As a pregnant mama-to-be, it can be difficult to find clothes that a) fit you, and b) are cute. This is why PinkBlush is one of my favorite places to shop for all things maternity. Not only are their maternity clothes trendy and fashionable, but they are also priced fairly, fit perfectly and are oh-so comfy. This dress - the Magenta Floral Fitted Maternity Dress - is a favorite of mine. Whether I am going to church or running out to explore with Lincoln, I can throw it on and dress it either up or down.
In addition to maternity, PinkBlush has a line for regular women's clothes as well. Cate will be posting some of her favorite looks this week. Because we LOVE PinkBlush so much, we are offering a $75 promotional giveaway. Simply tag three of your friends in our PinkBlush posts and one lucky winner will be selected and emailed a $75 gift card! How cool is that?!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend lovelies! And be sure to check out their amazing + cute pregnancy clothes!
Whether it's going to the zoo or walking to the waterfront to feed the ducks, I try and schedule a day for Lincoln to be around animals weekly. Not only are animals fun to be around, but it's possible that they help boost your child's development with respect to learning and in other aspects like developing skills such as empathy and responsibility. Do you ever notice that children are naturally drawn to animals? I know that when Lincoln sees a dog, he excitedly repeats "dog" "dog" "dog", until he can go up to the dog and pet it. The dog may lick him and he happily smiles and shies away, yet returns to the dog for more interaction.
Animal-child interaction is imperative. Cate and I encourage you to introduce a cross section of animals into your child's life as much as possible. Whether it be at the zoo, at the park, on a farm - you name it - surrounding your child with animals will teach him or her important life skills, boosting developmental milestones.
Yesterday, Lincoln and I enjoyed a fun walk down to the waterfront. We brought two slices of Ezekiel bread (the butts) to feed the ducks. There is nothing sweeter than watching Lincoln laugh and dance, reacting to the joys of being surrounded by the ducks. The mere act of feeding the birds teaches him responsibility; that we as humans can help and care for animals. The act of watching the ducks glide through the water shows him how different creatures move in their own unique way. The act of listening to the ducks quack teaches him the unique sound that ducks make. The act of seeing the different types of birds - seagulls and mallards - teaches him that there are several different kinds of birds in the world. There are so many fun lessons that children learn when you expose them to different kinds of animals.
For undergrad, I had the honor and privilege of attending the University of Southern California - Fight On! In addition to my four amazing years in a top business school and fun times in a sorority came a kick-butt football team - the Trojans! During my tenure at USC was also the time that Pete Carroll coached and led the Trojans to four Rose Bowls. Man, was it awesome. In addition to observing Coach Pete on the field in all of his glory, I had the opportunity to learn more about his leadership skills off of the field. In my business school classes, we would watch interview after interview, play after play, dissecting Coach Pete's leadership style.
After watching Pete as a coach and listening to him speak, you can really grasp what kind of leader and person he is. It seems as if he truly leads from the heart using his talents to bring people together and positively motivate them in a way unlike any other coach can. When I think about Coach Pete and leadership, I often find myself comparing leadership technique (as I also did while earning my MBA) to parenting styles. Leadership and parenting are certainly not so different. In fact, I believe they are one in the same.
There are several leadership principles that I could get into, but given this past weekend's football game - Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals, I want to talk about how parents respond to their children's failures and/or mistakes. Sometimes as parents we set high standards for our kids or create boundaries that we hope they will follow. However, sometimes they fall short; they disappoint us in areas we felt that they knew better. In these moments, there is a teaching opportunity that you as a parent are given. The easy thing to do is to react with your emotions; to respond based on the situation at hand; to get mad or upset; to scold. The harder thing to do is to take a step back and to realize how you want to positively impact your child and encourage them in the right direction.
In an Inc.com article titled, "A Lesson In Leadership: 2 Football Coaches, 2 Players' Mistakes, and 2 Very Different Reactions," the author goes into further detail about how Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals responded to similar mistakes that their players had made during the game. The game was a disaster to say the least and in overtime for a chance at either team to redeem themselves, they failed. Both kickers on each team missed essential (and somewhat easy) game-winning field goals.
