Friday, October 31, 2014

Follow Through Friday - 1st Week Complete!

I completed my first week, woohoo! I did a ton of walking, even completed the month of October with more miles than I did in any other month (even before I was pregnant!) - and that doesn't even count anything I may do today, which with it being Halloween and all, I'm sure I'll be walking with EM around the block at least. I started walking with some of the other moms in the neighborhood too. It's nice to get out with other ladies who have kids the same age(s). I'm going to miss this when I have to go back to work in a few weeks. G and I even walked to dinner the other night instead of driving the 2.1 miles each way. I had a great week, even if I didn't lose that much in actual weight overall. It'll be tough this coming week since it's my Birthday on Monday and I have plans to eat out Sunday and Monday night. 

Results for the week:
Weight: 175.2
Pins Moved (lbs lost): one (1.4 lbs lost)
Miles Walked: 20.03

Plan for Next Week: 
Walk 22 miles

I won't lie, I'm a little discouraged that I didn't even lose 2 lbs with all that I've done this week. I almost wonder if I'm eating TOO much, I was told to eat an extra 500 calories to compensate for breastfeeding, but since I'm only pumping, I wonder if it's the same? Or maybe on the contrary, and I'm not eating enough? I know that can be a problem as well. I know once I can run, I'll be burning more calories when I exercise as walking isn't a hard burn but it's definitely helping me build my endurance back up. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ipsy "Beauty Candy" October 2014 Review

I received my ipsy glam bag almost two weeks ago but am just now finding time to go through it - Mom of a Newborn Excuse

For those of you that don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service where or only $10/month (cancel at any time!) you get a Glam Bag (make up bag) filled with 4-5 beauty products curated by Michelle Phan! You get ipsyPoints for reviewing your items (and for doing other things within the site) that can be used toward purchases of additional items.

First things first, ipsy comes in a pretty envelope and inside is of course the Glam Bag stuffed with goodies.  The theme this month was "Beauty Candy". Their Glam Room for this month says "
This month, we're whipping up the most delicious beauty confections for you in your October "Beauty Candy" Glam Bag. You'll find both beauty tricks and beauty treats all month long, with colorful and eye-catching eye-candy that you can see and sample!" 

ipsy doesn't send out information cards (Birchbox does, which I definitely prefer). however, an information card isn't really necessary since all items can be found on their website and all have coupon codes for additional purchases if you want to buy some more. It looks like there were a possibility of 25 items this month (although multiple variations/shades of some items) and each subscriber got some combination of 5 of them depending on their preferences from their ipsy beauty quiz match. Now on to my goodies:

City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino ($5.00 for  FULL SIZE .105 oz sample) - I don't wear lipstick so not overly excited about this.

ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream Beauty Balm for Hair (~$7.14 for 1 oz sample) - I have never heard of BB cream for hair but if it's going to help keep my hair healthy, I'll be glad to give it a shot!

Figs & Rogue Hand Cream in Rose Berry ($6.56 for FULL SIZE 20 mL / .67 oz sample) - I'll be passing this along, just don't use a lot of hand creams.

Jesse's Girl Mineralized Baked Powder Eye Shadow in Esmeralda ($3.99 for FULL SIZE 2g / .07 oz sample) - I so wish I would have gotten one of the other colors offered of this. This color is pretty though, just would have preferred something less brown/bronze as I have a ton of that lately. 

Skyn Iceland Mini Glacial Cleansing Cloths (~$5.00 for 10 single use cloths) - I really like Skyn Iceland products, they always make you feel so refreshed. These would be perfect for travel, especially since they don't require water, they'd be good for a road trip!

Total Estimated Value: $27.69 (not including the bag itself or any shipping) 
Total Price Paid: $10 (free shipping)

Overall Impression: Honestly, this bag just wasn't for me. I'm really only excited about the cleansing cloths. After receiving this bag, I went in an updated my "beauty match quiz" to helpfully get some more "me" items in my future bags. The bad had some great items  (and three full sized ones too!) in it though, just not ones I will really use. 

