Staying Active and Exploring with Joovy & Miamily

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The ocean is always our first choice.

Here we are 9 months earthside for my little man. And OMG what a ride.  I get to know my kid more and more I can’t stop obsessing over his rapid growth. I just can’t handle how fast he is growing! We are literally a few months from the big 1 and I’m just not ready for it. On the flipside, I must say…it’s pretty freaking amazing to see him process the world around him as he is developing his own opinions and personality. What I’m most impressed with, is that I have not completely lost my mind….YET.

How am I doing it? I made a commitment to stay healthy and active so that I could keep up with my baby beast. The gym is my BFF and if Mommy makes it to the gym, everyone’s world is just a little bit better. The other half of the time, I am completely losing my mind, but it’s all about balance right?!

Two things that I cannot MOM without are: The Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight and the Miamily Hipster Plus. With these lifesavers, I have been able to get outside, get shit done, and take bub with me wherever I go.  Fresh air, stimulation, and bonding time are what we experience when we seek adventure. A messy house, with endless amounts of laundry, and a pile of dishes that doesn’t stop growing is a drag sometimes – okay, all of the time.  So that’s our queue to get out of the house and EXPLORE.

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The Joovy 360 is a nice, durable, but still elegant stroller that has been everywhere with us. It has allowed me to take bub on some serious hikes, jogs near the beach, and out on some of the best family dates ever. There are some days when the books and toys are just not enough to keep bub satisfied and to be honest I don’t blame him. Who wants to be stuck in the house all day anyway?

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Some places are just too difficult to experience with a stroller, so the carrier works great!

The Miamily baby carrier is the best carrier I have come across. I have a pretty heavy kid and this thing holds him close to me safely and comfortably. You can wear your baby several different ways and the seat is the deal breaker. I’ve worn Q on a boat offshore, to music festivals, and even while doing chores around the house. There are just some places a stroller can’t go, this is why a good carrier is a must!

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How in the world were moms doing mom things before carriers were invented anyway??? With summer approaching quickly I’m super excited to know that I can do just about anything we please as long as we have our carrier and stroller. Our next adventure will be a big one, 2 weeks in South Korea. Check back in next month and I’ll share how that all goes down when we return. In the meantime, I would love to hear about what you mamas do to keep sane and some of your must-have mom tools!

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Joovy

Miamily

Super fit? Or Fit-ish?

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I’m totally ok with being FIT-(ish)!!!

Before my pregnancy, I naturally had a pretty active lifestyle without even trying. We love being outdoors and the ocean is our favorite. Not until I was pregnant did I decide to top off my active lifestyle with a workout routine. This was mostly due to the Gestational Diabetes. So, shout out to you Gestational Diabetes! You kill-joy party pooper! At the same time, I’m thankful. It really helped me change my lifestyle for the better. After I gave birth to my wonderful gentle giant, I thought I was going to be able to whip it back without any issues. WRONG. Here’s the thing. I actually slept part of my pregnancy and those hormones gave me a boost, making me some type of freak of nature. I labored hard and birthed harder, so I thought I would be back to my pregnancy strength in no time! I surfed some days out of the summer after Q was born, but lost a lot of my confidence and skill. The reality is, there were so many factors and obstacles for me, it was frustrating that I was unable to be where I wanted to be, physically.

I thought, “Hey, I was on a diabetic diet for nearly 9 months. Why not do it again?” So I decided to cut down on carbs. It was easy and it felt good. On top of this, I added a workout routine to my schedule, mixed with breastfeeding and very little sleep. Talk about needing a chill pill. It started to become too much for me and even affected my milk production. I learned that it wasn’t wise to just get up and change my eating habits without realizing how my body would react or how it could affect my baby’s food source. My milk production did not stop but it did decrease significantly. I was pumping 9-12 extra ounces a day and it went down to 4 oz, sometimes even less. Now in retrospect, I should have given my body enough time to catch up on rest and allowed for more healing.

I was too concerned about staying fit, not educated enough about the birth process, and what it really meant to “heal” before going full force again. Through my research, I found a Birth Fit group here in San Diego.  We get to bring our babies, meet other moms, and really focus on strengthening those muscles that may have been weakened through our motherhood journey. So as much as I would like to be a super “fit mom,” for now, I am okay with being “fit-ish.” My focus now is to strengthen from within, slowly, carefully, and efficiently.  I don’t know if you have seen my kid, but he’s only 4 months and weighs 19lbs, so I need to get fit the right way in order to keep up with him.

