Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Five as a Family of Four

Oh man what a week! Since today is Friday, it marks the end of 7 weeks with my amazing husband at home with us. Next week is his final week of paternity leave and that's when the real fun begins. My life is about to get a lot crazier and busier, but that's what this mom life is all about!

I'm quite behind on getting my posts up and scheduled, so today I'm just Friday Fiving it...and a little late I might add. Just five fun moments from this past week. No products, no amazing photography, nothing special. Just us.

one. Aggie football weekends

It's football season, so of course we're in College Station whenever the Aggies are playing at home! Since my in laws live there, we get to spend the weekend with them and go to the game. My mother-in-love is pretty much the greatest and watches the kids so that I can go to the game, thus making game night, date night! I love all of the time that I've been able to spend with this man while he's been on leave!

two. Benny came home!

My brother Ben lives up in Dallas and we don't get to see him as often as we'd like, so it was quite the surprise when he showed up in Sugar Land this weekend! He had an interview in Houston on Thursday, so he ended up working from my parents home on Friday and spending the weekend here. We were in College Station, so we made sure to head to my parents' on Sunday morning to spend a few hours with Ben. He got to meet Brody for the first time and it was wonderful spending time with him and catching up. When we see him next at Thanksgiving, Brody will be so much bigger and he'll have another nephew to meet!

three. Sweet baby faces

Since Chloe won't let me take pictures of her, I feel like I'm only taking pictures of Brody! I promise I love both of my kiddos equally, but this guy is workin' it for the camera. I'm also obsessed with sweet baby faces. This 'ooooohhhhh' face is one of my personal favorites that I try to capture every chance I get. They only do it for the first couple of months!

four. I'm running again!

I've been working back into running over the last couple of weeks and on Tuesday, I managed to run 3 miles without stopping or peeing on myself. Any woman that has had a baby (especially if it was a vaginal delivery), understands that this is an awesome feat! I'm working on putting together a postpartum running plan for women looking to get back into running post baby! And let's be real, it can be anytime post baby, not necessarily right away.

five. Sibling snuggles

I mentioned on Monday in my update post that Chloe has really warmed up to Brody and is always wanting to hold and snuggle him. Well, little miss "I don't want my picture" asked me to take this picture yesterday!!! I couldn't get her to look at the camera, but I did capture this sweet moment that I can't stop looking at. Watching them grow up together is going to be the absolute best!

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! We have quite the busy schedule with lots of people to see and places to be.

What is one of your favorite moments from this week? I love that not every week has to have a monumental moment that becomes your favorite. Sometimes it's just the way your baby looks at you or the way your children interact. It's the little things y'all!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Brody's Newborn Photos

I don't have a lot of words for y'all today. Just a little update and a lot of pictures!

Today my baby boy is 6 weeks old! It's hard to believe that time is going so fast. I knew that it would, but it's still shocking nonetheless. Life with this little boy has been amazing. He is the perfect addition to our family; he fits in like the piece we knew was missing.

His sister is absolutely smitten with him! She is constantly trying to help out with her little brother. Her favorite ways to help are covering him up with all the blankets, giving him his paci then promptly pulling it out of his mouth, laying on the floor with him for tummy time and always trying to make him smile. The way they interact already makes my heart explode. I can't wait to watch their relationship grow as they age and become closer!

Daddy is doing wonderful! JP has 2 more weeks left of his 8 week paternity leave. His help around the house and driving Chloe to all of her activities has been the greatest blessing. It'll definitely be an adjustment once he goes back to the real world! He's loved having this time to bond with Brody and just adjust to our new family dynamic. We've taken advantage of this time to spend lots of time together as a family going on weekend trips to College Station, family lunch dates and getting lots of projects done around the house.

I'm really feeling like myself again. I think this postpartum experience has been fairly easy for me. Emotionally, I'm in a great place and physically, I'm already back at it! I've slowly started back into my postpartum fitness routine with easy workouts, lots of walks and easing back into running. Breastfeeding is just as wonderful for us as it was with Chloe, and I'll be sure to share more about my breastfeeding journey when the time is right. Bonding with this little boy has been as easy as breathing because he has stolen my heart! Having a son is the most beautiful blessing. I love both of my children equally, but I love them differently! I'm the luckiest mommy because God chose me to be theirs.