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy, use my referral link  (and I thank you in advance for some ipsyPoints to use for future add on items!)

Did you get ipsy this month? Did you like it? What'd you get?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Follow Through Friday - Starting Point

Even though I kind of already "started" last week - this will be my "starting point" for the blog. As of this morning, I weighed 176.6, have a BMI of 31.8 and have 37% body fat which puts me in the obese category for all three. When you are 5'2", it's not "hard" to easily hit the overweight/obese category. Even when I was my thinnest (138 lbs) as an adult, I was still considered "overweight" for my height when looking at weight and at the high end of "normal" for BMI. According to the CDC and WebMD, the normal range for a 5'2" woman is 101-136 lbs with a BMI of 18.5-24.9. I was happy with myself at 138-140 but have made my goal 135 to put me in the healthy range. I also want to try to reduce my body fat % to a healthy range, which according to the American Council of Exercise is 25-31% for an average woman. I have also taken some measurements to have that to compare to as well.

Based on my plan, my goal for this week (Friday 10/24 to Thursday 10/30) is to walk 12.38 miles which is 10% more than the 11.25 miles I walked this past week (Friday 10/17 to Thursday 10/23).  

Below is a picture of my updated Motivation Board, with a goal of 135 I only had enough clothespins to start at 176 (41 lbs to lose), which ironically is what I weighed this morning. I also added in/changed the incentives from my original post about it but overall it's not much different. The top left quadrant is my half marathon training plan and some motivational sayings, it's kind of hard to see in the picture. 

I have also updated my half marathon training plan to start on Monday, November 10th which would put me almost 7 weeks postpartum and give me 11 weeks before the Celebration Half Marathon (while laying in bed about a month before the baby came I decided to sign up for this one as well) and 15 weeks before the Disney Princess Half Marathon. 
sorry so blurry - it's a screen shot of a pdf doc
So, that's where I stand to start, I hope to make weekly Friday posts documenting my journey to meeting my goals. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Citrus Lane October 2014 Review

Another box waiting for me after my week away was my October Citrus Lane

For those of you that don't know, Citrus Lane  is a monthly subscription service where you get a box of goodies for your child that are geared towards their current age (and sometimes Mommy) each month delivered to your door. You never know what you are going to get, but overall I have not been disappointed. Plans start at $29/month but if you buy longer subscriptions you can get them as low as $19/month or even cheaper when they run specials). 

Citrus Lane always includes a very nice information card with their boxes that lists the items and descriptions and some coupon codes! 

This is what I got in my 23 Month Old, Toddler Girl, October 2014 Box and the approximate retail value I found for each item from their specific website (or Amazon, since if you know me, I'm an Amazon Junkie and would most likely buy from there). Sometimes I have to do some math because the sizes aren’t quite the same, hence why they are approximate values.

Pink Car Story City Set and Taxi Story City Set ($5.95/each = $11.90 for the two)I had intended to keep these little cars for stocking stuffers for EM but she knocked the box off the counter and everything spilled out and then she wanted to play with them, so I gave in. They are cute little wooden cars that are perfect for toddler sized hands. I can see the little "people" that came with them getting lost easier though since they don't have wheels and won't be as interesting. I like that these will go on standard wooden train track sets (We don't have any yet but I could see EM getting into trains in the near future)

Leg Warmers from Ooh La Leggies in Pretty in Pink ($10.00)These little leg warmers will be perfect for once Florida decides it really is fall! EM hasn't worn any since she was a baby (I only had one outfit with them) so I'm hoping she'll wear these :) Citrus Lane let us choose which style of these we wanted with our box this month. I like that they are now letting you choose one item if you want to!

Maracitos from Honer Kids (~$5.30 for a set of two) - I could see these getting VERY annoying but my parents have some maracas that they picked up when I was a kid traveling that they kept and EM loves them, so I'm sure she and AB will get a kick out of making "music" with these. I'll be saving these for Christmas for her since she didn't notice them when she knocked over the box!

