Friday, September 15, 2017

Favorites Friday: Being Comfortable and Keeping Kiddo Happy

So now that Favorites Fridays are coming back to the blogo- I'm going to introduce you also to some of my son's favorites. So not only do you get 5 things that I am loving, but also 5 things that my little munchkin is loving! Win!

Let's start with my favs:

1. Five Below Black Suede knotted flats: Ok- so I know- I really should invest in some higher quality flats, but honestly- these are so comfortable AND affordable. I beat up my flats and usually go through black flats every few months, so only paying $5 for a pair (sometimes less when on sale) is totally up my alley. I find their flats to not be too tight on the backs of my heels and don't break the bank.
2. LuLaRoe Perfect Tee:  Yes- I sell LuLaRoe, but honestly, even if I didn't- the Perfect Tee would be my go-to top. Like many LuLaRoe newbies I tried Irmas and Leggings to start, but once I tried a Perfect Tee on- it because my default top in my closet. I don't know how many I own, but it is a lot- because I wear them just about every other day with skirts (preferably the Cassie skirt) but also pants too! I have a few I can wear with leggings as I got them a tad bigger for that purpose- but the main reason I love them is that they are flattering and perfect to hide my mommy flub. I am ALL for anything that hides my pudge!
3. LuLaRoe Cassie Skirt:  Now hear me out- I know many of you scoff when you hear someone talk about a pencil skirt. But really- this skirt is da-bomb! I pair it with Perfect Tees and basically wear this with boots (during fall/winter) and sandals, heels or flats (during the spring/summer) for work. It is dressy enough but also comfortable enough for me to wear this combo basically every other day to work. It has a yoga waistband- so it gives you pretty much no crazy muffin top if worn with proper undies- and shows off your curves all while being made out of comfy stretchy fabric. Believe me- I am NOT a size 0, and this skirt makes me feel fab. My hubs loves it too. haha
4. Diet Dr. Pepper: I know what you're thinking- a Diet soda? Way to be healthy. shhh. I know, but honestly I don't know what I'd do without my one-a-day bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. My Nana started drinking this many years ago, and as a kid I always laughed and made a face when she'd hand me one, but as an adult- its my go-to soda. My day job coworkers must also agree- because the vending machine carries 3 full rows of it (more then any other beverage) and if they don't restock by the end of the week- its totally all gone. haha. Give it a try!
5. Me & My Big Ideas Create 365 Planner Box Kit- Best Year Ever: This past Christmas I begged my hubs to get me a cool planner and stickers so I could stay organized and then turn it into a fun journal/scrapbook. I do adore this planner- it can expand pages, it is colorful, leaves room for lots of fun writing/stickers and the month view is my fav- perfect size! Now all I need is to find a good purse that will fit it- as this baby has basically stretched out my shoulder bag, because I try to cram it inside with all my stack of stickers along with. haha. Anyone have any suggestions on crossbody-style purses that can handle this awesome planner?

Now to my son's favs (FYI- he's 19 months old, for those that want to know age range. lol)

1. The First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Cups: So my son has a habit of throwing and/or hiding his sippy cups- so these puppies are great because they don't spill often (they do occasionally open up- but only rarely if I don't close it properly) and are pretty cheap. We bought a handful of the packages on Amazon- and honestly- I like them so much better then my 360 cups for the sheer ease of cleaning them. As much as I ADORE the 360 cups- because that is how we got our son off the bottle and they pretty much NEVER spill, they are a PAIN in the butt to clean. So if you hate cleaning dishes/cups- these are great in the dishwasher and overall clean up well for how cheap the price point is. These were basically how we taught our son to use a straw and he still loves them!
2. EZPZ Happy Mat One-piece silicone placemat+ plate: Another mommy blog suggested one of these types of plates and honestly- I don't know what I'd do without them. We go to sushi every week (yes my son adores sushi) and we've been using this at the restaurant every week- and it always does great. We use them at home too- but I think they are the bomb when at restaurants. Mega props to whoever invented these kinds of placemat/plates. :D
3. Moana on Netflix: I know many parents can attest to Moana being a big-time favorite movie in their house, and ours is no different. I also have found that the first 1/4 of the movie (basically up until "You're Welcome") has a somewhat calming factor- especially when close to nap time or bed time. Often times my son doesn't even make it to the above mentioned song, as the waves and music make him calm to sleep. Honestly- I think it was one of the better Disney animations in a while and I don't think there is a single song that I outright hate in this movie. Even though I've heard the songs about a bazillion times- I still can sing along and not be annoyed with them (*yet*). Bravo Disney!
4. Beat Bugs on Netflix: This show we ran across very early on in my sons life- and it so far has been a staple in our house whenever he is having an extreme freakout. He isn't the greatest socializer with people he doesn't know, so this show has helped him warm up to babysitters, but also gets him dancing all the time. He claps and smiles and dances and even hums to the catchy tunes. I've never been much of a Beatles fan, but I actually really do like this show and the music. When he sees the logo or even any clip of the show- he points and smiles and does a happy dance. We actually plan to be 3 of the 5 main characters for our family Halloween costume. ;D
5. Pediped flex Hayden sneaker in brown and blue:  Believe me- I didn’t pay $50 for shoes for my son. I lucked out and got a used pair of these babies for $5 from a mommy consignment sale. But honestly- if I could only invest in a single pair of shoes for my son- these would be it. He has extremely fat feet (chunky on the top of his foot) and these are so easy to get on his cubby feetsies, but also the velcro is strong enough that he can't undo them as easily. My kid is pretty smart at figuring out how to get out of shoes and socks- so anything that keeps him in them- I'm all about.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend and enjoyed our favorites of the week! I'll be busy going to a local Ren Faire followed by having a Yard Sale and Open House this weekend. Busy bee!
What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Workin' it! Wednesday: Blog updates and getting back in the groove of life

