Almost 28 weeks pregnant, and I feel UNBELIEVABLE.

Okay, so I must have blinked too many times, because I cannot believe that I am almost 28 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy is flying by, and without jynxing anything, it has been pretty without incident. He is moving around all the time, but is still considerate enough to let me sleep throughout the night.
Earlier in the pregnancy, my skin was atrocious. I have dealt with cystic, hormonal acne since I was 16 years old. I had heard that pregnancy could alleviate that, but that wasn't really the case here. I was also exhausted. The first trimester was the worst. I was exhausted and always found myself ready for bed by 7:30 P.M., at the latest. No matter how much sleep I got, I always woke up ready for a nap. Overall, it could have been worse, but I knew I could be feeling better.

My husband and I recently made some lifestyle changes, so that we could set the best example for our son. Within a week, we feel like completely new people. My skin is the clearest it has ever been and I am shocked to see that I am not even remotely tired by 10:00 P.M. I am so energized throughout the day, and I am so happy to report that I passed my glucose test with flying colors. 

At 28 weeks pregnant, I feel better than I did before even becoming pregnant. It was as easy as flooding my body with 22 fruits and vegetables every single day, by consuming eight gummies. That's it. Nutrition really is key and I could not feel better. 

It is no secret that what we put into our bodies, plays a huge impact in our daily lives. The less nutritious food we eat, the worse we feel. We feel lethargic, we get sick more often, and our overall wellness just suffers. 

If I could scream it from the rooftops, I would. My desire to share this with others is overwhelming. Mamas-to-be can feel better; families with young children don't have to worry about how they will incorporate nutrition into their kids' diets, and people can just be healthier overall. Children as young as 6 months can take the gummies. These nutritional supplements also come in a capsule form, where you can open the capsules and put that into your child's food. This is a whole, plant-based food. 

It has not only changed my life, but it has allowed my unborn child to already have a great start, nutritionally. 

Do you feel like you incorporate enough nutrition into your diet? Do you and your kids get their daily dosage of fruits and veggies every single day? If so, what are some ways that you bring nutrition into your daily routine?

 

Sorry Guys, Been Busy Getting Knocked Up!

I see that it's a trend here, where I seem to always be MIA--BUT, I think I have a pretty valid reason this time.

We're pregnant! 14 weeks, to be exact. 

I certainly don't want to jynx anything here, but so far, it has been a very smooth pregnancy. Very mild nausea early on but didn't puke once, so I'll take that as a victory. No specific food cravings currently, and I'm waiting very patiently for some kind of bump to magically appear.

At my 8-week ultrasound, they found a very small cyst on my right ovary and I had a Subchorionic Hemorrhage or Subchorionic Hematoma. It was also very small and apparently is quite common early on in a pregnancy. 

I attached a link above about it, for those who have not heard of it before. It basically can occur when the placenta detaches from its original site of implantation. Naturally, I was a little nervous. But when my doctor explained that she sees it more often than she doesn't, I felt much better. I am also happy to report that at my 12-week ultrasound, the hematoma had gone away completely. Has anyone else been diagnosed with this before? I have heard that larger ones can prove to be quite serious, so I would love to hear about some other experiences and how you handled it.

As for now, I'm just bumpin' along on this journey with, like I've previously said, absolutely no clue what I'm doing. So, I hope you will join me on this adventure because I could certainly use a giant support group! Stay tuned--we're talkin' registries! 

World Traveling With Young Children: Nightmare?

I will begin this post with a SINCERE apology, as I have been MIA. We just recently returned from a week-long trip to Luleå, Sweden, about 450 miles North of Stockholm in the Swedish Laplands. The 8-hour plane ride wasn’t too bad, but having my Tucker Travel Cover 4-in-1 Travel Blanket and Pillow was a LIFESAVER. It comes in different sizes, but honestly, if traveling is your thing, this blanket makes the plane ride MUCH more tolerable. You are just one small click away from traveling in warmth, and comfort, and….

Oh, sorry about that. I must have dozed off just thinking about sleeping under that blanket…

 

Anyway, living in Florida, saying this place was cold, is a severe understatement. This place was BEYOND FREEZING. Being in negative degree celsius weather every single day doesn’t exactly warm the soul, and legitimately, no matter how many layers you’re wearing, it just isn’t enough.

 

 

All of that aside, the unbearable temperatures absolutely did not diminish the natural beauty this place beholds. It was one of the most relaxing and most quiet places I had ever been to. The air just smelled and felt cleaner and the residents of this small village, were some of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever encountered. The food left a little to be desired, but they did have Nutella, so that was cool. 