As of now, I welcome carbs. I try my best to stick to the healthiest forms and I’m not hating it. I actually feel thinner than when I was avoiding them, which really shouldn’t matter but it’s definitely a plus. I take long walks with the baby in the morning, a couple of baby and me yoga classes from home (Youtube videos), and have just started the postpartum mini-series at Birth Fit San Diego. My milk production is exactly where I want it to be. My baby is clearly eating well and now I just need to take it easy and strengthen slowly. The rest will follow. The point of this post is, it’s ok to chill. Listen to your body. Exercise is great but it doesn’t have to be aggressive, so if your body needs more time, give it that. For the time being, as long as my family and I are healthy, I’m okay with starting from scratch, and instead of being super fit, I’m owning that I am “fit-ish”.

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Birth Fit San Diego – Keirsten

Learn More about Birth Fit 

Use coupon code: livewellmama for 15% off your FIT-ish apparel!

A Healthy Mom = A Healthy Baby

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34 days Postpartum & 1st day back in the gym in 38 days

I’ve been told before that after birth there would be days when I would feel “blah”, I just didn’t think there would be so many.  My amazing little boy has been on a feeding frenzy, so there is very little time spent outside of our home. The lack of sleep and natural vitamin D, followed by poor diet and no exercise has had me feeling the blues. I am still awaiting approval to return to my usual workout routines and I am actually fiending to surf again. I seriously crave the sun and ocean, and without these two elements, I really struggle. I have also been very emotional lately and missing my mother who passed away in April. Every time I look at baby Q, I remember how happy my mother was when she found out I was pregnant. She would’ve eaten him up and loved to tell me how to raise him, lol. It’s been challenging to fight off the darkness, but I have a choice. I have the choice to feel the darkness and soak it in, allowing it to have a lasting effect.  Or, I have the choice to feel the darkness and get off my ass to move past it. I choose the latter.

 

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 I choose to be happy and healthy – time to get to work.

I started by acknowledging that I fell off the wagon and have been eating like shit, enjoying the things I couldn’t have with gestational diabetes and not discriminating against anything quick and tasty.  But recently I have started eating much healthier meals again and am finding that it has a huge impact on how I feel each day. Last week I was given the okay by my healthcare provider to take 30 min walks. That’s fine, but it isn’t doing the job for my feel goods. Yesterday I made it a point to get up early and go to the gym. Without going overboard, I pushed myself to get past the excuses and it was so worth it. I did a mile on the treadmill and lifted light weights to awaken my arms.  As for the emotions involving my mother… I have accepted that I will feel sadness and that I will miss her, but I have so many memories of her that I can share with my son.  Just thinking about her crazy personality makes me smile.

IMG_9087I share this with you knowing that I can’t be the only new mom out there feeling this way. I also share this with you in case you are going to be a mommy and to let you know that if you face these blah days, not to worry because there are better days ahead. As new mothers we will be entering a whole new stage of life and our shit gets seriously disrupted, hormones and all! Besides my generously supportive husband and the most ridiculously awesome child of mine, I have found that taking care of ME makes me happiest and allows me to be a better person, wife, and mother. It is difficult to allow myself the time and pampering that I deserve, but it is essential that we continue the things we enjoy, get out for fresh air, and take care of ourselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I believe this so much that I have set up a month of pampering, haha! Each week this month I am treating myself to a self-loving treat, starting with a massage and ending with a day of shopping!

All joking aside, not all of us are fortunate enough to dodge the onset of depression, and postpartum depression is such a real thing. It’s important to know the signs and when it’s time to seek help. A healthy Mom equals a healthy baby, is what I frequently remind myself. It really helps me through many of my challenges. What is it that you do to stay happy? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving comments. I truly love hearing from you.

 

