ย Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song? Jessica Simpson…by far.

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I know, I know…it’s kind of funny considering how many other Christmas CDs are out there, BUT I honestly LOVE that CD. I kind of (but not really) hate to admit that it’s in my car all year long. (thank goodness for six CD changers) The day after Thanksgiving when I can ‘officially’ start listening to Christmas music her CD is the first one I go to. Craig IMMEDIATELY rolls his eyes when he hears the CD playing. He’s like ‘really?! Jessica Simpson again?!’ HA!

A VERY close runner up would be Michael Buble. Love all of his music.

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2. ย Run on Christmas morning or take the day off? Definitely RUN! ๐Ÿ˜€ If I’m home I like to run with my Dad.

3. ย What do you usually eat on Christmas morning? Well the family likes Monkey Bread.

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It’s our Christmas morning tradition. I usually can only have a little bit of it, because it’s so sweet…and I know the desserts will be in full swing later, so I like to save my sweet tooth!

4. ย Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition? Hmmm has to be our family’s pineapple stuffing. This is the BEST stuff EVER! I actually do not like traditional stuffing at all, but this pineapple stuffing is more of a dessert than anything. It is SO delicious!!

5. ย Real tree, fake tree or no tree? Fake tree. Not really by choice, just easier…especially this year with the little G. We do have a bunch of Christmas tree scented candles burning though…kind of makes up for the fake tree ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This picture is the first Christmas card picture Craig & I took- in 2009. Nice, huh?! But you can see the fake tree in the background ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. ย Christmas pajamasโ€ฆ yay or nay? YAY!

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Another oldie…2010….& rather scary, looks like I have a massive forehead. Lovely ๐Ÿ˜‰

7. ย Where do you spend the holidays? ย Your own house, your parentsโ€™ house, extended family, in-laws, friends? We rotated before we had Gabriella, but now with her we will be at our house for Christmas. We just want to have her wake up in her house to the tree with her presents from Santa underneath ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 years ago in Maryland

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Christmas last year- Craig playing with our nephew, Ethan.

8. ย Food that you always have during the holiday season? ย Favorite Christmas food/treat? Yep, again this is my favorite item on Christmas- pineapple stuffing! But another thing I always make are Christmas Mice cookies. They are ALWAYS a hit at any Christmas party. People don’t want to eat them because they are so cute! ๐Ÿ™‚

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9. Open presents all at once or take turns? ย Stockingsโ€ฆ yes or no? We usually try to take turns..someone always gets to play ‘Santa’ and hands out the gifts. & I LOVE stockings. Opening my stocking was my favorite thing. I always liked to see the random stuff my parents would put in there ๐Ÿ™‚

10. ย Favorite Christmas(ish) movie? The Grinch. LOVE it.
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Now your turn- tell me about your Christmas traditions!!

Enjoy your day!

Oh & because it’s a must…here’s a Christmas picture of little G:G009-001

We have more Christmas pictures of her…but they are on our Christmas cards/ her birth announcements, so I’m waiting to send those out first ๐Ÿ™‚

Labor Story- Part 2

FINALLY finishing this labor story, sorry about the delay! I actually got a few orders for the items that I made for Craig’s Christmas party & an event on Saturday that I’m bringing samples to…so it’s been busy in this house ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, back to where I left off. This is long & not many pictures until the end…so I suggest grabbing a snack, or a glass of wine..mmmm how delicious a glass of wine sounds right now ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now there are some details that may be a bit TMI, but not too bad, I promise ๐Ÿ™‚

…my water broke at 11:45am. Such an odd feeling. I mean it really is like you are peeing yourself, but you can’t stop it. You know when you need to pee, you can hold it, or even mid pee you can stop. Well not when your water breaks. There is no stopping it. It’s not like movies either…there is no huge gush (well, mine wasn’t)- it was a steady stream that lasts until the baby comes out. It’s the weirdest feeling…but I’m glad I got to experience it. I didn’t think I would since I was induced, I thought the doctor would have to break it.

Around 12:15pm the anesthesiologists came in. There was the actual doctor, and she had a medical student who was in his senior year. He was going to be doing my epidural while she watched. I know you may be thinking that I was crazy for allowing a student do the epidural, but honestly I didn’t. Not one bit. I just wanted the drugs ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, he was a senior student about to become a ‘real’ doctor anyways…and I felt very comfortable with both of them. He didn’t seem nervous one bit, and I was NOT his first ‘try’ at an epidural.

As I said in the first post, the epidural was the part that scared me the MOST. So I did EXACTLY what they told me. You have to sit a certain way, and you HAVE to hold very still. Most of the time spent is setting up everything for your epidural (like finding the spot on your back where you will have the needle, cleaning the spot, etc). You kind of sit leaning forward and they give you a pillow to hold. You wrap your hands around that & hold still. They give you a numbing shot before the real needle. The numbing shot hurts worse that the epidural needle & the numbing shot really is NOT that bad…seriously! Once they start the epidural you will feel tingly in your legs- like how it feels when your arm or leg falls asleep. That’s usually a sign that it’s working. Once the epidural is in, they lay you back & you just sit there for 15 minutes while the medicine sets in. After about 2 minutes you notice that you can’t really feel your legs anymore…and let me tell you it’s AMAZING. ๐Ÿ˜€

BUT…here’s the thing. My first epidural didn’t take. Yep, you read that right. Epidural #1= no good. :/ Once they had finished everything & told me to lay down, they were like ‘ok, so you should be feeling the medicine now, you should NOT be feeling any contractions.’ I was like ‘umm, I am still feeling EVERYTHING & I really need to pee, so I think I’m just going to walk over to the bathroom right now.’ They started freaking out & said I was not allowed to get up because my legs will be numb. I just said honestly my legs are not numb right now, I am still feeling every freaking contraction & I WILL be getting up to pee. And that was that. I got up, no numbing & in pretty extreme pain. They called the doctor back in and we started the epidural process over again.

