Giovanni: One Month

We’ve made it to the one month mark! I think with all the holiday celebrations, it made time go by even faster.

The past month has been nothing short of amazing. Gio’s been such a great baby, and even when I moan about getting up in the middle of the night, I take one look at that face and can’t help but smile.

He is eating like a champ (takes after his father) and now weighs 10 lb. 12 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. His hair is lighter than what I thought it would be, and I’m curious what the coloring will be as he gets older. So far here’s what we’ve learned about our little guy.

  1. He sleeps with his mouth open (like me)
  2. He purses his lips when he poops (and also will turn red)
  3. He has started grabbing onto things (especially shiny things like my necklace)
  4. He has started to track with his eyes (if Kendrick puts him down and walks away, he’ll follow him)
  5. He doesn’t like baths
  6. He likes being carried in the Ergobaby
  7. He loves his Rock-n-Play (and has slept mostly in this)
  8. He smiles right after he’s had his milk (aka when he’s in a milk coma!)
  9. His lips and nose resemble¬†mine and Kendrick’s
  10. His eyes are like Kendrick’s
  11. He loves the camera! ūüėČ

 

Here’s some pictures from his newborn shoot when he was nine days old. Thank you to the talented Jessie Salas Photography. I absolutely loved doing an in-home shoot!

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model status…he was totally posing for the camera!

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These next few are my absolute favorite!! It makes my heart melt seeing my handsome husband hold our beautiful boy ‚̧

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Sneak peek of the little man’s room…we spend lots of time changing diapers in here ūüėČ

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Happy 1 Month Giovanni!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

 

 

 

 

My Baby Must-Haves + 3 Week Recap

So, I must preface this post by saying I had started writing a 2 week update last week, but never got around to finishing it; SO…this will now be a 3 week update. The beginning is what I meant to post last week, and even though Christmas is over, I want to share my reflections on my first Christmas as a mother ūüôā

 

It’s been 2 (now 3) weeks since Giovanni came into the World and as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, it’s been so special to have him here with us. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and you may remember me saying that before we got¬†pregnant, I was secretly hoping his birthday would fall¬†around this time of year. My own birthday is just three days after Christmas, and it’s been beautiful to reflect on my own mother carrying me almost 27 years ago, and also Mary carrying the baby Jesus.

After giving birth, I am amazed at what Mary had to go through over 2,000 years ago. Even with modern medicine, giving birth is¬†dangerous, and it is a complete miracle to give birth to a healthy baby and also have a healthy mommy.¬†¬†I can’t imagine not having the team of nurses and midwives by my side, and having to labor and give birth in a cold, damp, smelly and unsanitary stable like Mary. Not to mention what her recovery process was like; giving birth is messy! ¬†Remember…she was only 12 or 13 years old!! What a scary thing to go through at such a young age.¬†It makes me appreciate the cost of my salvation so much more.

A beautiful song that reflects the humble birth¬†of Christ is Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to our World”. I look at my own son, and can’t believe that our Savior came into the world in the same way…a helpless little baby. He had tiny fingers and toes, and was dependent on his mother, just like Giovanni is dependent on me.

Kendrick and I have learned a lot these past 3 weeks, and have settled into a schedule (somewhat), and have gotten a lot more comfortable changing diapers (Kendrick has done most of the brunt work in this department). For some reason Gio has the messiest diapers in the early morning hours when Kendrick changes him. (He’s already gotten peed on numerous times.)

Our love for him grows each day, as we find ourselves laughing at his funny faces or admiring his beautiful features. As he slept¬†in our bed yesterday, I found myself telling my sister, “I just can’t believe he’s my child.”

Up until you have children your whole life is centered around yourself. Then, you have a child and this new human becomes the center of your world…it still amazes me that my body was able to grow and give birth to such a perfect being. Kendrick has been saying it is a true miracle when a baby comes out healthy. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby, and the fact that Gio came into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, a heart that beats and eyes that can see is a complete miracle.¬†

Here’s a little update on what’s been happening these past few weeks:

  1. My milk coming in. This happened 2 days after coming home and let me tell you…no one warned me how painful it would be!! I took a nap that afternoon, and when I woke up, my boobs had turned to two rocks on my chest!! I’ve had small boobs my entire life, so this new change has been very uncomfortable for me. I qualified for a free breast pump through my insurance, and thank the LORD it arrived the very same day! I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I am very thankful that I’ve been able to breastfeed successfully, and know there are many other mothers who struggle with this. In those late night hours, when I struggle with whether to sleep or pump, I’m reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to feed this boy on my own.
  2. Night sweats. They started the night after I gave birth, but I didn’t realize it was normal. When we got home, Kendrick was concerned I was running a fever, but after¬†a friend came over to visit, she told me these were normal and it’s your body trying to get rid of the excess water you stored up during pregnancy. Whew! I was glad to hear that.

