Getting Ready for Baby: Round 2!

I am now 16 weeks along in my second pregnancy, and each and every day I am so thankful that we will be blessed with another (hopefully full-term, healthy) baby!

12 weeks in

12 weeks in

 

16 weeks along! Yuck hair day, oh well :)

16 weeks along! Yuck hair day, oh well ūüôā

So far this pregnancy has been fairly kind to me. My primary symptom is, as with my first pregnancy, major headaches. What’s different this time? More nausea, and being easily grossed out by certain foods or smells. Also, my sense of smell is WAY stronger this time. I also felt 20 times more exhausted during my first few weeks with this one than with the first.

I’m getting giddy going back through photos, videos and tiny baby clothes that we have from our daughter’s newborn and infant days. We don’t know yet whether we’re having a boy or a girl (we find out in a month), so it’s too soon to know if we’ll need to get some baby boy clothes (ADORABLE) or if we’ll be able to re-use what we did with our daughter (which would be awesome for saving $$ and equally precious to see everything again).

One thing is for sure: I am on the hunt for the right baby wrap or carrier for those early newborn and infant days. Number 2 is due at the end of May, and I have no doubt that my daughter will be an active two-year-old who needs to get out and enjoy the late spring and summer months. I never did much baby wearing or carrying with her, but in hindsight I think it would’ve been nice to have one of the good, high-quality carriers to make mobility a bit easier.

So far my top choice for a wrap is the Baby K’tan, probably the Breeze, because it looks¬†lightweight and appropriate¬†for our hot Sacramento summers. I also have the travel version of the Ergo that I used with my first baby a few times, and I’m thinking even though I want a regular Ergo, I’ll hold off until we get through the early¬†stage¬†to see if we really need it. Perhaps the travel Ergo will suffice?

I’m trying to keep everything else to a minimum, but while daydreaming of chubby cheeks and tiny toes¬†again, it’s hard not to want to go out and buy a bunch of fun, new baby things! A Boppy Lounger is the only other significant¬†item on my wishlist so far.

Second-round moms, what are your essentials?


Saying “hello” to this blog!

Wow, I stopped writing on this blog over a year ago, and when I came to check it out today I didn’t realize I had 36 followers here! That’s kinda cool. Thanks all, for reading.

I’m thinking about revisiting my home/family/lifestyle blogging life — I’d switched over to a personal finance blog for a while, but maybe I could marry the two here on From the Ground Up.

Would love a “like” or comment from those of you who are still reading! Is it time to get going here again?

A quick life update: our baby girl is 18 months old later this week, and life with her is amazing! Being a working mom has its challenges, but we’ve found our rhythm. We also moved back to Roseville to a different house, and it’s been fun making a home for our growing family.

fam

xoxo

Jess


Post-pregnancy fitness

Every mom out there knows how hard it is to deal with the physical changes and limitations brought by pregnancy. And each woman struggles with different aspects of her pregnancy, no doubt. For me, one of the hardest parts was limiting my fitness routine. Sure, I also missed a good glass of red wine (or two) and the occasional sushi dinner, but most of all, I missed grueling x-bike classes, hard core sweat sessions at the gym and intense vinyasa yoga classes.

post-partum fitness

I know fitness isn’t everyone’s favorite extracurricular activity. But it’s always been a big¬†part of my life, and since I was cleared for exercise at five weeks post-partum, I’ve been working really hard to get back to a place where I can tackle those challenging workouts again. While I can’t exactly go to the gym or yoga studio at my leisure with an infant in tow, I’ve been doing my best to get creative with in-home workouts during her naptime and hitting the gym on Saturdays when my husband can watch the baby. Thanks to yoga podcasts and blogs like The Fitnessista, I’ve been able to begin my fitness journey again.