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$27.20 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $29.00 (free shipping) -- I only paid $10 though because of an awesome deal I found on Plum District --> definitely keep an eye out for those on Plum District, Groupon and Living Social!

Overall Impression: This is probably the first time I ever received a box that was valued less than a normal box costs. Had I paid full price, I would have been disappointed but it was definitely worth the $10 I did pay as I do love all the items this month!

If you are interested in signing up for CLICK HERECitrus Lane, and by using my link, you will get 50% off your first box (new customers only). Remember, you can cancel at any time, so your first box would only be $14.50, not too shabby!

Did you get Citrus Lane this month? What'd you get and for how old of a child?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Birchbox "Fanfare" October 2014 Review

I was away all last week visiting (getting sleeping help from) my parents and came home to lots of mail, one thing being my October Birchbox.

For those of you that don't now, Birchbox is a monthly subscription (cancel/pause any time) where you get a monthly box, delivered to your front door, of 4-6 high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. The best part, it's only $10/month! (and free shipping!)

Birchbox is always delivered in a nice (usually pink) box and within the packaging; there is always a nice little box with all the goodies. The theme this month is "Fanfare" and the information card always tells you about the items you are receiving. 

If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, use my referral link. If you review each product monthly you also get credit money in the Birchbox shop (which sells tons of full sized items and when combined with coupon codes you can get some great deals!). If you review each product each month (assuming there are 5) that equals $5 so the box itself pretty much costs $5 which is a great deal! 

My box was "Birchbox 50" - if you click here and then change the last number you can see the different variations of boxes that were sent out, looks like there were 67 different variations this month. This is what I got this month:

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo (~$3.76 for 1 oz sample) - Gentle cleansing shampoo that won't strip the color, would never buy it full size but this will be good to bring on travel since I could definitely get 2 uses out of the sample!

Number 4 Reconstructing Masque (~$2.84 for .25 oz sample) - I hate foil packets, why do they give one foil packet and one little bottle, just give me two little bottles but on the information card it says the "threw this in" - so maybe thats why it's jusr a packet.! This is an expensive ($58 for full size!) leave-in treatment that better works wonders!

clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant (~$4.95 for 1.1 oz sample) - I love trying new exfoliants,and I just ran out of my last sample so I'm excited to try this one. I've never needed to buy any since I keep getting awesome samples!

Perlier Body Cream (~$4.25 for 1 oz sample) - I'll probably give this to my mom, she loves the small sample sized creams to keep in her purse. One of these days I'll become a cream/lotion person... one day.

Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil  (~$4.50 for .01 oz sample) I just received a similar eye pencil in my August ipsy Glam Bag, I swear I have more eye pencils than I know what to do with... I only wear eye liner on rare occasions, this one is pretty though with a sparkle! 

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint Sunscreen in Nude (~$3.80 for .17 oz sample ) the sample item itself says "sunscreen" but the Birchbox link just says "Moisture Tint" so not sure if they are the same product or not since they both contain sunscreen and I couldn't find a specific "sunscreen" version by googling it. I love these type of tinted sunscreen moisturizers though so am excited to get another brand to try!

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$24.10 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $10.00 (Free Shipping)

Overall Impression: I loved this box. 

Which box did you get this month? Did you like it?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links! 

4 Weeks Postpartum = My Return to Fitness

Today marks 4 weeks since AB has entered into the world, which means I'm 4 weeks postpartum, my maternity leave is half over and other than slightly sleep deprived, I'm feeling great in regards to recovery. 

At my 2 week postpartum appointment (to check my c-section incision), my doctor said I could begin walking for exercise but that's pretty much it. I had been taking it VERY easy up until then (I had heard some horror stories for post c-sections with incisions opening back up and causing weeks more of pain so I followed the rules) and was excited to get the "all clear" to at least begin walking again. My next appointment is at 6 weeks postpartum and am hoping he'll give me the all clear to start really working out again (strength training and running) but until then, I walk. To date, I've walked 14.15 miles which is  almost as much asI walked from April to September while pregnant. 