Ok. So I know that my life will NEVER be the same now that I'm a mom- it hasn't been for the past 19 months. My son is so freakin' adorable- but also a giant handful. He likes to cause trouble, get into things, destroy things- all the while smiling from ear to ear and giving me a big hug afterwards.
I know I've been super silent on the blogo this past 19 months since my son was born. Life just got a little crazy for a while.

Besides having my son, I got into selling LuLaRoe on the side (besides doing my day job of video graphics design), as well as ended up directing "Beauty and the Beast" at the one local community theater this past August. Believe me- I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes- I think my hormones were all out of whack when they asked me last September/October. But it turned out great- it just was a LOT of work with a very wild almost-toddler running around under my feet at rehearsals.

However, finally- things are starting to settle down and I'm ready to get back into things. I'm determined to get back in the groove of blogging- as honestly I miss it. I miss the community, I miss just typing it all out. So for now- I'm back! I may not post nearly as often as I used to, but I want to add in my "Mom Life" feelings to the blogo here as well as my usual stuff. So my random weekly features are getting a little overhaul. As much as I LOVE link parties, I just don't have the energy or time to run them, so my Totally Tuesday feature is getting swapped to "Totally Inspired Tuesday"- basically things that are inspiring me! My Mom Life posts will take over for Mondays for "Mommy Monday." The rest of my weekly features will stay the same- Workin' it! Wednesday (Basically anything that I'm working on that week- be it food, projects, home DIY, recipes, etc.), Thrifty Thursday (All the deals and finds!) and Favorites Friday- my FAVs for the week.

Check out my hand-dandy info graphic for the lowdown:

So- if you were a follower a while ago, or even if you are just popping in new just now- Welcome (or as my son's favorite movie Moana says "You're Welcome!")!
My life has changed a LOT from last time I was an avid blogger- so bear with me, as things are a changin'. But hopefully you still enjoy everything you find here on the good ol' blog of mine. Hugs to you all and looking forward to getting back in the groove of blogging and chatting with you all again!

How I survived Gestational Diabetes

So, you failed your 3 hour glucose test and the docs are saying you have gestational diabetes. Big hugs to you mommas- I’ve been there. I know how this can seem sorta like the end of the world- especially when you’re emotional, pregnant, and if you were like me- immediately became a starving crazy person the second they told me I couldn’t just eat whatever the hell I wanted.

First things first, you probably were recommended to do the following:

  1. Meet with a Nutritionist
  2. Go to a Diabetic Center meeting
  3. Meet with a perinatologist 
  4. Schedule another followup ultrasound. 
  5. Down the road, you’ll probably have to also undergo Fetal Non-Stress Tests too (1 or 2 times a week- usually starting around 32 weeks). 
If you can, I totally suggest meeting the nutritionist FIRST. I couldn’t get in to see mine till after my Diabetic Center meeting, and I had a lot of questions that the center couldn’t answer but the nutritionist did. It’s easier to learn what you can eat and how to change your diet BEFORE you’re forced to track your glucose and receive a glucose meter.

Once you find out a suggested diet and figure out how to take your existing meal plan/diet and make it more diabetic friendly, you’ll have to start tracking your glucose. I was suggested to take mine 4 times a day- once when I woke up (fasting reading) and then 2 hours after each meal (breakfast, lunch & dinner). My doc suggested you take the glucose reading 2 hours after you START the meal- aka. I start to eat lunch at noon, so I take my glucose at 2pm. Forewarning though, if you’re a slow eater or you graze, your glucose might be a little off depending on what all you eat.
I found the hardest thing ever was having to go to parties/holiday get-togethers where you graze throughout the night. For me, I had my last 3-hr glucose test on Halloween and then I found out I had GD the week of my baby shower, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. It was a rough time for me.

When you do find a good regime- stick to it. I found I packed basically the same meal for breakfast and all my snacks (only really changing my lunch & dinners) so this helped keep my glucose in track. Because I work quite early, I would make my breakfast while packing my lunch and snacks and eat in the car or right when I got to work. But because I had the same thing for breakfast most days (once I figured what worked) my glucose readings were wonderful every breakfast reading.

