Nurse. Yoga. Play. Sleep. Eat. Repeat.

These are the words of the moment.  Six words that I live over and over and over again. I’m cool with it though because, I feel so content right now.

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Our lives are absolutely nuts right now.  The days are blurred together and I rarely know what day of the week it is.  Most days I’m living in yoga stuff because a lot of things still don’t fit me… I’m struggling with my new “right now” body.  Change when it comes to my body is and always has been so hard for me, but snuggles and smiles from my boys helps me remember it is worth it and I will get back to where I need to be.  But the daily dose of yoga also helps me find contentment, balance and humbles me that I have to take it slow and steady…I was given a special gift yesterday –  a trip to the yoga studio special thanks to my husband and medela for making that possible. It was a beautiful Hot Power Fusion class, a mix of hot yoga static postures, glorious heat and short vinyasa flows. I will definitely be easing that back into my regular schedule.  BUT Merry early Christmas to me via the Fitnessista is 15 days free to Barre3 which has some postnatal videos as short as 10 minutes long I plan on doing everyday for the next two weeks!  Boom. #winning

What else is going on?  Christmas Cheer and incomplete trees:

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Again, it will get there – it is pretty though – I love the magical Christmas lights :) I put over 700 lights on that tree, it was sappy.  But really pretty:

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Evan was an amazing little helper:

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So our “play” time has been a lot of decorating, and watching “The Santa Clause” over and over. I love that movie and know almost all the words by heart.  Evan loves “santa” and “christmas” too. <3 He also enjoys mixing all his play doh colors together until it is a nice shade of grey. ;-)

Today I have a coffee date, and some cleaning to do.  It should be crazy. Just the way we like it over here.

 

Time Bandit & Brain Dump II

Yes.  Time, GRRRR!  You are insane, the way you steal minutes away from me.  My littlest love will be 4 whole weeks young tomorrow. And one MONTH old by the end of the week.  I have to plan my “one month” photo shoot, with my little guy- let’s see how successful I am with putting that together haha.  I also want to figure out some cute Christmasy photos because I’d like to ATTEMPT to get out Christmas cards this year.  But each day flies by and everything just seems – well – harder than it is.

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Yesterday my day was filled with cleaning, meditating, hanging with my littles and a wonderful 2.5 hour nap time where I slept about 30 minutes but was able to read for a solid 1.5 hours. I love reading. I tend to start books, not finish, or finish a good book and then be done with reading way longer that I’m ok with.  Nursing, cuddling and late nights helps me with reading time – also now that Evan knows what cartoons are – I read during cartoon time :) (yep, my kid watches cartoons, no I’m not the devil, it happens).  I’m reading Vanished because my best posted she finished it on Goodreads, because we are so alike, I thought grabbing that one – no thinking required lol.  I soak up lots of minutes staring that these faces, but some mental reading exercises are very welcome:

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I’m feeling much better these days.  I know that very soon I’ll be taking some time away to get in my workouts (where I actually say – here hector – I’m going out with Oso for 45 minutes, or using my yoga groupon I bought 6 months ago) & I welcome this because I miss my workout highs and need some alone time.  However, I get a very high amount of anxiety when leaving the boys.  Especially Michael, as he is exclusively breast fed and I’m not building my freezer stash as quickly as I’d like.  He has had one day where he has had a bottle for a feeding, just to introduce it to him.  I’m not the biggest fan because 1) I prefer nursing over pumping and 2) because I will go back to work and pump for him, he will have LOTS of bottle sessions then, so I sorta relish in the time to nurse him now whereas when I go back to work he will be mostly bottle fed.

I’m spending a lot of time behind my camera these days. Michael is fun to photograph because he is usually quiet still, but Evan is still a little difficult. haha :) I think I’m going to take a photography class with my sister in the Spring.  That or an excel class because I’d like to hone those skills. Again, time bandit will tell me what I can and cannot do these next few months. I’m feeling very optimistic these days.  Nursing happy hormones?  Who knows, but I love it.