At the post-game conference both coaches were asked how they felt about the failures of their kickers. Here is what each coach had to say:
COACH ARIANS: Make it. This is professional, this ain't high school, baby. You get paid to make it.
COACH PETE: [Hauschka] made his kicks to give us a chance and unfortunately he didn't make the last one. He's been making kicks for years around here ... but he's gonna hit a lot of winners as we go down the road here.
I love him and he's our guy.
As I read this article, I couldn't help but think what parent I wanted and hoped to be for my child's sake. I encourage you as parents to think about the person you want to be and the example you want to set for your children. Do we want to build our children up or do we want to hold them down? Do we want to respond negatively or assure them with positive reinforcement? Before reacting to your child's failure, pause for a few minutes, see the positive and reflect on how you can encouragingly move them in the right direction.
Click to view the entire article here.
Before I became a parent, I would often observe other parenting styles and create my own ideas of how I would do things differently. I would see parents offer their children iPads while dining out or on an airplane and vowed that I would never do such a thing. Instead, I'd offer my child a book or something to play/draw with, or encourage them to partake in social interaction. I would see parents give their children treats with sugar and unhealthy ingredients and vowed to only feed my young ones organic, whole food. I would see kids get away with manipulating their parents into giving them something, like a toy, and the parents would cave. Not me, I thought.
It's funny. When you actually become a parent, you realize how unfair those judgements against other parents actually were. Now that I have Lincoln, I find myself doing ALL of the things that I promised I wouldn't. The bottom line is that creating stringent "rules" for your child may not only drive your kids crazy, but may also drive you crazy.
I had a dentist appointment the other day and had to bring Lincoln along with me. I hoped he'd sit there like an angel and that I wouldn't have to give him my iPhone to watch a show while I had a teeth cleaning. A few minutes into the appointment, he was bored and started whining, disruptively grabbing at tools and making a bit of a scene. Yes, I could have let him continue on that path which might have taught him how to entertain himself while his mom was busy doing other things. However, in the midst of my anxiety, I couldn't handle the worry I felt that he would bother the people around him, or even worse, what if he got hurt. Thus, I wasn't enjoying the appointment at all (not that you enjoy the dentist, but you know what I mean). I was so worried about what he was doing that I couldnt take a moment for myself to do what I needed to do. Thus, I gave him the iPhone. Yes, I gave in. But let me tell you - he sat there like an angel for the remainder of the appointment; no worries from me and no peeps from him.
Sometimes as parents we set unrealistic expectations and guidelines for our children. We strive to do what is best for them by setting strict limits and regulations on things we think may negatively impact their growth. What I've realized is that these strict guidelines may sound good initially, but they also can drive a parent crazy! Parenting is definitely about helping your child succeed and with that comes the process of setting boundaries, but setting boundaries so strict that neither you nor your child can enjoy certain moments may in fact hinder our growth as parents and their growth as children.
Wall Street Journal has an interesting article titled "Why You Should Let Your Children Break the Rules Sometimes." The article goes into further detail on the subject matter encouraging parenting styles to maintain flexibility. One of my favorite quotes:
“Rules are good to a point but if you keep them around too long, the child isn’t going to learn to set his own limits."
For more on the article, you can check it out here.
Don't be too hard on yourself as a parent. Remember that raising children is a gift and something to be savored and enjoyed. Setting too strict of limits will not only drive you crazy, but will also drive your little one crazy. Let's encourage our little ones to have a little bit of "grey" in the lives while they learn to build their own independence and healthy decision making skills.
When my dad was transitioning to a vegan diet, he began working with an amazing nutritionist, Nena Neissen, who shared a similar garlic salad dressing recipe with our family. Over the years, I have adapted this same recipe to perfection! Even if you aren't a salad eater, I guarantee you will reconsider eating salads once you try this dressing. The recipe is simple, and can make any bland salad yummy and delicious.
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1 tbsp vinegar (I like rice, glazed, white wine or red wine vinegar - any kind is great)
1 tsp Vegannaise mayo
2 tsp dijon mustard
a dash of honey or agave
squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
In a bullet (or something similar), blend garlic clove with a flat blade. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Presto!
