3 Days in Sardinia & Milan

I feel like my life after having a baby consists of a lot of running. I want to get everything done before I pick up Mila from daycare because I want to be with her without thinking of anything I forgot to do or need to do or should be doing.  I do not even know what it means to be bored anymore! That being said, I absolutely love being a Mom and everything I do now has an added purpose of wanting to create the best life I can for my little girl. Never mind that she’s just so darn cute! However, it doesn’t change the fact that I have virtually no free time or time for myself anymore. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be doing a 5:30am workout class just so I could fit in a workout twice a week. So when one of my best friends asked if I wanted to come over to Sardinia, Italy for his 36th Birthday for FREE for 3 days, I said, ‘heck yeah!’

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Adam and I have been friends for 16+ years. I knew him before he was ‘out’ and he knew me before I wore makeup and still put Sun-in in just my……bangs (oy). Adam is the poster child for studying hard in school to give yourself loads of opportunities. He completely put himself through college and later through business school, all the while working as a fancy schmancy consultant which requires him to travel a LOT…which is why he has so many frequent flier miles and hotel points, thus being able to use some of them to fly me over to Italy!

IMG_3315Although the trip was only 3 days, it takes an entire day to get to a small island in Italy from the panhandle of Florida. I was very grateful to my husband for agreeing to take care of our little one for 5 days while I went off on a quick vacation! I actually enjoyed the 7 hour flight to Europe because I got to mindlessly watch movies and read my book…which was amazing!

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As soon as I arrived, Adam and I went to Hotel Cervo which was a super luxurious resort on the coast of Sardinia. It was amazing. If we had to actually pay for our rooms I may have been a tad more “am-I-getting-my-money’s-worth” but seeing as tho we didn’t…it was absolutely perfect! The incredibly sweet staff left a bottle of bubbly in our room, probably assuming we were on some romantic vacation instead of a married woman and her bff enjoying the fruits of his labor. We immediately put on our bathing suits and asked the resort to take us by boat to their private beach. We were quite enthralled with the large yachts that surrounded us. If someone were to tell me Jay-Z and Bey were on one of those yachts I would not have been surprised. (Although the crime-drama-watching part of me thought it was drug lords with their mistresses behaving badly).

 

Adam and I noticed that we were the only Americans at the resort. At least, from what we saw. We also noticed that, in true American fashion, we were a few decibels above everyone else, we talked and joked with the staff, and generally made the most out of our short stay.

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So later, we decided to check out this beach bar/club called Phi Beach. Ah-Maz-Ing! I absolutely loved this place. Completely outdoors with awesome, chill music, and the crowd was just families and groups just having a good time i.e. no sketchy 20-something males standing in the corner oggling all the girls, no weird old guys with model ‘girlfriends’, and generally no one looking for anything but a good time with the people they were with. There were even some children there! Sounds weird, but oddly appropriate in Sardinia. Adam and I hung out there for a while until it was time for our dinner reservation. If I lived in Sardinia, that would be my SPOT!

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Dinner was perfect. We ate at La Rocca. Perfect weather, perfect ambiance, perfect food. Unfortunately, we were way too busy enjoying an amazing Italian meal in a beautiful restaurant to think to take pics, but it was amazing!

We did a lot of exploring on our trip and did some walking which made me feel like I at least got some exercise. The island was absolutely gorgeous and photos just do not do it justice.

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For Adam’s Birthday celebration, we went to a restaurant / club called “Billionaire”. There were some extremely attractive men and women there! However, I’m pretty sure the girls at the table next to us were doing drugs in the bathroom. In any case, we had an amazing dinner and then headed downstairs to the club. I haven’t been to club like this since my NYC days. Adam and I danced around for a while but eventually hopped in a cab back to our hotel. It’s too bad I didn’t think to take a picture of us when we  weren’t  in a dark night club – we looked really cute!

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The next morning we planned to take a quick flight to Milan and spend the day there, so that my trip back to the US wouldn’t be quite so long. I had not been to Milan since I was 25, broke up with my boyfriend in Boston, and took a solo trip to Italy to “regroup” before I moved myself to NYC. Best credit card debt I ever racked!