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Don’t mind the mess.  It’s real life in the am when we are scrambling, I’ll make my bed soon – I have clean sheets to put on ;-) and a blog to write lol.  Right now Michael is comfy in the Moby as I work on my posture and rock him side to side (great core time!)

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- Shoulders up and back. -

He is super cute he has his hand in his face, just like when he came into this world.  This week we are putting up the tree and finishing up Christmas decorating.  We are also going to the city Friday to do some homeowner exemption stuff and check out some lights… get some fresh air.  Evan is running around right now saying “I’m dancing right now momma, I’m dancing.”  I need to get him outside today.  I’ll probably bundle everyone up and take a walk around the block. Venturing out is quiet the ordeal when it is cold out. Gah. ha  Or when you are one person with two children and a dog (Oso would HATE ME if he didn’t go out too) – the thought of this adventure is making me slightly tired and scared hahaha.

Yesterday THIS happened:

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It was nice to watch the twinkling of the fire in our fireplace.  I even helped myself to a cup of hot chocolate :-)

Oh!  Thanksgiving.  It was a success.  If I can get all my pictures in the same place I’ll happily update and do my “Thankful List” which I’ve done the past two years.  I’ve already started it but – it is sitting unfinished. :)

Ok, well I have mom duties to attend to. Happy Tuesday!

Time for Thanks

Each year the leaves fall, the weather gets cold and the nights start way too early.  The darkness at 4 p.m. reminds me the holidays are near – it is sorta magical once the twinkle lights go up and you see the Christmas trees start to peak out of people’s windows.  Add that white powdery stuff I’m NEVER ready for, but looks pretty beneath the lights and yup, it is like the holidays are early in Chicago.

This time of year is great for reflection and after the most challenging year of my life, I am reminded that I’m still so grateful for so many things and nothing tops the list more than my relationships with God and my family, friends, and of course, my beautiful healthy children:

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The last 3 weeks (YES 3 WEEKS TODAY, ALREADY!) – have been the most amazing weeks of the year.  Even through recovery, temper tantrums, soreness, hormones, change… The list seems endless, so much has fit into these past 3 weeks – I’ve never felt so much love.  Your heart does double in size when you have your second child. When you don’t think it can expand more, it just does.  I watch Evan with Michael and love him more, I watch Hector with them both – and I love him more, I watch Michael grow in front of my eyes and I just am filled with – thanks.  I’m very lucky to have such a beautiful family.  My heart couldn’t be more full.

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Even though breastfeeding has it challenges, it is amazing to watch your child grow and thrive because of the goodness you are feeding him.  Michael has changed so much already.  3 weeks in newborn life is like a year.  He is more alert, much fuller and sleeps a bit better already – oh and he nurses better, one trade off for his quick growth is longer sleep stretches and more efficient nursing although they are not unbelievable changes they are changes I can notice more significantly than with Evan.  Maybe it is the second time around – who knows, but I’m much more in tune with everything this time around.  I’ve been resting as much as possible but am FINALLY starting to feel like myself, I feel a little more energized each day.  Even though my days are absolutely full right now.

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So what are we up to in week 3, the day(s) before Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving prep, of course.  My husband pulled out Christmas decorations on Monday and we started putting them up, Evan woke from a nap and started shouting “DADDY, CHRISTMAS, I LIKE IT, CHRISTMAS, DADDY, LOOK!” – I have a feeling this Christmas will be even better than last as far as Evan’s involvement and excitement.  He sees Santa and says “Christmas!” – this kid is too much.  He is absolutely hysterical these days.  I just sit and stare and am amazed by the conversations he has with people.  I can’t wait to sit him down to watch the parade tomorrow, he will be so cute!

What else am I grateful for?  My lovely yoga mat, thank you for being my peace, my space for healing, thinking and stretching… You are the best therapist.

