Little one made her grand entrance following a very quick labor. I’ll fill you in on those details in the upcoming weeks. We came home Monday evening and are settling into life with a newborn pretty well, I’d say. For now, enjoy a few pics of our beautiful daughter! It’s incredible to be able to say that now!
P.S., I couldn’t wait to share this news with you, but be sure to check out today’s guest post by Laura. You don’t want to miss her excellent tips!
Finding time to stay active’s a challenge… for anyone. And as I’m about to experience first-hand, that’s especially true when there’s a new little one in need of your care. Lucky for us, my friend Laura, mother of 2 beautiful daughters (one of whom is brand-spanking new), is visiting BumpSweat to share her tips and tricks on fitting in that workout while simultaneously being mama to an infant.
Thanks for having me, Jaclyn! It’s been fun to go through our pregnancy journeys together.
I’ve been fortunate to have two smooth pregnancies. Staying active was not a question for me- it’s part of who I am and what I do! I did cut back intensity and duration as the weeks went by, but have been able to run, strength train, swim and spin through both pregnancies.
After my first baby, I knew that I needed to find ways to continue my workout routine, but had no idea what it would look like. Almost everyone struggles to find time to workout, and moms can have the added guilt of missing out on family time or leaving the kids with someone else.
I’ve struggled to find this balance but have also found that I am a much better mom when I make the time for myself. My energy level is higher, my patience is greater, and I can better care for my daughter when I’m happy and healthy myself.
Here are some of the things that have helped me fit my workout in:
1) A supportive partner: This is probably the single greatest thing that keeps me active! I can get out the door for early morning or evening runs when my husband is around, and I have no concerns about my daughter’s safety or comfort.
2) Jogging stroller: We use our stroller for everyday walks as well as runs. The downside, of course, is the unpredictability of your running buddy and the extra weight to push, but I find it works great for short, easy runs. **Make sure you check the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. Most models are designed for use after four to six months of age, or when the baby is able to support his or her own head.
3) Gym with childcare: We love our gym! I rely on the gym when the weather is poor, or use it for classes such as spinning and weights. There’s always the slight worry of being called out by childcare workers, but most children adjust quickly and it soon becomes a comfortable and familiar environment. Many gyms will take babies once they turn six weeks old.
4) Workout at home: The luxury of getting a workout in during naps or after bedtime can be a lifesaver if your partner works long hours! You can get a great strength workout using a set of dumbbells or a resistance band, and there are endless at-home dvd or live-streaming options to keep you motivated.
5) Sitting swaps: Some moms take turns watching each other’s kids in order to get in a workout. Or, hire a babysitter or mother’s helper to have a break for yourself.
6) Early mornings: This is not my favorite option (I love my sleep!), but when all else fails, waking up before the rest of the family is an almost guaranteed way to get your workout in. I say “almost guaranteed” because there’s always the chance of an unexpected early wake up, sick child, or too-tired mommy. Some moms will stay up after a 4 or 5am feeding to work out, while the baby goes back to sleep. My first baby was one of the wildly unpredictable sleepers, so I couldn’t rely on early morning workouts until she was older.
7) Workout with the baby: If you’re lucky enough to have a very easy-going baby, you can work out beside your baby while he/she is awake. There are countless at-home strength and HIIT workouts on Pinterest that can be completed in 30 minutes or less.
Flexibility is key.Be easy on yourself those first few weeks and months: caring for a newborn is hard work! You may not want to get back into a workout routine right away if you’re overwhelmed and sleep-deprived, but even small steps can make a difference in your mood and energy levels.
Taking several short walks during the day and using fitness dvds are both great ways to get started until you’re comfortable venturing out or leaving your baby with someone else.
I’m not exactly sure what it will look like this time around, but I’m determined to find the balance that keeps mama, baby and big sister happy!
Laura Peifer, MSW is a holistic health coach and running coach in the greater NYC area. She has a 4 year old and delivered her second at the end of July. She shares her healthy-living journey, health and running tips and recipes at http://mommyrunfast.com.
What factors make staying active most-challenging for you?
For all the mamas out there, how did you fit workouts in after having a new baby?