 

 

 

I rode as a passenger on both a dog sled and a snowmobile (the dog sled was a bit more comfortable, but not by much) and I am still baffled by how much one’s blood thins by living in a warmer climate for several years. 

 

It goes without saying, however, that the highlight of the trip was FINALLY seeing the Northern Lights. My family and I had attempted to see them once before, in Iceland, back in 2013, which turned out to be an absolute fail. With this trip, it was now or never. We were EXTREMELY lucky to see the lights come out on our second night there, and they were very active. I would say that the pictures absolutely speak for themselves. 

 

What I found myself thinking during this trip, after watching the interactions between some of the families that were staying at the Lodge with us, is how in the hell do people travel internationally with children? Well, let me back up real quick. I was very happy to see and say that almost of the children that I saw, were old enough to remember and appreciate the trip that they were on. I never understand when people travel with children who are too small to remember anything (no judgment if you’re one of those people). 

Perhaps my question should really be, is traveling with children really so bad? I mean sure, no one actually enjoys having to take a trip to the bathroom during a long, international flight, and we all know that young children are BOUND to have to visit the restroom at LEAST twice during the trip. Maybe it isn’t too difficult, and for someone who loves to travel, I would love to know if it isn’t as bad as it seems. I know there are some families that have a ton of success with it, especially Twitter accounts like @gocurrycracker

Do you travel internationally with small children? If so, do you find it difficult to do? Depending on what age you travel with children, do you ever feel like it is a waste of money and time, since the child may not even remember/appreciate what they are experiencing? I am a huge proponent of having cultured children, so I would love to travel with kids, but I would like to know if it is a realistic expectation to have.

I may earn possible commissions from the links in this post.

What’s Gun Violence?

I lived in South Florida for 17 years of my life, so hearing about the latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School CERTAINLY hit home. I suppose that could be because that was my  high school’s rival school. I knew people that attended that school. I have driven by it countless times and even had my Sweet Sixteen party at the hotel that housed the students after the tragedy. Not that the severity of any of the other school shootings that have occurred this year is diminished, just because they did not have a close tie to me, but this one in particular was even more surreal.

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The emotion is raw. These children are sent to school, a place that they believe they are safe in. When I was in school, I never felt unsafe. So how do we, as parents and future parents, handle these situations. Situations like when our children come and say that they don’t want to go to school anymore? Or, they want to be homeschooled, since they are too fearful to return to school? 

I truly feel that it is extremely difficult to discuss an issue like this, without it being politicized. Let me be clear that I do not write this post, taking a stance, one way or another, regarding the issue of gun control. This is a much larger issue, dealing with mental health, social media, rejection, etc. This is truly me, confiding in all of you, expressing my fear of raising children in today’s society. 

I feel like children deal with so much more today, than they did when I was growing up. They live under constant pressure to fit in, “be cool,” and well, just survive. This idea of inclusiveness is constantly shoved down kids’ throats, just as is exemplified in this story from Elle, about a school that requires girls to not say no when boys ask them to dance at a school function. I understand the message, trying to incorporate inclusiveness, but is the message really helping? Teaching girls that they HAVE to say yes? Teaching boys that it is perfectly acceptable to never be rejected? Teaching that girls’ thoughts and feelings should be dismissed? 

Perhaps I am going off on a tangent. My point is simple. There is a significant problem in this country. Our children are not safe, and there doesn’t seem to be any action being taken. When will we admit that there is a correlation between gun violence and mental health?

If schools are no longer safe spaces, then what is?

Post-Baby Regret Doesn’t Really Exist

Don’t let the title fool you. Not being a mom yet, I certainly can’t REALLY say that with confidence.

Let me begin by saying, that when it comes to travel, I have been extremely fortunate in my life. I am not even 30 years old, and I have had the privilege and opportunity to travel to four different continents. With the high cost of travel today, I never take these opportunities for granted. Check back for a future post on how Mr. Millennial Mom and I are using baby preparation expenses to afford future travel.

I have seen and heard that many couples that decide to have children early on in life and may experience some level of regret—where they may feel like they have not had the opportunity to travel and experience things, because they now have the added responsibility of children.

Now that my husband and I have made the decision to expand our family, I find myself sitting back and thinking to myself, that I truly feel like having a child will not hinder me from missing out on life. I have walked the Great Wall of China. I have stood on a glacier in Iceland. I have placed a prayer into the Western Wall. I have seen animals I never thought I would ever see, on a safari in South Africa. I have visited several U.S. National Parks and have seen so many wonders that our country has to offer.