We had a leisure breakfast, took in a few sights, then headed to the airport. We had NO idea we’d be met with an enormous line! There was no way we were making our flight. Adam, being the scrappy, MBA holding world traveler, asked a desk clerk if he could pay to skip all that nonsense (doesn’t hurt to ask, I guess!) Well, for 10 euro we were able to jump in front of the check in line, skip the long security line, and get to our gate in time for me to do some souvenir shopping! Thanks, Adam!

We got to Milan with almost the whole day ahead of us. We were exhausted from the night before (30-something clubbing is way different than 20-something clubbing!) but we did manage to go to a cute farm-to-table restaurant called Un Posto a Milano in the middle of the city, walk around the Duomo and grab some gelato before we just had to nap it.

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I couldn’t nap for too long but Adam seemed pretty beat so I headed up to the hotel roof for a beautiful view and  a glass of vino.

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For dinner we went to a cute little (well, it was kind of big and crowded) area called Navigli along some bridges and had some really good pizza and great conversation about life. Afterwards I went back to our hotel and crashed, while Adam went and checked out the pool and of course met some boys who wanted to take him to a Milan nightclub… oh the life.

My 3 days were just what I needed for a quick break from “running”… ! However, I was super excited to get back to my little munchkin. One day I’ll tell her about my trip and then bring her on some adventures with me.

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OK last but not least…. is this man carrying a purse?! He was walking with a woman, who was carrying a small bag….is this an Italian thing? Well anyway, to each his own….purse, I guess!

In the end, I had an amaaaazing time…. but always super excited to get back to my sweet baby!

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My Birth Story – Drug-free birth feat. back labor!

Disclaimer: My child is almost 19 months old now. I started this blog with the intention of documenting my birth experience and early child care. Thinking I’d have all this time to sit on my laptop and tell stories when my baby was born. Not so much! My baby would not take naps unless she literally fell asleep attached to my boob. I should probably write a post about that one. In any case, if there was ever any time for me to write, I chose to eat/sleep/shower instead 🙂

That being said, I remember my birth experience like it was yesterday!

I knew from the get-go that I wanted to go through child birth without drugs. I don’t know why exactly – sometimes I feel like I need to put myself through the hardest way possible. But I also read / heard that if you have some scoliosis (which I do) that the epidural might not “take” or only affect one side. And then there’s also the fact that you’re sending some big drugs through your body. I honestly don’t think it really makes a  difference, because most babies are born from a Mama who had some numbing and they are perfectly perfect. This was just a personal decision for me. Also, like I said, sometimes I feel like I need to do everything the hard way.

My baby girl was due November 8th. So, clearly that means she would arrive on that day, right? Wrong!

It was October 31st, Halloween, and my in laws were in town, including my sister-in-law and her husband. There was lots of drinking (not by me, obv) and handing out candy to children and hanging out on the stoops and…. I even dressed up poor Grover, my male dog, as Marilyn Monroe. I had planned to take the following week off to organize the baby room, get a pedicure….nest…you know! 🙂

12190927_10153224346552636_219681826737716718_n There are few sad moments in a dog’s life but this may have been one of them for poor Grover. Before anyone calls dog protective services on me, please know that he was a willing participant and got extra treats 🙂

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That’s a pic of Grover and I, in his natural, non-defiled state.

The night continued and around 10 or so I was not feeling that great and my lower back was achy. So I excused myself and went to bed.

Around 4 or 5 am, I woke up with my pj shorts completely wet. Hmmm, that’s weird! I went to the bathroom. I decided to call the midwife. I wasn’t due for a week and I was not expecting my water to break before I was in labor. I planned on laboring at home as long as I could and then going to the hospital where my doula (if you don’t know what that is you should look it up and hire one for your next child birth!) would meet up with me. My husband woke up while I was calling the midwife. The phone call went something like this: “Hi, I have some major wetness going on and just wanted to let you know, I’m not due for another week so I just wasn’t sure what this was. Should I be concerned?” They told me to come in. I said, well, ok. My husband was awake at this time and I told him what was going on. I said I would just run myself to the hospital and it probably wasn’t anything. Luckily, he was sober enough to realize that was dumb.

