Monday, February 20, 2017

Pieces of Life: That Never Ending Winter of 2017


New Year's Day...it was a low key night. So I found these sparkly joggers that worked perfectly.
Snowshoeing with Daddy. Winter seems never ending in February. 
Maxwell in his new Daycare that he loves. If this isn't the cutest picture...
Scarlett's face is lovely in this picture, I know. But Maxwell's cheese was too good not to post.
We pretty much live at the grocery store lately. My least favorite place in the world. 
Scarlett and I went on a date day for lunch and then to watch The Wizard of Oz play. It's not often that we get to do things one on one so it was nice to spend a little time with my sassy 5 year old. 
Yes she has a gardening shovel and he has a pink baseball bat....idk.
This particular day was a sick day for Scarlett and Maxwell. But they still managed to smile for a picture. 
"Hey Girl...."
Basketball with Daddy in their Pats jerseys. 
With the cold weather, there has been a lot of days inside like this. A lot of ripping apart the playroom and then putting it back together again. 
And I've been working out as much as I can this winter. Takes my mind off of a lot of things... This was a gym day with my partner in crime here. 
We went to a comedy show and dinner with friends a couple weekends ago. It was a really great time. Rory Albanese was hilarious. 
My Scarlett set up this display of milk, chocolate syrup and a spoon and asked me to take a picture of it with her....she doesn't take after her mother or anything. ;)





Thursday, January 26, 2017

First Post of the Year: I'm Up In The Gym Just Working on My Fitness.


It's sad that this is my first post of the year. I've been MIA lately and when that happens, it's usually because something else is taking up the small amount of free time that I have. In this case, it's true again.  I've started on a health/fitness journey to see if I can finally get to the place where I've always wanted to be.

Here is my take on this subject. Women are beautiful. No matter what shape, size, or chapter of their life they are in. Because most likely, women will go through many different versions of themselves and their bodies. Women's bodies go through so much and I think it's sad that it's not more understood or accepted by not just others, but US.
If you glance at my instagram and see the photo below, you might be inclined to think it was all easy for me. But I too had to put in a lot of hard work and eat good.

Below: top left is me 39 weeks pregnant with Scarlett, top right is me 2 1/2 months after Scarlett. Botton left is me at ONLY 36 weeks pregnant with Maxwell (could I get any bigger!?) and me 4 1/2 months after Maxwell.
I have been through many of those body chapters myself. When I was 24 I ate whatever I wanted, I worked out a lot because, quite frankly, I had no kids and I mountains of free time. I had rock hard abs, the perkiest butt and some toned legs to kill for. My body has always been somewhat of an athletic build. Very little curves. Then I got pregnant with Scarlett and I gained the best booty I think I ever had. I LOVED my body post-Scarlett. My boobs were fuller, my waist went back to the size it used to be almost instantaneously and I was really enjoying my curvy figure. A new mothers dream, right? I was a first time mother and learning to multi-task life with a new baby. Working out took a back seat for a bit. And that was okay. I needed that time to figure it all out. Shortly after that I lost a lot of weight- probably due to breastfeeding, and of course the curvy figure started to dissipate. I became a very skinny girl despite the fact that I ate everything in sight. Good-bye curves.

You see, it's always been hard for me to gain weight. I've heard it a hundred times...."Oh, such a problem. Must be nice to have a problem like that." Well, if you are saying that, it's most likely because you've never had that problem. It's not all it's cracked up to be. In the same breath, it is similar to struggling with losing weight.  I would eat and eat and still I was as thin as a rail. I would force myself to eat even when I wasn't hungry just so I could try to maintain my weight. Not to mention if I worked out....the wind would take me away!

About 1-2 years after Scarlett was born, my hormones must have settled or maybe weaning had something to do with it, but I was able to eat normal and gain a little bit of weight, bringing me back to pre-baby weight. I started working out and got in pretty good shape. But I was never 100% where I wanted to be. I still wanted to have a little more weight on; a few more curves. I just didn't know HOW to do that. Mostly I would just do work out videos at home or a group fitness class.