Evan is nursing a cold, baby is congested but both are better than yesterday – either way, boys will likely stay in pjs today and I’m sure Michael will be wrapped in the Moby for a good part of the day because I have tons of work – cleaning, cooking, nursing, playing…. A little bit o’shopping (sans boys). So we are going to get moving over here – Just starting the week off with a Thankful post, as it is the season.  Hope to be back with updated – what we did today – pictures.

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I’m also so grateful for my (still broken) camera.  :D

Recovery.

Good morning.  It’s funny how my mornings simultaneously start earlier and later than usual.  I get a morning wake up call from my favorite little nugget consistently around 3:30 am, and change, nurse and snuggle till about 4:00 – back to sleep until about 7 – then up and at it as soon as possible thereafter.  Which is a really late start for me, I’m used to waking up around 5:00-5:30 but these days I also go to bed much later around11:30 opposed to like 10 the latest.  Sleep is important, and rest is important when you are recovering even though I feel pretty good, when I over do something, I know it.  We are head-over-heels in love with this little dude:

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He is just a little angel.  Very much like Evan.  It’s funny, and I know time can change things.  But everyone told me “good luck with number two, he will be crazy, unlike Evan.”  I got this from all angles, but in my head I just kept positive.  If I had a fussy baby, so be it.  But once again I have a mellow one, just like daddy Hector.  That doesn’t mean my days aren’t crazy though.  Between him and Evan, I’m busy.  I started this post over two days ago, it could take me all day to write – may never even get published.  Two days ago when I started this post I – put the baby who started it with me nursing on the boppy into the rock and play went to touch his sweet sleeping face just to find him spitting up at that exact second.  So naturally I dropped whatever I was doing and fixed that.  Then my super sweet two year old woke up… He is now happily playing with legos in his room.  Then I got side tracked and meant to hop back on here several times, but just never happened.

Like I said, we are recovering.  We are finding our new groove, days are flying by and due to the weather I haven’t left the house too much.  My babies have lots of warm fuzzy things but I can’t find any of my winter stuff, naturally.  Side note, it is weird looking at the two carseats in the back seat.

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Physically I feel pretty good.  Everyday I daydream about yoga postures, the treadmill, lifting, and putting on a dvd.  Each day though I sit down and things still hurt so I say – better hold off.  It’s HARD but I just snuggle the little one or the big one and get lost in a book or recording on the DVR. I never get through a whole show, I think I’ve watched shows about 5 times and still not absorbed what happened.  Everyone around me will agree – I am a baby hoarder.  Sorry I’m not sorry, I cooked him, Evan got lots of snuggles, so this one will too (yesterday I WORE JEANS!! They fit!  A bit snug, but ah that’s ok by me for now – today is round two if I can find the dark ones I want to wear or lulu wunder unders it is).

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Today we have a bunch of things to accomplish.  Groceries, Thanksgiving planning, and cuddling.  Thanksgiving this year should be great, we have so much to be thankful for.  I think my house might be decked out in Christmas gear by then.  The snow and cold has me fast forwarding the season from browns and oranges to reds and greens.

I was chatting with Hector yesterday.  We were listening to an awesome Pandora station and I was dancing with the baby because Evan was with Grandma Debbie (he is getting so spoiled over there!) and I felt so full, happy, content.  It was a wonderful feeling – it’s been a very long time since I felt like that.  Confident, happy, content – unbelievably grateful.  I was MEANT to be a mom.  I know what I’m doing, especially this time around.  With Evan, I felt great but with this one, I know I can juggle both Evan and baby.  I’m sure there will be hard days, but right now – I know this is EXACTLY where we should be.  I’m so filled by that thought.  I’m so happy.  I don’t care if I get the stink eye from someone who thinks they know what is best for my baby or family – because I DO know what is best for them.  Judgey mom wars, really won’t bother me at all – in fact I’ll stray away from that talk – I’m surrounded by supportive moms and family, and friends – that’s all I need.  These boys:

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Like I said.  Recovery.  Mentally, physically, emotionally.  Each day is getting a bit better – this year will end on a high note.

