Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Back To Eating Healthy: Meal Plan for the Week

Thank God Ty took over for me while I was out of commission the first 3 months of my pregnancy. But I'm back to eating healthy and craving the foods that I used to love. I thought I would share some of what is inside my fridge on a random week and what I'm trying to do to stay healthy while pregnant. Now in my second trimester, I'm really trying my best to stick to healthy foods. I tell myself before I put something in my mouth, would you feed this to your baby?? Because this is what I'm essentially doing. But, that doesn't mean I won't treat myself now and again. Because I certainly do.

Here is my meal plan for this particular week. I have recently had to incorporate a lot more iron enriched foods into my diet because with both past pregnancies I was anemic and this one seems to be headed in that direction also. So lots of iron-rich foods are incorporated into my meals such as spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds, apricots, raisins, sweet potatoes etc...I'm not a huge meat eater so I have to double up on other things.

I left out Sat and Sun because I'm more lenient on the weekends, although I stick to the 6 smaller meals a day and try to stick to my water intake. I will admit that when I feel more hungry, I eat more than I normally would and I'm ok with that at this stage of my pregnancy.  I've been mixing up my water because it's been SO hard to stick to my water intake!! Water made me nauseous for a really long time. Anyhow, this is what one week of my meals looked like. Note all the workouts are now prenatal workouts from the Tone It Up app.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

My Top Baby Picks

Along my search to find some great baby products, I have compiled a list of things that I love myself or that have come highly recommended that I will be trying out this time around. I'm going to be a bit minimilist this time around. For 2 reasons. 1. I know this is our last, so I don't want to be buying tons of baby things. and 2. I know that half of the things that I got/bought with Scarlett and Maxwell, I didn't use. These are some things I DID use and these are the ones I'm going to purchase this time around.

1. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper $230-$280
I've never used this before but it was my number 1 recommendation on Instagram when I asked for favorite baby products. I think this would be really helpful for those sleepless first months. I'd feel safer with baby being in her own bed but still being so close. Last time I used a mini crib and it was hard during the newborn phase.

2. Nuna Mixx Stroller $650
I personally used this stroller with Maxwell and I loved it. It was durable and easy to use in multiple different ways. Last time I got to work with Nuna and got their products for free. They have the best colors now in 2019 and have made some improvements! So I may just purchase this splurge. Want a more affordable but similar version? Try the Maxi Cosi Adorra HERE. Looks similar with good reviews.

3. Mother's Choice Breeze High Chair $34
I have not used this but a high chair is one of those things that I don't want to spend a ton of money on. They outgrow them so quickly in my experience. This one is stylish and affordable.

4. Dohm Elite White Noise Machine $50
This was my saving grace when I had Maxwell. He would sleep SO much better when we used this. I didn't have this exact version but this one had good reviews and was listed on the "Best Baby Picks" list so I will try it.

5. Nuna Pippa Lite $400
Another splurge here. When I had the original for Maxwell, it was a bit heavy and that was my #1 complaint. They have now come out with the lite version and this is why I'd buy again. They also hold their value and I sold this for more than 1/2 of what I bought it for after I was done using it.

6. Joovy Boob Glass Bottle $45 (3 pack)
The only bottle that Maxwell would take. This is one of those things that is not going to work for every baby but the nipple on this one was great and very realistic. Also, can't get better than glass.

7. Haaka $13
Another highly recommended Instagram pick from you guys. I'm gonna try it out!! I must say I wasted a lot of breastmilk when nursing one side.

8. Nanobebe Baby Bottle Cooler w/ Ice Pack $11
I wish I had bought this when I had Maxwell. I was always wishing that the bottle I brought would stay cooler for longer. What a great invention and it clips right to the stroller. In Texas, this is going to be a necessity.

Some other things that I am purchasing because I used them a lot with past babies:

A good, comfortable rocker
Changing table/dresser combo
Travel Baby Swing
Crib for when baby outgrows the Halo

Have any good recommendations? I'd love them!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Chapter 35.

So, in true Lauren fashion, this post is totally late. But I guess that is aceptable since I was not really in commission for a few months. Anyhow, I turned 35 this year. Gasp. 

My birthday this year kind of went under the radar since I was sick. Normally my birthdays are a week long celebration with friends, family, lots of pools, nights out and food/drinks. This year, it was spent laying on a blanket on the green of The Pearl in downtown San Antonio, watching the kids play in the water and eating a s'more donut w/ ice cream. And that was about all I had energy for!
I don't know if it's hotter here this summer than last or just feels that way since I'm pregnant but it's been SO hot. Way too hot to do anything except stay inside or in the pool.