Now, let's just look at these gorgeous pictures taken by Kellianne Barron Photography when Brody was just 13 days old! I promise I narrowed them down to my favorites. Kellianne was so wonderful to work with and then she sent me so many pictures, it was hard to choose!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

4 Steps to Getting Back to Fitness Postpartum

Getting back into a workout routine after having a baby is no joke. You alter {or for some, cut out} your fitness program while pregnant, then you're told not to do anything for 4-6 weeks. Once you get in the habit of not doing anything, it's easy to stay in that rut. It takes a lot of motivation and a plan to get back into a workout routine once you're cleared by your doctor. Since I just had a baby and I'm starting to get back into my postpartum fitness groove, I thought I'd share with y'all my postpartum fitness plan!

This post is just one of a few to come on getting back to working out after having a baby. If you're about to be cleared or have just been cleared to workout again, here are 4 basic steps to slowly getting into the swing of things. This applies to all new mommas whether you were working out before pregnancy or not. Just because you didn't before doesn't mean you can't start now. New moms need to find a little bit of time to do something themselves!

Okay, I realize this may seem incredibly basic. Like I said earlier, this is just a guideline for slowly getting back into things.

one. Choose your cardio
Try to do some form of cardio for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Once that gets comfortable, you can up it to 4, 5, 6, 7, whatever fits your lifestyle, goals and busy life. Start with something easy and low impact like walking. You can even do this before the 6 week clearance and baby can come along in the stroller. When you're ready to ramp it up, choose something that you'll keep up with: running, swimming, cycling, dance cardio. Just something that will keep you moving and your heart rate up!

two. Add strength
The workout above is just one of many that you can add in once you're cleared for strength workouts. You can find postpartum friendly workouts on Pinterest and I'll have some more here in the following weeks. Focus on exercises that target the legs, glutes and core. Remember that your core doesn't just consist of your abs! Abs, obliques, back, legs and chest all fall into this category. You need to strengthen them all to regain the strength you had before your pregnant belly.

Also remember to start slow and with lower sets and reps. See how your body feels as you work into it. As it feels more normal and natural, you can increase the number of sets and later up the reps if you want!

three. Don't forget to stretch
Stretching is key and easily forgotten when getting into a workout routine. Stretching helps your body get back to optimal alignment post birth! Think of just how much things were moved around while growing a tiny human. Your pelvis can easily be out of alignment and stretching helps to rebalance your posture. It also helps to relieve stress, allows you to relax your body and helps with pain relief.

Areas to focus on when stretching include: your core, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes.

four. Listen to your body
I mentioned this above in the strength section, but listening to your body, starting slow and working up is key! You know your body best. {Don't forget to follow your doctor's instructions. Don't start your fitness program until cleared!} Something else to remember is don't compare your postpartum journey to another mom's journey! Everyone heals different. Whatever feels right for you, is right for you!

Remember that getting back into exercise postpartum has so many benefits! It can help with postpartum depression, helps you feel like yourself again, replenishes your body and enhances your stamina levels which are all needed on this journey of motherhood.

This is just a guide for new moms and honestly, anyone new to working out and starting a fitness routine. Stay tuned each week for a new workout to add to your collection. This week's was fairly simple in Step Two but each week will be a little different, target other body parts and help you slowly reach your fitness goals!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Can y'all believe that there are only 90 days left in 2018? {Okay technically there are 91 as of today.} Just like every year, it seems like each year goes by faster and faster. With 90 days left in the year, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and join in Rachel Hollis' 90 Day Challenge! The whole idea is to finish the year off with the same intention as we start off a new year. At the end of the year, it's easy to get into a holiday rut of eating too much, having a few more drinks than normal per week, ordering more pumpkin spice lattes, working out less and just planning to do better at the start of the new year.