When I look back on my past, I feel fulfilled. Is there more left that I have yet to see? Of course. My thirst and hunger for experience is insatiable. The beautiful part of it now, though, is I will have the opportunity to expose my children to culture, travel, and experiencing life to the fullest.

 

I know it won’t be easy, but it will be so damn worth it.

 

The Struggle (Seems) Real: Going Back to Work Post Baby

Happy (Super Bowl) Sunday, everyone! (I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing…)

I have been hit with this topic left and right, so I wanted to have a little chat about it. I’ve read accounts of women struggling with the decision to go back to work after their maternity leave, where some ultimately decide to become full-time stay-at-home moms.

It always hurts me to read about the pain and guilt that women feel for returning back to work, where they feel like they have chosen their careers over their children; or, on the flip side, if they decide to leave work, they are looked upon as weak and too emotional.

I came across Margie Warrell’s article on Forbes.com, where she pens an open letter to moms to stop feeling guilty about returning to work. Now, as not even being close to making that decision for myself, I can certainly see where the struggle could get very, VERY real. With the Women’s Empowerment movement bolstering support every single day, I can absolutely see where women do not want to fit the (awful, IMO) stereotype that females are too hormonal, emotional, and frankly, not strong enough to balance both a career and their children. Yet, they do not want their children to grow up feeling like their mother was never around enough.

I know that there are plenty of women out there, being total badasses, and creating a totally healthy work-life balance. They are the breadwinners of the family, where their husbands play the stay-at-home dad role. There are also lots of women who have made the decision to say “F it” to their job and dedicate themselves solely to their children. You know what I say? Do what works for YOU. No one can make the decision for you, and really, well, should never make the decision for you.

I would love to hear the decisions you made and how you made it work. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they? If you could offer advice to a soon-to-be mom about to make the decision, what would you say?

The Business (and Pressures?) of Getting Pregnant

Happy Saturday, fam!

Okay, so you and your significant other have made the decision to try and get pregnant. You have made it known to your friends and family that you have made the decision to try and get pregnant. Now, the only question you seem to get over and over again is, “so, are you guys pregnant yet?”

But what if you aren’t? 

I have seen and heard that for many couples that the choice to get pregnant, which seems so simple at first, can become quite cumbersome. In many cases, it seems like it becomes too all-consuming. 

For all of you Sex and the City fans, I am sure we all remember Charlotte and Trey’s (in)fertility battles, and when it was discovered that Trey was unable to have children, it ultimately destroyed their marriage. Charlotte wanted a baby so badly, and just didn’t feel that it was right for her to have to give that dream up.

So, how does one handle the pressure that comes with this decision? When people ask what’s taking so long, how does one respond? 

My husband and I believe that we are going into this as two, healthy adults, capable of making a baby, but for those that find out that that is not the case, how do you handle that? If you told people close to you, do you or did you regret it?

It’s funny, in my opinion, how a decision that is such an intimate one to make between two people, seems to become the business of so many outside parties. Once you make it known that you want to become parents, everyone thinks they know best and can offer you the best advice possible. While they may have the best intentions and your best interest at heart, their assistance might do more harm than good.

With so many factors that come into play trying to get pregnant, how did you or do you, handle the pressure?

An Open Letter To My Younger Self

Okay, so deciding to have a baby has certainly caused me to do a ton of “self-reflecting,” if you will.

I thought about all of the things I would say to my younger self if I had the chance. Yes, I will probably keep this locked away to read to myself, when my kids are at that age where they are literally stressed out about, well, everything.

Dear younger me,

First and foremost, STOP. STRESSING. You are not perfect, and let me just burst your bubble–you never will be. What is most important to remember, is that it is absolutely OKAY that you aren’t perfect. You never have to be something that you aren’t just because someone else makes you feel like you have to be. You are who you are, and that is the only thing you should always strive to be. 

Take it from someone who knows. You will be absolutely fine in life. You are smart, charismatic, charming, witty, and so beautiful. You will find love in college, and it will be like nothing you have ever experienced before. 

You will travel. You will immerse yourself in culture. You will learn. You will grow more patient as you age. You will still hold a pretty mean grudge, but you will realize when some relationships deserve to be rekindled. You will remove those that are toxic from your life, but you will replace those with healthy relationships, that offer way more than you ever expected. 

You’ve been hard on yourself. I know you aren’t happy with your body now and wish that you were skinnier, but girl, you will grow into your body. You will be happy with yourself and you will appreciate your body (trust me, the boys will see it eventually). 