So I quietly turned 35. Wow. How did that happen!? The last 10 years went by in the blink of an eye. I met Ty 10 years ago and it's true. The good times fly. You can't fully understand that until you experience that one yourself. This is a brand new chapter in my book. And there are definitely lots of changes coming our way. For one, if you haven't noticed, a new baby will join us in this chapter of my life. A baby girl to be exact. We moved into a new house. A house we built to be exact. And one other exciting thing that I'm very THRILLED about is coming in the future as well. Changes seem to be the theme for this chapter. I will have to get used to loving 3 babes. I'm sure that won't be too hard ;)  I will have to start getting used to living in a 3600 sq ft house after living in a 1200 sq ft rental for the last year and a 1/2. **Maid for hire** I'm really just feeling happy and blessed in this current stage of my life. So many times I hear 20-something year olds talking about how they are so sad that they are nearing 30 and the good times will be over soon. I am living proof that 30's were SO much better than most of my 20's.  Not as many hard lessons and more enjoyment. Not as much insecurity and more confidence. Not as much drama and more love. Don't get me wrong, I've appreciated every stage in my life. There's some I don't like to remember but I know they have built me into who I am. They have sewn each thread of life lesson into my soul and made me the free-spirit that I am today. My 30's are where I started to soak up the moments and wish they would stay longer. They were where I learned that life is what you make it and that I am blessed. My 30's were where I started to take care of my body and eat things that nourished me. And because of this, my 30's were when I started to FEEL so much healthier. So those of you nearing 30....don't fear it. It's a great chapter! I'm so looking forward to Chapter 35. Hoping it's as good to me as the last 5 years have been.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Weekend Vibes: The Cove, Hiking & Matching with The Babes.

Weekends lately are just me hanging out in my sweats, unpacking and online shopping. Not very exciting... so I thought I'd share these photos from about a couple weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I had not yet hit the SICK phase yet and we were taking advantage of what little weekends we had left before that and the heat hit. Because I knew both would. The Cove is a little place in San Antonio that serves organic food and has a great play area where the kids can play outside. They often have live music as well. We had some good food and watched the kids play. We also did a hike that weekend. During the summer, you have to get up really early to hike here in Texas or you will surely die of heat stroke.... ;) So we got up and went hiking at 7:30am to beat the heat.

I'm really looking forward to when I can have fun-filled weekends again with my family. After the move, after the heat calms down (it's been a 106-8 heat index for days now...) and after school starts and the kids settle into their new schools we will get back to doing some adventures again. I just don't feel completely myself yet. The nausea has subsided for the most part but I think I really need to dive back into working out 5 days a week. And I really need to be able to get outside! Right now it's like winter in NY. I'm getting cabin fever from having to stay inside! And the strange thing is the kids and I were all sick about 3 different times in June and July. It's like we are lacking vitamin D because they don't let the kids outside to play for recess when it's this hot and we just can't really get outdoors.  I'm paler now than I've been all year! Especially me feeling hot constantly now that I'm pregnant. I just need to have a daily power walk and let my soul partake in some good adventure. So for now, I'll keep dreaming of cooler weather and adventures while I go unpack up the rest of my house. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2019

July....and some June too.

The Fourth of July this year was a strange one. It didn't seem like the amazing, fully celebrated holiday that I host to the fullest each and every year. It's no secret that it's my favorite holiday ever. Or that I love to host parties. This party-loving girl usually throws a big bash with lots of food, drinks and red, white and blue attire AND drinks. I can't say that this summer has been my favorite. Pretty dull for this adventure seeker.
This year we didn't do much for the 4th of July. We just had a small cookout by ourselves. Our favorite dishes, of course. We hung out by the pool and it was just a quiet 4th. I took a nap by the pool if that tells you anything. Ha ha. Ty did take the kids to go buy fireworks and we made our own little display in the front yard. Our neighborhood puts on quite the display as well! No firework laws in good ole Texas! Seaworld is also not far from our house so we can see those fireworks every single evening. The kids loved the sparklers and roman candles. Some neighbors joined us and we had a fun little evening despite it being low-key. The kids were smiling so in my eyes, that was enough.