On the way to the hospital I was starving because, I just woke up! Of course the only option at that hour was McDonalds so, we went through the McDonalds drive through. That was one of the only times I had fast food during my pregnancy. It may have been the only time but I can’t remember.

We get to the hospital and a nurse hooked me up to a monitor. Me, being quite particular about things when it came to my whole pregnancy and labor process, wanted to know everything the nurse was doing. She – without asking me (I had something to say about that) – stuck her fingers inside me and WHOOSH! tonnnnsss more liquid came pouring out.

So apparently, I was in labor. I think my labor actually started the night before when I didn’t feel that great. At this point at the hospital, I was 4cm dilated. I was having contractions. And they were something similar to mild cramps. I thought, I got this! Piece of CAKE! Riiiiight….

I got to have a room with a tub, bouncy ball, the whole bit. You would be surprised how “natural birth” friendly Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is! They literally offered anything and everything you could want aside from a water birth (I think they said it was coming…? I can’t remember.)

Around 9:30am my contractions started becoming to the point where I couldn’t walk and talk all over the hallways. I had to go the room and start…dealing. They got pretty intense and then at some point I started having back labor. I’m not going to lie, that was awful. Contractions, even if they feel like your guts are being twisted, only last a short time and then you get some relief. Back labor does. not. stop! I was in constant, continuous pain for the rest of my labor. I did not give in and do an epidural but man I came close! If it wasn’t for my doula being there I probably would have.

I puked. A couple times. The reason why I didn’t puke many many times is because the midwife gave me alcohol wipes to sniff which for some strange reason really help with nausea! Who knew! I tried essential oils …. lavender I think…. but nothing worked like those damn alcohol swabs.

Nothing would rid me of the back labor pain. On top of that my contractions were no effin joke. My midwife offered (and I accepted) to put some saline solution in my back (which she assured me was not “drugs”) under my skin or something like that which relieved the back labor for about an hour and that let me experience a normal labor process (sans back labor). I say normal, but I mean, I was in so much pain that any relief  from the back labor felt like a Godsend. Unfortunately, that only works once so I couldn’t keep getting those saline shots. I got to my breaking point, probably around 3 or 4, when I decided that if they did not check me and tell me I was about to be at the pushing stage soon I was going to need the drugs. I’m not even sure I would have been able to get them anyway. They never even offered them to me (because I of course told them no to!) They came in and I was 8cm and said…just a couple more cm to go! OK I got this.

Around 5:30 or so (I’m going by what my husband remembers) we got to the pushing stage. And….omg… as my little baby moved down, the back labor went away! I was thrilled. You read about the ‘ring of fire’ and pushing a baby out and all this pain the pushing stage is going to be. For me, my back wasn’t throbbing anymore and I was like, “LET’S DO THIS!” I even cracked a couple of (probably  not funny) jokes with the midwife. Pushing wasn’t ‘easy,’ per se, but that is the LAST STAGE so it just doesn’t matter. You just do it. I remember pushing as hard as I could and the midwife saying, “ok this time I need you to push really hard!” ugh… 

My husband says that I pushed for about an hour. At one point the midwife could see my little girl’s head. Mila had a lot of hair (and no I didn’t have heartburn during my pregnancy!). She informed us jovially that she was using my fluids to make a mokawk with my partially born baby’s hair. Greeeat!!!

At 6:40pm EST on November 1st, my little baby girl, Mila Solene Reid was born! As soon as she popped out my midwife threw her up on my chest and she looked up at me with her big eyes as if she was saying, “oh, so that’s what you look like!” It was pretty amazing. I also had never held a small baby like that before so I was overwhelmed with every emotion possible and also, at the same time, trying to make sure I was holding this new born baby in a way that she wanted to be held.

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That is a picture of me literally the day before I gave birth (October 31st) after I’d gone for a run and then for some reason I was in the bathroom of a Whole Foods and decided to snap a selfie. I ran all throughout my pregnancy. Not at any sort of record breaking pace or distance, but 2 to 3 miles 2 or 3 times a week at whatever pace felt great for me. Sometimes that was mostly walking and sometimes mostly running. I just listened to my body. It was the one thing that I could do that would make me physically feel so good! Maybe it was the endorphin rush.