Well what if instead, we choose to focus on finishing the year strong? What if we intentionally focus on our health: mental, physical and emotional, now? Having just given birth 5 weeks ago, this is just the kind of challenge that I need! My kids and husband are my world, but I know that I also need to strive to be a better me.

Let's take a look at the five categories to focus on for this challenge.

one. Get up an hour earlier than normal. 
I'm going to alter this one a little bit for myself. Now don't get me wrong, I think that waking up an hour earlier to have some me time whether it be meditation, a workout or coffee alone on the couch, is amazing and beneficial. I just don't think that I'm in a phase of life where I can make this happen. With a crazy toddler and a brand new baby, every morning is different. Instead I'm going set a goal to get out of bed by7:00am. Some days I'm out of bed with Brody by 5am and other days JP takes him and I lay in bed until 8:00am. I'd like to try and utilize my morning alone time once JP heads back to work later this month!

two. Workout for at least thirty minutes.  
This I can manage. In fact, I need this. On days that I don't run or do an actual workout, I want to walk for at least 30 minutes. I know I can do this because I did it when I was pregnant. Logistics are a little bit harder these days, but I know how great I felt being active every day. I've started getting back into it, but this will give me the power to keep at it!

three. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. 
I'm proud to say I do this easily! I'm going to shoot for 80oz every day. As a breastfeeding momma, I need at least 80oz anyway.

four. Give up one food category you know you shouldn't be eating. 
Speaking of breastfeeding, I'm constantly hungry and always craving sweet and carby foods. Instead of giving up a category, I'm going to limit myself to one sweet treat a day. I'm also going to try to limit my processed food intake. I'm still going to have some, but I'd like to eat more fruits and veggies at snack time and less crackers, chex mix and pretzels.

five. Write down ten things you're grateful for every single day. 
This is something I haven't been doing and I know I'll benefit from. It can be easy to forget everything you have to be grateful for! 

So! What do you think? Will you join the 90 Day Challenge and see how it can effect the end of your year? Chose to do something for you!

Follow along with my journey here and on Instagram. I plan to do a monthly check in to see how I'm sticking to my goals here, and more day to day check ins on Instagram!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

James Brody: One Month Old

They say time flies by and that they grow up so fast. They're so right. And this is something I already know! I have another baby after all. It doesn't matter how many times people tell you or how many times you've experienced it already, it's still shocking how fast they grow. Today my little man is already one month old. A month ago, I walked into my doctor's office and told her that I concede and was ready to meet my son. A month ago, I was feeling miserable and like my baby would never be born! I knew I would look back and laugh at myself for wanting so desperately to get him out then and there. I'm at that point now as I look at my perfect son who is already a month old. How did that happen?

Since Brody was only born a month ago and this is his first monthly update, he has quite a few firsts. I'm just going to highlight the fun stuff because let's be real, no one wants to know about his first blow out, spit up or time he peed all over dad. {Okay you may want to know about those. Let's just leave it at the peeing all over dad was hilarious and has happened on more than one occasion!

First baby shower
Brody attended his first baby shower before he was even two weeks old! If you haven't gotten the chance to read about my sister's baby shower, be sure to take a look! Brody can't wait to meet his cousin and built in best friend.

First bath
His umbilical cord stump fell off mostly when he was 12 days old. By 13 days, it was completely gone and Brody was ready for his first real bath in a tub! Nonna was also itching to give him one. She actually was the first one to clean up both of my babies post delivery and give them their first real baths at home. It's so special having a mom that is a nurse!

First road trip
Just like his sister, Brody's first road trip was to College Station, TX! Since Jojo and Pops live there, it's the perfect place to go during Aggie home games. We get lots of extra love and time with JP's family, and we get to go to the Aggie football games. I don't go to all of them, but occasionally it's nice to get away. I'm so fortunately to have a rockstar mother-in-love that is always willing to watch my babies and give me a little break.

