Thursday, April 20, 2017

Navigating Mommy-hood - 6 Months with #threeunderthree


SIX MONTHS!?! How is this possible? It was just yesterday I was experiencing pure magic as I birthed Mac into this world and became his mommy. Now, this baby beast is weighing in at 20 pounds and 28 inches...basically blowing up that dumb growth chart. 

Look here Father Time, you need to slow your roll a bit. I can't stand how fast you are making my babies grow up!

Here is the latest and greatest about Mac & Mommy and the last six months of navigating mommy-hood with three boys under the age of three...#goodtimes


MAC

The Dude as he is known at home, is nothing short of a huge hunk of perfection. Despite that slow start the first couple weeks of his life, once we got into our nursing rhythm he has showed NO signs of stopping. At his six month check up the doctor was amazed at how big he had gotten and was rather impressed with the power of my milk (I of course LOVED that feedback as I too am obsessed with breast milk). We both love our nursing sessions above all else and they are the highlight of our day. Just us, connecting and cuddling as we stare into each other's eyes...except when he feels the need to pop off to give me a big gummy smile...mmmmeeellllttt.

The fourth greatest love of my life is most often found smiling and giggling at everyone/everything around him. He loves his big brothers and could watch them all day. Thankfully, Puss and Peanut feel the same and are always asking to hold him, found kissing him, talking to him and showing him their collection of trucks. Needless to say, my heart is on the verge of complete explosion all. day. long.

Mac LOVES to be in his "jumpy jump" and moving like a mad man when he is awake. He rolls around and kicks his feet as often as he can and is sitting up with support. I know it is only a matter of minutes before he is sitting, scooting and crawling so I am cherishing every second of his development. 


Since he is such a big man, he quickly grew out of the mass amounts of cute clothes I had for him to wear (all hand me downs from his brother's of course...but most of it barely worn) and is already in 18 month clothes. I know, insane. He's got rolls and chunk all over and I couldn't love it more!

Dude is strictly a tummy sleeper who has transitioned beautifully from sleeping on my chest to his crib at 3 months. I was terrified about this process and my "momnesia" left me drawing a blank about how it went with the boys. I thought I recalled it being easy, but was I remembering that right? Thankfully it all went great!  Mac now goes to bed around 7pm, wakes up for a dream nurse/"fourth meal" between 10-11pm and then back to sleep until morning. While all mother's know the whole sleep thing is touch and go with all the growth spurts/teething and other changes, I take it day by day and am thankful for all the sleep I can get.

After only 6 months of having this amazing little person in my life, it is hard to comprehend a life without him. He is honestly the. best. We have such a special connection that I didn't have with the boys because this time around it is just us. Having two babies means you are constantly pulled in two directions. One baby? Man, that is a breeeeze. However, add in two busy toddlers and that is a challenge I face on the daily. And I wouldn't have it any other way!


MOMMY

Since October things have really changed. Dude is obviously at the mercy of his older brother's routine and I have had to really get creative (and a bit more relaxed) to ensure his needs are being put first. Thankfully, I am home with the boys more often than not so it is easy to try things out and see what works best for everyone.

While I haven't been able to get out to get fit necessarily, I have taken a whole new approach to working out at home. Since it is rare that all kids are sleeping at once, I tend to either workout with just The Dude or when the trio goes down for the night. I set up an extra bedroom as my little home gym and teach myself classes, sprint on the treadmill or lift weights. I have also recently become obsessed with Daily Burn and have used it to really start mixing up my fitness routine. That paired with eating healthy, keeping my house clean/tidy while racing around with the boys I was thrilled to see my scale declare I had gotten back down to pre pregnancy weight. Now, I just need to focus on toning it up and getting strong again...I welcome the challenge!



I have started to get out more now and embrace the fact that having three littles ones is my life and I need not fear going out into the world alone with them. If they melt down, they melt down, whatever. I have things to do and these guys are my crew...so out we go!