1 Month Postpartum, 18 Years to Go

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I thought it would be fun to share with you the unexpected reality I am facing as a new mommy. Try not to laugh too hard at some of the things I thought vs. the way things REALLY went down.
  • My labor was going to be under 12 hours and I was still going to be glowing when it was over. Nope.  Labor was almost 24 hours long and I immediately lost the glow, immediately.
  • We would come home from the hospital to maintain a clean and organized home.  Haha! The house screams “I never got the ‘nesting’ bug and we are just trying to survive with a newborn on barely any sleep!” All good though, that’s why we have the cleaning lady on speed dial.
  • I would sleep more that 5 hours total in a day and yes, I would still be glowing. Yeah, right! The glow was gone the minute I gave birth and it’s like striking gold if I can get an additional 30 mins of shut eye! (Which I occasionally do, thanks to my dear husband).
  • I would quickly be back in the gym, surfing, and regain my post pregnancy body in a flash. While I am absolutely happy with my slow but steady progress, none of that has happened yet. I have lost some weight from breastfeeding but no go on the gym or surf action. I am still awaiting approval from my midwife to get back to my fitness routines. I have started very light workout routines while holding my baby  to entertain him or put him to sleep. (Two birds, one stone)
  • I would continue my excellent eating habits that I picked up during my GD phase. Also a NOPE. Since breastfeeding is compared to running a 5k marathon, I am HUNGRY, a lot. So the first couple of weeks I ate like crap. Good news is, I’m slowly making a comeback and making healthier meals at home.  It feels good.
  • I would lose patches of my hair due to fluctuating hormones. So far the hair gods have been on my side. My hair has always had my back and it’s been staying put for now.
  • I would be able to wear my closet full of pre-pregnancy clothes by now.  Although I have not been wearing leggings as often, there is no way in hell I can get into any of my jeans that I miss so much. If I am not at home in panties and a nursing bra, I’m wearing a bathing suit, maybe some shorts, and/or a graphic tee of some sort. There is still a closet full of the old me waiting for the new me.
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    MAMA BIRD Tee from Mama Bird & Co

    Some things I never even thought of that are becoming apparent:I never thought I would be okay with being puked, farted, pooped, or peed on. Somehow it doesn’t bother me one bit. Now I am sure that it would be a completely different story if it weren’t my adorable offspring. LOL. I never imagined that I would cherish and desire sleep the way I do now. I never thought I would try so hard to put my child to sleep only to obsess over when he will wake again.  Last but not least, I NEVER imagined that I could love anything as much as I love my little dude. (Even if he is bossy and sometimes mean as can be).

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SEE? SUPER MEAN!

 

My 4th Trimester

 

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Taken 3 days before I gave birth…172 lbs

Ahhh, the 4th trimester. Why the hell was I not told about the 4th trimester? I blame every one of you powerful Moms out there! You run around with your Starbucks, cute outfits on, just going about your business with your super chill baby! You had me fooled, thinking it was easy to be a Pro Mom on the go. This is a compliment by the way. You amazing Moms do it so well that I had no idea what was coming. I have several friends that are fantastic mothers, but none of them told me that I was about to be on serious lactose lockdown. Please don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining… Ok, maybe just a little bit.  But I’m telling you, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to complain about! Being a full time breastfeeding mother is NO JOKE. It’s making pregnancy and labor seem like a freaking breeze at this point. Don’t even get me started on the hormones, on top of the lack of sleep. And I mean LACK OF SLEEP! And just hoping to see sunlight once again. What a  crazy ride. Now I know exactly what others meant when they said,”You will never be ready.”  For someone that likes to plan ahead and be in control, this can be very taxing and discouraging, and very stressful. I am so thankful that my husband is 100% on my team and we are finally starting to figure it out. So all you lovely pregos that are just behind me on this journey, my advice to you is team up with your hubby and/or family, and team up hard.

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Daddies are so important and so capable, so let them do their part.

My sweet boy is 3 weeks old today and  I’m having a hard time accepting that it’s already been that long. I guess you lose track when you are a milk producing zombie. I’m learning to adjust and it’s getting better. Actually, I can’t tell if I’m getting better at this mom gig, or if the coffee is getting stronger, or if I’m just getting used to not sleeping like a normal human anymore. Whatever it is, I know now why Moms don’t focus on the struggles of the 4th trimester or motherhood for that matter, and why the challenges are kept secret. It’s because no matter what hell you are going through, this little human you created makes a small sound that sends love throughout your whole body and all of a sudden sleep is no longer a factor. Nothing matters but the well being of your precious baby.  Okay…I get it now.

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This is why humans keep having children.

Can we just talk about how REMARKABLE the female body is? I mean seriously? I carried a human for 9 months, birthed an 8.5 lb baby and now I am producing enough milk to provide my child with all the nutrients he needs to grow? I’m waiting to discover what magical thing I’m capable of performing next! Let’s see, maybe regaining a healthy body? In the photo below you can see that I lost 14 lbs nine days after birth, 8.5 of it being baby Q. I will be honest with you. I have not been eating the way I would prefer, but I am not beating myself up about it because I am going to get back on track, and I was good my whole pregnancy damn it! In just 3 more weeks I should be able to pick up surfing again and I have already started making healthier meals at home. Well ok, 2 meals, I’ve made 2.  But you’ve got to start somewhere. I hope you stick with me and hold me accountable for continuing my healthy lifestyle. This time around as a Mom. My goal is not to reach a specific weight, (I’m actually not even allowed to have a scale in the house and I like this rule) but my goal is to maintain my health, energy level, be strong, and be happy. The scale and it’s numbers won’t give me any of these results

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Taken 9 days postpartum…158 lbs.