Jess_fitness

Of course, it isn’t easy. A post-partum body is different, and trying to get¬†into pre-baby shape is a mental and emotional challenge, as well.¬†Here are a few tips¬†I’ve tried to keep in mind in starting a¬†post-pregnancy fitness routine. Maybe they’ll help other moms out there, too.

  • Listen to your body: Post-pregnancy bodies have done the hardest work of all: Birthing a child. But that doesn’t mean it’s as simple as¬†going¬†back to the same pre-baby routine on Day One. Take it slow, and ease back into exercise. (Especially ab work. Ouch!)
  • Use time efficiently: Just because you can’t get out the door for a 4-mile run or a 60-minute class doesn’t mean you should skip the workout. Enter: naptime fitness! This is almost all I’ve done lately. I try to get in 20-30 minutes of intense work and a quick cool down/stretch, and I still have time to shower and get ready before the baby is awake.
  • Ignore the scale: The ultimate goal of exercising after pregnancy is often to lose the “baby weight.” But that’s a daunting task right out of the gate. I’ve been trying to leave the scale in the closet and focus on how I feel, rather than what I weigh. It means more to fit back into a pair of pants or see definition in my quads again than it does to achieve a number on a scale. Odds are I won’t be that exact pre-baby weight again, and I have to be¬†okay with that.
  • Be PROUD of yourself: Hey, even if you just squeeze in¬†25 sit-ups, congratulations! Being a mom is tough work, and if you’re able to get¬†any exercise in it’s cause for a big pat on the back. All we can do is try our best to feel healthy, and I think it’s important to be¬†proud of yourself for every attempt at fitness.

What’s on your post-partum fitness list? What are some other ways moms like to take care of themselves?


Naptime cooking: Warm tuna and wilted cherry tomato pasta salad

We’re not celebrating¬†Cinco de Mayo until tonight (tacos and Trader Jose lager, of course), so for today’s lunch I decided to get creative with what I found in the kitchen and make a pasta salad.

yum

The keys to deliciousness for this recipe are:

  • Serving it warm (although I think it will still taste good cold when I eat the leftovers tomorrow) and
  • Making sure to wilt the cherry tomatoes first¬†(“wilt” may or may not be a proper culinary term, but I’m going with it)

You’re either going to love this recipe or hate it, depending on how you feel about the ingredients list. Personally, I LOVE tuna pasta salads, and this light, springtime version¬†hit the spot. I estimated measurements below, but honestly just eyeball the ingredients¬†to your liking!

Warm tuna and wilted cherry tomato pasta salad with dijon vinaigrette

For the salad:

  • 8 oz. pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (or chickpeas, for you East Coasters)
  • 1 can tuna packed in water —¬†your brand of choice

ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar (or your preference of vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

Begin by making the vinaigrette. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Next, cook pasta according to package instructions. When there is still a minute to go, throw frozen peas into the boiling water with pasta. Drain; rinse with cool water so the pasta cools down but is still warm.

While pasta is cooking, heat a small frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil to coat pan, then add cherry tomatoes. Sautee tomatoes until they begin to soften/wilt, about 5-6 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat once you’ve reached your desired consistency.

Once tomatoes are done cooking, combine pasta, peas, tuna, garbanzo beans and tomatoes (plus all the juices from the pan) in a large mixing bowl. Add vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve.

pasta bowl

This recipe is super easy, and you can really use this as a base and swap out ingredients as you wish. I had a hard time eating just one bowl…yum!

Happy cooking.


Google, you’re not my Mom friend.

Well, I was in an excellent mood as I sat down to write this post, and then my 14-pound cat, Archer, decided to climb all over me multiple times and delete things. Thanks a lot, Archer. Pets, a baby and a small apartment… at times a recipe for insanity.¬†Thankfully I managed to accumulate a solid¬†night’s sleep between feedings over the course of 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., so hooray for that!

But, back to the post at hand.

