Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

one-month4_thumb

and then again six months postpartum below:

IMG_4036-2_thumb

and now (2 years postpartum) below:

IMG_9281

IMG_9362

Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

body after baby

When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

LSU2

I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

swimsuit

(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

IMG_9277

So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

IMG_9513

I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

swimsuit1

I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

IMG_8857 (2)

So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

A Small Victory

When we moved into our house last August, I was very very pregnant. We unpacked the entire house prior to Emma Kate’s arrival, because I knew if it didn’t get done then, that it wouldn’t get done for a looonngggg time. We did a good job, and pretty much everything had a place.

39weeks bump2

After the baby was born, the weather turned cold, and I knew there was no way I was going to fit into my pre baby blue jeans. I hated the thought of spending money on clothes that I would hopefully not be wearing for long, and I kind of felt like I was “giving in” to being a bigger size, but I also knew I couldn’t wear leggings all winter (or could I? hmmm). I was finally convinced to buy just ONE pair of jeans, I refused to get more than that. They served me well, and spring came and I never had to wear them again.

This past weekend, we had our first “cold snap” down here in Mississippi, and I busted out my jeans to go to a fall festival. I put them on and immediately realized there was a problem. It was a GOOD problem to have, but still a problem. I could literally pull my pants down over my hips without unbuttoning them. I wore them to the festival and was constantly pulling them up. As soon as we got home, I went in my closet to look for all of my pre baby blue jeans…..I looked, and I looked…and I looked some more. Huh. I looked under the beds, and even dug through every. single. box. in the attic. NO JEANS! What the heck!

unnamed (4)

I still have no idea what happened. I really really hate the phrase “they got lost in the move”, because seriously, how does that happen? You put boxes on the truck, you take them off the truck…but there is no other explanation. I’m pretty bummed because I had about 8-10 pair, including my all time favorites of course, but unfortunately my only other option is to buy more jeans. We have put ourselves on a pretty strict budget lately trying to get things going with the yogurt shop, so the last thing I wanted to do was buy unnecessary things, but I guess at this point it is necessary? Anyway, I’m rambling.

So yesterday I went to the outlet mall, because no way I’m paying full price for jeans I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE BUYING, and actually hit a really good sale on jeans and snagged a pair at a great price. I’m still in denial and hoping the old jeans magically appear so I just bought one pair, but the best and important part of this story is that I FIT INTO MY OLD SIZE! They are a little bit snug, but YAY! I honestly wasn’t even sure what size to bring into the fitting room so I brought three different sizes in. I was surprised, and really really happy! 

Why did I take 500 words to tell you this? 1.) because I am still aggravated about all my jeans and just wanted to tell someone (you’re welcome), and 2.) I wanted to tell you all that it’s OK if you don’t reach your goals in the timeframe you initially set for yourself. it doesn’t mean you give up, KEEP GOING! Would I have loved to reach this goal in the nine month timeframe I had set for myself? Of course! But life sometimes life gets in the way, and things take longer than anticipated.

Quick fixes and fad diets that claim to work super fast usually don’t work, and even if you get temporary results, it’s so easy to fall back into your old routines and gain weight back. Slow and steady has worked well for me, even if it was a lot slower than I would have liked. I don’t do well with crazy restrictions or a lot of change at once, so it was literally me just slightly, ever so slightly turning my ship a little at a time until I got on the right course. I’m still not finished or where I want to be, but this is the first time I have really seen tangible results that surprised me since having Emma Kate.

unnamed (9)

Don’t give up. Keep going. I know it’s hard. I know some days you go backwards. It’s ok. Small changes add up to big results. You can do this.

QOTD: Have you ever lost anything when moving? Have you ever been surprised by a small victory like mine?

Body After Baby: 12 Months

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow. I have an exciting announcement for that post!

Well, here we are. I had a baby a year ago. Today is actually my due date, but we all know Emma KAte was a week old by the 30th last year!  The excuse of “I just had a baby” can no longer be used. trust me, I milked it as long as I could. Honesty moment: I always used to roll my eyes when people said they can’t get rid of the baby weight. I mean really, it can’t be THAT hard right? Well, it IS hard, but it is also doable. I have realized you have to really want it more than those chips and queso, and honestly, sometimes I just really want the chips and queso, yall.