I will end with this, younger me. You will be okay. You will certainly make mistakes, but you will learn from them. You will become a fantastic woman, who stands up for herself and what she believes in. You will go far in life, and in your career. You will win people over with your personality and courage. You will learn to use your voice and you will use it for those who have yet to find their own. 

What is most important for me to say to you, is that you will survive this. You will overcome. You will persevere.

 

What If My Four-Legged Kids, Hate my Two-Legged Kid?

Along this beautiful journey of our friendship, you will come to learn that those two up there, are my little men. Zeus in green and Atlas in blue; my current first- and second-born, if you will. 

They are spoiled AF, but of course they are–there aren’t any human children in the house for us to dote on left and right. I mean, they have their own Instagram account (shameless plug: @zeustheminipoodle)

That really got me thinking, though. What’s going to happen when a human child DOES come into our lives? What if the dogs absolutely hate the child, and don’t accept them into our familial pack? I have heard horror stories of when couples bring a baby home, and try to nip at the baby. I remember seeing a flyer, attached to a lamp post near my neighborhood, of a couple trying to re-home their dog, since the dog didn’t get along with the new addition. 

On the flip side, I have heard and seen wonderful stories, where dogs wholeheartedly embrace their new pack member. They cuddle with it, love it, and treat it like their own. 

Not judging a book by its cover, but please see Exhibit A

That is Hulk, of Dark Dynasty K9s. Okay, yes. You take one look at this 175-pound pit bull, muscular as all hell, and think, oh there is no possible way that this dog could ever embrace a baby into his pack? 

Please see Exhibit B:

Or Exhibit C:

This dog is FANTASTIC. This is a perfect example of how you CANNOT judge a book by its cover, and how it is 100% possible for dogs and children to live harmoniously. 

Have any of you ever dealt with this? If so, how did your dogs handle the baby? Did you find that the dog(s), in a way, understood that you were pregnant, before you even had the baby? I have heard that animals can. interestingly enough, smell the pregnancy. 

I’m hoping for the best with this one, but I may just have to keep this baby dressed in a dog costume at all times. 

Weighing In: Mom Takes a Goal-Winning Nap

Photo: Glennon Doyle’s Facebook 

I truly cannot say that I find myself weighing in very often on things that go viral. Depending on what it is, I may share it with my husband, if it is a cute, viral video, but more often than not, I just scroll through it on Facebook and don’t take a second glance.

That is, until I read —

This Mom Fully Napping at a Kid’s Soccer Game Is the Real MVP, Deserves All the Trophies 

as the headline of this article from Popsugar Moms. Yes, it certainly grabbed my attention, to say the least.

I should probably start this by saying, that this is an absolute judge-free zone, but let me give a brief synopsis of the article. A woman, we will call her Susie, is at her kid’s last soccer game of the season. In the midst of all the commotion, she succumbs to her exhaustion, and decides to lay down for  a nap on the sidelines. Glennon Doyle, who snapped a photo of the mom, and posted it to her Instagram, is touting her as a hero; a spirit animal, of sorts. 

This really got my wheels turning. Now, I do not know the sleeping woman’s situation, by any means. She may be a single mother, working several jobs to make ends meet, and just could not stay awake any longer. 

Truthfully, it was this part of the Instagram post’s caption, that had such an element of sadness to me:

…”Please understand that periodically- when the sideline yelled and woke her from her warrior sleep- she would raise that little thumb of hers and say: yay. And then she’d go back to sleep.”

I know that when I was a kid, it meant the WORLD to me to have my parents present at any one of the events I participated in. I wasn’t much of an athlete, but it meant just as much to have my parents show up to a silly, little award ceremony. There’s a part of me, that for a fraction of a second, feels sad for this woman’s child. Can you imagine scoring a winning goal and looking for your mom’s reaction, and you find her, laying on the sideline, taking a nap? It is moments like that that can have a serious impact on a kid for the rest of their lives. Yes, I acknowledge that the mother is physically present at the game, but does showing up and napping really count? 

Again, like I said, I pass no judgment. Truthfully, I am very torn on how I feel about this. 

On the one end, even though I may not be a parent yet, I can understand how utterly exhausting being a parent is. However, on the flip side of the coin, little moments matter to a child, and as hard as it is growing up in today’s society, I cannot imagine how that child would feel if his classmates saw the mom napping, and continuously tortured and bullied him about it when they returned to school. 

What are your thoughts on this? Is this woman really a hero and just showing the real, sometimes ugly, truth of being a parent? Or, should she have just been honest and asked a friend to step in for her, so she could get some much needed R&R at home?