Then, Maxwell came along and good Lord, that boy made me hungry 24/7.  I gained weight with him like I had always dreamt of. Of course, the grass is always greener, right? I got to a point where I couldn't even fit in my maternity jeans and I thought, I gotta slow down on this eating thing. This was a chapter that I had never experienced before. I worked out religiously with this pregnancy and it proved to me that every pregnancy is different. Not all pregnancies are as easy as my first was. I struggled to stay fit throughout my Maxwell pregnancy despite working out and loading up on mostly all good foods. After I had him, the weight took awhile to come off. It didn't slip away as it seemed to after I had Scarlett. But I was okay with that as well. I never beat myself up about it. I did what I could to work out and I made sure that I ate a lot. Breastfeeding was really hard to keep up with. I had to think about the nutrition I was eating all the time. I couldn't eat enough and Maxwell nursed double what Scarlett ever did! Then, about a year 1/2 after Maxwell was born, as he weaned and I started to go back to my normal weight, my skin began to sag, my muscle became invisible, and my butt? Where the hell did that go!? I ramped up on working out and I found myself getting in shape again.
Below is me at at 39 weeks pregnant and then me 2-3 months post Maxwell. 

So now, almost 1 1/2 years after Maxwell, I started this mission to be the "chapter" of myself that I've always wanted to be. A healthy, toned and fit me. I'm not just doing this for looks, although, that IS a big part and there's no reason to deny that. Every girl likes to feel her best no matter what her idea of attractive is. But I'm also doing this because it's my BIG goal and I want to feel healthy. I've been following a plan that I found through social media and I really liked it. However, I've had to alter quite a bit because I can't eat the same way that someone would who is trying to lose weight. I also needed to change up some of the workout routines that they gave me because I know what I am looking for as far as results. For me, my goals are to build a booty, tighten the skin in my stomach and leg area and overall gain tone. This is where a lot of these diets, work-out plans and fitness regimes go wrong...not one person is alike and what works for one, isn't going to work for another. And so I started this quest to find the best method for me. I combined advice from a trainer, a workout program and things that have personally worked for me, to make a plan that I could be confident in. My thought as I started this was merely just to help myself. But after seeing results in just 2 weeks, I started to think about sharing it.  It's no doubt that I have found things that work for me and things that are useless.  I sat down one day and thought, wow, I've really tried so many different routines and workouts, I should really put this all together and share it. So that is what I've been up to in my free time. Blogging isn't as frequent, social media is quiet...but I can assure you that when I'm done with this, it will be worth it for myself and maybe for someone else too. ;) The great thing about what I'm doing is, it's interchangeable according to what you want for results. AND it isn't so severe that you can never indulge. I've had more people ask me for my workout routine or how I stay in shape, than any other question ever in my history of blogging. You can read my first two pregnancy posts on staying fit the first time HERE and after the second baby HERE. 


 Although I've been working out for very long time, I started this dedicated & strategic process just over 3 weeks ago and I'm not quite ready to give all the details yet because, well,  they are simply not ready. I need to go through the 12 week process and put everything together as I go so that I'm confident it works and that it is valuable. I still plan on sharing my progress and a little of the plan along the way. The FULL workout details will be put together for you at the end. But stop back by to see posts every now and then on progress and maybe a photo/video or two.

Below....on the left is me after Christmas & holidays, eating whatever I want and drinking too much, on the right is me 2 weeks after starting my workout routine and eating better....I was really pleased with the definition I've gained in my butt/leg area in only 2 weeks.













Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016.

This holiday was a different experience for sure. All that know me, know that I am the biggest planner when it comes to holidays and events. I calculate and make lists months in advance to plan out a perfect event, holiday, vacation...whatever it is that I am planning. When things pop up that aren't on the agenda, it really sends me into a tizzy. I know that I shouldn't let things upset me since there is really no way to eliminate unexpected things happening. I mean, that's life. Still, it does. This year I planned a fun Christmas Eve since it's tradition to hold it at our house. I made reservations at a cozy restaurant in town and then collaborated for us to go Christmas caroling in my neighborhood. I set up a hot cocoa bar and a bunch of desserts to munch on before going out to sing. I also put together some fun games and made sure that Christmas Movies were recorded so that I could play them in the background while we mingled. I stocked up on food the week prior and of course all of my gifts were wrapped a month before Christmas. Also this year, my sister and brother in law were here from Texas to visit for the week leading up to Christmas. I was excited to have my mother and step-father, Ty's family and my sister & brother in law all wake up in the morning with us to watch the kids open presents.