5 Baby Must-Haves:

  1. Fisher Price Rock-n-Play. This thing has been a life saver! We ended up registering for this instead of a bulky swing, and I’m so glad we did!! Gio has actually been sleeping in this instead of his bassinet. It’s small, cozy, and foldable which makes it easy to move and transport. It also plays music, rocks, and vibrates. The rocking and vibrating is really soothing for him especially if he’s a little fussy. I HIGHLY recommend this to any mom.
  2. Kiinde Twist Bags. When my milk came in and I had to start pumping, I was SO glad that I had bought a box of these. I love the twist top for easy pouring, and the measurements on the bag.
  3. Dr. Brown’s Preemie Nipples. My sister-in-law recommended I buy the smallest size nipple so that when I started bottle feeding, Gio wouldn’t get lazy and stop taking the breast. Since my milk came in quickly and I had to start feeding some milk from the bottle, I’m glad I had these on hand.
  4. Pampers diapers with the color changing line! I didn’t know the diapers had this until I read a blog post late in my pregnancy and the blogger mentioned that Pampers (and also Huggies) have a yellow line down the middle that changes to blue when the baby wets himself. What a genius invention! Although The Honest Co. diapers are cute, I’d rather have practical!
  5. Nursing tank. This is technically for momma but I count it as something for baby too because it helps you nurse so much easier! I’ve lived in these Pea in the Pod tank tops for the past 3 weeks..I even wear them to bed! I have a couple nursing bras, but these are much more practical because you don’t have to worry about wearing another shirt. ¬†These are another item my sister-in-law recommended and I stocked up and bought four before Gio was born.

 

Mommas out there- what are your must-haves?? Feel free to comment and link your favorites down below!

To my readers– thank you for your loyalty this year and for sharing my posts with your family and friends. My hope for the new year is to get back to posting regularly…and also to share my postpartum fitness journey!

 

Family photo by: Jessie Salas

Welcoming Giovanni!

As I write this, my little babe is fast asleep and I can’t believe he is here! A week ago today I was laboring at the hospital, a few hours away from meeting my little boy.

This past week has flown by, and I’ve quickly learned that life with a newborn is very busy! Between the feedings, changings, and pumping…the hours in the day seem to disappear. I’ve been lucky to have my mom in town from the east coast, and thanks to her I actually get a chance to eat. I’ve also been able to shower and nap, which are huge accomplishments in and of themselves.

It’s funny how quickly you adapt to ‘mom life’ when your newborn arrives. My focus has shifted completely and I’m 100% devoted to my child and his needs. Breastfeeding has been going well for me, and Gio certainly takes after his dad in the eating department. He has no problem latching on, although he does prefer the right breast. (To compensate, I’ve been pumping my left often.) He is healthy and happy, and even tempered. He slept straight through his circumcision without crying (what baby does that??) and slept through getting his blood taken a few days later. Kendrick joked with the nurse that he is better at getting his blood taken than his momma.

Well, before the little one wakes up I want to try and share what I can from his birth story.

So, here goes!

I was laying in bed on Monday morning, December 5 when my water broke. At first, I wasn’t totally sure that’s what it was. When they portray your water breaking in the movies they make it seem like it’s this big event when everything comes gushing out of you. Well, that wasn’t the case. It was more like a slow trickle that I couldn’t control. Kendrick had just left for work, and so I called him to tell him the news. “Call the hospital!” he said. “I’m coming straight home.”

I called and they told me it sounded like all the signs were there, but they wanted to come in and check me to make sure. They said if my water did break, I would be admitted, so to come prepared. My heart started racing hearing this, and I quickly got changed and cleaned myself up. All our bags had already been packed, so we were ready to go! I wasn’t sure if I would experience this big rush of waters on the way to the hospital so I put a towel down on the front seat just in case.

The drive to the hospital was surreal; I kept looking over at Kendrick and he would turn and smile back at me. We couldn’t believe it was happening! Kendrick called his parents to let them know the news; they had flown in over the weekend from South Carolina and were staying close by. We arrived at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City at 10:19 am. My midwife confirmed that my water had indeed broken, and so I was admitted. Because my blood type is 0-, I had to have a RhoGam shot during my pregnancy and after getting admitted, they had to give me antibiotics (penicillin through my IV) so that I wouldn’t infect the baby when our blood mixed. I’ve never been good with needles, and after getting my IV put in my blood pressure started to drop. I could feel myself getting faint and losing consciousness. Kendrick said the baby’s heartbeat dropped significantly and all of a sudden 5 other nurses were in the room. They put an oxygen mask over me and told me to lay on my side to help increase blood flow. I kept taking deep breaths and tried to stay calm so that his heart rate would come back up. It started to come back up, and after a couple minutes the nurses said that he was doing better. They left the oxygen mask on me though and continued to monitor for a little longer.