In the beginning, the weight came off really fast. I got cocky, and thought I would be back to my old weight in no time. I think I lost something like 17 or so pounds in the first few days. (I gained right at 30).

one month4

One month postpartum

I stopped breastfeeding after a month, and I know that didn’t help matters. Between November and March I actually GAINED weight while marathon training (I always gain about 3-5 pounds marathon training), so that was really frustrating.

IMG_4036 (2)

end of March 2015, 6 months postpartum

I looked at myself in April/May and was not happy with my progress and knew I needed to get serious if I wanted to see changes. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself after I got back from Disney in May and had gained weight again. I was 8/10 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 15 pounds form my “happy weight.” I knew it was my eating, because I was working out plenty, but I also knew I wasn’t doing the right kinds of workouts.

I decided right then that I was going to be more mindful of my eating . There have been some ups and downs since then, but overall my attitude towards food has greatly improved. I thought when we bought Orange Leaf, that I would gain a ton of weight eating frozen yogurt every day, but I actually LOST weight because in the beginning I was working 13 hour days at the store 3-4 days a week, running back and forth, on my feet all day, with no time to snack. So yeah, froyo was my lunch some days, but there was no mindless snacking all day long. However, because of my crazy work schedule, I have only been working out 3-4 days a week since August. My half marathon training plan got completely derailed, and I started just kind of floating through the weeks.

029

September 2015, almost 12 months postpartum

My new plan is to continue running 3 days a week, but I am also going to sign up for a special 6 week HIIT class at my gym that starts the beginning of November. I think the accountability will be good for me and just what I am needing right now. Between now and then I plan to do some strength training on my own 1-2 days a week as time allows. I don’t really have much of a “plan” other than that right now. We have a lot of personal things up in the air at this moment so I feel I’m not in the best place to make concrete plans far out in the future. I know  I’m rambling a bit, I guess I’m just lacking focus an direction at the moment, but I know it is just part of it, and that it will come back to me.

new orleans

12 months postpartum

With that being said, I am currently ONE POUND away from my pre pregnancy weight. Of course I would love to be AT my pre pregnancy weight, but close enough, right? However, when I got pregnant I was about 5-8 pounds over my happy weight, so I still have a little bit to go, and I’m hoping the HIIT class will give my body a nice shake up and be just what I need. I want to gain MUSCLE and be STRONG. (PLEASE note, that I understand it’s not all about the scale. I could stay at this exact “weight” but have muscle mass and fit into my clothes better and be perfectly happy, I am simply giving a range based on the past.) I am happiest with myself when I feel strong, and I think that is what I have been missing since having Emma Kate. Sure my arms aren’t that bad from picking up my 24 pound child, but I feel quite flabby. I’m not after being skinny, I’m after being ripped! I think that will help with my running, too.

So, here we are, one year later. On the right path, but not there yet. I plan to “check in” again in a few months, maybe 3, maybe 6, I’m not sure yet, to check on my progress. I hope you will follow along with me. I have a lot to learn and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m excited for it! Time to get stronger and faster!

QOTD: Have you ever been in a fitness rut? Do you struggle more with food or working out?

May 2014 Flashback Post

Periodically I like to take a look back to see what I was doing this time last year. It’s fun to see where I was, what I was doing, and how things have changed.

The biggest thing that was going on a year about at this time was our move back up to Madison, Mississippi. It was actually a very scary and uncertain time for us. Our home in Biloxi had been on the market for over two years, and we finally got fed up and just moved anyway. Some friends of ours were gracious enough to let us rent their boathouse from them until our house sold and we were able to purchase one in Madison.

unnamed (2)

Things haven’t exactly turned out as planned (per usual with us) but we are still hanging in there praying for certain things to unfold.

Another big and pretty obvious change is that this time last year I was pregnant with Emma Kate.

team pink

We had our gender reveal party last May, and found out baby M was going to be a girl. We had a blast finding out together with all of our family and friends at my parents house.

22weeks bump3

It’s still crazy to me to look back at bump shots and think our little Emma Kate was in there! Well…not so little She was quite the big girl when she joined us in the world!

Last May was definitely a hard month for my family, and I find myself looking upon more stressful times at the moment, and it is tempting to look back at last year and say “didn’t we JUST go through a hard time like this? We have to do this again?!?” But I am trying to stay at peace and remember that God is in control and that he has always always taken care of us even when things looked really bad. It’s all part of my story, and maybe it will be used to help someone else one day when I get around to writing one of my many book ideas. Smile

QOTD: What were you doing this time last year?