A few weeks before AB was born, I had posted about my "post baby plans" which were all contingent on her arrival date and type of birth. Now I'm ready to put those plans in action. Friday will be my first "weigh in" on the blog for "Follow through Friday" but I have already started a few things which I'll highlight below. This Friday, I'll do a snap shot of my progress and an update of my Motivation Board.

I joined two DietBets:

Jillian's Beginner Shred Challenge - 4% loss in 4 weeks - which ends on November 4th and has a current pot of $215,730 
The Transformer - 10% loss in 6 months and has monthly goals to hit:
Round 1 ends on November 7th - 3% loss 
Round 2 ends on December 6th - 6% cumulative loss 
Round 3 ends on January 6th - 8% cumulative loss 
Round 4 ends on February 6th - 9% cumulative loss
Round 5 ends on March 6th - 10% cumulative loss
Round 6 ends of April 6th - maintain 10% cumulative loss

I may join additional monthly DietBets after Jillian's is over; since I'm already doing the Transformer, it just makes sense since I can earn more money for effort I'm already doing! 

I have also started tracking my meals again on MyFitnessPal and have bought myself a FitBit as an early Birthday Present to help motivate me as well! (user name is NiseyyD on both, if you want to be friends on there). Finally I've also re-started my Pact which I'm wagering $5 per day for 4 days of 30 minute activities per week OR 4 days of 10,000+ steps on my FitBit in hopes to keep me motivated. The payout on Pact is minimal but the incentive to not lose $5 for not hitting my goals has worked in the past. 

I'm really hoping all this helps me reach my goals (which will also be like gaining a new wardrobe since I haven't been able to fit in the majority of my closet in way too long!)

(via Pintrest)

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Birth Story (a little TMI)

I've already introduced our newest addition, but figured I'd share the story leading up to her arrival as well (and also so I have it documented somewhere, something I don't have for EM - boo!). PS. some of this post might be a little TMI, warning you in advance. As I've mentioned before, G travels for work most weeks (Monday through Thursday) and with the baby on her way, his last day for travel was going to be September 25th, almost 3 weeks before my due date. Even though we had EM at 37 weeks, 2 days, we figured we should be fine, at my appointment on the 19th, my cervix was still completely closed and I was showing no signs of labor. 

On Monday, September 22nd, I had an ultrasound which confirmed what we already knew (I had been feeling her head in my ribs for the past month), AB was breech. My next OB appt was on Thursday (he doesn't do ultrasounds in his office, so I didn't see him on Monday), so figured I'd save all my questions about what our next steps were in regards to scheduling a c-section, what would happen if I went into labor before said c-section, what if my water broke, etc.  

Moving on to Tuesday, I was sitting in a training class at work and was having some pretty bad cramping. I had texted G about it (and my mom and sister) and was pretty much second guessing myself. Kept chalking it up to paranoia. I was exactly 37 weeks, which was the gestation in which my water broke with EM and was paranoid about G being out of town. I even was feeling like I had no idea if these were small contractions or just cramps, or maybe even just gas. And because I was sitting in a training class, I was like chugging water to stay alert (for some reason I always drink a TON of water during training classes) and I swear I was getting up to pee every 30ish minutes and thought maybe that was making the cramping worse. I kept saying, I feel like with this being my 2nd pregnancy, I should know if these are contractions or what was going on and that I felt so clueless not knowing, but what "they" say is true, every pregnancy is different so I'm still not sure what I was feeling on Tuesday. I even joked with coworkers as I saw them that day and they asked how much longer I had, and I said 3 weeks but maybe tonight, last time my water broke tonight.  I even called my mom on the way home from work and she thought for sure it was going to be me calling her to tell her I was in labor and she needed to come to Orlando (my parents are about 1.5 hours away). I told her it wasn't but that if anything happened, she's be the 1st person I called after calling G. Most Tuesdays, my father in law picks EM up from day care and takes her out to dinner for Taco Tuesday. This Tuesday was no different except I was just more exhausted than usual (I figured staying up a little late the night before finishing the nursery was the reason), I couldn't wait for him to bring her home so I could go to bed when she went to bed. I put EM to bed, texted G that I think all the cramping wore me out and was probably asleep by 8pm. (which wasn't THAT unusual for me this pregnancy). 