Guys, the itch to go away has been REAL! If you know me at all, you know staying in one place too long makes me crazy. Especially if that place is this tiny rental house that we have been living in for the past year! Last year we took SO many trips and vacations. We explored and saw so many cool and exciting things! This year, not-a-one vacation! There's been a lot going on with the building of our house and then me getting pregnant and being sick...nonstop. I feel like this summer was a bust. I didn't do much with the kids and I feel guilty about that. I know they probably don't even think twice about it but I still do. When I see that quote going around FB and Insta, "You only have 18 delicious summers with your kids...." it makes me sad. First off, I don't like this quote because most people have to work and therefore don't really get much of the summer with their kids. So it could make a lot of people feel pretty crumby. And secondly, on top of working full time, I just have been way too sick to even do a thing with my kids. I took one day off this summer to bring them to the pool and have a picnic with friends and I ended up getting sick with a nasty virus that day. Of course. So we ended up leaving the pool early and the super fun kids day  I had in mind....was not so much. I've been thinking that I need to start planning a little trip for us as a family. Even if it's not for another few would give us something to look forward to. We have the move coming up, school starting and a few other things that would make it impossible for us to even think about going away now, but I do think a trip before the baby comes is in order!! And I've got my heart set on California! But we'll see. I feel like once this move happens and school starts, time is going to start fast-forwarding. We are headed back to Mass in October and then when we return, it's Thanksgiving and Christmas and.....New Year's oh my! Then, baby prep time. So let's hope we can squeeze in a little Babymoon before baby girl comes.

I've just been trying to be at peace with this stage of life. I'm learning to be patient (not my best quality) with the fact that I need to rest. Sometimes you have to take a step back and breathe....slow down before you can move full speed ahead. So July, and this summer in general, was mostly me resting and trying to recoup for what I hope will be a very exciting Fall!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Caboose.

I just traded in the good ole' Buick for a sporty Jaguar F-Pace about 5 months ago. The kids were growing out of car seats and the room just wasn't needed. I was ready for something a little more fun to drive.
When I went back to NY to pack up the rest of our belongings in preparation to sell one of our houses,  I gave away ALL of my baby items. And by ALL, I mean even the things I had saved just in case for the last 4 years. I decided I just didn't need the baby things anymore. It was time to part with them. What I didn't give away, I sold. I said goodbye to all the strollers, baby toys and high chairs.

It was becoming very clear to me that my baby days were fading away and I just had one more year of Maxwell in preschool before he headed off to Kindergarten!
I was ok with it. Ty and I had some projects that we were thinking about beginning and I started to be at peace knowing that our family was complete with 2 kids and 2 dogs. I was looking forward to an adult-only trip or two in the future.

Life sometimes just has other plans.
The second I did all of these things, SURPRISE....of a lifetime might I add!! I felt a little off and just thought, hmm, the last time I felt like this.... 
I dug anxiously through an old box under the sink until I found what I was searching for. In my hand I held an unopened pregnancy test, leftover from a 2-pack that I bought when I found out I was pregnant with Maxwell. The expiration date read, "3-19". I shrugged and thought, hopefully this thing works 5 years later and expired lol. This is how in tune with my body I am. In my life, I have only ever taken 3 pregnancy tests....and they were ALL positive. Yes, that stick lit up PREGNANT in less time than it took to turn it over to read it. I kind of stood there in shock...(even though I already knew this would be the answer-I know my body too well). With Scarlett, we knew there was that one time that we should have been more careful. With Maxwell we knew we wanted another and weren't preventing it but weren't actively trying. So we weren't shocked when we found out about him....but this time. I was a little bit completely in shock.

After that, my mind did a bit of surging as I connected a hundred different scenarios of how this could be good or bad. I just got rid of every single baby thing I have, my car is NOT baby friendly, we are moving in 2 months, we just got 2 dogs!! I guess it was fate. I thought my baby days were over! A baby!? Oh man, I can't even think about this right now! I need a drink....S*#!,  I can't even drink!! lol...And then, all of a sudden, I just put down the test and this euphoric feeling came over me. And just like that, I was thrilled to have a little surprise caboose baby. I guess if I'm being honest, I always suppressed this inkling of a feeling that maybe, just maybe I wanted one more. I just didn't think it would actually ever happen. Ty and I talked about it a few times. It always started with me asking him if he really wanted any more and with him saying, "If it's meant to be, it will be". And then my sarcastic remark,  "Ok, Florida Georgia Line...."
And then I would end the conversation with the final thought, I think we are complete with the four of us. I like my sleep too much! And Ty would nod in agreement.

