My First Baby

Around Februrary two years ago, my now husband, then boyfriend brought home my first baby:

Baby Oso

When he first came home, I was finishing up my Bachelor’s degree and working, and I was way less than thrilled.  I had had animals in the past, and although I love them so much, and rescuing a puppy is an amazing thing to do, it is also not an easy task.  The Type A in me immediately began to calculate costs, and freak out about potty training.  Not only was potty training NOT a fun task, neither was his puppy cravings for all things he shouldn’t chew:  corners of armories, flip flops, extension cords, ipod AND laptop cords (my sister was really upset about this one), my niece’s Barbies… to name a few.

This was Oso's favorite treat, you can totally tell he is ours. ❤

Every second of frustration has not compared to the complete overwhelming love I have for this animal.  He is truly part of the family and a real momma’s boy.  Every day I fall asleep with the most loyal loving animal on the planet and wake up to someone who I never have to ask twice for some love (the Hubs likes to sleep in, Oso is a ball of love who looks forward to when I wake him up).  He enjoys just curling up next to me, listening to me blow dry my hair in the bathroom and looks forward to the days when the peanut butter runs out (I buy Trader Joe’s Natural Peanut butter, it comes in a plastic container so when it is just about done I treat him to the remainder of the peanut butter, we don’t like to waste food in our house and he gets it cleaner then if I were to put it in the dishwasher).

Right before the Marathon, he really was a great, great running partner (I'd use him on speed training days, he never let me down or let me feel bad when I knew I was having bad day).

I gush as if he is my child, because in a very real sense he is treated that way.  With the new addition to the family I often get asked how Oso will react, although we have no way of knowing exactly, I have faith he will love Evan just as much as he loves us.  Hector (the Hubs) and I have already discussed that we need to make it a priority to continue to give him love, even if it is Hector that needs to ask someone to come help… Oso LOVES my mother, he absolutely adores her, so I have a feeling she will be instrumental in keeping him one happy pup, me one happy daughter and my son one spoiled rotten grandchild.  I just want to be clear that he is a member of the family, and even if we need to help to give him the love and attention he deserves, we will strive to make that happen, it is one of our priorities.

Oso, Mommy, Baby

For now, this is more of an introduction to Oso post, because he is such a large part of our lives, I will share all the special things we do with him and how we strive to keep his diet in check and the research we have done for our little ball of allergies (he is so sensitive, allergic to everything).

I’ll also introduce you to his best friend, Gandolf.  They are the best of buds:

Oso & Gandolf

My inner Yogi

I found yoga a long time ago but really only ever practiced at home.  I’d buy a dvd and a cute cheap yoga mat and I’d go to town in the comfort of my home.  Then one day I thought to myself, why not try a yoga studio?  I love doing it at home, why not show off my down dogs and warrior poses.

So the first stop was my local CorePower Yoga studio.  Oh my, did I fall in love!  I FELL IN LOVE.  I took a heated C1 (CorePower 1) class which is an “introduction to Power Yoga” class.  Its Vinyasa yoga done in a slightly heated room.  The studio, the heat, the music and the instructor made such a difference to my practice.  I instantly fell in love.  Although I had been practicing, it is amazing to have an instructor be able to adjust your poses and make sure your form is correct (something I love and appreciate as improper form can cause injuries).  What I like about CorePower is the variety of classes.  They have more advanced Vinyasa classes that become more heated and they also have a Hot Power Fusion class that is has a bit of Vinyasa flow but a lot of static poses that remind me of Bikram Yoga (a whole new world of yoga, in my opinion – I’ll write about my experience another time).

I really do love CorePower, it is a little less serious then some other studios I have visited, and I guess I’ll always have a love for it because it is always a clean fun environment, the one that opened my eyes to yoga outside my living room.  There is something about practicing in a studio that makes such a difference.  I live in a big city and could never find a place like that in the DVD’s I have at home. The studio allows me to be present only in my practice.  I’m not worried about my dog wanting to join me, the laundry that needs to be done or the dishes that need to be washed, I’m simply able to just be.

When practicing yoga, I notice an AMAZING difference in my life.  I’m so much less stressed, I feel strong and flexible and focus on breathing when I feel stress coming on.  I’m able to let things go, and being the Type A personality I am it really helps with my anxiety.  Since being pregnant, I haven’t treated myself to yoga outside the walls of my home, but writing this reminds me of the beauty of the practice and the difference a class at a studio makes…

Hmmm… What will you be doing this week?