After that extravaganza, I continued a slow labor process into the afternoon. By 2:30 pm the nurses wanted to give me citotec to help move the contractions along. Citotec is a more mild form of pitocin, that I was able to take orally. ¬†It only took half a pill to get the contractions started. However, they were still not close enough together so four hours later they gave me a full dose. ¬†That made the contractions really strong, so much so that by 10 pm I decided to get an epidural. This time I did not pass out…thank goodness!

My contractions slowed and I was able to sleep for a few hours. Then, I woke up and started feeling them again. The anesthesiologist came in the morning to give me a stronger dose  and I ended up throwing up all over myself. From then on, it was hard to keep fluids down- I was nauseous and dehydrated. I was also taking a bag of penicillin every few hours through my IV.

My mom arrived around 11 am. (She flew in straight from Pennsylvania!) She wasn’t supposed to arrive until the 10th, but I had called her late Sunday night (the day before my water broke) and told her I wanted her to come out earlier. Who knew I would start laboring the next day!? It all worked out perfectly.

I continued laboring through the morning and still felt strong contractions; my epidural wasn’t giving me any relief.¬†Finally, by the afternoon, they decided to give me pitocin to speed up contractions so I would have the “urge to push”. By this point, I was in lots of pain, dehydrated and exhausted. I had been throwing up liquids and juices I was trying to keep down.

Kendrick was so worried I wasn’t going to make it through the pushing phase, and even called my midwife aside asking if I should have a C-section…I could barely open my mouth to suck on ice chips.

But then..something strange happened. After they gave me pitocin and decreased my epidural (they decided to do this because an epidural often slows down the labor and dilation progress and I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they wanted me too) so… after they did this, instead of being in more pain I just fell asleep! I passed out but they were monitoring my contractions on the screen and saw that I was having really strong contractions but not waking up. It was very strange!

However, the nurses said not to wake me, because I would need my strength for the last and final phase. ¬†I slept for an hour or so and after waking up I felt much better. When my midwife Terri came in she said they weren’t going to give me more epidural; instead they just wanted me to push! It was time to get this baby out. I started pushing at 5:10 pm and had Kendrick, his mom, my sister, and my mom with me in the room. Kendrick was holding my left leg, a nurse was holding my right leg, and I was instructed to grab behind my knees and pull both legs back. While pushing, there were always two people holding my head up (my sister, Kendrick’s mom and my mom rotated).

At 7:45 pm, on Tuesday, December 6th Giovanni Natiello Ribeiro made his entrance into the world!

My midwife Terri immediately handed him to me and I watched while Kendrick cut the cord. They let me hold him until Terri finished stitching me up and cleaning me and then after that the nurses took Gio to clean him up. (I’m glad they let me hold him during that time it was a nice distraction from what she was doing!) They weighed and measured him (8 lbs, 12.9 oz. and 21 inches long) and then gave him back to me to nurse. He latched on at 8:45 pm- an hour after coming out, and nursed until 9:30 pm- 45 minutes!!

 
After that my sister and mom left and Kendrick’s parents helped move our bags over to the other room we’d be staying in post delivery. My legs were still numb from the epidural so the nurse helped transfer me onto the other bed. They wheeled me and baby over to the other room. That night there were a bunch of nurses in and out checking on me and baby. By that point I was so exhausted and just wanted to sleep through the night, but I knew I had this little thing to take care of and that it would be a long time before I was able to get an 8 hour stretch of sleep again. It’s such a strange feeling after giving birth; you wait 9+ months to meet your babe, and then they come and it’s like meeting a stranger. I did not recognize his face, his features, his expressions, or his sounds yet. Now, a week later, when I look back at his birth photos I see HIM- Gio. But at the time, it was all so foreign to me.

***This post has been interrupted by a projectile pooping incident…OH the joys of parenthood!!

Well, before something else interrupts me I will end this post here. This past week has been a wonderful, crazy ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Each day brings a new adventure and a new laugh.

Happy 1 Week birthday little man!!

Here are some photos for you to enjoy ūüėČ

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Last belly shot before leaving for the hospital!

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After getting admitted at the hospital

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Carbo-loading! ūüėČ

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Putting on a brave face before I started pushing

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Gio is born!

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Our precious little nugget ūüôā

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Heading home ūüôā

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No longer two…but three ‚̧

Lessons for Parenthood

This Thursday will be our last holiday without a child. It’s kind of a big deal.

The sentiment among most first-time parents is this: “Our lives are going to change and they’ll never be the same!” Kendrick and I have accepted this and do not feel a sense of regret, but rather a sense of present awareness. And so, we’ve been soaking up this time together as much as we can. We even took a spontaneous trip down the coast last weekend to Big Sur. At first it seemed a bit crazy to drive 2 1/2 hours to Big Sur and back in one day; but why not? We didn’t have anything holding us back.