The other pic is the day after I gave birth. My experience in the hospital was great – my baby was never taken away from me (to another room or anything like that) and the nurses and lactation consultant were very helpful trying to help me get Mila to latch (which she wouldn’t).

I breastfed for 8 months although the first 4 months of that process were very very trying and painful. I’m all about the “breast is best” and trust me I know the science of a baby’s gut if ANY formula reaches it when they are super young…but when you are in the midst of your baby screaming at your boob because she apparently is not getting what she wants and you don’t know what to do and you break down and give her a bottle…. I mean, it’s going to be ok! Women shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. I was very hard on myself when it ever got to that. I began to dread every 2.5-3hrs when my baby would be hungry because of the agonizing process to get her to latch and not knowing if she’d be happy.

Another thing to note about my childbirth: I came out strep B positive which, if you’re pregnant, you know what that is. A harmless bacteria to everyone EXCEPT pregnant women. I am VERY opposed to using antibiotics for any other reasons than absolute necessity and I definitely did not want to take antibiotics during my childbirth and possibly remove all that good bacteria my baby would get from going down the canal! But…. if, in the small chance my baby would have gotten sick right after birth with strep B I would beat myself up to no end if I didn’t go by my midwife’s recommendation to have the antibiotics during birth. So, I did wait until I was pretty far along before I let them hook me up. I decided that if I wasn’t even close to pushing her out there was no need for them (my own opinion). I had about 1.5 rounds of antibiotics. Since I did get the antibiotics, I didn’t let them give my baby a bath until 2 days after she was born and I kept her skin-to-skin for as much as I could – in my mind, replenishing some good bacteria on her. This may have absolutely no scientific backing but in my head, it seemed like the right thing to do.

In summary, for anyone who is interested in giving birth without drugs:

  • Get a doula! I can’t even explain what it was that made having her there so helpful. She literally just let me around, getting me in different positions that might help, brought me water…. I don’t even know. It was just great having someone in there who knew what was up to have your back. Yes, your husband might be in there, but he’s never done this either. Even my husband – who was against having a doula in the beginning – afterwards recognized that it was she who had everything under control.
  • I really liked going the midwife route. I had no one pushing drugs on me and they (I saw more than 1) were very supportive and helpful and spent time with me and all my 99 questions. That being said, I only saw the midwife or anyone come in when they came to check me and then they would spend a few minutes with me. You’re usually in labor for hourssss so if you don’t have someone else there with you, you’re just in there in pain by yourself (or you and your partner) the majority of the time.
  • I feel extremely blessed that I had such a short labor. I mean, I was really only in PAINFUL labor for probably  8 hours. I have friends that were in labor for 36 hours. WTF.
  • I want to say that I feel like running and eating super clean and doing yoga and all that was helpful, and maybe it was. I also know people who did all that and had to have c-sections. There is no sure fire formula. I would recommend being as healthy and active as feels comfortable to you so if you do end up with complications, you know you did all you could to prevent them and it is what it is at that point.
  • If you plan on going “drug free” and wind up screaming for them later on…. don’t even sweat it. It’s impossible to know what pain you are going to feel or what you’re going to go through until you’re actually there. Not only that, but in hind sight, is it really that bad being numb down there while all that is going on?!
  • In the end, you want a healthy happy baby. If that means doing an epidural, supplementing with formula, or having your baby in a barn or what have you…. having your baby healthy and YOU be well taken care of and healthy is all that matters!
  • Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. The best thing you can do is be educated and read other womens’ birth stories and then make up your own mind. I highly recommend getting Ina May’s Guide to Child Birth book and skipping a lot of the other nonsense that tells you the 8 million things that could be wrong with your child. It helps reading other stories because then you realize how different everyone and everything can be and there is really no “normal”. That goes for parenting too. What works for one parent/baby may not work for someone else. I get very irritated when I hear critical moms saying things like, “she shouldn’t be doing xyz with her baby…” well, other Mama, you don’t know what that situation is. I’ve had my own moments where I’ve silently judged and I think to myself…tsk tsk, Anna!
  • Last – the fact that we can grow a human and then actually give birth to it is a MIRACLE! I mean…. if men could do this, they’d be in bars talking about  how many babies they had birthed! It would be a competition! Don’t tell anyone I said this, but child birth and early child care has made me realize what a superior species we are to men. That’s so not PC but honestly…. look at all we’ve done! And still have jobs and opinions and unique thoughts and not be crazy (well not all the time, at least)…. and we’re also able to take care of multiple humans all while we change the world. Let’s all raise our daughters to be strong, kind women and our sons to be respectful and considerate men. Can I get an Amen! 🙂

