Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prayers for Nella Insta Auction

Some of you may have seen the share pic on Instagram for the Prayers for Nella Insta-Auction. I have been doing a little behind the scenes work with Kristin from Sounds of My Pitter Patter. If there were ever a time that you were looking for some great, Etsy quality goodies...this is the time to shop! From bows, to wall art, to jewelry everything is amazing.
I don't know Nella's family personally, but you could say I know them through a friend. This cause is been such an eye opener for me. Nella's mom was pregnant while I was pregnant with Elliott. I remember seeing her maternity pictures posted on Facebook by our wedding photographer (my old college roommate and Nella's mom's bestie). Nella was born in August. She was beautiful and healthy. It wasn't until a few weeks later that their doctor noticed she wasn't as strong as she should be. She was seen by a pediatric neurologist and in November, it was confirmed that she had Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1. 
SMA is a terminal genetic neuromuscular disease. 80% of babies diagnosed with SMA type 1 do not live to see their first birthday. 90-95% do not live to see their second birthday. There is no cure for SMA type 1. Infants with SMA suffer from severe muscle weakness and atrophy of voluntary skeletal muscles. Nella's FB page explains SMA like this, "Simply put, infants with SMA become weaker and weaker, which eventually affects every muscle in the body hindering the ability to walk, sit, stand, eat, swallow and even breathe."
Here are some surprising facts about SMA that I was not aware of and that I think every parent should be informed of:
SMA is the #1 genetic killer of young children. 
SMA affects 1 in 6,000 births. 
1 in 35 people, or nearly 8 million Americans, unknowingly carry the gene mutation responsible for SMA. 
It is just heart wrenching to hear when parents and their babies are going through such a struggle. Ii literally tears my momma bear heart to pieces. I am so grateful to be apart of such a great cause and I wanted to help spread the word about the auction. If anything, I hope this brings more awareness to this awful disease.
Please join us tomorrow, March 27 through March 29th, starting at 10EST on instagram under @wonderfullymadeauction to bid on some unique and amazing items.
If you have any questions on how the auction works, please check out this post.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Letter to my new mom self

Dear New Mom Self,

Stop worrying. I know that's your job worry about every little thing but really it's ok. When people tell you, "And this to shall pass..." it does. Swaddle your baby. He won't suffocate. If it makes you feel better, use a Velcro swaddle blanket to ensure the blanket doesn't get pulled up around his face. Have your pump ready to go. At least pull out the parts and sterilize them so they are ready in case you need them. That way, when it's 2AM and your boobs are hard as rocks and the size of watermelons, you can get some relief. Listen to your body. If you are feeling any sort of lumps, feed feed feed. Get on all fours and feed your baby. Do everything you can to prevent mastitis because it sucks. Also, make sure you buy a few nursing tops or cami's so you can nurse easier and more comfortably. Waiting until your milk comes in probably isn't the best decision. It's no fun to sit in the Target parking lot crying because you have no idea which nursing tops to buy. Don't waste your money on a nursing cover, you're going to lose it anyway (seriously, you'll probably find it when you move...a year later). Just use one of the 12 a+a blankets you have neatly folded away and tie a knot with two corners. Go to that breastfeeding class Cody encourages you to go to. Don't wait until you are almost ready to throw in the towel to go. You will thank me later. Also, go ahead and except that all your time will be going towards feeding that baby. Start recording some shows and understand that your main job is to provide all the milky milk that your baby can stomach. Hire a photographer to take newborn photos before your baby comes. Don't think that you can take them on your own. You might not be lucky the next time with finding an amazing photographer on short notice. Check into mommy and me exercise classes before the baby comes. You are going to need some new mom friends and you are going to want to shed that baby weight. Kill two birds with one stone and don't wait too long. Trust me, it'll be good for everyone. Cook as many freezer meals as you can fit into your freezer. Or at least buy as many pre-made meals as you can fit into the freezer. Takeout gets old. Plus you'll feel good that you've got dinner ready when your hubs gets home. Hire a maid. While you're sitting on the couch, feeding away, you'll notice all the little things that you forgot to clean when you were nesting. The baseboards, the blinds, the dust on the lamps. Go ahead and hire a cleaning lady to take care of the deep cleaning stuff for a few months. You'll feel better. Your baby will take a nap...someday. It will be ok. If he naps on you more times than he naps in his crib, don't stress. In fact, soak up those days up. This time in your life will only happen once. I'm not saying your next babies won't want to sleep on your shoulder for hours. But I can only imagine you won't have the ability to just let your baby #2 just sleep on your shoulder for as long since #1 will need you too. Don't be such a germaphobe. Or at least relax a little bit every time someone feels the need to touch your baby's hand...I swear those things are magnets. It will be ok. Once that baby is crawling around, it's almost next to impossible to keep their hands clean and totally impossible to keep their hands out of their mouth. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You are the best mom that that little baby knows and that's all that matters. Appreciate your husband. He is a godsend and will be there for you in the lowest times.