It sounded like it would be the perfect holiday. I took the week before Christmas off for vacation. I figured it would be nice to visit with my sister that whole week and it would keep Maxwell healthy for Christmas since he wouldn't have to be in daycare all week. That poor kid has been nothing but sick since starting 2 months ago.

Things went according to plan until about Thursday. Kalin, my sister, and her husband Peter arrived on Monday and we had a great start to the holiday week. We went to see dinner and a movie, laughed a lot, and the kids enjoyed meeting their 2 dogs. Thursday morning Maxwell had his 18 month doctor appointment. He woke up with a fever so I thought, great. But at least I was going to the doctors anyway. After getting him home from the doctors, I started to feel not that great myself. And of course, not only was Maxwell sick with some virus, but then I got the stomach bug. So that was the start. Maxwell got worse and worse. The sleepless nights and screaming cries all day told me that he was getting another ear infection. At 1:00 pm on Christmas Eve, 2 hours before our dinner reservations, I brought Maxwell to urgent care. Luckily we were in and out and they told us that he didn't quite have an ear infection but that they just looked red. I wasn't confident in this answer and I really didn't feel that the doctor even did a good job at looking him over. Especially since he was already on antibiotics from his prior ear infection. My instinct told me that he had an ear infection or that something else was going on. We made it in time for dinner and surprisingly Maxwell ate and was well-behaved for the whole meal. The caroling was the best part of the holiday. The weather was perfect. Although Maxwell was not really feeling great, he was a trooper and held it together for most of the caroling. He was happiest to see the lights on all the houses that we stopped to sing at. The families faces as they came out to watch us sing was the best part! Everyone agreed that we need to make it a tradition and do it every year.

After that we came back to our house and had drinks and more desserts. I didn't eat or drink much of anything since I was still recouping from the bug I had. Maxwell went to bed but was up every hour for most of the evening/night since he was so sick. It wasn't how I envisioned Christmas Eve at all. Ty and I cleaned up and helped Santa prep. It was a very long night of sitting up with a very inconsolable Maxwell. Scarlett woke up early excited to see if Santa had come. We all went downstairs together and the kids were both over the moon with the gifts that were stuffed under the tree. Even Maxwell, who was still feeling horrible, tried with all his might to open his gifts and take in all of the joy that Christmas morning is. Those moments that morning were all that mattered to me. I wanted to see their eyes light up and the happiness fill them as they played with their new toys. And they did.

Maxwell barely made it through his gifts. It was easy to see that he was miserable. The poking at his ear and crying even when he was on Tylenol/Motrin reassured me that I needed to take him back to the doctor. I didn't want to put him through another night of misery if I didn't have to. So on Christmas day, we headed to the Emergency Room. And we left with the confirmation that he did indeed have an ear infection. Just as I predicted the day before. Christmas dinner was supposed to be at my other sister's house but after she informed us that now her husband then had the stomach bug, we decided to stop at the Chinese place and grab some food for us and the guests at our house. When we pulled up to a completely dark Chinese Restaurant, we knew that we would have to go home and search the cupboards for something instead. And we did just that.

Out of all the excitement that went on over the Holiday week, the most enjoyable was when Maxwell and Scarlett played with their toys that evening. Maxwell had a bit of a second wind and was happy playing trains. We sat on the couch and watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. My mom and step-father joined in on the classic that we've seen more times than we can count. It never gets old. The next morning, Maxwell still wasn't better....and so the holiday didn't roll out how I envisioned. It was a lot of consoling Maxwell and praying that he would be better. A lot of trying to make everything go as planned and watching it unravel anyway. Overall, it was kind of a doozy of a holiday. But I learned something this year. No matter how we prep and plan, or how we try to make things go how we want them to, sometimes we just aren't in control. And the more time we waste trying to control things, the less time we spend enjoying moments. For instance, when I was sick with the stomach bug...I laid in my bed feeling like death. My sweet Scarlett came in and asked, "Mama, can I do something to make you feel better?" I shook my head, "No thank-you. I just need to rest. You can go visit with everyone downstairs if you want to." And she could have done just that. But instead, she brought me toast with jelly. She read me a story and after I closed my eyes to sleep, she cuddled next to me. It was in those sickly moments that I thought about what really mattered. It didn't matter much if the kids woke up to gifts under the tree or if my Hot Cocoa Bar looked like perfection (which it didn't- I barely had time to put it together). Although I do consider those things important, ha ha, I know that the real stuff was that sick evening, with Scarlett there beside me, comforting me as we drifted to sleep watching Elf. Or the fact that even though Maxwell was sick, in a few days he would be better. Something that some families would give anything for. There are sick babies out there that won't get better in a few days. Children with serious health issues. Children that are fighting for their life.... and so I am thankful for a crumby, fallen-apart Christmas that didn't go as I planned. Because I know that my crappy Christmas is a dream to others and I've learned something else this holiday that I will carry with me now through life. Enjoy those little unplanned moments that you didn't even see coming. THOSE are the ones that touch you in a way that you didn't expect and almost always are the most important ones. 