Love – the Villas

 

Frustration Sets In

Yesterday we walked, bounced and made… Who knows how much progress because I’ll tell you I’m typing from the comforts of this ball again with a very similar bump but not a similar smile:

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Ok, I know Evan was born a week late, and I was prepping myself for another late baby BUT OMG!  Yes, this is me venting.  I’m very very frustrated.  Why?  Because last night I went for a walk with my husband and started getting crazy contractions.  I was getting them every couple minutes, I thought – well they could slow down when I stop and they SORT OF did.  We had to stop at Target for some milk and hung out at my parents house for about a half hour before then.  I was still getting pretty consistent contractions at 4-6 minutes apart but I decided to just keep it to myself as the intensity had died down and I’m really sick of the back and forth “is she, isn’t she in labor.”

So as we left my mom’s house and on our way to Target I was still getting them pretty consistently, but wanted to make sure I had them for a full hour before I called anyone.  Well, I suck at timing contractions but I will tell you this – at Target I was getting a few that stopped me dead in my tracks.  At one point Hector said, “Jen smell this candle!” and I was in my head like “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!” Outside I said “great babe, whatever you want.” We finished up at the store and I actually pretty much waddled (yes, waddled!!!) back to the car.  At this point I swear I could feel the baby’s head REALLY low like pressure in places I’ve never felt before.  For a moment I thought “The poor women that experience that pressure for months!” – but then I became selfish again as my back started to hurt I was getting dull aches in my lower back, shooting pains down my hamstrings and when I walked I could also feel pains down the FRONT of my legs.  I just wanted to get home so bad.

We get home and I sit on the stairs right when you walk in the door, looking at our to go bag and the carseat that Evan wanted SO badly to get into.

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No matter how much I tell him he doesn’t fit he just wants to “buckle up” and sit in it.  He is so huge, I felt such a crazy mix of emotion – sadness, frustration, exhaustion – mental exhaustion. My “baby” is clearly not a baby, he was so sad and I just wanted to cry with him.  But our reasons for crying were so different, he needed sleep – I had kept him up way past his bedtime trying to get his baby out – I had clearly done too much as my whole body was just achy, I started to feel sick.  I put him down for bed and he fell asleep quickly.  I had hydrated a lot all day so I was constantly up and down last night and in SO MUCH PAIN getting up and down.  The second I’d get up to go to the bathroom I’d have like wrap around pain from my back, to my front.  I felt like the baby was going to FALL OUT of my body.  It was not pleasant at all.  But the moment I laid down and relaxed I’d be semi comfortable and everything would stop.

So my conclusion?  Evan’s experience thus far was better.  This has been stressful and scary and uncomfortable for several weeks now and I’ve had it.  I’m still pregnant.  I’m sick to my stomach and I’m really frustrated.  My husband goes back to work Nov. 3rd no baby or with baby and I just want to scream.  Please baby, come.  We are ready for you – my body hurts, I’m ready for the overwhelming exhaustion and other pains but the mental part of this right now is like a horrible mind game that is unfair.  I don’t care if I get the “ugh, get over it” comments, baby will come – because the problem is if he was comfortably in there like Evan – I’d be like FINE!  But he isn’t and I just need to be done.  I’m so done.

WIth that… How cute is this bed-head?

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He is watching way too much TV but oh well – he’ll survive.  I guess we will try to bundle up and go for another walk.  Oso will approve of that – I’m also a horrible mother – Evan still doesn’t have a costume.  I looked everywhere for something for him and am kicking myself that I didn’t just buy a dragon costume that was on sale at Pottery Barn.  He wants to be Spiderman but he is too small and the only ones I find are for kids and he really is still in toddler sizes between 2 and 3T.  I’m going to dress him up as a “big brother” doesn’t that sound fair? lol  One more picture of him yesterday during his nap (yes he was still in pjs for his 12 p.m. nap, do not judge, he didn’t want to take them off and in fact insisted I put pants that were too small OVER them:

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I think it is hysterical.  This kiddo keeps me going <3

Loving Weekends, per usual

I don’t know what makes life go faster.  A two year old, or a rapidly approaching newborn.  Any ideas?