Body After Baby: 6 Months

If you will remember in my 4 month update, I said I was skipping the 5 month update and would re-visit this at 6 months. Well, time sure is flying, I realized this weekend I was a week late with my post! So, here is what has been going on with me since I last checked in. (Side note, I know these types of posts are not loved by everyone and can be a trigger for some, so feel free to come back tomorrow if this isn’t your thing.).

When I found out I would be running the ASICS LA marathon, I was super excited about the opportunity, but also a little worried because I always gain 3-4 pounds when I train for a full marathon. One reason is because I spend all my time running and don’t cross train or lift weights because I have NO TIME (especially this go around with the baby!) and the other reason is because I admittedly eat all the things when I am training for a full. I expected this though, so it didn’t shock me when the scale went up instead of down. However, I am happy to report that two weeks post marathon,I have already lost 3 of the 4 pounds I gained while training for said race. So I am a pound or so away from the lowest I have been since the baby, and about 6-7 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight.

Honestly, all I have done differently is stop eating as much junk food. I have been drinking a lot of smoothies and have reigned in the night time snacking.

IMG_4033 (2)

The main difference I can still tell is in my stomach. I haven’t really been doing ab work so I’m not sure why this surprises me, but I still have this bulge that seems to be the last thing to go away. It seems most of the other spots have shrunk down except this one.

IMG_4036 (2)

Another big thing I have noticed is that my hair has FINALLY stopped coming out in huge clumps. This has a down side though…it has started to grow again and now all around my forehead I have these short little “sprouts” of hair coming up that are driving me insane. Mamas, please tell me I’m not the only one and that you know exactly what I am talking about!

I am still drinking Advocare Spark, and taking Fibo-trim before most dinners and Catalyst before I workout for extra endurance. FullSizeRender (16)

Since I ran the marathon, I have only run three times. I have a 10k this weekend and have just been trying to let me body recover from such a hot and difficult race, and I’m not concerning myself with my time at the 10k and am just going to have fun.

I have however started cross training again and weight lifting! I lifted twice last week, and hope to lift twice again this week. I am going super slow and taking it easy because I don’t want to be so sore all of the time that I don’t want to do it anymore. Easing back in has been good for me so far.

I am also still doing my PT exercises and stretches. Admittedly I am not doing them daily, but 3-4 times a week would be a safe bet. Knock on wood no knee or hip pain yet, and hopefully the addition of more lifting will further remedy the problem. That’s pretty much it, nothing too exciting I know, but hopefully I will have more good news in 2 month at my 8 month update!

QOTD: If you are a runner, are you diligent about cross training and strength training?

Bonding With Your Newborn

Before I had Emma Kate, I had family, friends, and strangers alike tell me that the day I have her would be the best day of my life. That the second I saw her my heart would explode into a million pieces, and that I would experience love that I have never known. I was told this so. many. times. That I became rather curious. I couldn’t imagine this particular feeling, so I was excited to experience it. Of course, how could so many people be wrong? And, if I DIDN’T feel like that, it would clearly mean something was wrong with ME, right?

The day came, and it was slightly traumatic and filled with anxiety. Emma Kate came out screaming, meanwhile I was dry heaving into a bucket as I got stitched up. It was all a blur, and when I looked at her and didn’t have that immediate Elmyra from Tiny Toons gushy squishy feeling, I panicked. What was wrong with me? Who was this creature screaming her lungs out that I was now in charge of? I really, really just wanted to take a nap. It was all so surreal. I was relieved that the dreaded labor part was over, but now I was hit with this new reality that I was in no way prepared for.

IMG_0047

Did I love my daughter? Yes. In an “it’s my job, and I am going to take care of you” kind of way. I would never let any harm come to her, and I would take care of her. But did I love her like I love my husband? The rest of my family? No, I did not.

The first month of Emma Kate’s like was so hard. I was sleep deprived, having trouble with breastfeeding, and I was grieving the loss of my old life and freedom. I felt like there was something wrong with me for not having the same love for my daughter as I saw some people have on the internet. Oh the internet. I will save that for a different post, but seeing everyone else with their babies over the past year on Instagram and blog posts and how they were immediately gushing over them furthered my panic.  Were these people being truthful? Maybe they felt just like me, but were scared to talk about it, as was I. To not want to spend every waking second with your child? Taboo! Terrible mother! That’s how I felt.