Wednesday morning, I woke up about 4 am with a pounding headache on one of my many nighttime bathroom breaks so I took some tylenol and went back to sleep. About 5:20 am, I woke up to a gush of water (in bed, gross!) and somewhere in my half asleep mind, thought it would be a good idea to get up during this and trek to the bathroom which resulted in lots of dripping all over the bedroom and bathroom floor (once again, gross!). My water continued to break once I reached the toilet and from there I called G and told him to get on the next flight from Kansas City.  I then called my Mom and told her so that she and my Dad could get on their way and then called my mother in law who lives down the street. My in laws have been my back up plan for the last few weeks of G's traveling, just in case it happened while he was away, never thought we'd actually have to use the plan though! We had a plan set up in in case it happened while I was at work (My MIL works about 1 mile away so she'd pick me up) and if it happened at home (My MIL would take me to hospital and my FIL would take care of getting EM to day care/watching her - depending on the time of day). I also called my sister to let her know, she lives a little further away than my parents and I knew she'd want to come as well. I started gathering my things, finishing up packing my suitcase when my in laws showed up. My wonderful MIL helped clean my mess and wash my sheets for me and I took my time getting ready to leave (even put on make up and did my hair nice), figured the more time I wasted before getting to the hospital the better chance G had to make it for the delivery.

 I assumed that as soon as I got admitted at the hospital they would do the c-section right away. Since I hadn't talked to my OB about any of the c-sectin options yet (ya know, since my appt was the next day) I really had no idea what they were going to do/say when I arrived at the hospital. When talking about the possibility of this happening on the phone with my mom the night before, she said she believed they would just put me into surgery relatively quickly once I arrived at the hospital. I called my OB and he said that it would definitely be a c-section and to head into the hospital but not to eat or drink anything, which was tough b/c I always wake up super thirsty and hungry and hadn't eaten since 7pm the night before so my tummy was already growling. Luckily, I still felt fine otherwise. No contractions, minor cramping (less than the day before) and the 4am headache was gone.

When my MIL and I were almost to hospital, I realized I didn't bring my purse which meant I didn't have my ID, my pre-registration information, my insurance card, my OB records (which were given to me at my appt the previous friday), nothing. Luckily, because I had pre-registered it wasn't a huge deal and my FIL dropped off my purse to me after taking EM to school. I got checked into triage and my OB showed up and confirmed my water had indeed ruptured. I explained to him the situation about G being on a plane (he was on a plane about to take off within 45 minutes of my call, impressive!!) and the doc said that my cervix was still closed and since I wasn't contracting and baby was doing well, that we could wait for G to get there before doing the c-section. I was sooo happy to hear that. Of course still nervous that things could change at any time with myself or baby and they'd have to rush me in, but relieved that G even had the option to try and make it. He told me to call into his office when G was taking off from Atlanta (he was on a connecting flight) and then he'd schedule me in the OR since it's about a 45 minute flight and then would take him about 30 mins to get to hospital from airport. My parents arrived shortly after the doctor checked me while I was still in triage. I was in triage for quite a while (or so it felt) just hanging out and waiting. They had started me on an IV (after missing my vein on my hand twice, ouch! I had such a huge bruise on my hand for a few days). My sister had arrived during this time and they were moving me to another room to hang out and wait until I was ready to be prepped for the OR. We had decided it would help expedite G getting here to have someone pick him up at the airport, take their car and then let that person take the shuttle to the off-site parking and get G's car, so that's what we had G's dad do, which probably saved him a good 20ish minutes. 