Okay, Friends, I realize I’ve mentioned Little One’s nursery so often. I’ve hinted at how much work Nathan’s put into it, teased with a photo when our friends came to help paint and craft, and planned two previous times to write this post. But to no avail, because turns out, some projects require a lot more time and effort than you imagine when dreaming them up.
But just over a week ago, I hung the final item on the wall to then declare Baby Girl’s nursery COMPLETE! Before we see the finished product, let’s rewind to pregnancy week #20, when we first heard Baby J is a girl. Following closely on the heels of that exciting news, like most mamas-to-be, I spent time hours perusing Pinterest. Thankfully, my time proved worth it, for I found this little pin that inspired the entire room.
I decided then and there (after asking Nathan’s opinion and getting his okay, of course) that mint + coral would be our main colors, and we’d decorate with owls. Yay! I experienced instant relief because, one, I didn’t want the room dripping with pink. That’s a fine color, but it’s a little overdone, and I like to be different. Two, we desired to paint the walls a gender-neutral color, so as to avoid painting again if hypothetical baby #2 turns out to be a boy. As we learned, painting porous wood paneling requires a lot of time and ample amounts of paint, way more than you anticipate.
Like any project, there’s expectation and reality. I envisioned finding white ceramic owls like those above but instead opted for aqua ones. I thought we’d utilize gold as an accent color; instead, you’ll find splashes of grey throughout the room. We dream certain items up in our heads, but unfortunately, actually locating said item rarely happens… so your vision shifts.
In the end, Baby Girl’s nursery turned out beautiful. I wish everyone could come see the actual space, because, yeah, my lack of photography skills fails to do the room justice. Still, I can’t wait to bring Little One home for the first time and show her around
Fabrics (Window Valences, Crib Sheet, Changing Pad Cover, and Pillows) from The Stitchouse Etsy Shop. This proved to be our big splurge. Nathan joked that Baby Girl’s already spoiled since we purchased custom-made curtains and bedding for her. Yep, he’s probably right… and we’re in trouble
Owl Canvasses – Nathan used paint, canvas, and stencils (and the help of a very-talented friend for the more-detailed owls)
Headband and Hair Accessory Holder – see this tutorial for detailed instructions
Owl Mobile – I followed these instructions, minus steps 6-8, since I opted not to stuff the owls. Instead, I simply glued the back piece on. Easy!
Tree Mural – Nathan, MY husband, painted that! He’s admittedly un-artsy but did a fantastic job. I’m so proud of him!
Help from family and friends
Changing Table – my Aunt Rita restores old furniture (check out her Facebook page to see more of her beautiful work). This dresser was ANCIENT, and she both rebuilt it to be functional and spruced it up with new paint and handles. I’m in love!
Small table – another about-to-fall-apart piece my aunt redid for us
Rocker – we purchased this from a friend for $30. Because the chair was brown wood with sage green cushions, I opted to have it redone. A friend refinished and painted the chair for us, while the sweetest old lady I’ve ever met reupholstered the cushions. All-in-all, we shelled out $70 for it; not bad.
Our friends GAVE us the crib, along with a bassinet we plan to keep in our room the first few (or several) weeks.
I received the framed scripture at my shower. My sweet friend didn’t know this at the time, but I used James 1:17 in my vows to Nathan, so yeah, that verse means a lot to me. It’s perfect that she chose that scripture for Baby Girl.
Pink – yay or nay?
What things have you used as inspiration to decorate your spaces?
Are you a DIYer? If so, what have you made recently?
I’m still pregnant. Sorry, no big announcement to share yet. But, when the time comes, the news will likely be shared on Facebook or Twitter before word gets out on the blog. So check there for updates!
I’m keeping today’s Bumpdate short(er) than most, simply because I want to save a little space to look back at my entire pregnancy. Enjoy!
Due Date: August 20th
Movement:While I continue to feel her movements a lot in the upper half of my abdomen, little one’s fully-engaged, without question.
Growth: Baby Girl’s head measured right on-track at our 40-week appointment, while her femur measurement continues to lag behind a few weeks. Despite that, she’s continuing to grow, and that’s what matters
Heart Rate: 130 BPM
Milestones:Little one surpassed her due date, proving that she is in fact a Jackson As I said above, though, her little head’s locked and loaded, while mommy was effaced to 90% as of Tuesday, indicating she should be ready to make her arrival any day now.