First visit to Jojo & Pops house
This kind of coincides with his first road trip, but I do believe that his first visit to his Jojo and Pops house is worth documenting! We're already looking for trip number two in just a couple of weeks!

First thumb suck
The picture above not only documented his first visit to Jojo and Pops', but it also captured this little guy's first thumb suck! He is completely obsessed with his hands, so it makes sense that he's found his thumb. He hasn't really quick figured it all out, but he's found it a few times since then.

First out of state visitor
Brody's Auntie Ali and one of my very best friends flew in from Chicago last weekend just to meet this little guy...and to see me I like to think! She was actually in the delivery room with me when Chloe was born, so it was hard to have her far away when Brody came into the world. Luckily she was able to come down and snuggle him before he hit the one month mark. We can still tell him one day that she's known him his whole life. It was a wonderful visit that included lots of love, friends and Aggie football. Of course we lost to Bama, but one day we'll beat them again! I was hoping Brody would be the Aggies good luck charm.

Brody loves...
  • nursing! I have another boobie baby that just loves to eat!
  • his big sister Chloe. I love watching them interact and she is just smitten with him.
  • being worn in a carrier. We've tried all four and he loves all of them.
  • snuggling whoever will hold him. He's the snuggliest, most loving little guy.
  • being in motion. Walks and car rides are him jam. Just don't stop. Red lights are not fun.
  • staring at fans, blinds and mobiles. 
  • swinging in his swing. It combines his love of being in motion and mobiles!

Brody dislikes...
  • diaper changes.
  • getting dressed or changing cloths.
  • drying off after bath time.

My sweet Brody Boy,

This last month with you in the world has been the best. I was worried before you arrived about how you would fit into our family, about how Chloe would react to you, about how I could love you as much as I do her. It's silly to think about it now because loving you is like breathing and I couldn't imagine our family without you. In just 31 days, you have changed our lives as we know it! In the best way of course. 

You are the sweetest, cuddliest boy and I could hold you for hours. I love having visitors, but when they leave, I'm thankful to have you to myself again. I love to wear you around the house just to hold you close to me for as long as possible. You rarely cry, but when you do, boy are you mad! You turn beet red like Baby Jack Jack from The Incredibles and you forehead turns purple. It's actually quite comical minus the fact that you're incredibly loud. But for the most part, you're easy going and put up with all of our family antics.

I can't wait to see where each month takes us, but I'm okay for everything to come slowly. I need to soak you up as much as possible because before I know it, you'll be a wild 3 year old like your sister. Until then, I'm going to memorize your facial expressions, hold you as much as possible and see where life takes us. I love you to the moon and back James Brody and I can't believe that God chose me to be your momma.

I love you without wax,

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

4 Week Unbumpdate

It's time for another Unbumpdate! These are my postpartum diaries following along the lines of my pregnancy bumpdates. It's a way for me to be real and honest about what's happening during the 4th trimester or the first 3 months of Brody's life.

Over the last 4 weeks, I've been fortunate enough to have my husband at home with me to help with the kids and to give me time to myself. I know that this is definitely helping my mood and my healing process. I still have him for another 4 weeks! I am one lucky momma!

How Old is Brody? 
He is 4 weeks old yesterday

Size of Brody: 
He's definitely a hearty boy. Check back Thursday for this one month post to see where he's at!

Weight Loss: 
I'm about 12lbs from my prepregnancy weight. I'll admit, other than walking, I haven't started try to lose the weight! I've been doing a little indulging in sweets and carbs lately. Going forward, I'm going to keep myself to eating dessert only once a day as opposed to once a meal! Haha. Breastfeeding cravings are no joke y'all!

Postpartum Aches and Pains: 
Postpartum pains went away much quicker this time around! I cramped pretty bad for the first two weeks or so, but after that it was gone. Since I didn't tear the perineum pain was gone by the time I had my 2 week postpartum check up! That has been the biggest blessing since I remember being so sore for weeks after a second degree tear with Chloe. As far as my postpartum bleeding goes, it has subsided over the last week which was nice. {I stopped bleeding around week 4 with Chloe as well.}

My biggest complaint is back and neck pains. This momma needs to make an appointment with the chiropractor and get a massage! 