My big boys are pretty much well oiled machines when it comes to most things in their life. They know their routine, they know what is expected of them and for the most part they are very well behaved. Granted their have their moments, but since I have a background in behavior I love to use my professional skills at home. Because they are such gems it makes having ONE baby seem almost too easy. I can breastfeed him anywhere at anytime so that's easy. I can throw his crap in my purse and go anywhere at a moments notice,  that's easy. I can wear him and hold the boys hands when we are out, so that's easy....hey, this one baby thing is kind of a breeze...and I must say, I love it!

I look forward to the following months to come while also dreading them as it only means more of my angels' precious childhood slipping away. Watching them interact, hugging them and playing our silly games has proven to be the best years of my life. I know we have lots more fun to come and I am determined to live in the moment and hold on to them as long as I can. 


As I continue to navigate mommy-hood and encounter new challenges each day, I always take a moment to remember what an honor it is to be a mommy to these three boys. They have given me purpose, more joy than I could have ever imagined and are my everything.  So here we go...the second half of the first year...can't wait to see what is in store for us!

Have a new baby in your life? How have you been adjusting to mommy-hood as it constantly changes?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TRX-Cuse me? Workout to Try

I love trying new workouts whenever possible, which granted isn't that often, but still, I love when I can sneak away and give things a try.  I had wanted to try TRX for a long time (especially since my girl Mrs. W had raved about) and was seeing more of this training style incorporated to other workouts (ie, Orangetheory Fitness).


So what is TRX?

"Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously" - TRX for Athletes

Furthermore,

"TRX uses gravity and your body as resistance.  Attached to a single anchor point, the set of two nylon straps forces your core and stabilizing muscles to fire up during every move". Shape Magazine:

Well, that surely is enough to get me interested!
As soon as I started the class and I already wanted to apply for Cirque du Soleil. I mean, this was amazing. I felt like I was the strongest most coordinated person on the planet...and then we finished the warm up.

We quickly transitioned to upper body (always standing at an angle and activating core/leg muscles), working biceps, pecs, triceps and back muscles to the max.  Man, this was hard! I mean I had used body resistance for strength training in the past, but this was totally different.  Not only were my muscles burning from the resistance, but then we threw in some cardio...say what?! Jumping jacks and high knees led right into lower body knocking out some squats and lunges. 


By the end of the class, I had barely moved my feet but was aching all over, covered in sweat and exhausted.  It was a totally new workout that really challenged my body in ways it had never been challenged before; that Mrs. W was not joking, this was great!


I really thought I was going to be hanging from the sky for the whole class, but I never left the ground.  I just powered up my strength and engaged EVERY muscle in my body for 60 minutes straight.

If you are ready to feel like a sassy and strong acrobat, then this is the workout for you...don't wait and give it a try!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blueberry & Cinnamon Cream Cheese Croissant Bake


Easter weekend is here and it is time to bust out the brunch recipes. I am bored with pancakes, french toast and egg casseroles....but this recipe? Now this is what I am talking about. 

Buttery croissants mixed with fresh berries and topped with a cinnamon cream cheese glaze...um yeah, sign me up. Wait, what was that?...You can make this the night before?! Oh, I am so ds SOLD.




To prepare this amazing bake, first lightly coat a 9x13 inch dish with non stick spray. 

Next, arrange a layer of croissants evenly in the baking dish and cover with a layer of berries. 


In a large measuring cup or glass bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  



Pour the mixture evenly over the croissants and berries.



Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least two hours...or if you are me, overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.

Remove plastic wrap and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.


Combine all the ingredients for the glaze into a small bowl and stir until smooth.

Drizzle that sweet sauce all over your bake, serve and devour!


And there you have it. A delicious, indulgent Easter-perfect brunch item to really set your menu apart this year. 