IMG_0127

People were very passive aggressive about when I started running three weeks postpartum. “Don’t rush, don’t you want to spend every waking second staring at her face?” Um. no. I wanted to run to have some alone time, I needed to think. “But how can you be so selfish, I could never leave my daughter’s side even for an hour for months after I had her!” The fact that people told me I was supposed to just stare at her and be content with that…again, caused panic.

Then, around 7-8 weeks postpartum, something happened. Emma Kate started to smile. I didn’t feel the Elmyra squishy gushing feeling that I felt I was “supposed” to feel, but I smiled back, and my heart melted just a tiny bit. The smiles came more and more often, and the random crying (colic) became less and less. I was getting reciprocation from this tiny creature, and it warmed my heart. Soon after that, she started laughing. All the time. Everything I did or said was apparently VERY funny, and around three months I started to be excited to wake up and get her in the morning and see her smile at me.

IMG_1893 (2)

We left her for the weekend with my parents to go to New Orleans for a race in January, and while it was great to get away and have some time without her, I was so excited to see her and hug her when we got back. The affection continued to grow, until at four months, we were sitting together laughing one day, and I realized I loved her so much I just wanted to squeeze her so hard just like Emlyra. I am now constantly pinching her cheeks, kissing her head, and laughing with her. I find myself saying things like “I can’t wait until we can do XYZ together.”

When you think about it, it really makes more sense to me to have it happen this way. When you met your boyfriend or spouse, or best friend, I doubt you felt deep affection for them right away. Bonding takes time, and it occurs at a different pace for everyone. The more you get to know a person and spend time with them, the more you begin to love them. This is how it happened with my baby, and I honestly think this is what happens to a lot of people but they are so afraid to say anything for fear of people thinking they are bad mothers who don’t love their children.

IMG_2496 (2)

I know I was afraid to say anything at first, but I realized a lot of people felt this way and wanted to let you know if this is you, that you are not alone! Don’t be fooled by instagram photos or blog posts where moms say everything is going great and they couldn’t be more in love or more happy. Yes it is true for some of them and they do have an instant connection, but I can promise not everyone is being truthful. For me it was more of sidestepping the issue and not talking about it on the blog. If being on social media seeing how other new moms are doing is stressing you out, turn off your phone. Step away, and don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. They may be struggling with someone else that has been a breeze for you. Having the baby blues is ok too, just be sure you know when it’s time to ask for help.

So, ask me now, do I love my daughter, in the squishy love kind of way? Absolutely. But I also know as I get to know her more, I will grow to love her even more. So if you have a newborn, and aren’t “there” yet, don’t fret. It will come. It may take weeks or even months, but don’t ever let someone make you feel guilty or bad because your love came differently or more slowly. We are all just doing the best we can, and should be supporting each other in this crazy thing called parenthood.

QOTD: Did you have an instant connection with your baby or did it take some time?

Looking Ahead to the runDisney Princess Half

Now that the runDisney marathon weekend is over, it’s time to look on to the next event, which is one that I get to be a part of! After a long year of not being in my happy place, I finally get to go back and run the princess half marathon again! I won’t be doing the glass slipper challenge or 5k this year though. My past few Disney trips have involved multiple races and lots of early wake ups, and honestly this mama is tired and just wants to enjoy Walt Disney World and run one race. I’m sure I will be thinking otherwise once I see everyone’s bling from the other races though.

2012-02-26 07.31.15

Funny story about the below pic from Princess 2014. After I crossed the finish line with my husband and parents with a shout out from the announcers, I got a text from announcer Carissa. Apparently, our fellow buddy and announcer Rudy was curious if I was pregnant or not. I was shocked because well, I WAS pregnant but we weren’t telling people yet, so the fact that someone could tell scared the crap out of me! I told her that he was right and SWORE both of them to secrecy! I also told him he was lucky he was right or else I would have felt really bad about myself if I wasn’t pregnant.

5k13

Bobby and I will be staying for a week, at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside which is one of my favorite resorts. I am excited to eat good food, see lots of my running friends, and run through the castle again. Our flights, hotel and rental car are booked (oh yes, we rent a car because I loathe Disney buses), so now the countdown is on. I still have a half marathon to run between now and then, and a lot more training to do as well.