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There are zero baby books that say to leave your newborn child next to a dog in his doggie bed. My child required me to hold her and walk her around non stop and sometimes I had to use the bathroom, as people do from time to time. Grover was and is seriously the sweetest, kindest dog ever, even to this day when Mila pulls his ears and hair and doesn’t know any better. So that happened. She was very content in his little bed with him for a few minutes. Now at a year and a half old, she curls up next to him when she plays with her books and toys. It’s so stinking cute.

Week 21: Tons of reading, organizing, and being really anti-social

I have accepted the fact that I really do not have any desire to do anything but work (which, I love my job so I enjoy getting up every day!), learn (I listen to a ton of audio books), and read. Some may call it anti-social, I call it hormones. I’ve always been an introvert and on in to my 30’s I’ve enjoyed cooking a good meal or going out for a nice dinner and getting to bed at a good time rather than taking everything to a bar for late night partying. Or maybe my body has just finally decided that it’s done with the last 10 years of weekly bar outings…hmmm…

I’ve read a lot of books lately so here are the best of the best:

If you want a book that will consume your life til the very end:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - book cover

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Fiction) – Wow. If you haven’t read this yet, you’re missing out. Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. A search ensues, but all signs seem to be pointing to Nick, the husband, who claims his innocence. A simple sounding plot, yes, but you’ll have to read it to find out why it’s utterly gripping storyline and “oh my gosh, this could actually happen,” events make it one of the best books in a long time.

girl on the train review

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Fiction)- This book was so good I could not put it down. I read it while walking my dog, while walking to my car, even riding in a car even though it makes me carsick (it was seriously that good!) Rachel takes the same commuter train in London every day, and looks out at the houses she passes, even starting to feel like she knows the inhabitants in the houses. One day, she sees something that she probably isn’t supposed to. She decides to get involved, in ways that become such a tangled web that it gets her in quite a bit of trouble. You just have to read it to understand how crazy good this was. This was the epitome of a ‘page turner’ and should be the book you read this summer if you only read one.

the luckiest girl alive review

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessican Knoll (Fiction) – If the Girl on the Train and Gone Girl were so intense that you need to read something that calms it down a bit with some chick lit mixed in all the suspense, this might be the book for you! Ani is an NYC girl who works at one of the top magazines, is engaged to the perfect guy, and has everything she ever wanted. However, your past and the real you is always still there, no matter how much money you are using to cover it up, right? This book unfolds her past like an onion, more intense and twisted with each layer. I would rate this one as PG-13 with some of the events that happen, but absolutely a great book and quick read (because you’re not going to be able to put this one down either).

If you’re still longing for the days of the Twilight Saga and teenage angst:

mortal instruments reviewThe Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (REALLY Fiction)- They made this first book into a movie which was teeeerrrrible (althought Lily Collins is so adorable). The books, however, will absorb you right in!  I read the first 4 books in the series. Enter a world of shadowhunters, downworlders, fairies (the scary kind) and even vampires and get completely hooked. Yes it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, this alternate universe will suck you in so much that you’ll wonder if some of it is actually true. Nevermind that all the main characters are sub 20 years of age. Nevermind that you have to buy it in the YA section of the book store. If you’re looking for some good old fashion story addiction that isn’t filled with fake monster porn (hello Trueblood) this is the series. It’s ok for your 12 year old and just as additive for the older folk (ok, me).

never never reviewNever Never by Colleen Hoover (Fiction) – If you do read this, please do not send me hate mail. This book is very short (about 200 pages) and is part of a series. They haven’t released the 3rd book and it’s kind of agonizing. In fact, there are already complaints online! Charlize and Silas have been best friends since they were babies, and have been in love for most of their life. Then one day, all of a sudden, neither of them can remember who they are, who each other is, who any of their friends or family are…it’s like their memories have been completely erased. You’ll be hooked (I was/am) as you search with them to put together the pieces of why this is happening.

