Showered with love

Hello!

This weekend was our baby shower.  I have been so very excited about it, and it was a magical day.  I have been (wait for it), crazy emotional about it and still am!  It really was just such a special day, and words cannot express how blessed my little family is with such wonderful friends and family. My best friend, Nicole, did a ton of outstanding decorations (see rain clouds, cupcake toppers, banners), made my favorite dish of the day (fruit kabobs!), planned some super cute games and was amazing at helping set things up.  My sister, Nicole, worked so hard on favors, prizes, table decor, planning and making sure my day was special.  My mom, as always, outdid herself.  She spent hours and hours brainstorming, making TONS of goodies, making sure this prego was happy, ordering, organizing, entertaining… She was simply AMAZING.  They all were.  I’m just so sickly blessed and overwhelmed with emotion about it.  Evan, Hector and I are really just the luckiest people around. <3   

Our shower was really filled with — 

AWESOME decor:  It was to DIE for all and all DIY, so awesome, very me and sooo detailed:

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Loads of sweets:

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and lots and lots of LOVE:

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Hector and I could never express our thanks enough to all the wonderful people in our lives.  We are so excited that Evan gets to grow up surrounded by the most AMAZING people.  He is going to have best buds like Jackson and Jayden, showing him the ropes.  Awesome Aunties (the Nicoles) to spoil him rotten (he isn’t even here yet and he is crazy spoiled) and Uncles to roll in the dirty with, and a Grandma that just might try to steal him away from me. <3

We are so excited about our future with our super loved little guy.  

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My Pregnancy Must Haves

Yesterday marked the 32nd week of my pregnancy journey.  Although in hindsight these weeks have flown by, with approximately 8 weeks left I can’t help but think that they seem so far away.  I’ve grown very close to my little nudger.  I love feeling him roll around, even when he is in my ribcage or making me slightly uncomfortable, it reminds me I will soon have a new little sidekick and I’m both amazed by this process and excited at the end product, my beautiful baby boy.  With all that said, I’d like to jot down some of the items I have found helpful throughout this process!  So here it goes!

1.  A great water bottle (or two!)

Staying hydrated has always been important to me, always.  But when I got pregnant I quickly started looking up the most important things to do and eat in pregnancy.  Of course, staying hydrated has always been at the top of the list.  I typically aim for about 100 oz of water a day, and that isn’t hard for me to get to with these awesome tools:

Lifefactory water bottle (glass, great for yoga & hot yoga) & CamelBak water bottle (BPA free, lighter has straw)

They are both awesome in their own ways, the CamelBak is awesome because it has a straw, and really I drink water a lot faster with it, but the lifefactory bottle is equally awesome (22oz) and perfect for Yoga classes (especially awesome for Bikram, pack in that ice!) this is my glass water bottle and I’ll probably get one (or two!) for baby, these you can order online and probably find at your local CorePower yoga studio.  I picked mine up at Whole Foods.  I purchased my CamelBak on Amazon.com it holds 20oz of water and is BPA free, but I have recently seen them at Target.

Water is SUPER important and I as much as I love Fiji and SmartWater, the choices above are better for the planet, and my pocketbook.  Not only does your body thank you for the water, but baby does too and so does that STRETCHING SKIN!!

Bored of water?  Add some fresh berries, cucumbers or a touch of lemon or lime!

2:  A BellaBand and a good old hairband

One thing I didn’t want to do was spend a ton of money on maternity clothes.  I work full time in an office setting and need to dress up to work every day.  So I bought myself a BellaBand.  I STILL use it!  At 32 weeks, I’ve gained some weight but most of my pants still fit, minus the button and in SOME cases a bit of the zipper and that is where this band comes in handy.

For my jeans, I still use the old hair tie trick:

3.  Foldover yoga pants

Luckily I’m into heath and fitness.  I own quite a few pairs of comfy pants/shorts needed to workout in, or recover from a workout in.  I LOVE GapFit/GapBody (a little pricey) and lululemon althletica (pricey) for yoga gear and it has been able to stretch with me this whole pregnancy.  I highly recommend, spending money here if you are pregnant because you can wear these items AFTER baby.  I also recommend lululemon althetica’s cool racerback (they usually have xtra long) enough to cover the bump!

4.  An EXCELLENT moisturizer! (No seriously, this is your skin, don’t feel bad to splurge here)

Many women complain about inchiness in pregnancy due to streching skin.  I have been so blessed to not have this problem and I owe this to my best friend, Nicole.  Very early in my pregnancy she gave me a container of bella b tummy honey butter.  It has been AMAZING at keeping my skin super hydrated and I use it RELIGIOUSLY two or more times a day.

I also treated myself to belli product’s lavender oil (Belli Elasticity Belly Oil) which smells AMAZING.  I got a great deal at myhabit.com.  I use this in combination with the butter above.  This soaks into my skin a lot quicker then tummy honey butter so I put it on, let it sit and then slather the tummy honey on next. Both of these items would make a GREAT gift for a momma to be.

5.  Music.  Pandora, itunes

This has helped sooth me and I already know that Evan loves Adele’s station on Pandora.  Probably because it is mommy’s favorite.