I'm just finishing up my 19th week of pregnancy and am feeling great - both mentally and physically. Sometimes I forget I'm even pregnant... This week proved to be somewhat challenging with my 19 week appointment, as you'll see below. At the same time, I feel confident after seeing the doctor + seeing our little one at the scan that everything is a-okay. Check out my stats below.
Current disposition: Like I said, sometimes I forget that I'm even pregnant given the way that I'm feeling and how active I've been. The other day when I was playing with Lincoln, I plopped down on the bed (not hard) stomach first. This is something I NEVER would have done with my first pregnancy. With my first, I was so careful all of the time. Even during my runs - the thought of bouncing up and down made me think that the baby would be uncomfortable. As a result, I went at a much slower pace, shorter distance and also ran less frequently. Mentally, I feel very positive, despite a tougher situation that transpired during my 19 week appointment which I will talk about below. I also have very exciting news about our prospective move - which I will share soon!
Energy level: energy is GREAT. Really not much to talk about here. My diet has been great and I've still been sleeping like a champ getting at least 7 1/2 to 8 hours per night. Still running 3 miles a day at least 4x a week.
Diet: since last week, I've tried to tighten up my diet a little bitin terms of the quantity I consume, especially late at night and while dining out - my two problem areas. That said, I am NEVER restricting myself if I'm hungry. Usually, when I go out to dinner I allow myself to order something fun since we rarely get the chance to go out. Also, generally late night snacking is my thing - if you know what I mean. So -- I've just been trying to clean this up - maybe ordering something healthier out to dinner and being cognizant of my late night snacking. My general diet is very healthy still. On the regular, I've noticed that having warm lemon water in the morning really eases my stomach and eases my appetite in the morning. When I wake up, the first thing I'm thinking about is eating something to settle my stomach, but if I have warm lemon water I'm not as ravenous. After my lemon water, I'll have either a Glowing Green Smoothie or smoothie bowl. I also sometimes snack on Lincoln's breakfast which is usually fruit and toast with almond butter or oatmeal with fruit. For a mid-morning snack, I've become obsessed with hard boiled eggs. I like them right out of the pot - nice and warm - with sea salt! So delicious. Generally I'll eat about two per day as snacks or whenever I am hungry. I've also read that it can be beneficial to consume a hard boiled egg right before bedtime. New dessert? For lunch yesterday, I made myself a salad with apples, cheese, avocado and walnut - topped with homemade garlic dressing - recipe coming soon. At dinner, I snacked on some crackers and cheese then made myself another big salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cheese and buttermilk ranch. I had made pasta for Lincoln and had a few bites after having had my salad. For dessert, I'm hooked on the fresh peanut butter that you can buy from Whole Foods. I pair this with raw honey from Trader Joe's and a few sips of whole milk. Yum. Overall, I feel really good about my diet. I feel that BOTH baby and I are in a great spot and are getting tons of yummy nutrients.
Maternity Clothes: Dresses and yoga pants all the way. I'm having a lot more fun with my wardrobe this pregnancy. I think it's really important to look and feel nice throughout your pregnancy. Not to just give up throughout those 9 months and even after baby comes. This pregnancy, I vowed that I would still feel and look like myself. This means getting ready and dressing cute!
Weight Gain: at my 19 week appointment, I stepped on the scale and weighed 135lbs!! This means that from my 16 week appointment and my 19 week appointment, I actually lost 2 lbs, and have gained a total of 5 lbs. At first I was excited to see the number of the scale, but then I was a little worried that I wasn't getting enough for baby to grow properly. I believe I should be somewhere around a 7 to 10lbs weight gain at this point (which isn't a huge deal). Regardless, I brought this up to the doctor who assured me that everything is alright and that I am in a healthy spot for baby to grow. I explained to her that I gained SO much weight during my first pregnancy, so I was very firm about making sure that my diet was very healthy this time around and that I wasn't consuming and extra calories that I didn't need to. The doctor reassured me that everything was going smoothly. Curious, I asked if she could check what I weighed at this time during my first pregnancy. She was able to pull up the chart and told me that I weighed 147 lbs - ahhhh! This means that I had gained 17 lbs from my normal weight. Yikes. I'm so glad that my body is responding healthily this time around. Slow and steady weight gain is the key in pregnancy and I feel confident in that. Maybe it's a girl?