I've been in a pretty good headspace for the most part! The baby blues we definitely present in the early days which is incredibly common. Some days I'm still weepier than necessary over some things; mostly just mom guilt and silly things that I don't need to worry about. I think my weepier days coincide with my lack of sleep. After a few bad nights, I'm a bit more emotional.

I'm still trying to be very aware of my emotions and whether any signs of postpartum depression or anxiety develop. I did deal with some postpartum anxiety that was diagnosed late with Chloe. If for some reason these feelings develop, I want to be on top of them this time around! But overall I'm loving this new season of life I'm in! 

Some nights are better than others! Brody pretty consistently wakes up every 3 hours to feed. About every other night or every 2 nights, we get a solid 5 hour stretch which is amazing! I'm a bit foggy brained these days, but it's nothing I can't handle. Thank goodness for JP who takes night time diaper duty, so I can just lay in bed and feed Brody. When I get out of bed, it's so much harder for me to fall back asleep. I'd say I'm averaging about 5-6 hours a night which isn't too bad for a 4 week old.

I am one of the fortunate ones that has a pretty easy time breastfeeding. Chloe and Brody were both great eaters that just seemed to know what they were doing. Brody is continuing to do a great job eating and gaining weight. He's a little champ! Since we're entering his first mental leap, he's a bit fussier than normal and is wanting to cluster feed again. I don't mind doing it, but it does give one tender nipples. Take a look at my postpartum favorites post to see what I use to help that!

Breastfeeding cravings are just as intense as pregnancy cravings if you ask me! Also, I find that I need to eat more when breastfeeding versus being pregnant. The average breastfeeding mom actually burns about 500 extra calories a day to product milk. Lately my cravings are all the carbs I can get my hands on. I'm more of a grazer, so lots of snacks to get me through to dinner time. I indulged quite a bit the first few weeks, and I'm trying to make healthier choices now that life is getting back to the swing of things.

After my 2 week postpartum appointment, my OB cleared me to start walking again and to begin easing into slow postpartum workouts. She was so impressed with my ability to walk and workout up until the day that I delivered that she gave me the okay a little earlier than normal. 

I've been very aware of my body and how I'm feeling, so I'm easing into everything. The past two weeks I've walked 3 days a week and seemed to pick up my pace a bit each time. 

Best Moments The Past 2 Weeks: 
Watching Chloe love on and interact with her baby brother! She's constantly asking "where's brother?" or "where did you put the baby?" when she knows exactly where he is. It's kind of weird and adorable all at the same time.

Another best moment was when Auntie Ali came to visit from Chicago and meet Brody! It was so wonderful watching them interact, plus Ashley, Ali and I were reunited for a girls weekend. Football, sleepover and brunch included.

If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out Brody's Birth Story. There is a part 2 in progress, but I'll admit that I'm a bit slow and behind!

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Nautical Baby Shower

After all of the pregnancy and baby posts for my sweet boy James Brody the last few months, you may think that this is another post celebrating him. Nope! There's another bundle of joy coming into our lives in a matter of weeks; my very first nephew Gabriel Francis Lewis! That's right, I'm going to be an auntie and I couldn't be more excited. Don't get me wrong, I feel like an auntie to my very best friends babies because I love and care for them so much, but this time it's my sister that's pregnant and it feels so special.

My sister is 9.5 weeks behind me in pregnancy, so yesterday she hit the 34 week mark. We're looking at just about a month and a half until we're back in labor and delivery again to meet Baby Gabe! It was so much fun being pregnant together, and it's going to be even more fun raising our sons together! The fact that she lives only 5 minutes from me is the absolute best. Chloe's going to love having two little boys to boss around in a few years.

My mom, our friends Meena and Kelsey, and I hosted Gabe's nautical themed baby shower. His nursery is going to be ocean/whale themed, so we were able to incorporate lots of decorations that could be used in his nursery as well. 