hanging out in Triage

G arrived at the hospital right around 12:05 (he made it!) and within a half hour they were getting ready to take me back to be prepped for surgery. I elected to have an epidural vs. a spinal and once that was put in place, we were ready to go. I suffered a little bit of headaches and nausea from the epidural but the anesthesiologist took care of those right away. I was wheeled back into the OR and they started. I was surprised to see so many people were involved, there was at least 10 people. They all introduced themselves with name and function before they actually did anything. At some point I started throwing up, I can't remember if it was before they actually started or what but it was very awkward to not be able to do more than just turn my head to vomit. Luckily I had followed the doctor's orders and didn't eat or drink so it didn't last long and not much came out. The actual opening me up was pretty quick, although I do recall smelling something burning that reminded me of when I got my lasik which I wasn't expecting. My OB was telling jokes with the nurses, and I told him if he's going to tell jokes he needs to tell them louder so I could hear too which he did although now I don't remember the jokes but do recall them being corny. I didn't feel anything, not even too much pressure and soon enough they were commenting about Dad to get camera ready that baby was coming out (and I remember them saying she came out pooping lol). She didn't cry for the longest time and of course I was asking what was going on and they said some babies don't transition well from uterus to the world and they were giving her a little oxygen to help clear her lungs. EM had the same issue but didn't take as long to cry (from what I remember). G later told me that they administered oxygen to her for a lot longer than they had to EM and it was very scary to watch. 

Eventually, after they got all her stats and cleaned her up, they brought her over to me and I got to hold her for a few minutes. They told me they were going to bring her to the transition nursery for a little while just to monitor her (EM had been in the transition nursery for 24 hours after birth). G went with her and was able to show her to our family and the team finished stitching me up. I was also getting a tubal (yes, we both put a lot of thought into and decided two children was all we wanted), so it took a little longer than just a regular close-up but I was completely "with in" and was texting with people the whole time. Kind of crazy to think there are people's hands inside of my stomach and here I am sending pictures of my new daughter at the same time. 

After all of that was done, they wheeled me to recovery and I was just hanging out as I waited for my room to be ready for me. They told me AB was doing really good and that she'd be brought down to me shortly. This was completely shocking as I was expecting her to be up in the transition nursery MUCH longer considering how long EM was in there last time. G had come back to me at this point and they were ready to wheel my up before AB was ready to be brought down so they brought me up to my room and shortly after I was reunited with AB and the family was able to come and meet her! We stayed 3 nights at the hospital and my parents stayed at our house and took care of EM (and our dogs) during this time. AB struggled with latching (still is) so I'm pumping and bottle feeding her. Other than lack of sleep, we are all doing great at 12 days postpartum, but I will tell you, a c-section recovery is MUCH worse than a vaginal recovery. I'm feeling pretty good with only minor soreness at my incision and completely off the pain meds but the first few days were rough in the hospital so I took it really easy once we got home (slept on the couch so I didn't have to deal with the stairs or getting in and out of a really high bed) and I think that made a huge difference in my recovery. I can't wait for all the soreness to finally be gone so I can start going for daily walks and start exercising again (I know more than walking is still quite a few weeks away though). 

In conclusion, both my girls were born at 37 weeks and 2 days. Who would have thought my body would do the same exact thing at the same time of pregnancy? All I can say is, I'm happy to have two healthy little girls to complete our family!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Introducing the completion to our family: Abigail Brooke

On Wednesday, September 24th at 2:18 pm, Miss Abigail Brooke entered into the world weighing 6 lbs 14.1 oz and was 18.25 inches. Birth story to follow in a few days but for now, here are a few pictures from her first few days in the hospital.

right after delivery, still in the OR

her going home outfit, GO KNIGHTS!

loved this little hat 

our first family of four picture