IMG_0948

To get you pumped up about the race, check out some of my old recaps below:

Princess Half Marathon 2012

Tangled Royal Family 5k

Royal Family 5k

Princess Half Marathon 2013

Royal Family 5k 2014

Enchanted 10k 2014

Princess Half Marathon 2014

IMG_0952

A lot of people ask me what my favorite runDisney race is, and honestly, it changes! Princess is definitely up there though, something about all the fun and girli-ness of this race is just really exciting! We had thought about taking the baby with us, but decided against it. She will be spending good quality time with both grandmothers here at our house, and Bobby and I will get an actual vacation. Let’s face it, it won’t be much of a vacation with a five month old!

photo 865

I hope some of you will be there and that I will get to meet you! I LOVE chatting with other runners, especially runDisney runners, so let’s get excited! The countdown is on!

*Also check out my tips for running Princess!

QOTD: Are you running a runDisney race this year?

Body After Baby: Three Months

Time for my three month body after baby update. Again, feel free to skip if this isn’t your thing. Keeping track helps me stay motivated through tough months (like this one). Has anyone ever tried losing weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas? It’s crazy hard!

I’d safety say I lost between one and two pounds this month. I’m still not a member of the gym, so my only means of workouts have been running. I ran between two and three days a week in December, and will be finally able to join the gym in January since Emma Kate will go to daycare for five hours a day two days a week, woo hoo!IMG_1930 (2)

I am still about 10 pounds or so from my happy weight, and now that all the holiday temptations and excuses are over, I feel like I will better be able to focus on my health.

Also, I mentioned yesterday on Instagram that I was invited by ASICS to run the LA marathon in March. Surprise! I will post more about it later, but for now, just know that I am terrified about running a full marathon less than 6 months postpartum! I know I can do it, but it’s going to be tough work getting my mileage back up by March. Luckily I have a great coach. More on that later, too!

IMG_1933 (2)

Side shot, not sucking in. Still have some belly fat to firm up, but I knew that would be the hardest part!

I went ahead and allowed myself to indulge and have fun with food around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now I am buckling down. I am doing the Advocare herbal cleanse, taking my Omegaplex and catalyst as well as spark and every other day I drink a meal replacement shake for lunch. (You can purchase from my advocare store from the link above). I’m still trying to decide which spark flavor is my favorite, but I’m currently loving fruit punch!

IMG_1937 (2)

My hair is still coming out in huge clumps, and now I understand what moms meant when they said they thought they may go bald! Luckily I had very thick hair to begin with. Other than that, I am feeling pretty good. I think my body is more “back to normal” this month as far as how I feel. When I run I can tell there is still extra weight on my body, but that is to be expected. Now that I am going back to lifting weights again, I am excited to see myself get stronger.

With the LA marathon thrown into the mix now, I will have to do some very long runs which will be tough to schedule because of the baby, but at least it’s just for a couple of months and will hopefully be a good motivator for awhile. My longest run to date is 10 miles which I ran the day after Christmas. I have Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon coming up in less than a month, and I am excited and nervous for my comeback!

QOTD: How did you handle eating during the holidays? Strict? indulge a lot? In moderation?

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Review

When I was pregnant, I was contacted by the makers of  the HALO bassinest swivel sleeper. At the time, I had no idea what it was, but was familiar with halo because of their SleepSacks. After doing some research, I decided I needed the bassinest since we were planning on having Emma Kate sleep in our room in the beginning anyway. I was excited to receive the bassinest and get it set up next to our bed.

With its unique dual-swivel design, the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper allows baby to sleep as close as Mom wants – even right next to her in bed. It allows your baby to sleep next to you without the dangers of her actually being IN bed with you. The sides are mesh, so you can see through the wall and check on your baby even while still lying down at night.

HALO bassinest1

It was really easy to assemble, however it is very heavy, so once you get it in place hopefully you won’t need to move it! Because of the awesome swivel capability, you can put it right up against your bed and still “swivel” it away easily to get in and out of bed. The height is also adjustable, too so it is level with most beds. The side wall closest to your bed is collapsible, so it’s really easy to lean in and pick up baby without having to get up out of your bed.

There is also a front panel that includes a light with two brightness settings, music/sounds, a nursing timer, and a vibration on two different levels (all of these have auto shut off). I cannot tell you how many times in the night I used the nightlight feature. It’s just bright enough to check on baby without waking everyone up by turning on a lamp or overhead light.