If you want a book to make you think about life:

art of racing reviewThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Fiction) – I’m normally not a fan of books that are written in the first person of a child, an animal, or the like. It feels like we have to spend a lot of time in their heads trying to figure out simple things like opening a door. However, this one is told by an insightful (we’re talking Gandhi-level) dog, who occasionally shares his wisdom with you while telling the story of his life, which is more about his master’s life and his trials and tribulations. It’s actually a very heart-warming and sometimes funny book about a very good guy.

girlboss review#Girlboss by Sophia Amorusa (NasyGal founder) (Non-Fiction) – I wish I would have read this book when I was 25 (of course, when I was 25 Sophia Amorusa was still dumpster diving and had not even begun her life she has now). I love reading books about how people got from nothing to get everything, and this one I liked because she is a VERY modern day rags to riches tale. She tells her story, and really emphasizes that there was no “luck” but instead of a lot of mistakes and bad choices and trial and error and perseverance before getting to where she is. I love the advice she gives younger generations. She’s been criticized for writing a book after only being in business 7 years, but she just puts it all out there and I really love her for that.

If you want a book to inspire you to change and/or improve your life:

life changing magic reviewThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (Non-Fiction) – By now you’ve certainly seen this book somewhere. It’s been all over the best sellers list! I refused to read this book for a while, thinking, nothing can be more boring than reading about how to organize. Plus, what the heck can this woman tell me that I don’t already know? (aside: I’m a terrible organizer, so I’m not sure why I had this attitude). Wrong. It really did change my life. Discard what you think you know about organizing, stop looking for new ways to store things, and just read this book. If you follow her advice to a T, magical things really do happen. Oh, and it’s not boring and a VERY easy read.

7-habits-of-highly-effective-peopleThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Non-Fiction) – This is one everyone has heard of, but not everyone has read (because if everyone had read this, the world would truly be a more compassionate, better place!) You can Google the habits and see what they are, nothing terribly remarkable, but if you read/listen to the book it really reminds you and teaches you how you can change your life, your outlook on life, and how you are in control of how you respond to events that happen and you can truly be in control of your life. I like the audible version of this book.

 41vi-V+18sL10% Happier by Dan Harris (Good Morning America guy) (Non-Fiction) – I’ve tried reading the Oprah talked about “Power of Now” (Eckhart Tolle) and similar books about living in the moment. They all made sense in terms of, yes, we should quiet our brains, and live in the now instead of worrying about things that haven’t even happened. But none of them actually explained how to do this. 10% Happier made it all make sense. Not only was the book interesting and funny, but instead of some robe wearing guru telling you parables and words of wisdom, Dan actually tells his story of how he, a real person with real problems, made his life a little bit better and learned to calm his crazy mind.

If you’re looking for the next “Devil Wears Prada”

the knockoffThe Knockoff  by Lucy Sykes/Jo Piazza (Fiction) – Imogen Tate is the editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, and very well respected in the industry. When she comes back from a 6 month hiatus to find her former 20-something assistant running the entire show, turning her precious magazine into an app, she has to make some necessary adjustments to keep her place in the fashion world. Very easy read and very entertaining. Great book and a nice break from the dark and suspenseful books I mentioned up at the beginning 🙂

If you’re looking for a book to get you healthy:

brain maker 51lPZw1WaOL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Brain Maker and Grain Brain (2 books) by David Perlmutter  (Non-Fiction) – If you want to get the very LATEST research on the most likely causes of all the auto-immune diseases out there, why you have a hard time losing weight eating sugary breads and processed foods, why anti-biotics are terrible for you, and why you really are what you eat, read these books! Finally, a guy who actually cites valid research with his claims. I recommend the audible versions of these as well.

Week 22: harder to run, yoga is my friend!