Don’t be afraid to write notes on your glucose readings when they are high or low. This is a biggie. Many times we try to “trick the system” so when you’re bad and you know you ate something you shouldn't, you conveniently “forgot” to take your glucose or you took it a LOT later then you should of (I know the tricks people- again, I’ve been there). I found that when I fessed up and wrote what I ate or did that caused the high or low reading on my tracker sheet, the doctors were much more grateful and happy with the results- it also keeps you more in line/more accountable.
Also, I guess my little “notes” were funny, because every time I’d turn them into the doctors/nurses, they’d chuckle and comment how much they liked my little notes. I’d often write things like “guess I can’t have perogies with dinner” or “1 slice of pizza I can do, 2 slices- guess not.” It helps being aware of what caused you to have highs.
homemade pretzels ruined my Glucose Reading that day
My glucose was good all week one week- so I rewarded myself by making homemade soft pretzels for the first time while stuck in the house during the day after #blizzard2016. They were so worth it. All were enjoyed by hubs, me and baby A who was still relaxin inside the belly. My glucose after said pretzels- not so good.

Now if you have lows (like I generally would have when I woke up) figure out how to keep your glucose up while you sleep- I was suggested to have graham crackers with PB or a skinny cow ice cream sandwich right before bed to keep my glucose going while I slept (I guess I processed glucose a lot better when I slept). Figure out what works for you and stick to it- don’t try to push the system too much- otherwise you’ll have the heartache of finding out things not working or giving you bad readings. I know it sucks, but it will be over soon.
I was lucky when it came to the gestational diabetes train- I had been able to keep tabs on it 100% via diet- no pills, no insulin. Not all moms are so lucky (well in all reality- the moms who don’t have gestational diabetes at all are the luckiest ones!). Your doctor will be able to determine where you fall on the scale of GD. The big thing to remember- its all about the carbs! I always thought diabetes was a sugar thing (sugar is a biggie, but Carbs are the big thing you need to watch when on a GD diet). Exercise is key too if you can do even a little bit of it. I would walk when on break at work and it would help a lot- sadly once I got to my 3rd trimester, exercise just became way too tiresome- so I stuck to basic light exercise.

Here’s some ideas of foods that worked for me:
·         1 cup no- pulp low acid orange juice
·         1 Morning Star sausage, egg, and cheese flatbread sandwich
Morning Snack:
·         1 greek yogurt
·         1 package of Nature Valley bars (2 bars in the pack)
·         ½ banana
·         Chicken quesadilla from Wawa
·         1 package of apple slices from Wawa
·         Sugar free jello
·         Diet Peach Snapple (my only non-water drink of the day)
Afternoon Snack:        
·         ½ banana
·         10 carrots with 1 tbsp hummus
·         (sometimes) 1 cheesestick
·         1 chicken breast
·         ½-1 cup green beans
·         ½ cup rice or potatoes
Evening Snack:
·         Graham crackers with Peanut Butter
·         1 skinny cow ice cream sandwich
·         (Sometimes) some form of fruit cup if I’m really starving

I know this isn’t 100% what all the books say, but honestly- this is a basic lowdown of what I ate and had successful glucose for my entire GD time.

Another thing you’ll come across once you get through all the initial adjustment- once you hit 32 weeks, many doctors suggest you go to fetal non-stress tests. These are nothing to be scared of- actually they’re not bad at all (the best of all the test you have to do). Basically what happens is you sit in a recliner chair while nurses take a sensor and put a strap to hold it in place across the top and another across the bottom of your stomach. This sensor is to check that your baby’s heart rate goes up when he kicks. If your baby isn’t a big kicker- try drinking ice cold water (our nurses would always offer if we want anything- I always say water- they give me ice cold water- this has always made baby A kick up a storm). I heard that the cold water wakes up the baby in case they’re sleeping.
If your kiddo is doing good on their kicks, you only sit there for about 20 minutes or so. Then they take your blood pressure and you’re done! Easy peasy.

Now, my doctor also suggested getting Amniotic fluid checks with my fetal non-stress tests, so they usually do that after the FNST. Basically this like a super-quick ultrasound that only checks that your amniotic fluid is on track. Also easy peasy. My biggest complaint with the fetal non-stress tests is a) having to pay $40 copay EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT and b) the long wait in the waiting room- basically I’m waiting for a chair to open up- since they only had 3 chairs at my hospital testing center. If a mama before me was having issues and the kiddo didn’t cooperate (or they couldn’t get all the kicks within the 20 minutes or so, they start to get behind). Often times I’d wait in the waiting room 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how early my appointment is. The actual test itself isn’t bad at least.

It’s going to be tough, not going to lie to you. You WILL have really rough days and days that just down right suck- and you want to eat everything in sight. There will also be days where your significant other decides to make/order pizza and you already had your healthy meal and the smell becomes so overwhelming that you have to hide in your bedroom to get away from it (just speaking from experience…). I know its already rough being pregnant, not having that beloved glass of wine, and carrying around a giant bowling ball on your stomach for 9 months- but I promise, you’re a super awesome mom- you can do it!