We actually met a couple sitting next to us at dinner who had a 10-month old daughter and had driven all the way from San Diego for the weekend. We asked if they had been traveling much and the wife said, “Oh yes! She’s been on 5 planes this year, and we’ve even taken her camping. Having a child shouldn’t prohibit you from doing the things you love.”

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Our dinner view at Nepenthe in Big Sur– so worth the 2 1/2 hours we drove to get there!

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Made it just in time for sunset

I was so grateful for her refreshing¬†outlook on parenthood. For the most part we’ve been lucky and have received encouraging¬†comments from parents, but occasionally you have a parent who doesn’t hesitate to share their less than ideal experiences.

I understand that parenthood isn’t all roses, and that’s okay. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

Well, there is one promise I can make to my son that I know I can keep; which is this:

“I will not be perfect.”

This reflection came after reading Karl Pillemer’s book, “30 Lessons for Living“. ¬†I recently found it on my bookshelf and realized I had never read it. Karl is a Professor at Cornell University and ran a study in which he interviewed several elderly around the country, who ranged in age from mid-sixties to 102! He compiled all the information from their interviews into a book of 30 overarching lessons that they wanted to pass on to the younger generations. The chapter that most intrigued me, especially at this phase in my life, was the one titled, “Nobody’s Perfect: Lessons for a Lifetime of Parenting“.

I have to admit, I actually read this chapter first instead of starting at the beginning of the book.  My two favorite lessons were these:

  1. It’s all about time
  2. Take a lifelong view of relationships with your children

Here’s what I wrote in my personal journal on this topic.

Dear son,

Your dad and I talk about the first lesson frequently because we feel it is the most important gift we can give you…our TIME. You will grow up so fast and we want to be there for you through it all. Our number one value is family, and so you can expect that we will make that a priority in our home. Some children have dads or moms who work too much and travel all the time and miss out on special life events. We don’t want to be those parents. We want you to remember us being present in your life and being part of the things that are important to you.

2. We realize that once we become parents, we will always be parents. Even when you leave the home, we will never stop being your mom and dad. However, our relationship will change when you’re older. You will no longer have to report to us, you will be in charge of your own life. And so we hope that the values we teach you in the home will follow you into adulthood. The decisions we make in the next 18 years will lead to either a positive or negative relationship in the future; and so I pray that God will guide us with the wisdom to be the best parents we can be for you and that we foster a healthy, positive relationship with you.

We also realize that we are not perfect; so there may be times when we make a wrong decision or say something we don’t mean. Please know that no matter what happens, we will always love you- because you are part of us. You were created by God, but you share me and your father’s DNA. There is no one else in the world like you, ¬†and there never will be- even your siblings will be different.

If you ever doubt my love for you- I hope you will read this and find comfort. You are SO loved and as we get ready to become parents, we can’t promise perfection, although¬†we commit¬†to do our best to:

  1. Listen
  2. Maintain openness
  3. Have good intentions

Te amo meu filho, (I love you my son)

‚̧

 

To my parent readers: If you were being interviewed, what lesson(s) would you give to the younger generations on parenthood?

Please leave¬†your comments below! ūüôā¬†

PS- thought I’d include an updated bump picture! 37 weeks, 4 days along…we’re in the final stretch!

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36 Week Update + Embarking on a New Season

Just like the changing leaves, the weeks and days are quickly falling and bringing us closer to the day we’ve been anticipating for the past 8 months. A year ago, we spent a serendipitous weekend in NYC. Although I grew up not far from the city, I never spent much time there¬†except during¬†Christmas; which¬†I now¬†regret because I missed out on enjoying the beauty of the city when it was not 30 degrees outside. The weekend was memorable in more ways than one, and if you’d like to read an inspiring story to lift your spirits today, read this post my husband wrote about why he ran the NYC Marathon. http://www.kendrickfitness.com/inspiration/christys-262-miles-for-hope

He was accepted to run it again this year, however he gave up his spot because he had a hunch I would be pregnant, which was correct! He figured I wouldn’t be happy, (and he wouldn’t feel comfortable) traveling across the country a month before my potential due date. He’s hoping to run it next year, in which case he’ll have an extra cheerleader in the crowd! ūüôā I would love to make it an annual trip, because NYC is SO beautiful in the Fall.

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Today, we’re at the 36 week mark and when I watched my weekly progress video, they re-iterated the fact that in the past 6 months, this little one’s grown from a sesame seed to¬†a 6 pound, 20 inch miracle.

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the past week:

  • washed the baby’s clothes and blankets/linens
  • got his car seat installed
  • started having Braxton Hicks contractions
  • made a list of what I need in my hospital bag
  • scheduled our newborn¬†photographer (thanks Amanda for the recommendation!) http://jessiesalasphoto.com/index2.php#/home/
  • scheduled¬†my last haircut before baby arrives!