I look back on my "new mom" stage and laugh sometimes. I laugh at myself and how I would stress sometimes about the little things. I'm sure some of it was the hormones. Some of it was just experiencing new things. I have changed so much as a person in more ways than I thought I would. I am calmer, I have more patience and I have relaxed so much. It's a wonderful thing being a mom.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

9 months!

I can't believe Elliott has been with us for 9 months. He's been here for as long as I had him in my belly. Such a miracle when you think about how things work. This tiny little poppy seed grew into this amazing ball of energy that just races around our house all day every day.

Elliott weighed 17.0lbs when he went in for his 9 month appt (2 weeks ago). Kid loves food. Loves it so much that he gained 3 pounds in 2 months. That's huge for him! He was 29.5in long. Little skinny mini. Clothes wise he's in 9 month everything. He can wear some 12-18mos jams from Children's Place but they are a little big. He's in size 3 diapers and I don't see that changing any time soon. OMG...we go through so many diapers. I'm not kidding...Elliott poops 4-5 times per day. It's crazy when I hear other people say that their kids don't poop but twice a week.
Photo: My best buddy! Love this sweet boy :D

Back to food: Elliott will pretty much eat anything we give him. It's been so much more fun than I expected. I love that he loves everything. Some of his favorites are marinated meat (carne asada, pork tenderloin, etc), chicken noodle soup, Apple Sticks from Trader Joes (he recognizes the bag now haha). Elliott still loves the pouches--when I say love I mean he loves them. He will seriously down one in 30 seconds without stopping to take a breath.  I've been making a lot of pureed foods that are similar to what's in the pouch. He's definitely into that and whatever else I decide to put together. Smoothies are fun for him. Whole milk yogurt, spinach, bananas, blueberries and pears are one of his faves. I got one these cups and they seem to be the easiest for Elliott to drink out of. I think it's because of the hard straw. The cups with the soft straws weren't working too well for him because he would just chew on them.

Teeth! Elliott has two tiny little slivers (incisal edges for you dental peeps) coming in. Slowly but surely haha. I noticed them a week ago and started to tear up. OMG I'm such a dental hygienist.

Things that I want to remember about this age:
How much Elliott loves riding in the cart. He absolutely is over the moon when he's riding around. Just the happiest kid ever, smiling at everyone, jumping around, trying to eat the cart (omg...I about died the first time his mouth went on the metal bar on the seat...he lived).

How much he hates getting his diaper changed. Haha it's such a struggle these days. And with so many poopy diapers it's quite a circus trying to get his diaper changed and survive without a huge mess. The best way I've come up with is turning on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (yes we have it recorded on the DVR). Elliott is totally starting to recognize Mickey and I swear he almost jumped out of the cart when we passed a Mickey doll.

How much Elliott loves to explore. He loves new places and just wants to get down and check it all out. At the park, he loves to crawl up on everyone's strollers, check out their toys, see if any snacks have dropped. He'll also just take off on his own to see if there's anything he might be missing.
Exploring the tree at the park with his buddy Collin

How much he loves his Daddio. He loves his momma, but he loves Cody so much. He just lights up when Cody is around. Elliott and I spent a month straight by ourselves so we were both ready for him to be home. Since Cody's return, it's been nonstop fun for Elliott.

How much Elliott loves jumping in the exersaucer. Kid goes crazy in it. It's so loud and obnoxious but when you hear Elliott's laughter over the loudness it makes it so much better.
Don't mind that loud breathing noise...I was trying to get Elliott to show off his new trick of scrunching up his nose and breathing heavy

How Elliott loves to dart into our room or the pantry whenever he sees the door open. Those are definitely rooms we try to keep him out of because there are so many things for him to get into and it's just easier to close the door sometimes.  But it's hilarious to know he's always aware of when the door opens and how quickly he races towards them.

How he is learning to clap his hands together. We've been working on this for a few weeks and he's starting to get it. He'll do it randomly and sometimes he'll clap with me--so cute.