6.  Blog sites & First time mom groups (mine is on facebook, what wonderful ladies!)

I have been lucky to love and follow sites related to fitness and nutrition that also happen to be the pages of new momma’s.  They have written lighthearted updates about their pregnancies and parenting journeys so far and it has been awesome to watch them and their babies grow!  It is also nice to know that a lot of the things we feel are NORMAL.  I’ve read about people loving pregnancy and not loving moments of their pregnancy.  It makes me feel like I’m not alone.

It is also nice to hear their tips and read about products that worked for them (with a grain of salt, as I hear all babies are different but it is nice to know where to start) or advice that they wish they would have taken more seriously or things they would have read up on a little more before the baby.

Here are two of my favorites:

The Fitnessista
Daily Garnish 

I’d also check out baby center and see if your month groups (I’m a July FTM or July First Time Mom) are as awesome as mine.  Some wonderful ladies put together a closed July 2012 FTM group on facebook, and it is wonderful to share fears, pictures, happy moments, not such happy moments, rant moments, etc.  Ours is a great group.

7.  Smart food choices and daily fitness

Even though some days I feel like I can’t move, I try to sneak in a few squats or lunges or a good arm weight routine.  Even five minutes, is better than nothing.  I also still make sure to stock up on healthy snacks (almonds, walnuts, yogurt, hummus and carrots, etc.), TONS of fresh fruit (to satisfy my sweet tooth) and lots of crisp veggies.  I have found that when I want a cookie, if I go for watermelon instead (thank God for being an early summer mom to be!) not only am I more full (I have NO off button with watermelon, I’ll eat a whole half with a spoon) but I don’t feel guilty that I got a bunch of empty calories.  If you have the fresher stuff in your house and hold off on the junk you won’t eat it, and at least when you NEED to have ice cream, you have to force yourself out of the house for it (which usually requires walking, some FITNESS!!) and you could swap it for frozen yogurt or a fresh fruit smoothie.  Don’t get me wrong, chocolate, ice cream and a little fried food have fit their way in, but just like everything in life, moderation is key.

Green Drink! Spinach, super green mix from TJ’s, blueberries, a banana and almond milk (calcium) or water if you add water I’d add an apple too.

I’ve also done a lot of reading that you want to introduce your baby to all different flavors, so spice up your life!  :) I bet my lil guy is going to LOVE spicy foods, he has had a lot of them in his lil home!  I must say I have a lot of these too:

Fun salads, filled with EVERYTHING and anything. Add an egg, even a little cheese, avocados are huge in my life right now…

But take those walks, try some yoga.  You will feel great after.  Again, even 5 minutes is better than nothing.

8.  Great support (saving the best for last)

My support system has never been more important (probably why there are 2 of 8 of my top 8 must haves are support related).  I’m so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family.  Both those wonderful people who have been through it, like my best friend, Nicole (we were separated at birth) and those who just love me like my sister, Nicole (yep, Evan has a few Auntie Cole’s in his life) and all my other lovely friends and family, I’m very very blessed.  My mother has been AMAZING.  Finally, my husband, he has been so fantastic with this process I can’t IMAGINE doing it without him.

The LOVE of my life. My amazing husband. I cannot CANNOT say enough about this wonderful man. I’m the luckiest wife on the planet, really, I am.

Through my meltdowns (oh yea, there have been just a few of these), sharing stories of fear and joy, feeling our son move every night and morning and just being together he has proven even further that I couldn’t have picked a better father for my son.  He is my rock, my love, and my best friend.  This journey simply wouldn’t be the same without him. My heart aches for the moment I see him hold our son, I know that that will the most emotional moment (I tear up writing this and dreaming about it) of my life.

Any things you just COULDN’T live without in your pregnancy?  I hear pregnancy pillows are a big deal… Please share!

For the Moms

This Mother’s Day is especially important to me.  As I read blog after blog, and book after book.  Search Google for the best baby items, breastfeeding advice and how to keep your little one safe (both in pregnancy and after) I can’t help but have anxiety that I will do something wrong, as a parent.  I also can’t help but have a new more profound respect for all the mothers out there.  I can only imagine the worrying becomes magnified when you are actually holding the little one in your arms, watching them take their first steps, running around the house, playing contact sports, DRIVING… I mean the anxiety probably can be quiet overwhelming.

To those moms out there who live for their children (like my mom does to this day), God bless you.  You are all amazing.  Mom’s don’t get enough credit both stay at home moms and working moms, both need to sacrifice so much for their little ones (I’m sure it is all worth it) but in my opinion Mother’s day could be every day.  I’m glad we do get one day a year to recognize these beautiful women for all they do.  It isn’t easy from what I have seen as an outsider, but it also looks as though the rewards are boundless.

Especially to my mom:  My mom gave me such a wonderful childhood filled with special events, sports, happy holidays and unforgettable memories.  Even yesterday at dinner, she was radaiting love and happiness when I was having a blue moment, and I couldn’t help but be captivated by her spirit.  She did such an amazing job raising us, and I hope I can give a fraction of what she has given my family to my son.  She is the most compassionate person I have ever met, when she loves, she loves unconditionally… She is going to be such an amazing grandma to Evan and she is such a great grandma to my Oso.

Mom, I love you more then words can ever do justice.  This year, even though I didn’t think it was possible, I’m more grateful to you then ever.  Thank you for being such a blessing.

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Thanks for teaching me what a true family is all about. xoxo