Doctor's Visits: I had my 19 week appointment - and as you saw, I was weighed, had my blood pressure checked and also heard baby's heartbeat - a solid 143 bpm! The doctor I saw was amazing - I hand 't seen her in my time at Georgetown and she was the absolute sweetest. I also had the 20-week anatomy scan during this appointment. This ultrasound was a little bit rockier than I had anticipated. Similar to my first pregnancy, they found a cyst in baby's brain. 99% of the time (the ultrasound tech told me) these cysts go away and are merely developmental. However, it is a soft marker for Down Syndrome. The ultrasound tech also found some fluid in the kidneys and other soft markers. From this, they recommended I do further testing which meant I had to get a heck of a lot of blood drawn to rule out any possibilities. I had my blood drawn to check for both infections that could be hurting baby and also for Down Syndrome. The Down Syndrome test is one step further than what is done in the earlier stage of pregnancy. All of this is super scary, even when the ultrasound tech and doctor reassured me that they were almost certain that everything was a-okay. I'm actually thankful that I went through something similar with Lincoln - and he turned out super super healthy. Still, I get nervous and await the phone call from the doctor in hopes of positive news. I actually JUST got a call from the doctor who told me that the infection test came back negative - which means baby is not being infected by something I could have had - this is great news. She said that she would get back to me with the result of the Down test by Friday or next Monday at the latest. I'm hopeful that this news is positive and more than anything I rely on the fact that it's God's plan no matter what. Thoughts and prayers welcome at this time!
Hey ya'll! So I'm 18 weeks pregnant and still feeling amazing. I'm hoping to keep this kind of energy and mindset up throughout the third trimester. I remember with my first pregnancy, the third trimester starts to get a little more difficult but I'm hoping to kick that this time around. Check out my 18-week stats below!
Current disposition: I'm feeling great about my pregnancy overall. In fact, sometimes I forget that I'm pregnant because of how normal I feel. This is a bit different than how I felt with my first pregnancy. The first pregnancy, I felt almost immortal, like a princess, like I was the center of attention because I was pregnant for the first time. Now being pregnant for the second time, you just feel like your normal self. I think as my belly begins to grow, I will get that pregnancy aura around me - but for now, it's just the same old me. I've also been a little distracted by our living situation. We are in the process of putting our Georgetown condo on the market for sale. This is both exciting and a little stressful. We plan to list the condo ourselves, which means a lot of work ahead of us. I'm excited to do this, seeing that I was a broker in my former life and can save us lots of $$$, but also know the work that it entails to list a property. All that said, I am still SO SO excited for our next journey. I pray constantly that God point us in the right direction and lay the right path clearly ahead of us. It seems as if all of his plans are perfectly unfolding to put our family exactly where we need to be in exactly the perfect time. God is good!
Energy level: energy is amazing. My energy levels actually feel a little better in week 18 than it did in week 17. I'm sleeping like a ROCK at 18 weeks - the best I have slept during my pregnancy thus far. I will also add that Lincoln has been a champion sleeper ever since I stopped breastfeeding him at around 12 weeks pregnant. He never wakes up in the middle of the night anymore, which really allows me to fall into a deep sleep. I also don't have to go to the bathroom as much in the middle of the night. I can attribute this to not drinking as much water as I was - only because I'm not as thirsty as I used to be. All of my energy I attribute to sleep, diet and exercise.. and the second trimester!