I think the most challenging part of the 4th trimester for me is being okay with resting. I love to get things done, love being active, and I’m a multitasking queen. So when I am told that I am to just rest and be on call for this amazing little baby, I feel anxious. It took me a few weeks, but I’m finally getting the hang of it. It’s okay to rest, and it’s actually necessary. I am no good to anyone if I do not recover well and if I am not happy due to lack of self-care. For all you moms-to-be, hang in there. You WILL cry, you WILL get frustrated, but you WILL fall in love so deeply that you WILL do GREAT.  I would love to hear about your experiences, and please leave me some tips!

 

Why Are You Showing Your Pregnant Belly?

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Before my mother passed away she consistently asked me to give her a grandchild. Of course, I shared with her all the reasons I could not honor this request.  She already had 4 grandchildren, but I was the only girl and she wanted to see me have a child before she left the earth. Well, she got her wish, and though it was not planned she got what she asked for and always did. Unfortunately, she did not get to meet him face to face and passed away a couple of months before his due date.

Although she wanted me to get pregnant very badly, she sure did not want me to show it.  I had been working hard to maintain my health and keep my body in check for a smooth recovery and I was not going to hide it. I was wearing tight tanks and leggings that accentuated my growing belly and the curves that came with it. I wore the same swim wear at the beach as the other ladies who aren’t pregnant. For the first time, I really started to love my body.  I have been wearing dresses that I had in my closet before I was ever pregnant and I was feeling cute and confident with my little bump. I can hear her now, bitching me out for showing too much of my pregnancy that SHE wanted me to have.

Next in line to have something to say was my beautiful, super human grandmother. This woman is in her late 80’s, still driving, living on her own, and the leader of her church. She comes from a small province in South Korea, where she had my mother and her 4 brothers. Just recently, I drove to Los Angeles to see her. I was wearing a beautiful, flowing floral maternity dress because I knew if I came over looking rough she would have been worried. Her only daughter had just passed away a couple of weeks before I came to visit, so she was happy to see me but couldn’t help commenting on my “revealing” attire. She says “Your skirt is too short to wear for a pregnant woman and you shouldn’t be flaunting your pregnancy.” (FYI, this sounds a lot more rude when said in Korean)

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OMG! WTF??? Is she serious? I love you, Grandma. You are my heart, but you are trippin’! You too Mom. I love and miss you all day, every day, but you were trippin’ too. It’s 2016 and I am loving the way I look and feel and I am sorry it doesn’t’ meet your expectations. I get it. You come from a time and place that did not encourage pregnant women to expose such a private time of their life. But do you want me to wear my husband’s t-shirts and helplessly seek assistance for every move I make? Should I close the blinds and not answer the door until I’m done being pregnant?

Hell no. I work out so I can have the energy to keep up with the rest of this moving world and so I can provide my growing baby with plenty of oxygen for his development.  I eat a healthy diet to provide us with the nutrients that are necessary to stay in good shape for the big day. I seek adventure to keep my soul happy because a happy mommy is a happy baby.  I am carrying a little human while juggling jobs outside and inside of the home. I love the looks that I get when I walk into the gym, am on my skateboard, or climb a few flights of stairs. I’m pregnant, not disabled or helpless.

I’m sorry, but I love myself more than I have ever loved myself and I am not afraid to offend someone with my beautiful, growing pregnant belly. What the female body is designed to do is too amazing to hide or disguise. Add a confident mind and some self-love into the mix and we are unstoppable. There is no way I can or want to hide such thing.  I’m sorry that I’m not sorry that my child bearing belly may offend you. I suggest you look away because I am proud of my pregnancy and I have no intention of putting it away.

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Where The Journey Began

 

IMG_0828If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that my husband and I took the news of my pregnancy pretty hard.  To top that off, once we came to terms that our life was never going to just be ours again, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Like a domino effect, one after another the bad news came rolling in. The fact that I was being treated as a patient with GD made me ineligible to give birth at the birth center. The only thing I had left of my pregnancy plan was my midwife and I had to work to keep her. As long as I was able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise, I could stay under midwife care.  If I were to need insulin at any point, I would then be transferred into the care of a physician.

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