Laying next to Scarlett as I felt like death. Watching Christmas movies and hearing her say, "Don't worry, I'll take care of you Mama." Laying on the couch with Ty in the wee hours of the night feeling like we don't want to get up because we are so completely exhausted from putting Christmas together, but still wrapping our arms around each other anyway. Rocking a sick Maxwell at 3 am because I'm the ONLY one that can comfort him. Singing a carol to some neighbors who applauded as if we were their favorite music artist. The joy on their children's faces as they listened to us sing. Laughing with my sister as we make thee stupidest snap chat videos. Eating a meal that we threw together last minute because dinner was cancelled but still enjoying it because we were with family. Waking up on Christmas Eve to the loveliest snowfall ever! Watching Maxwell and Scarlett play with all of the toys that we are so fortunate to be able to give them. Sipping on Mimosas as everyone stares in wonder at a silly egg that will soon hatch a toy. Ha.

Happy Holidays everyone....I hope you enjoyed all of the little moments.










Friday, December 16, 2016

Lately in December.

We got snow as early as October this year. I'm ok with it since I remember how warm it was last Christmas and it just didn't feel the same.
Even though she isn't wearing pants 90% of the time when we are home, this is still a favorite photo of mine. Maxwell piled all of his ornaments on one section of the tree while Scarlett had to pick the most memorable ornaments and hang them in just the right spot. I never want to forget these moments. 
We went to the tree farm simply because it's tradition but since we had already put our faux tree up in November, Ty convinced me it was silly to take it down just to decorate a real one. NEXT year, you best believe we are getting a real one. A BIG real one.
Movie night this week was "Pete's Dragon". Maxwell was really into it and Scarlett too, even though she had already seen it once. We all cuddled up on the bed that Scarlett made for us on the floor. Scarlett gave us each a blanket. It was the cutest thing. Then as the movie began....(SPOILER ALERT) I asked, "Wonder where they are driving?" Scarlett proceeded to inform us, "They are going on an adventure but they are going to get in a car crash and the parents are going to die."..............Thanks for that Scarlett. Didn't need to watch the movie or anything. 
Scarlett picked a tree for her bedroom. It was crooked and uneven and looked like it had seen better days. She said it was "just perfect". My little girl sees the beauty in things and inspires me. Sitting in her bedroom with all of her favorite ornaments and twinkling lights that Daddy helped her put on, she is right, it's just perfect. 
Shopping trips go something like this....chaos.
Maybe next year I will get in on the Family Tree....
One of the best weekends earlier this month was getting the kids up at 6 am and heading to our favorite little diner in town. Because we got up early, we missed the hour or more wait that this place usually brings on a weekend morning. It was cozy and festive and good quality time was spent together. 
A little rock climbing at a Friend's birthday.
We had cookies and cocoa with Santa at the Mansion Inn. It was such a fun time for the kids. Although Maxwell was NOT fond of Santa, he did enjoy eating LOTS of cookies. And Scarlett liked the story that Mrs. Claus read to all this kids. 
I wore this dress for Ty's 30th Surprise Birthday Party, which I plan to post about soon.  I am obsessed with all things backless. Something classy yet sexy about it. 
Hope you are all enjoying this Holiday Season as much as we are!! We await our family arriving this week-our loves from Texas, and more arrive the weekend of Christmas! I cannot wait to spend some good old quality time with the ones we love.