Despite the chaos of the past week, I stop and think about what myself and millions of other women around the World are doing- growing¬† a baby! Every single person alive on this planet (yes, even Donald Trump) started out as a little sesame seed and grew into the human being they are today. During one of my walks this week, I found myself thinking about the man our son will become. In the book I shared in my last post, (Praying Through Your Pregnancy) the author dedicates one chapter to praying for your child’s future spouse. At first it sounded silly, “why should I be praying about that now?” But time moves quickly…even more so when you have children (so I hear). I couldn’t help envisioning what he will look like when he reaches Kendrick’s age, and what kind of woman he will fall in love with. (I even pictured his name on a wedding invitation!)

I’ve been praying everyday for his character…for him to grow up to be a man of integrity and do what is right, even if it’s not the popular choice. This past week we voted for a new President. I wrote in my journal on Election Day and reflected on how far we’ve come as a nation. I thought back to the last big election in 2008 when I was a freshman in college. It was such an amazing time in history and I am so glad I experienced it on¬†a college campus. Whether you voted for Obama or not, the eruption that exploded after he was named President was thrilling. I remember the cheers in the dorm halls and the dancing in the streets.

On Tuesday, I thought about how in 8 short years, history could be made again with the first female President. We now know this was not meant to be, but what an incredible time to be alive. No matter what you believe, or who you voted for, I want to share a verse that Hillary quoted in her concession speech. It gave me chills when I heard it, because it was the exact same verse I picked out to pray over my son over 4 months ago!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9

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My son,

Never stop doing good. Never stop loving others, no matter how hard it may be. And never stop fighting for what you believe in.

Love Always,

Mom ‚̧

Week 34 Reflections…or should I say ramblings ;)

Here we are…week 34! Only 6 short weeks until this little one arrives. I’ve been thinking a lot about how our lives are going to change, and it hit me that November will be the last month we are just Kendrick and Angela. By December, we’ll be mom and dad…how crazy!

I know that technically I’m a mother now, because I’m carrying a baby inside me…but once he’s out in the world, I’ll transition from just Angela…to Angela, aka Mommy. I brought it up to Kendrick this week and said, “Babe, I’m forever going to be Mom. Like, it’s going to be on my epitaph now.”

“How morbid,” he replied.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally thrilled about becoming a mother…and I feel so blessed to even be able to go through this process. I have loved every minute of being pregnant and will miss¬†carrying him because it’s been so amazing to feel his every move. I smile when I look down at my belly because I know he’s safe and protected.

This week he’s the size of a pineapple…and about 5 pounds! He’s between 19-22 inches long, which I still can’t imagine but explains why my belly pulls itself in opposite directions when he stretches.

It’s been 2 weeks since I went on maternity leave and it feels like the days go by a little slower now. Without a regular schedule, it feels like I have so much freedom. I’ve been sleeping in as late as I want, trying to convince myself not to feel guilty since once he’s here I won’t be getting any sleep!

People have been asking me if I’m ‘nesting’, and I tell them I’ve been doing that since July. Once we found out we were having a boy, I started browsing furniture and gender specific nurseries on Pinterest. I knew I wanted a calming, neutral palette- no bold colors or crazy patterns. I fell in love with a design I saw here and used it as inspiration moving forward. I actually ordered the same exact crib pictured here, and also the same blue paint color. Once the room is complete (just waiting on the chair to arrive!) I will write a separate blog post with details as to where we got everything. ¬†ūüôā

We moved into a new apartment at the end of May, which jump-started my obsession with getting rid of our junk. Anything we hadn’t been using, I tossed. I knew that we would be accumulating a whole lot more stuff once baby came, and that thought was enough to scare me into major closet purging. ¬†After my parents came to visit in August, I started tackling the guest room closet, which would now be the baby’s closet. We had been storing Kendrick’s clothes there temporarily, so I now faced the challenge of combining our wardrobes. I found myself at The Container Store more than once that week, crazily organizing every bit of space I could. The less we had, the better; if I noticed a shirt or pair of pants Kendrick never wore, I tossed it in the donation pile.

Well, after all my crazy antics, his room was finally ready to be decorated. Since we’re in a rental, Kendrick ¬†initially opposed to painting his room. It took some convincing, but in the end I played the pregnant wife card to my advantage. ūüėČ

As I mentioned above, today is a new week of development for Baby K-Fit. Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been keeping a journal that I plan to make into a book as a keepsake. I’ve been writing it in every week, sometimes two or three times a week depending on life events. It’s been so special to look back on what I wrote the day we heard his heartbeat, and when we found out the gender. Another ritual has been reading a weekly pregnancy guide called, “Praying through your Pregnancy“. My mother-in-law read through the book last year with my sister-in-law and when I told her I was pregnant, she suggested doing the same thing. I loved the idea so much that I shared it with my mom as well. Because I live so far away from both of them, this is something that has kept us linked through this process. The author shares little bits from her own pregnancy journal each week, information on baby’s development and related scripture and prayers.