Diet: so my diet has been both really good and also kind of bad. On a normal day, I consume warm lemon water first thing in the morning followed by a Glowing Green Smoothie or Smoothie Bowl (recipe coming soon) around 9am. Thereafter, I generally have a lightly caffeinated beverage - a nespresso or green tea latte. For lunch I have either have a salad, soup or open-faced avocado hummus toast. For dinners, I tend to eat whatever I make Ryan and I which ranged this week from turkey chili to homemade pizza. As healthy as I'm eating during the day, my nighttime consumption is often the most challenging. This is when I let myself indulge more than I should. The way I see it is that if I have been healthy throughout the entire day, I can allow myself flexibility in the evening. I'm not so sure this is the best strategy while pregnant, as Hayley's nutritionist pointed out that the last meal of the day is the most important if you are concerned about weight gain. For instance, I had pizza on Friday night, dessert on Saturday night and dessert (homemade apple pie) last night. The dessert is something that I indefinitely don't need because it's not like I'm feigning for sweets while pregnant. I more so consume dessert just because I made it that evening for Ryan and I. Truth be told, I tend to eat a little crappier when Ryan is around - ha! I think I do so because I feel the need to cook delicious food for him and I also feel good about making him homemade desserts! Ryan loves desert and I can do without it. When he is out of town, I maybe have one bite of almond butter to fulfill my nighttime sweet tooth All this said, I need to watch consuming desserts at night because for some reason when pregnant, my body tends to hold onto the extra sugar as weight gain. When I'm not pregnant, I'd be perfectly fine eating a small serving of dessert two to three times per week, but for some freaky-deaky reason while pregnant I cannot do so. It's funny because you'd think it'd be the opposite! Therefore, I really need to start watching the extra calories and sweets at night. While I feel it's okay to indulge, having a few bites of dessert rather than an entire dessert is plenty to hold my sweet tooth over in the evenings.
Maternity Clothes: I'm trying to wear out the last couples of purchases I've made for as long as I can! I'm in that really awkward stage where I'm not quite in maternity clothes but am definitely not in my old clothes. Thus, I tend to go for loose-fitting dresses of the sort. This works great until you find yourself wearing the same dress everyday! I may go purchase one or two more dresses that I can wear for maternity and non-maternity. I also don't want to spend much more money on clothes, especially baggier ones!
Weight Gain: I'm not positive where I'm at weight-wise because I haven't stepped on a scale since my 16-week appointment. Adding to it, I'm wearing stretchy clothes and am not able to gauge how my pants are necessarily fitting. I'm pretty sure that around 18 weeks, a 10 lbs. weight gain is normal and expected. I think I could be around this number - in fact, I hope that I am! I have been eating healthy and not so healthy as you saw in the "Diet" section. I am seriously wondering how this is going to translate onto the scale. Let me say this, even if my weight is within the 10 lbs range, I believe cutting out the dessert is indefinitely necessary not just for weight reasons, but to help me feel better about my consumption choices! Besides diet, I have been running a ton - 3 miles per run, 4 to 5 times per week. I know my runs are saving me this pregnancy - both with weight gain and helping me feel my best. If I didn't have my workouts, I'm sure I would have ballooned at this point despite the fact that my diet is generally healthy. I plan to keep up my runs and to watch my consumption at night. If I can achieve this, there is not much else I can do to avoid weight gain.
Doctor's Visits: I have my 19 week appointment coming up this Friday. This includes an anatomy scan in which we can find out the gender of the baby (we aren't) and a 19-week doctor's appointment. Generally, this appointment is scheduled at 20-weeks but for some reason the lady in scheduling told me to come on the Friday, which I guess would make me 19 1/2 weeks preggo. I'm feeling excited about this appointment because my sister and her new boyfriend will be in town to share the fun news with us. Not only that, but it is a huge appointment. The anatomy scan further indicates the health of baby, showing that all of his/her anatomy is in check - aka. arms, legs, heartbeat, spinal chord, etc. As a pregnant mama-to-be, it can bring a lot of anxiety leading up to this appointment. Normally, I would feel a lot more nervous than I do. I have had a very healthy pregnancy thus far and have received wonderful results from my first ultrasound, nuchal translucency test results and neural tube defect blood results. I really expect the anatomy scan to be no different!
Will keep you posted with the results. Until next week!
A healthy and delicious way to feed your kiddos is with hummus avocado toast. Not only can it healthily feed your little ones, but it can also healthily feed you! When making this meal, I try and opt for Ezekiel bread. Ezekiel bread is made with sprouted and certified organic ingredients sans any fillers or cr*p. It is also a vegan product, making this meal entirely vegan-friendly! On the Ezekiel website, you can find more information about the bread including these facts (as shown on website):
Alright, enough about Ezekiel bread. Here is what you need for hummus avocado toast!