What will you be serving on Sunday?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Healthy Habits


Spring is here and along with cleaning up your house, it is time to clean up your life too! Let's start with these 12 healthy habits to live by...
  1. EAT WELL. Eat foods that make you feel good and are good for you. Sure, indulge in the occasional crap, but be prepared to feel like crap afterward. For the most part, focus on healthy whole foods and feel better with each meal.
  2. SLEEP. Get it, as much as you can, as often as you can. Create a nightly routine in which you wind down and prepare for sleep long before you actually hit the sheets so that you can fall into a deep slumber recharging for the day ahead.
  3. DRINK WATER. Make this your beverage of choice. Iced, lemon zested, berry infused...whateva...just drink it and lots of it...Nectar of the Gods.
  4. EXERCISE. No matter how small, every bit counts. Like with eating right, the more you do it the better you feel. That icky feeling you've been carrying around with you, no doubt it is a lack of physical activity. Reenergize your body and mind with some sort of exercise at least four times a week. One day at a time, you can do this.
  5. MEDITATE. We are always so go, go, go. We need to be more slow, slow, slow. Take a few minutes each day to clear your mind, recharge your soul and just...be...
  6. BREATHE. When chaos is ensuing all around you (like my life 24 hours a day), in the words of Faith Hill, "just breathe".  Take it all in, breathe deep filling up those healthy lungs, hold it in as it gathers the negativity and then release, letting it allllllll out. Breathe in happiness, joy and positivity, exhaling the weight of the world. Then do it again in five minutes...and again in five after that...
  7. LAUGH OFTEN. Life is funny so laugh at it. Instead of stressing out, laugh it out. Remember life is too short not to enjoy, so kick back and giggle.
  8. PAMPER.  Look good, feel good I say. Take care of yourself and don't feel bad about pampering...or as I say, maintaining. You deserve it and don't let anyone make you think otherwise.
  9. DON'T JUDGE. You have no idea what others are going through so don't think you do. Everyone has a story, everyone has their own issues just like you do. Focus on yourself and being positive to everyone around you. Stay concerned with only the things you can control in your own life.
  10. SLOW DOWN. Life goes all too fast. Slow down and enjoy the good, the bad and the ugly. One day you will look back and wish you had taken in all those small moments...don't wait.
  11. PAY ATTENTION. What is going on around you right now? Are you in the moment or preoccupied somewhere else? Let me guess you are looking at your G.D. phone aren't you?! Put it down (after you finish reading this post of course) and be present. Be mindful of the beauty around you and enjoy it!
  12. BE KIND. Kindness is the greatest gift you can offer loved ones and strangers alike. Be the person who makes someone else's day. Even if it is just a smile or something as easy as holding the door for another, just be kind and always pay it forward.
What healthy habits will you be focusing on this Spring?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DIY Sensory Rice Bin


Spring is here and it is time to get those little ones out of the house for as long as humanly possible. I prefer to be outdoors running my boys like crazy so when evening comes they can barely make it to bed without falling asleep...#momwin

Before we moved to the country, we lived in a pretty ordinary single family dwelling with limited outdoor space. Thank goodness this sensory rice box is easy to create, keeps the kids busy for-like-ever and requires little to no space at all. As long as they can sit around it, you are set!



All you need for tons of outdoor fun is....
  • Rice. I purchased a large bag from Costco because I went with a larger tub, but you won't need that much if you decide to go with a smaller storage bin. 
  • Plastic bin. I have small bins (the ones they sell for shoes) where the boys each have their own play space as well as a large long shallow bin for group exploration/games. 
  • Play shovels, rakes and digging tools. These are very easy to come by this time of year and super cheap. Load up so your littles can explore using all sorts of different items.

  • Treasure. The best part about this sensory activity is it not only exposes your little to different textures and tons of sensory stimulation, but it is so fun to watch them "dig for treasure". Plus, there are so many different things you can do with this rice box...here are a few of our favorites...
    • LEGOS - Find them all and see what you can create.
    • Puzzles - Locate them all and then put together the puzzle
    • Letters - Have a separate poster/paper with the alphabet and each time your little one finds a letter, have them match it up with the poster. 
    • Colors- Place different colored items in the rice and as they dig them out have them match it up with a list of colors...even use sidewalk chalk on the ground to have them run a bit trying to find where it goes. For example, hide a little green frog that they have to place on the green chalk square...see where I am going with this one?