Do you LOVE yoga?  What is your favorite studio? Why?

Dude, Seriously with this baby registry. Oh the Judgments Coming My Way.

Ok, so I’m a thrifty shopper.  I’m soooo, someone who looks for great deals.  Unlike some people I know, who are the quantity over quality type, I’m big on quality.  For this baby registry thing, I’ve been searching and searching – reading reviews, visiting Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us, and my ABSOLUTE HANDS DOWN FAVORITE the one and only daily to read reviews and add to my registry.  I know people like to go to stores to buy things, but ever since becoming an Amazon Prime member, I’m hooked on the great deals and awesome shipping.  I’m a very satisfied Prime member (and get to take advantage of Amazon Mom, features).

Although I’ve been using it greatly to research and register for baby (along with reviewing consumer reports, and parenting website suggestions including Lucie’s List, which has been super helpful), I have found that you can get pretty much everything from Amazon and it takes two seconds to click and send.

Anywho, this Baby Registry thing is sort of exhausting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop and baby has a great deal of things already.  I feel like I find myself thinking “what will my mom think when she sees I registered for this?” haha – Yes she still has that hold on me.  But I also think of what others will think because not everything on my registry is reasonably priced.  However, for the must-haves, I want what I want and will ultimately buy it myself.  I guess this is my first lesson in becoming a parent.  Every parent does things differently.  Some may think, why does she do this, and why does she need that?  Seriously, why does she want a $450.00 jogging stroller? (well sometimes it is on sale for around $360-380). This is my example – I’ll tell you why – I’ve done the research and it is the best for what I want to use it for.  It really is that simple.  1) It fits a child up to 70 lbs (thus a pretty long life) 2) It has an adjustable front wheel (swivel for easy maneuverability and stationary for jogging safety-did I mention I’m a runner?) 3) I personally know a few people who own it and they say it is worth it (ever hear you get what you pay for?) 4) most importantly, it is known for being well built, safe and I want it for my child<— really all that matters. My point of that is, I’ve done the research.  I don’t need all organic cotton onsies and sleepers (I just really typically like the colors, lol) and I don’t need a thousand dollar Gucci Diaper Bag (would be kinda cool though, huh?) but when it comes to the safety of my child yes, I picked an expensive car seat and yes I picked an expensive convertible car seat but truth is, I did my homework and the reason it is on my registry (I really have two, Amazon and Buy Buy Baby) is because the thrifty person in me tells me “there is a competition discount” haha.

BOB Revolution - Jogging stroller ❤

Anyway back to my point (well sorta).  I’m learning a few very important lessons, even in this process.  1) I cannot and will not, ever be able to please everyone (I shudder to think of all the time I’ve wasted in trying to do so for the past 20+ years, ah well); 2) I’m a parent and responsible for making my own decisions AND mistakes 3) I’m going to make a lot of wrong choices; and 4) I’m going to make a lot of right choices 🙂 – and the only judgment I need to care about is, my own.  Did I make an educated decision? Did I make a mistake, but learn from it?  Is my baby broken, if so do I know how to fix him? (lol, jk) but you get the point.  I don’t need to justify the way I parent, which includes what I have on my registry, to anyone.

With all that said, it is way easier said then done.  I’ve noticed this pattern in other things in my life for some time now, but this time, I’ll really break down if I worry about what everyone else thinks!

Every day, I learn something new.  Being pregnant has really begun to open my eyes to a whole new world, one I am NOT even remotely in complete control of… haha good luck to me… Ask anyone, control is sorta my thing.

Do you have any suggestions on must-haves for a first time mom? I know all babies are different, but what did you splurge on?  What would you have passed on?

The Truth About Pregnancy

So being pregnant was really something I wasn’t prepared for.  My body, has been very good to me but I have also be very good to it.  It has seen me through some very tough times.  In high school I was a basketball player, and sophomore year I tore my ACL.  I quickly recovered after surgery and began playing again.  I’ve always been active and plan on telling you pieces of just how active I’ve been along the way, but I’ve kept up with health and fitness, and try to continue to do that now.