I’ve never been great at yoga. I’m far from being flexible by anyone’s standards and to add insult to injury I’ve always preferred doing exercises that tend to tighten you up (running, boxing, boot camps). Therefore, yoga is very beneficial for me! I’m not a dedicated yogi, however, and it’s one of those classes I’ll go to when I just feel like mixing things up a little…not something I really go to on a regular basis. However, I try to do a little yoga after every run (which has helped so much!) it’s just hard for me to get motivated to go to an hour and a half long yoga class every week. That’s really no excuse, but since a lot of my reason for exercising is because I enjoy doing it, I tend to gravitate towards the ones I enjoy doing the most. So sue me! 🙂

In any case, I’m now 22 weeks – almost 23 – pregnant and have gained at least 12 pounds (it’s probably way more than that but I refuse to weigh myself except whe I go to my dr appointments). My feet actually began hurting yesterday (!!) from walking around so much, which made me realize that the struggle is real in pregnancy. My feet do not ever hurt and I run around all day all the time!

I’ve continued running, 4 miles max lately because it’s been so hot. I’m also significantly slower than my pre-pregnancy self but I’m totally ok with that. I love just listening to my body and going however fast or slow feels good. Then today, after running a bit too soon after eating, I barely made 2 miles! I’m hoping that the reason is because I was so full.

Which brings me to another little gift of pregnancy – I cannot eat big, or even medium sized meals anymore! I end of feeling SO full that I basically have to lie down to have enough room to breathe. If I stick to small meals that doesn’t happen. Thank you pregnancy Gods.

After my run, I found this great little 10 minute yoga video:  http://youtu.be/MX0L-iYnt5c I really liked it because it went through a flow, didn’t stop with tons of instruction, and was only 10 minutes! Again, I don’t like to do super long yoga classes but 10 minutes?? Yeah I can throw that in to my routine.

In just 10 minutes, I felt like myself again. It really made a difference this morning. Like I said, I do yoga (10-20 minute Youtube videos) after I run, but I normally am not feeling like such a big pile of poo.

pregnant canoeing

2nd Trimester: Energy (yay!) and “nesting”

About week 15, my energy *finally* came back! The energy is here some days (when I get PLENTY of sleep) and other days not so much. Or I feel great in the morning, but by 2:30pm I want to crash. That being said, this is a much needed relief from the 1st Trimester! Looking back, I’m honestly not even sure how I did the things I did during those first 3.5 months: took my husband to Boston for 3 days along with his sister and her husband (check!), went to an all day beer fest followed by more bar hopping (check!), did a Tough Mudder (check!), ran a 10K (check!)…..not to mention other outings here and there.

Surprises during my 2nd Trimester: I do not like loud noises. I don’t think I’ve ever liked them, per se, but I get a reaction to them now, loud bars included. Speaking of loud bars, I am extremely uncomfortable in environments with a lot of people around – being in a bar with a ton of people who are losing control over themselves is super stressful for me! I’ve never been this way. Even when I wasn’t drinking much while out, I didn’t have this strong of an aversion. It’s like I want to be in warm, cozy environments where I can “nest” and sit on my eggs, or something.

Two weekends ago I went on a camping – ok, glamping (glamorous camping) with my husband’s sister and her husband, and another couple. We stayed in a cabin by a lake in Blue Springs National Park, no tv, lots of nature, and a 4 hour canoe trip down the Suwannee river. I even managed to get in a short trail run.  It was perfect! Although I couldn’t last long through the Cards of Humanity while the others stayed up til the wee hours drinking and playing….I managed til about midnight and hit the hay. But other than that, I was able to keep up with everything else! And the cabin was so great. I would get up early (well, before everyone else) and read on the screened in porch and it was perfect. I highly recommend this kind of trip if you’re pregnant and feeling like you want to be cozy all the time.

avocado tuna salad

If you like Avocados and you like Tuna you’re gonna LOVE this!

Sometimes I get it in my head that “simple” recipes cannot be as good as the more complicated ones. And sometimes they aren’t. However, this tuna salad is so good I would eat it every day if I didn’t think I would threaten my little baby’s health (that whole mercury poisoning thing).