But life has a way of unraveling and surprising us, with every turn. Despite the timing, it is meant to be. This is our last baby. Our TRUE last baby. (We are making sure of that this time around lol) And I am savoring this last run-through. I know how quickly it goes and I will never again get to experience this. It IS a blessing in so many ways. So, despite being sick in bed for DAYS! (The most sick I have ever been during a pregnancy might I add). And hating every morning when I have to wake up and puke before trying to smell every disgusting smell that crossed my nose, being so exhausted that I can't even stay awake past 5pm let alone workout and feeling like I have the worst hangover of my life for 2 months straight.....I am greatly looking forward to adding one last baby to our family.
Wow, it sounds crazy to say!!! This time around I am less scared but more impatient. With both past pregnancies I was sick for the first 3-4 months. And low and behold this one is no different. I was actually more sick this time around than I was with the last 2. I was just eager for the sick stage to pass.

I was so far off of my norm for a while and by the absence on social media, here and just contact with humans in general,  I'm sure you could tell. I was survival mode. My eating was so bad. I couldn't stand vegetables or fruits and everything I used to eat made me want to puke. I found myself eyeing oreos in the cookie aisle (what!?!?), wanting pasta and bread every day and to scarf down bananas by the bucket. The cravings were real and changed often! And it seems the only thing to make the nausea subside was to snack all day. If I'm 300 lbs at the end of this pregnancy, I won't be shocked lol. I've been MIA because the tiniest bit of energy that I've had has been used to workout or spend time with the kids. Priorities. And social media just wasn't one. Even if it was a 10 min workout, I got it in at least 4-5 times a week because between me not eating the normal healthy food that I normally eat and just the regular first trimester horribleness that I experience, I was not a pretty sight. Lots of days of feeling really down and defeated. I'm not a sit around kinda girl. To be out of commision and stuck in the house 24/7 was really depressing for me.  Working out gave me a little bit of joy and so I pushed through them. They say that working out in the first trimester can actually help give you more energy too. That wasn't really the case for me but it did give me some sanity! I had to stop working out about 2 weeks ago though. I got really sick with some nasty virus. Fever, sore throat, chills, sinus pain...the whole nine yards.  I was coughing so badly and for so long that I threw out my neck/shoulder and was in a lot of pain for quite some time. Of course, not much I could take. That led to me not being able to work out. I'm still getting over the coughing and the fact that I never have to go through another first trimester is TOTALLY ok with me.
The next question always is, besides healthy,  do you want a boy or a girl? Well, when I was pregnant with Scarlett, I wanted NOTHING but a girl. I wanted a girl so badly that I would cry because everyone was guessing it was a boy by the way I carried.  But the week before my ultrasound, I had a dream that it was a girl. And I just knew from that moment on that it was going to be a girl. Sure enough, Scarlett.  Then, with Maxwell, I wanted a boy in the worst way! I guess because I already had a girl. But boys were not that common in my family so I assumed it was a girl. Again, a week before my ultrasound, I had a dream it was a boy. And low and behold, Maxwell! So I'm just waiting for my dream to tell me what I am having this time.  Has this ever happened to anyone else with the dreams?!?
I honestly have ZERO preference this time around. I have a boy and a girl and so whatever God wants to give me, is fine with me. He seems to have a pretty good track record with giving me amazing little people no matter the gender. The kids were SO over the moon to find out that a new baby is coming. I wasn't sure what Maxwell's reaction would be. First he asked me if it's a boy. Then he asked me if it's going to "come out of my butt" and then he ran to collect some old toys for the baby. In ture Scarlett fashion, she shrieked with delight and then wanted to know if it can sleep in her room so she can take care of it.

As I start into the second trimester, the symptoms are fading and I'm on the mend from the sickness that I had.  I've started to plan my workouts and thank God I'm finally craving the healthy foods that I used to eat. I want to share a lot of this pregnancy with you and what I will be eating, workouts I will be doing and anything else I can that might be helpful. I know not everyone has a hard first trimester, but for those of you who do, gosh I feel for you!! I've been there and it sucks. Just do the best you can. That's all you can do. Do what makes your body feel better, eat what you can and hang in there!! Sometimes nothing helps and in my case, this was true. None of the remedies or meds...nothing. I just had to ride it out! B6 did help me with nausea a little bit. Just try different things and see what works for you.