I’m expanding like no other, or so it feels.  It felt good yesterday that my overly honest, no filter bro said, “you don’t even look pregnant, it is hard to believe the baby will be here soon.” But I may have a stretch mark forming which is totally weird because 1) never got them before, 2) I haven’t itched for a second and 3) it is like a light pink scratch looking thing.  I’m hoping it is paranoia but only time will tell and needless to say I’ve upped water intake and lathering up on my belly butter.   I’m trying not to stress about it, but I’ve accepted anything body related I stress about.

Here is a breakdown of yesterday:

Woke up, cuddled with my two year old.  Ran out of the house for a glucose test.  What a fun thing to do as a prego.  Make me drink this pretty gross orange drink first think in the am, and sit around for an hour.  Luckily I had good company, my momma & my number one little dude right now.  We stopped for brunch after:

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Afterwards, a quick run to Costco for some staples, Penguin came with:

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We came home and BOTH napped.  Clearly the blood drawing took a lot out of us ;-)

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After our nap, we took a quick walk to EP’s taste.  The weather was INCREDIBLE. The atmosphere was awesome, way better than previous years – we enjoyed live bands, a few bites of food I don’t normally touch and Evan had a BLAST on some of the rides.  My heart was so full watching him, it almost exploded.

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We also enjoyed an insanely beautiful sunset:

 

It was such a sweet night.  Uncle Joe even made an appearance that Evan loved:

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By the time we got home, we were all ready to crash and we did.  But not before some rough housing with our poor pup, Oso:

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Today has been just as fast paced.  Although we slept in!  Didn’t really roll out of bed until around 7:45 about an hour and 45 minutes later than usual.  Maybe third trimester sleepies?  Who knows. Hahaha.  I went shopping with one of my very best friends, Joanna.  Brought Evan home for a nap and am catching up on some other thoughts that I plan to write about in the not too far future like breastfeeding, prepping a big boy’s room and a nursery AGAIN *sigh* so much to do.

Well, I’m off for a laundry marathon.  Followed by cleaning, organizing, some yoga and cuddling with my two year old.  Oh!  Salmon for dinner and one of our family walks.  I’m telling you there has been nothing better lately.

Happy Sunday!

Not the Biggest Fan

Well, as my second trimester draws to a close, I thought I’d write a bit about the past 27ish (21 of which I knew I was prego..)weeks.

My. Goodness.  I feel like this pregnancy really is almost the polar opposite of how I felt during my other one.  Sure I was still obsessed with not getting stretch-marks and have had some nervous moments… Last night I tried to remember life with a newbie and was having trouble falling asleep thinking about how I would handle it.  How will Evan be?  He will be in his big boy bed, will I have two babies trying to cuddle at night?  How did I handle burping?  Did I nurse and burp him in the middle of the night.. I don’t remember!? How could I forget these things?  I wonder if Hector would be just as helpful and wonderful as he was the first time.  Does he even know HOW grateful I was for his love and support?  Needless to say I just couldn’t turn my brain off.  Sure the questions weren’t the same but I did have several nervous nights during my first pregnancy… I also think this is totally normal.  So last night I looked at my peacefully snoring husband, took a deep breath and said to myself “Just like you did last time, one day at a time.”  