In trying to find a tuna salad recipe without mayo, I came across this one and decided to try it. I didn’t have any ingredients really to make a “normal” one. This one turned out so delicious that I have no desire to dress it up!

Avocado Tuna Salad

1 Avocado

1/2 a Lemon

1 Can/Jar of Tuna (I used the 6oz Wild Caught Tuna in Olive Oil in a glass jar)

Salt and Pepper

This is VERY simple: Mix up all ingredients (squeeze all the juice out of the lemon) and mix! You can eat it with a fork or you can eat it as a sandwich….I happened to have some organic blue corn tortilla chips and I used those.

I suppose you could add some red onions, or relish, or something else but try it just like this before you add anything. Maybe it’s my pregnancy hormones but it just rocks my world.

Worried about eating an entire avocado? Don’t! Avocados are high in calories (but are you really worried about that right now?) but EXTREMELY beneficial for your brain health and for your growing baby! Avocados contribute to healthy blood flow which can lower blood pressure. The fat in avocados is monosaturated which means it’s the good kind. It also contains plenty of potassium, Vitamin K, and Folate, which are all extremely beneficial whether you’re preggers or not!

As for the Tuna, eating fish while pregnant is VERY healthy for your baby’s brain. “They” say not to eat more than 2 servings of fish per week, but there have also been new studies that show that eating around 3 servings a week and getting all those healthy omega 3’s is the way to go. Generally, I’ve been eating about 2, possibly 3 servings per week but I don’t eat tuna more than once per week.

fatique during pregnancy

11.5 Weeks – Insanely tired, a bit mopey, the BLOATING, and intense cravings for the bad bad bad!

This first trimester has  been a doozie – I’ve been ok some days, perfectly normal, and other days I want to pass out at my desk at 3pm, or have an insane craving for cheesy, pasta type dishes or grilled cheese. Luckily, I also seem to crave apples a lot (which I read could be a sign I need more vitamin C!). Sometimes I give in. The last 2 weeks I’ve given in a LOT. It’s so easy to just say to yourself, “I’m going to get fat anyway!” and just go for it. Not to mention, being tired and mopey does NOT help your will power. However, I’ve been EXTREMELY bloated the last few days because of my “oh I’ll just have this one grilled cheese/spaghetti/nutella toast/macaroni and cheese” moments. So much that I cannot even fit in to some of my jeans! I’ve never experienced it this bad. In fact, it’s not even like I’m pigging out all day – I’m still eating veggies (forcing myself – they just do not appeal to me right now) and good things during the day, but for dinner I desperately want something satisfying. Even so, I have become INCREDIBLY bloated. I don’t think it’s a bump yet, I’m just getting large!

So last night, instead of giving in, I meditated for about 10 minutes, while I baked some rutabagas. It helped get my mind off my cravings. While waiting on my veggies to bake, I ate 1/4 of a large watermelon. That may seem like a lot, but considering the fact that what I really wanted was some carby starchy mac n cheese or something of the sort, I was satisfied that I was only eating an extremely large portion of a watermelon. Once my rutabagas were done, I put some apple cider vinegar on them and went to town. They were pretty good and filled me up. This morning I woke up to a much less bloated belly!  I’ve decided I just HAVE to restrain myself at least a few nights a week and stick with the healthy, or non-greasy, cheesy types.

rutabagas with vinegar

If you like rutabagas as much as I do, here is a great way to cook them:

Ingredients:

Rutabagas (I buy mine already chopped into bite size pieces)

Crushed garlic (again, I buy it already crushed and setting in olive oil)

Sea Salt and Pepper

Mrs. Dash

Apple Cider Vinegar

Sesame oil, or another oil (not olive oil as it is not supposed to be heated to really high heats)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss rutabagas with oil, salt and pepper (to taste), some Mrs. Dash or any other seasonings you like (I just happened to have that on hand), and as much garlic as you want (I use a LOT if I’m not going anywhere after I eat these!)

Spread evenly in a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes. You want them to be tender and not crunchy.

Remove them from the oven and sprinkle a little apple cidar vinegar over them. You can also add a little butter if you choose. Enjoy!