I had a lot of emotions about this pregnancy. Panic. lol, Sheer happiness. The blues. Guilt. The panic and happiness is pretty much expected. The blues were probably a combination of the hormones and just not being able to eat/workout like I used to. There was a long period of time that I just felt down. Mentally, not in a good place.  I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who reached out to me after noticing I've been MIA or just asking "Is everything ok?" It means the world to me that you would care and I won't forget the ones that have been there, asked how I was or just listened to me complain when I needed to. In the hardest times of your life, that's when you know who will be down for you. Thank you to the ones who were there. <3  It's also helped me to see things a little differently and I have a alternative outlook on what's important and what truly matters. (that's for another post). And then there was the guilt. Apprehensive to tell people because I personally know quite a few people that are trying for a baby or have had miscarriages and I can imagine whenever they hear this news from someone else, it is just another sting. And my heart hurts for them. Still, they smile and say congrats and are happy for me. So I admire their strong spirits and pray that good things are in the future for them. xoxo.

Anyhow, that is my news. I look back over the last 10 years and it amazes me how far I've come. How different my life looks. I've added a lot of meaning to my train over the years. Self-worth, pain, growth, knowledge, love, heartache, 2 humans, respect, confidence, adventure, a couple doggies, memories galore....the list goes on. And now, the next thing to add to my train is our little caboose baby who will arrive early in 2020. We will find out the gender this week!!!! Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Scarlett & Maxwell Take 7

Scarlett: Rolling Stones Sweater & boots from Zara 
Maxwell: Tee and jeans from Target 
Scarlett: Skirt from Target, Sequin Sweater from H&M
Maxwell: Sweater and dress shirt from Carter's, shoes from Gap
Scarlett: Horse sweater & polka dot pants from H&M, shoes are Toms. 
Maxwell: Sweatshirt & pants from H&M and Banana print shoes from Old Navy
Scarlett: Whole outfit is from Zara
Maxwell: Whole outfit is from Target 

Ok guys, there's no denying how adorable they both are!!!! Like, seriously. How did I get so darn lucky!? I love picking clothes for these 2 lately. Scarlett likes comfort over anything. But she does have a great sense of style. I will ask her opinion over Ty's for fashion advice. Ha ha. Maxwell is my little stylish guy who gets SO excited when I get him new shoes. We all know who he takes after lol. Let's talk about what these two are up to here in 2019.

Scarlett, just had her 8th birthday. Horses again. Although she informed me that next year she is going to switch up the horses. She is just as wild and independent, headstrong and free-spirited as she has always been! She is starting to enjoy creating her own style now with clothes and accessories. Something that she never much cared about. Friends come so easy to her. That is nothing new. Everyone is attracted to her little light that shines so brightly, drawing us all in. Her award in school this year was "Life of The Party" which suits her well.
Her favorite foods lately are coconut yogurts with dark chocolate chia seeds sprinkled on top, peaches & plums, clean eating tacos, cauliflower-raw, peppers and the occasional....junkable (lunchable). She hates avocado. She loves writing books lately. Reading books and writing books goes on a lot. She has even have written a few narratives. I love this about her!! A mini Lauren shines in those moments. She is super sweet most of the time and once in awhile some 8 year old attitude comes out. She wouldn't be my child if it didn't ;)

Maxwell, he is turning into such a boy! No more toddler. (Excuse me while I sob) He dresses himself every morning now. And he is ALWAYS so excited when I order new clothes or shoes for him. Boxes come in the mail and Scarlett rolls her eyes as Maxwell and I open them with wide eyes!  He tries them all on right away and then folds them and puts them away. He is a lot more reserved when it comes to friends. He has a few close friends and he is content with that. Anytime he moves into a new class or there is a teacher change, Maxwell goes into his shell and feels the situation out before letting loose. Each new teacher asks me, "Does he talk much at home?" To which I laugh....and then reply, "Give it a couple weeks." Sure enough, every time they tell me that he is coming out of his shell and participating more after a bit of time. He loves waffles, donuts, raw broccoli and blueberries right now. He hates cooked veggies. He is beginning to write his name pretty well now. He has been having a phase of tantrums lately. I never understood the whole "Terrible Twos" phrase as neither of my kids misbehaved at 2. It wasn't until almost 4 that they both went through a bit of a stage where tantrums seemed to be a daily thing. But I know this is just a phase and soon my sweet boy will be back. So we love him through the hard stages. His favorite toys are trucks & diggers, PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, Transformers and matchbox cars.

These two kids are such a joy to have in life. In the small moments that they don't think I'm watching, is when I see their true hearts come out. When Maxwell says, "Sissy, I will share with you." after getting birthday presents and realizing his sister has none. Or when Scarlett hugs her brother tight when he's scared of the loud booms from the fireworks. Those are the moments that I stop and think, ...I'm doing okay. They are good little humans thus far.