Exercise: Still walking every day, doing yoga a few days a week, and performing every movement imaginable on the exercise ball to get labor going. Hip circles, bouncing up and down, Figure-8s, you name it, I’ve probably been doing it.
Aversions - None that I can think of
Cravings - FRUIT… all.the.fruit.
Labor Signs & Pregnancy Symptoms
Bursts of energy (yay nesting!) some days, and wanting nothing but to nap other days
Peeing, then still feeling an urge to go not even 10 minutes later
Light cramping in the lower abdomen
Lightening Crotch. Google it, it’s a real thing
Braxton Hicks contractions. The bane of my existence, because I just want them to be the real thing.
Constipation… followed by diarrhea (hoping this is the ‘flushing-out’ thing I heard women experience right before labor)
What I’m Missing - Focus. With labor impending, I’m finding it challenging to concentrate on whatever I’m doing, reading, and/or listening to. I’m constantly accessing my body, to see if what I’m feeling could be, might be, is maybe a sign of labor. That, plus as soon as I do come to a place of focus, my bladder hits it’s max capacity, so off to the bathroom I go.
What I’m Loving
The Nursery being 100% complete, just in time!
Getting up before 6, sipping my 1/3-caf coffee, while spending some time in the Word… Nathan & I savor each additional morning we get to do this
My PINK pedicure!!
The fact that Nathan’s now encouraging Baby Girl to come… up until just a few days ago, he kept encouraging her to stay in there, in part because Doc was out-of-town, but also so she continues growing. Now he’s more-than-ready to meet her and confident he can coach me through labor.
What I’m looking forward to - do you even have to ask?!? Of course, like last time, I can’t wait to MEET OUR LITTLE GIRL!! Mom, Dad, Nana & Pop Pop, Aunt NeNe, Oma & Opa, Uncle Aaron, Aunt Melisa, etc., etc…. everyone’s ready to see, hold, cuddle, and meet her! And truth be told, I’m also looking forward to labor. No, I’m not a glutton for punishment, but with all the anticipation, build-up, and wondering at every little twinge and sensation, I’m more than ready to know what it feels like.
The day I’ve anxiously anticipated since seeing that + sign… ok, two + signs, because even though false positives are virtually unheard of, my shock at the time persuaded me otherwise.
And because it’s my due date, I’m taking the easy route on the blog today. But that doesn’t mean I leave you empty-handed (or would that be empty-headed, since you’re simply reading my writings?)…
First, check out my guest post over at Creating Better Tomorrow. While my new-mama friend, Sarah, settles into life with twin boys (pray for her!), she allowed me to take over for the day. I’m sharing my expertise on using the foods you already have on-hand to whip up delicious and cheap, yet healthy, meals.
And second, to flow with the theme of my guest post (and actually give you something tangible to leave with), I thought I’d share one meal I created recently using the tactics I share in the guest post.
While it’s not fall just yet, winter squashes have appeared in our CSA box the past few weeks. I can’t eat summer squash due to some strange aversion I developed just a few years ago, but I jump for joy over (and eat way more than my fair share of) the winter varieties. This Cajun Beef Stuffed Butternut Squash utilizes one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Cajun Beef Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 large butternut squash
1 T. coconut oil
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
4 cloves garlic
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 T. cajun seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half, then scrape seeds out. Proceed to cut each half into half again.
In a large baking dish, place squash cut-side down. Fill with 1/2-inch water and bake for 45-50 minutes, until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
Add garlic, tomato, tomato sauce, and spices. Stir to combine. When mixture begins to bubble, drop heat to low and allow to simmer as you wait for the squash to finish cooking.
When ready, remove squash from the oven. Scoop most of the ‘meat’ from the squash, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of cooked squash attached to skin. Place scooped-out squash into cajun meat mixture. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro in, too, and stir, smashing any chunks of squash as you do so, until mixture is thoroughly-combined.
Spoon the meat & squash mixture back into the hollowed-out squash. Top with cheese, if desired, and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then dive in!