Today I declare a ban on Google. At least when it comes to looking up anything related to my baby, her eating/sleeping patterns, and what’s “normal.” I knew this from the beginning, of course. It’s dangerous to Google things. Five minutes in I am usually convinced that my gorgeous, happy girl who, for the most part, eats exceptionally well¬†and often sleeps peacefully¬†in her own crib, is not as adjusted as she should be due to factor X, Y or Z. In reality, before I look up anything, I’m usually not worrying much and thinking, “Hey, we’re getting the hang of this! Nora is such a good baby.”

After Googling, well…just ask my poor husband.

Then there’s the¬†Facebook posts. It’s my own fault; I’m the one asking for advice over social media. But I’m banning those, too, unless they’re cute pictures I want to share. No more asking for advice from other moms. While I love each and every one of those moms and know they’re amazing in their own right, the glut of opinions I get when I ask for them is overwhelming, and ultimately make me question myself and what I’m doing day in and day out.

My temporary gig as a stay-at-home-mom is all-consuming. It’s very difficult to switch gears and think about something other than the child I’m tending to, whether we’re having a wonderful hour together or we’re struggling¬†through a short nap or a rough feeding. It takes a lot of strength to get through each day with confidence, and without second-guessing many of the moves I make.

All¬†I can do is my very best, with the help and support of my husband, and I know that most¬†of the concerns or questions around newborn babies are fleeting, and will soon be in the rear view mirror (insert sigh-of-relief /slash/ tears here). In the meantime, I say “good riddance” to all information obtained¬†via Google, and all opinions that don’t come from the mouth of my pediatrician.

I’ve got to figure out¬†this motherhood thing on my own.


What’s next? Pondering privacy and blogging

Well, here I am — six weeks into motherhood. I’m slightly sleepy and sometimes worn out by guessing the baby’s next move, but I’m also wowed that we got this far so fast, and I’m so proud of all we’ve learned as a family. And yes, I’m amazed at how much I just love this little one — the smell of her hair, those chipmunk cheeks, how¬†she calms down¬†as I cradle her, the way she looks up with those bright blue eyes…

But here’s my quandary. As much as I love blogging and want to commit to this space, I also am concerned about maintaining privacy for my family. What’s the happy medium? This is a creative outlet and a fun way for me to share and document life.¬†I don’t want to stop writing, especially because this is basically the only writing I do these days, but I don’t want to put so much out there that our life is on display.

Would love to hear thoughts from other bloggers! What’s the balance? What do you write about, and what’s off limits? And how about the photos. Posting pics of your kiddos: a do or a don’t?


My Due Date Date…and Still Waiting for Baby

Well, here it is! Today is my due date and according to the signs, or lack thereof, this baby girl is not ready to make her debut.

She had fun teasing us over the weekend — I’ve been having light contractions off and on since Saturday — but today I woke up feeling completely normal with no labor signs in sight.

I know that many first babies often arrive late, but for some reason I had this feeling that my baby would come at least a few days early. Now I know never to expect a baby early because it’s made waiting that much harder! So we spent the weekend taking walks, checking out the petting zoo at the farmers market and going to yummy restaurants.

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Our birth prep coach encouraged us to make a “due date Date” so that we’d have something to look forward to in case we hadn’t gone into labor yet. Unfortunately I’ve already been very productive over the past 10 days since I started maternity leave, so I’ve already gotten a pedicure, taken countless walks, worked on the nursery, bought a post-baby “inspiration” outfit, and finished every little project around the apartment I can think of. And since everyone else is at work, I’m flying solo.

My husband suggested that after today’s doctor appointment I take myself to lunch and a movie, so that’s the plan for my due date Date! “Frozen” is showing nearby, so I’ve decided to expose the baby to her first Disney movie before she’s even greeted the world. We will enjoy our little lunch date, and I’ll remember how blessed I am to be carrying this little one to full-term. At this rate, she better be nice and chubby!

And finally, a snapshot of (almost) 40 weeks pregnant from the weekend…yikes! That’s how I felt in this pic.

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