Back in Week 16, I chose two verses that I would continue to pray during my pregnancy. The first was from Matthew 6:21 which says,

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I chose this because it is also a quote in Kendrick and I’s favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. We want our son to always trust his heart, because it is the most powerful thing he possesses.

The second verse I chose was based on the character quality I desire most for my son:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Kendrick and I believe kindness will get you farther in life than any other trait. We also believe in the law of reciprocity. What you put out in the world comes back to you, not necessarily in the same form or right away, but in other ways you may not expect. Therefore, if you continue to be kind and do good onto others, that goodness will come back to you.

 

 

 

If you’re a Mommy, I’d love to hear about any special rituals you did/do during pregnancy.

Thanks for reading!

xo

‚̧ Angie & Baby

Entering Maternity Leave & Hiring a New Trainer

This week I trained my last client before becoming a momma. I’ve been reluctant to admit how hard training has become on my body, because I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy thus far. I like staying active, and the thought of going on maternity leave made me fear that I would be sitting on the couch watching reruns of Friends all day.

Being a business owner, I knew the implications of taking a maternity leave…it didn’t mean paid vacation, it meant paying someone else to take over my job. In the past, it’s been difficult for us to find trainers that we feel are 1) Qualified; and 2) a good match for our Studio. We’ve received plenty of resumes with pictures attached of candidates¬†flexing or even worse, sending a video of themselves grunting and posing in front of a mirror. To say we were nervous about diving back into the candidate pool is an understatement. The fitness field can be full of egotistical trainers, and we wanted to stay far away from those people as we could.

My favorite thing about our Studio is that we are community driven. We want everyone who steps in the door to feel welcome and accepted, and not intimated. We expect our members to greet their fellow classmates by name, and come in with a positive attitude. We live in the Silicon Valley, so we know the pressure and stress our members face every day in the workplace. We want the Studio to be a haven or “happy place” for people to come and de-stress; not just physically, but mentally as well.

Another “rule” we have in the Studio is for people to make friends. We encourage people to not only learn each other’s name, but to¬†learn about them.¬†If you’re gone for a week, you better believe there will be someone in your class asking where you’ve been. It creates accountability that you otherwise might not have had if you were attending a class with 30 people, who never said Hi or Bye to you. That’s why we keep our classes small, not only for¬†accountability reasons, but so that we can correct people’s form and make sure they’re doing the exercises correctly. My biggest pet peeve is when I try an exercise class and see that people are doing things incorrectly. I can’t help but cringe and think, “How come no one is correcting them??”

The most common mistakes are with lunges and squats. Too often I see someone do a squat where they drop their hips too low, or do a lunge with their knee over their ankle. I’ve always told my clients to remember the magic number…which is “90” for 90 degrees. Your knee in a lunge should be at a 90 degree angle, and same with your squat- you should always keep your butt out to protect the lower back. The minute you drop those hips, say hello to serious back pain.

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Proper lunge form

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Proper Squat form

Now that I’ve gone off on a tangent about proper form, I’ll get back to our hiring process. Thankfully enough, this time around we had much better luck with the trainer pool. We interviewed some great candidates, even some that we felt were over-qualified for the job. In¬†the end, we found our perfect match! ¬†She couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as well. I’ve been struggling with serious back pain these last couple weeks, and feared how much longer I’d be able to train if we didn’t find someone. The universe works in mysterious ways, and it was like God knew exactly what we needed, at the time we needed it. I feel totally confident that our new trainer will do an excellent job taking over for me. In the meantime, you’ll find me blogging and writing more, and also doing lots of back end stuff for the business like marketing and advertising.

I feel so blessed to be in a position where I can take the time off I need to prepare for this new ¬†life coming soon. I’m also incredibly thankful to have such a supportive husband who has encouraged me in this new phase, and understands how important rest and relaxation is for both me and baby. It’s only been 3 days, but I think this new adjustment is working well so far…( I haven’t even watched one episode of Friends) ¬†ūüėČ

Thanks for reading and encouraging me to keep this blog going.

Sending good vibes your way on this Friday ūüôā

xo

So long Second Trimester!

WOW! I don’t even know where to begin. This second trimester has been packed with so many fun and exciting memories. I have truly loved every minute of pregnancy and have no complaints (…so far ūüėČ ).¬†Each¬†week¬†brings new joys and¬†new developments for baby, and¬†I’m cherishing the days¬†one by one. I’ve never been an overly emotional, or overly anxious person and pregnancy hasn’t changed that. I feel calm and at peace that everything is moving along just as it should…because why worry about things I can’t control??¬†My mom has been a great example for me as a woman of faith…and I grew up with this verse as a constant reminder in our home:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much¬†more valuable than they? Can¬†any one of you by worrying add a¬†single hour to¬†your life?” ¬†-Matthew 6:25-27

Worrying never accomplishes anything; and so I’ve continued to hold tight to this verse during pregnancy.