Now I can’t say that it was in any way fun getting the second epidural, but it wasn’t bad only because I was already numb from the first time. But the doctor told me that things like that (where it didn’t take the first time) happen randomly. I wasn’t mad one bit, I just wanted the drugs because the pain was kicking my butt & I was getting to be a little bit of a you- know -what ๐Ÿ˜‰

The second epidural took, and boy let me tell you…WONDERFUL ๐Ÿ˜€ I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Haha! It does make you a little loopy in the beginning- like a little buzz from alcohol- but I was having fun! (having fun while in labor, sounds like an oxymoron! lol!)

My parents & Craig’s parents came in to say hi after I got my epidural to see how things were going, and we talked for a bit. It was then just a matter of time!

Around 2pm the nurses came in & said ‘try to get some rest before pushing happens.’ I just looked at them like they were crazy…sleep?!! Seriously!? I’m about to push a baby out, there is no way I was getting sleep! ๐Ÿ™‚ Instead I turned on the tv & we were watching Everybody Loves Raymond, then the Ellen show. <- LOVE her…great for some laughs before pushing!

Then at 3pm my Mom came in for the final time just to see me & give me a hug. She wanted to ‘see how her baby was.’ ๐Ÿ™‚ I told her as she was walking out to tell the nurses that I was getting that feeling that I felt like I needed to poop. (sorry, tmi, but just telling you the truth!) That’s what they say- is that when it feels like you need to poop, that’s typically when it means it’s time to push!

At 3:15pm the nurse came in to see how I was doing, and she took a look down there & said ‘yep! it’s time to go!’ They were going to call the doctor in, (he was across the street at my OB GYN’s office) & in the mean time we were going to do a ‘practice push’ so that I knew what to expect. My main nurse was going to let me know when I was having a contraction & then I would be instructed to push through the contraction. Well, as we were about to start the practice push, she looked ‘down there’ again & said ‘STOP!’ Immediately I freaked out & was like OH MY GOSH, what is going on with my child?! But I had to stop because her head was literally RIGHT THERE! No practice push for me, instead it was go time as soon as the doctor arrived.

My doctor walked in around 3:40pm & at 3:45pm it was the REAL DEAL. Time to push. So I won’t go into a bunch of detail here, but I watched the entire birth. It was the COOLEST thing ever. I know, it sounds gross…if you have never experienced it…and if someone were to tell me that they watched their child’s birth BEFORE I had G, I would of thought they were insane. But now I can tell you…best experience EVER. Now I truly know why they say ‘the miracle of birth.’ Because every birth really is a miracle!

The whole birth took about 10 pushes, if that. She was ready to go, and I was ready to push!

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Meeting my girl โค

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Our first family photo โค

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After her first bath ๐Ÿ™‚

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Both families after her birth โค

Hope this wasn’t too long, I’m just glad I finally finished it! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Weekend in the Kitchen

Sorry I haven’t written part two of my labor story…I have left you hanging. But this weekend has been non stop!

Saturday was an AWESOME day! I started out with a run- 4 miles in 33:30- less than a month after having Gabriella! I feel like I’ve got my running mojo back ๐Ÿ˜‰ Usually I take G with me in the jogging stroller, but yesterday since Craig was home he said he would watch her while I went running. It was kind of weird not having the stroller…but nice- it’s tough running with a stroller!

Once I got home I was able to take a shower & shave my legs….you have to understand it’s the little things that make SUCH a difference with a newborn ๐Ÿ˜€ So to have Craig on baby duty so that I could have some free time was really nice.

The rest of my Saturday was spent hanging out with G, cleaning, cooking dinner, then hanging out with Craig when G went down for a nap.

Today was BUSY BUSY BUSY!! Craig’s office has their holiday breakfast tomorrow & people from his group pay me to bake a bunch of breakfast items because they know how much I love baking…and it’s easier for them ๐Ÿ™‚

So right when I got up I got to work in the kitchen- I knew I would have minimal time between watching G, feeding G & trying to get all of the items baked…so it was go time right away!

Here are the items that I made:

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Cranberry Bliss Bars (by my lovely twin, Liz…not really my twin…it’s a long story. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Mini Eggnog Doughnut Muffins

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Red Velvet Santa Hat Brownies (which I found yesterday on beloved Pinterest ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Oh & this made a lot more, I just didn’t get them all in the picture.

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Andes Mint Cookie Bars- used the recipe on the back of the Andes Mint chips (near the chocolate chips)- but made them into bars into of cookies.

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Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake Copycat Recipeย 

I have had this before & it’s REALLY good!! I decided to make it into a bundt cake instead of using two loaf pans. I had not iced it yet ..only because I will ice it in the morning before Craig takes it in. You know glaze doesn’t really look good the next day.

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Triple Berry Coffee Cake – a recipe that I have made for the past three years for his office. This is always a request ๐Ÿ™‚

I am also making a monkey bread in the morning- I’m sure you all know what that looks like.

Because I was making all of this, I had to taste test each recipe just to make sure everything tasted ok ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can honestly tell you that I HIGHLY recommend ANY of the recipes above! Hopefully they will all be a hit with his co workers as well!

Gotta say I definitely don’t mind spending an entire day in the kitchen…in fact I love it! ๐Ÿ˜€

As you can see, I’ve had a busy, but wonderful weekend! It’s also fun to see how much Gabriella is growing- I tell her to slow down everyday. Lately she has been ROCKING her ‘tummy time!’ This girl is a pro!

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She’s been holding her head up for over a minute & she is just so alert- I love it!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well- hard to believe it’s already December! I promise that part two of my labor story will be coming very soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