How much he's into books. Elliott lights up when I show him a different book. He's a big fan of the lift a flap style books, especially Dear Zoo. It's so fun to watch up flip up the pages with me.
Cody's dad and brother came to visit

Elliott Jay,

Your daddio and I love you so much! We can't believe we've been so blessed to be your momma and daddy. We are so thankful for your smile and the joy you bring into our lives every single day. You are growing so fast and learning new things every day. We are just amazed at how you are just turning into this little guy with such a big personality. Thank you so much for choosing us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Breastfeeding Mini Series

Hey all! My sweet friend Kristin over at Sounds of My Pitter-Patter has part two of her three part breastfeeding mini-series up today. She's featuring yours truly as I talk all about my tips for your breastfeeding journey. Head on over and check it out!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Breastfeeding Series

Hey all! My sweet friend Kristin over at Sounds of My Pitter-Patter has started a three part breastfeeding mini-series. I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in next week's post, but I didn't want you to miss out on the beginning! Today kicks off with Kristin telling her story of her breastfeeding journey. Head on over and check it out!

Monday, February 3, 2014

I accomplished a lifelong dream

Going along with my Fit4Mom post, I wanted to talk about my half marathon. This has always been a lifelong dream of mine but I never thought I would actually do it. Back in June, I was facebooking a few blogger friends of mine (Danielle, Emily, and Leslie) and we were talking about running a half marathon together. Here I am, a month postpartum and can barely walk a few laps around our neighborhood. But I said ok if they wanted to. All of them had already popped their half marathon v-cards so I thought if they could do it, so could I. We haven't run our race yet...but we have standing plans to--right friends??

So I joined Fit4Mom in August (3 months postpartum). Between each interval, we have the option to run or walk. In the beginning, I walked each time because things felt different. After going for a month, I decided I wanted to get a jogging stroller. Most of the other moms had a BOB stroller so I thought I needed one as well. My parents were amazing enough to get me one for my birthday in September. During my first class with my new BOB, I made the decision to start running in between the intervals. The stroller was such a game changer. For real.
Skip forward to mid-October/early November. One of our Fit4Mom instructors posted a picture of her and another girl in our class that ran a half marathon together. And it just got me thinking how I had always wanted to do one. I talked it over with Cody and decided that if I was ever going to do it, now would be the time. The reasons being:

-I only have one baby to push around in a stroller during training
-I wasn't pregnant and wasn't planning on getting preggo anytime soon
-We live in Arizona and our weather is amazing this time of year
-It is our last year here
All of these reasons seemed pretty legit so I found a half marathon to run and signed up. I decided the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon was the race for me. The idea of it sounded so fun--bands at every mile and it was in the middle of January when the weather was a perfect 70 degrees. I was also able to convince a few friends to run it with me...always fun.
So I trained. Elliott and I mainly ran after our workout class. This was the best way for me to run since I was already in my workout clothes and Elliott was already situated in the stroller. He mainly fell asleep since it was during his normal nap time. A win-win.
A week before the race I started developing some pretty bad knee pain. I took the rest of the week off from exercise/running to give it a rest with hopes that it would heal up before race day. Unfortunately, I dealt with the pain starting at mile 2. Me being me, I wasn't going to quit. I just stopped at the med station and had them spray some sort of numbing spray on my knees, turned my music up and just kept going.
One day shy of having an 8 month old
My time wasn't the greatest in the world...but I did it. I finished the race and I finished under the time that I wanted to. I also burned a ton of calories according to my Garmin 210. Like 1200 calories! Let me tell you I was starving afterwards.
So now I've got the fever. The fever that makes me want to run in every race that I can afford to. I've been taking it easy for a few weeks to let my knees heal along with stretching it. I'm also looking at getting some new shoes. But I'm signing up for a few more races...including one in my hometown...with my mom! You guys, my mom doesn't work out. And she definitely doesn't run. She's tried to at different times, but she's committed now. I'm so proud of her and I can't wait to share the experience with her!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

That time I became a YouTube sensation

So you may or may not remember, I mentioned a while ago that I was working out daily with my Fit4Mom (also known as Stroller Strides) friends. You guys. I can't recommend this workout group enough! Not only have I been able to lose all my baby weight + some, I've gained some great mommy friends. It's such a wonderful feeling to get out of the house, burn some calories and enjoy some good convo all at the same time.

And if that wasn't great get to bring your kiddos with you! So no worrying about finding a daycare while you work out. I've never felt better about myself since joining Fit4Mom. It's encouraged me to eat healthier and make better decisions about my overall health.

Not only has joining affected me, it's also inspired my husband. He's worked out here and there...but never on a consistent basis. He is now waking up every morning to hit the gym before he goes to school. Every morning. I'm so proud of him and I know that Elliott will be proud of us one day for trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I even started running again and accomplished a lifelong dream of running a half marathon! I definitely encourage everyone to seek out a mommy workout class if they are available in your area.
I'm the third one in the orange top

So back to the YouTube sensation...a while ago, the owner of our Fit4Mom asked if I would do an interview with her. No laughing...but I just wanted to share with you about how Fit4Mom has changed my life.

This was not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and I just wanted to spread the word about what a great workout option this is for moms across the country.