Of course we had to do a whale themed clothes line to help her get his wardrobe started! Most of these items can be found at Carters or Target! The Nautical bandana bibs are from Amazon. {4 for only $14.99!} They have other patterns if you're interested too. I received the dinosaur set at my shower and had to get some for Gabe. The burp cloths and breast pads are handmade by family friends, and the personalized onesies and bibs are made by our friend Amy Jo who has an Etsy shop called Milk Belly Designs!

Speaking of Amy Jo, she also created this gorgeous diaper cake for Gabe! Even though she couldn't be at the shower, her personalized touches were all over the place!

The diaper cake sat in the middle of our under the sea candy bar! We had everything from sour seaweed to the catch of the day, gummy sharks to fish bait, and salt water taffy to a school of fish! We bought some white treat bags from Amazon and some sweet thank you whale stickers to add on for guests to fill up and take home with them. It was definitely a hit.

Here is what our Under the Sea candy bar consisted of:

Fish Food: M&M's
Salt Water Taffy
Whale Kisses: Dark and milk chocolate kisses
Seaweed: Sour noodles (blue and green separated)
Fishing Bait: Sour noodles (red separated)
Gummy Octopus
Whale Poop: Peanut M&M's
Gummy Sharks
School of Fish: Swedish Fish
Catch of the Day: Tropical Fish Lollipops
Chocolate dipped pretzels

As far as baby shower games go, we didn't really go the traditional route. Since the shower was co-ed, it was really more of an opportunity to just hang out, mingle, eat good food and open lots of presents. But you can't have a baby shower without a little something! This time we put a spin on the traditional "Don't Say Baby" game. Instead of using clothes pins, we used lifesaver necklaces made with mint Life Savers and bakers twine. Whenever someone said "Baby" if you caught them, you could steal their necklace. Whoever had the most necklaces at the end of the night, won a gift card!

We also had a diaper raffle for everyone who brought a pack of diapers for the parents-to-be! You can never have too many diapers when welcoming a little one into the world. Everyone that brought some was able to enter their name for each package they brought and at the end of the night we drew a winner for another gift card! Speaking of diapers, we also set up a "Midnight Changing Station." The idea is to write a silly note of the back of a diaper to lighten the mood when changing diapers in the wee hours. I love doing this for new parents because they get lots diapers and a few laughs too.

As far as food goes, we had quite the assortment! Since it was an evening shower, we provided dinner. My dad smoked some pork and brisket on the pit, so we had sliders with all the fixin's and sides! We also had buffalo chicken dip, raspberry chipotle meatballs, baked beans, coleslaw, veggies, chips and dips. On top of that, we had tons of desserts to choose from aside from the candy bar. Brownies, a truffle pudding, sopapilla cheesecake, an actual cheesecake and two cakes! I completely forgot to get pictures of all the food before everyone started digging in, but I did snap a picture of the vanilla cake with it's sweet whale topper that we found at Hobby Lobby.

I think that covers all the details of the shower! Now it's all about the mom and dad-to-be and the ones who love them most. It's not a party without a moment to take ALL the pictures.

Just before pictures, we had to snap a picture of Matt and Emily, but of course Chloe had to be in it. Emily is quite possibly Chloe's favorite person in the world.

Then we had to get the traditional hostess, parents, best friends and family pictures at the end of the night.

Hostesses with Emily and Matt
Kelsey-Amy-Donna (Mom)-Emily-Matt-Meena

Emily & Matt with all the parents...and Chloe (at least she's smiling this time!)

It was an absolutely wonderful shower! The new parents received so many amazing gifts and were showered with love the whole night. It's always wonderful to see people come together and celebrate especially when it's for two very deserving people.

Emily and Matt,
We love you both so much and can't wait to meet your baby boy. He is going to be the most perfect addition to our crazy family. I'm already excited to see him and Brody grow up together as best friends and cousins! Prayers for an easy rest of the pregnancy and labor and delivery. I can't think of two more amazing parents than y'all. Gabe is a lucky little boy.

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