When we left off after the first trimester, Kendrick and I had just moved into our new apartment. We¬†started the¬†second trimester with a trip to Lake Tahoe to celebrate Kendrick’s 33rd birthday.¬†We did not know the gender at this point but I wrote in my journal about a dream I had that I thought it was a boy.¬†Little did I know that¬†in a few short weeks we would know for sure!!

Week 14

  • Baby is the size of a lemon
  • His neck is getting longer and he is no longer slouched
  • He is sprouting hair and his eyebrows are filling in
  • The roof of his mouth is developing
  • His digestive system has started¬†working, and his intestines are now producing meconium (waste)

Week 15

  • Baby is the size of an orange
  • Baby’s ears are positioned on the sides of his head and his eyes are moving from side of the head to front of the face…(he is no longer an alien!)
  • I’m definitely eating for two…

angie-eating

Week 16

  • Baby is the size of an avoado
  • His¬†facial muscles are developing¬†and he can now frown and squint
  • His eyes are working and can perceive light (although his lids are still sealed)
  • Baby can hear my voice!

Week 17

  • We find out baby is a BOY!
  • He is the size of a turnip
  • Baby’s heartbeat is beating twice as fast as mine
  • His fingerprints are forming
  • We travel to South Carolina to visit my in-laws and meet our nephew!
Week 18
  • Still enjoying vacation in South Carolina,¬†my sister-in-law takes¬†gender reveal photos for us
  • Baby can yawn and hiccup
  • His nervous system is maturing

family

Week 19

  • He is the size of a mango
  • I’m starting to browse nursery furniture
  • The vernix develops protecting his skin from the amniotic fluid

Week 20

  • We are half-way there!
  • He is the size of a small cantaloupe
  • I feel baby kick for the first time!¬† (while watching The Bachelorette…hehe)
  • He weighs as much as a coconut
  • His eyes¬†can finally open

Week 21

  • Baby is the size of a banana! (his dad’s favorite fruit)
  • He is sleeping 14 hours a day and can taste the foods I eat
  • Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles – explains why I have started to feel him kicking!

Week 22

  • Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash
  • My momma comes into town!
  • He now weighs 1 pound
  • His grip, vision, and hearing are getting stronger
  • We make a trip up to wine country to celebrate my mom’s 50th birthday!

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castle

Week 23

  • He is the size of a papaya
  • Capillaries and lung cells begin their maturation process so baby can breathe
  • Keratin is being added to his skin cells
  • Skin has a red hue- due to developing veins and arteries
  • My dad¬†comes into town!
  • Kendrick has a dream of being at Disneyworld with our little boy…in his dream his hair is black and his eyes are¬†dark and Kendrick said he looked like me and had my smile¬† ūüôā

Week 24

  • We are back in Tahoe for summer vacation!
  • Baby is the size of an ear of corn
  • His face is almost fully formed
  • Baby’s brain cells have matured enough to develop conscious thought and most likely memory
  • I go stand-up paddle boarding on the lake

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family-pic

Week 25

  • Baby is the size of a rutabaga (an ugly looking turnip)
  • He is SUPER active
  • Kendrick and I go to Babies R Us to browse some strollers and¬†gliders for the nursery
  • Baby is about 13 inches long- longer than a ruler!
  • Baby is packing on the fat
  • His nostrils are opening- he’s not taking in air yet, just “breathing” amniotic fluid

Week 26

  • He is the size of an eggplant
  • We (or should I say Kendrick) sets up his crib!
  • He weighs 2 pounds
  • He can open his eyes!
  • His eyelashes are growing in
  • Teeny tiny fingernails have arrived

Week 27

  • He is the size of a cucumber
  • We’ve made it to the end of the second trimester…and I’m in total nesting mode! No resting for this momma; I’ve been cleaning out baby’s closet, organizing his things and hanging those precious clothes
  • Sept. 9th-Kendrick hears his heartbeat through my tummy!
  • Baby grows an entire inch this week alone

 

I feel so incredibly blessed to be entering this third and final stage. It’s been an amazing process and as I’ve been writing and looking back on his development, it is a total miracle for sure!

In just 3 short months our little man will be here…I’m thinking this Christmas will be my favorite yet ‚̧

Here’s a look back at the growing bump¬†:

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week-24-27-collage

 

 

The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success Challenge

yogaI was listening to comedian Ali Wong last weekend, and she said, “You know you’re getting older when your Kindle library is full of self-help books.”

Umm, GUILTY! That is totally me right now. For the past year, Kendrick and I have been committed to reading self-development books together. It seems like every week I find another Amazon box on our doorstep, with that telltale rectangular shape only meaning one thing…Kendrick has ordered another book.