HALO bassinest

There are also storage pockets so you can put things like pacifiers, burp cloths, etc. within easy reach but also not cluttering up your nightstand.

HALO bassinest2

Want more information on the bassinest swivel sleeper? Check out the below video:

The HALO Bassinest swivel sleeper is available for sale at select retailers.

I was also provided with a SleepSack for Emma Kate. She flails her arms and legs so. much. that she was constantly waking herself up from sleep, so this form of swaddling works great for us. Sometimes she fights it at first, but once she calms down it really helps her to feel snug and secure and helps her sleep longer, which this mama loves!

IMG_0823 (2)

Here are some great tips provided to me for best sleeping practices with an infant:

ALWAYS

  • Room-share, but don’t bed share; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against bed sharing as it can lead to an increased risk for accidental suffocation.
  • Use a crib or bassinet that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Remove all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.

NEVER

  • Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheep skins etc.)
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked.
    Be sure to follow HALO on

Facebook,

Twitter,

Pinterest, and

Google+.

QOTD: Did your baby sleep in your room at first? Do you/did you swaddle your baby?

Disclosure: I was provided with product for this review, however all opinions are my own.

Emma Kate: Month One

Wow. Just….wow. How is this possible? How is my baby ONE MONTH old?!?! The first two and a half weeks, the days drug on so slowly, but in the past week or so she has changed so much and time is flying.

EK One month

I decided to break up my posts into two, so she will have her own post, then I will do one on how I am doing one month out sometime next week. So, let’s take a look at “baby M” and her first month of life.

First off, we are so thankful that she is a healthy baby with no serious medical problems. I realize how truly blessed we are that she arrived healthy and has remained so. I have heard horror stories of babies not sleeping at all, crying non stop and the like, and I can say aside from her first week of life and then a few days of fussiness around 2.5 weeks, she is a very happy non-fussy baby.

EK one month2

In the beginning, she was nursing for 45-50 minutes every two hours, so I was only getting an hour break. I started pumping and Bobby started giving her a bottle at night around the second week and it was SO nice to get a little extra sleep.

We had a little issue at first with jaundice and weight loss which is now under control and Emma Kate is gaining weight like a champ. Her two week checkup went great, and by just over three weeks she weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces.

013

EK has just in the past few days really started to look at the world around her. For the first couple of weeks she was so sleepy and we would put her in the Boppy newborn lounger in whatever room I was in, and she would snooze on and off all day. But, now we alternate between the swing, bouncer, Boppy, and her activity gym when she’s not being held.

unnamed (13)

Emma Kate is not impressed.

At three weeks, Emma Kate was doing tummy time on her activity  mat and she rolled over on her back! I about flipped out, and she just looked at me like “what, mom?”

She likes her pacifier, but ONLY the soothie ones. She hasn’t had any trouble taking a bottle, and will take one from anyone. She is VERY vocal, constantly making noises, grunting, groaning, and moaning even in her sleep.

016

As far as clothing goes, she can still fit into newborn onesies, but outgrew the footie pajamas after week two because her legs are so long! 0-3 are still huge on her though, and she is still in newborn diapers. I bought ONE newborn outfit for her, so the only clothes in that size she has are from friends/baby shower, so she has been wearing the same things over and over. I can’t wait until she goes up a size and can wear cute new outfits she has never worn!

042

Emma Kate sleeps in the Bassinest next to our bed (more on that later in a separate post!) but prefers to nap on her stomach during the day. Don’t worry, I keep a close eye on her, and she can lift her head and turn it side to side, and we don’t put blankets around her. She will sleep in 4 hours stretches at night now which is awesome.

She has such a sweet personality, and loves being held. She likes when I walk around so she can see everything in the house. Homegirl does NOT like having a wet or dirty diaper and will scream, even waking herself up from sleep when she has one. But really, can you blame her? unnamed (17)

Everyone comments on how much hair she has, and asks if she had that much when she was born. I think she looks like me, but has Bobby’s mouth, and certain facial expressions she has look like Bobby, too. Baby started getting some acne on her face at week two, and also has been having some seriously dry skin. Other than that which is super minor, she is healthy and (I hope!) happy. She is changing daily!

unnamed (12)

QOTD: When did your baby start sleeping in long stretches? What about smiling?