But pregnancy is a funny thing.  When thinking about being pregnant (I thought I’d do it in my late twenties, early thirties) I thought to myself “I will be the healthiest prego ever.”  I told myself, “You’ll eat like a saint, because you already do, you’ll exercise daily, because you already do and you will never touch refined sugars and processed foods because you barely do it now, why would you subject your baby to that crap” — Then, to my utter surprise this happened:

Hello Baby V!

Oh did this little bundle of joy change my life.  The day after I took the pregnancy test (around 6 weeks) I started the famous morning sickness.  For me this was morning, noon, in-between, every second, even at night while I’m sleeping sickness.  Oh, my every day coffee (WHICH I LIVED FOR) became my WORST nightmare.  I literally could not think of anything on this planet that wanted to make me puke more than my morning coffee.  Not only that but vegetables (my life, no seriously) made quiver in disgust, peanut butter (which I’d have every morning) was the devil, and all my whole grains (yep pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread…etc.) were completely off limits or off to the bowl I went (I did anyway even if I didn’t eat these things, but the thought of these items immediately made my tummy turn) , even my favorites like bananas were a no no.  My food list consisted of white only things, white rice, white toast (plain NOTHING on it), the famous saltines, white potatoes (sweet potatoes, another fav was also out of the question), you get the picture…

Then there was fitness, before my little bean (we lovingly called Frijol until we knew what we were having) I was at the gym 4-6 days a week.  I’d also come home and do planks, or weights, or a dvd, I’d take Oso for short runs (he is a German Shepard so we keep him under five miles during any workout) or my sprint training (short sprints, long walks).  I figured that there was every possiblity that I could keep this up.  HA! YEAH RIGHT!  I heard that pregnancy fatigue hits, but oh m geeeeeee I wasn’t at all prepared for the walking zombie.  I could, if I didn’t have a full time job, sleep at ANY time.  No seriously, I could sleep while walking…. during the daytime.  Then when I was able to go to sleep like under the covers at night like a normal person… INSOMNIA! I kid you not.  I would toss and turn and toss and turn get up get down, go pee (like every five seconds, where the hell was it coming from?).  My super smell (oh god, yes super SUPER smell) and super sonic hearing kept me up all night long making days unbearable.

Needless to say, I felt like 1) The worst mom ever.  My baby wasn’t getting very good nutrition, and I wasn’t sleeping AND I wasn’t working out; and 2) I was getting depressed.  How could I go from running a marathon to being unable to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom?!

So much for my thoughts on pregnancy!  Luckily, it did get better, around 17 weeks I started being able to eat GREENS, and kept them down.  Then I got some energy too, though not enough to be training for my next marathon, but enough to walk a few times a week or at least do planks and arms.

What the first 17 weeks of my pregnancy taught me was: 1)  You are no longer in control and 2) Your body is going to change whether you like it or not.

Working on having a healthy pregnancy has been a challenge, which is weird to me because it is what I live… Healthy.  But seeing my body change hasn’t been the easiest, yet feeling my little guy (yep! we are having a boy, Evan) doing flips reminds me that this is OK for now, and that someday I will be in full control of my body again but for now, I have a guest and he needs to be taken care of.  So I take it day by day.  I’m now into my 24th week of pregnancy and it has been a ride.  Please continue to read… I promise there will be light hearted moments. 🙂

Here are some pictures!


15 Weeks
22 Weeks

About me, or a little anyway…

Hello world! I’m Jen. I’m a newly wed, runner, yogi, dog-lover, foodie, all around fitness junkie, oh and I’m going to be a mom!

October 2011 was quite a month for me.

I ran my first marathon (the Chicago Marathon – with a very good friend):

Got a seasonal part time job at one of my favorite stores: lululemon athletica.

Oh, married my best friend:

Went on a mini-moon:

and…. to our huge huge huge surprise:

Created a little bean brother (we found out later of course) for our awesome dog, Oso.

Needless to say, that month, changed my life.

So please follow me on my journey…

Where I love to workout:

Stay active:

Cook & Share:

Watch sports, esp. with my family:

Oooh da Blackhawks (My Sister, far right, OBSESSED & AWESOME.)

I’m also a big blog follower! I love to read, write and run… did I say run? Ok, I like weight lifting too, a lot… My gym is my happy place. ❤