We just LOVE our rice bins aka "ric-ies" and hope you make one of your own to enjoy outside this season too.  Looking for even more ideas, check out Little Bins for Little Hands...I swear, there is nothing this rice bin can't do!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

DIY Fresh Lemonade



There is only one beverage I love more than water...lemonade. Preferably, watered down a bit, but that is a personal choice.

This obsession becomes even more real when I am pregnant. Then, it is really on. However, growing a human or not, I love that pale canary colored beverage.

I want it all day and night.  I want it in a freeze version or straight up over ice.  I don't care how it comes, I just want it.  

Needless to say, when I get my hands on some garden grown citrus from our trees or the groves of our neighbors...I head straight to my juicer and get working. There is nothing I love more than drinking from garden to glass!


It is rather embarrassing at how easy it is to make on your own which is why I always get annoyed with myself when I end up buying it from the store. I mean, there is really nothing to it. It is basically 1-1-1 ratio which you can play with depending on how you like it. Sweeter (more sugar), tart (more lemon juice), weak (more water)...you get the idea.


Juice, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
With the lemonade done, you can add any of your favorite muddled fruit...you know, smash it.

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries...heck throw in some lavender! The drink is your oyster so make it whatever you dream it to be...I dare say if the kids are asleep you can add a dash of vodka (gasp!).


So easy, so delicious, so perfect for the sweet heat of the warm seasons....bring it on Spring!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mommy Advice - When is it too much?


I loved being pregnant. Really, it was best thing that ever happened to me.  Granted, there was some discomfort along the way, but despite it all, each day was still the best day.

I remember relishing in the chance to finally chat about my body changing and having people talk to me about my belly and share their tales of motherhood.  But, sometimes, when I was listening to a monologue about their horrible pregnancy, awful birth, what didn't work for them and all their woes, I start to feel rather awk-dawg. 

I mean, why would anyone want to share their negative stories with a pregnant mom?  Especially when I was pregnant the first time. I didn't know anyone who ever walked away from that convo feeling great.


I remember when I was pregnant with the twins, I was practically crawling through the airport experiencing a great deal of back pain. Despite wanting to curl up on the ground and cry, I had to power through it. When the security attendant asked if I was ok, I smiled and said I was just carrying twins and they were making me a bit uncomfortable at the moment.  With a large exhale, she too said that she had twins.  I quickly perked up and asked her how pregnancy was, hoping she would offer some support.  However, she exhaled again and said, "It was awful".  The hope and joy I had momentarily felt left my body and I started to tear up.  Thankfully, I was traveling with the Queen of all Momma Bears, Mrs C and she jumped to my defense saying, "Couldn't you have lied to her?!...geez!!!".  That made me think, couldn't she have fibbed, just for a second, to give me a bit of hope/strength?

As I chat with preggo friends and strangers alike,  I make sure to only highlight all the joys of pregnancy and motherhood. There is plenty to worry allllll on our own.

As mothers (old and new alike), maybe we should all take that extra second to stop and think before we offer advice. What if we all offered only positive support/advise that we did when we were brides.  I don't think I have told ever told any of my engaged friends all the horror stories of my wedding, because when looking back, everything that seemed so "horrific" turned out to be nothing at all.

The main advice I offer to my soon be MRS. girls, is to slow down, enjoy every second of wedding planning because it is over before you know it.  All the tears you cry now and the stress that arises over invitations, flowers and guest lists is HIGHLY laughable after the fact.  The only thing that you will remember is the absolutely magical day you experience.  Isn't motherhood the same?  All the pregnancy woes and birth stories end in a perfect lump of human flesh that you and the person you love created together?

So next time you are chatting with a new (or even old mom) see if you too can channel only the good stuff. The beauty of your pregnancy, the unicorn-ness of your birth, the superhero status of being a mommy....just think how uplifting that might be.

Who will you comfort today?

Strive to thrive, 
Em