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How my pregnancy is different with baby 2:

1.  My body.  Hands down, has stretched in different ways.  Overall I’ve gained LESS (from my starting weight, albeit was higher than my starting weight with Evan, I had just done marathon training… and wasn’t as focused on weight training as I was this time around) than with Evan so far, yet things do not fit like they did with Evan.  My hips/thighs have absolutely widened, and they seem fuller even though Hector swears they aren’t (he lies.. haha).  Like Evan, most people are surprised when I tell them how far along I am, yet I feel much larger this time but I think that has to do with what my hips/thighs are doing.  With this, I’ve actually bought a few maternity items this time around which I didn’t do with Evan either.  With Evan I literally was wearing my clothes to work at 40 weeks, likely why I felt so much smaller with him.  This time, not so much.  One thing I must say is maternity wear is so much more comfortable.  *sigh* I don’t think I’ll ever be good at body changes.   This is something I struggle with about 80% of my day and REALLY need to stop.

2. Energy.  I can’t remember exactly how energy worked last time but I am really really really tired… Pretty much all the time.  I don’t know if because I didn’t have a two year old to run around after or a whole house to take care of or WHAT but I’m tired all the time (did I say that yet?).  Doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, what I eat, if I workout… Nothing helps.  I literally get to a point where I’m like “I just need to sit down.”  Last night we were out for a walk and I had to stop at my moms 2/3rds way though for a rest haha.  Could have been because it was 8:30 already but still.  I. am. tired.  

3.  Workouts.  After my major ankle issue, it was like this for about 4 weeks and extremely painful for another few and is actually still healing:

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I never though I’d get back to solid workouts I felt good about.  This injury REALLY REALLY set me back, emotionally and physically.  BUT I HAVE!  I’m actually more active this pregnancy than I was the last one.  My last one I’d do a bit of weights at home and some light workouts but really took it easy, you know go home, jump on your registry watch baby move and go to sleep. :)  Even if my clothes seem to tell me differently.  I just keep trying to remind myself I have to tools to be how I want to be… Just be calm and patient, I am growing a baby.

4.  With Evan, after my disastrous morning sickness first 17ish weeks (I had both times, yay me!) it was over.  I was able to eat super green salads, fresh fruit, and my total clean eats.  This time, I’M STILL SICK!  Ugh, my tummy really just wants toast, something easy on my tummy.  Veggies, are way hit or miss sometimes I’m like “this steamed broccoli tastes amazing” other times, later that day even, I want to GAG looking at it. -_- haha, this is just the way it has been.  Other times, I’m just so overwhelmed with nausea I can’t eat anything at all. So. Strange.  I still buy super clean but I’ve had way more breads/pasta/whole wheat wraps in my diet then as far back as I can remember.  But like with Evan, no real cravings.  

5. Preparing for baby.  By this time with Evan, I’m pretty sure the nursery was pretty much complete and I had a carseat, and all sorts of stuff.  This time, baby is getting spoiled by grandma… and I think my friend Joanna and I are tied on the onesies we have gotten for my baby no-name.  haha.  I do have some thoughts in mind on how I want to do his nursery, super chill and inspiring, but I better get started!

I know I didn’t love being pregnant with Evan.  Don’t get me wrong, I love baby jabs and the warm smiles from people.  I do love when my sister or my mom say that I’m a cute prego, even though I feel anything but… But I’m looking forward to the end.  I’m looking forward to treating myself to a few new pairs of wonder-unders and a cute pair of riding boots.  I look forward to my baby wrapped in the Moby and my sweet Evan hugging my legs.  

What I’m working on:

Better focus.  This very well might be the last time I’m ever pregnant.  IF it is, do I really want to look back and be like “ugh, I was so miserable?” Nope.  That is why I bought another dress for work today and why if I want a piece of chocolate I’ll have it.  It is why tonight I’ll go on a walk with Evan and Oso, and why I’m going to wrap up this post and clean my house.  I’m going to continue to do things that make me happy (clean house = happy camper)… 

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Being thankful.  So far I’ve had a healthy pregnancy.  I need to continue to be focused ON THAT.  I’m lucky, not all pregnancies are this uneventful.  

Happy Sunday!! I hope to be back with some weekly favs <3

 

xoxo