It started out as a challenge of his last summer…to read 50 self-development books in one year.¬†The more he shared with me, the more I¬†could see how excited he was about what he was learning.¬†I started reading the books too, and that’s when it became really fun, because we were able to discuss the material together.

Reading¬†together this past year has been one of the most beneficial things for our marriage. We’ve not only been able to grow as individuals, but we’ve been able to grow together as a couple. As we move into parenthood, I believe 100% that this is preparing us for that journey. We could read all the parenting and baby books out there, but¬†if we weren’t taking care of ourselves physically, mentally¬†and spiritually first, then it would be pretty hard to put what we were reading into practice. Children learn by example, and I want to set the best example for my children as I can. The best way to prepare myself for that is by educating and aligning myself first. If they witness us taking care of ourselves in these 3 categories, then they will be more likely to carry out the same actions themselves.

Kendrick and I recently finished reading Deepak Chopra’s “The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success”. It was a quick, easy read with a lot of great takeaways. Personally, my favorite law was The Law of Giving which we’ve implemented¬†at our personal training studio, Studio K-Fit.¬† One of the things Deepak says is that, “If you want affluence; give affluence. If you want money; give money. If you want love; give love.” My thinking growing up was that, “Once I become financially successful, THEN I can give more to others.” Instead of realizing that I was already incredibly blessed, I thought I had to have an extraordinary amount of money before I could make a difference. Ever since¬†starting the Rowing For Meals¬†initiative a couple years ago (you can read my blog post on that here), Kendrick and I have witnessed so many¬†more blessings pour out than we could have ever imagined.¬†We went from sponsoring the¬†meals on our own, to having¬†our clients¬†match the meals with us! What a true testament to¬†Deepak’s words.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest picking it up.

I have a little challenge for you to kick-off September. I will be participating in this challenge myself, and want to encourage you to put one of these 7 laws into practice starting today!

September 1The Law of Pure Potentiality

  • Practice non-judgment today. Begin your day with the statement, “Today I shall judge nothing that occurs” and through-out the day remind yourself not to judge.

September 2– The Law of Giving

  • Today, give a gift to one person you will encounter; this could be a compliment or a flower.¬† If someone gives you a gift, gratefully receive it. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love.

September 3– The Law of Karma

  • Today, perform a random act of kindness. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. Showing others happiness and success ensures the flow of happiness and success to you.

September 4The Law of Least Effort

  • Practice acceptance today. “Today I will accept people, situations, events, and circumstances as they occur. I will take responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything, including myself.”

September 5– The Law of Intention and Desire

  • Today, make a list of all your desires. Carry this list with¬†you wherever¬†you go. Look at it before¬†you go to sleep at night. Finally, surrender your desires and trust that when things don’t go your way, there is a plan much greater than¬†you could have ever imagined.

September 6– The Law of Detachment

  • Today, commit yourself to detachment. Allow yourself and those around¬†you the freedom to be as they are. Do not rigidly impose¬†your idea of how things should be.¬†Do not force solutions on problems.¬†Participate in everything with detached involvement.

September 7The Law of Dharma (aka Purpose in Life)

  • Today, make a list of¬†your unique talents. Then, ask yourself, “How can I serve?” and “How can I help?” You have a purpose on this earth, and your unique talents are meant to be shared with humanity.

 

What’s your favorite self-help book? We’re always looking for new recommendations! Feel free to share in the comments below ūüėČ

Baby K-Fit: The First Trimester

Hello friends!

I’m sorry I’ve been so behind on my blog. Between our move at the end of May, unpacking and decorating the house, and growing a baby; I haven’t been able to keep up with it all! I’m now 16 weeks along, and I’m happy to report things are going tremendously well. I honestly don’t feel much different from before I was pregnant, except for the little bump that’s formed, and the fact that I can no longer zip up my pants. Before I get ahead of myself, I want to update you on the first trimester happenings.

Week 4- April 5, we find out we’re pregnant!

Week 5- Symptoms:

  • Increased appetite
  • Lower back pain when I wake up
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vivid dreams

Week 6-

  • No nausea
  • Told my sister Alishia we’re pregnant!
  • Wrote the first letter to my baby

Week 7-

  • Baby is the size of a blueberry
  • Baby’s mouth and tongue are forming
  • No nausea
  • Some constipation
  • Sick (but with a cold-stuffy nose, sore throat)
  • No food aversions

Week 8-

  • Baby is the size of a raspberry
  • Baby’s heart is beating 150 times a minute (twice as fast as mine!)
  • No nausea
  • Hungry …A LOT
  • Constipated
  • Boobs are growing
  • Had our first ultrasound appointment and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat!
  • Took our first bump picture

Week 8 was such a special week for us! After finding out we were pregnant, I was SO excited for our first appointment and couldn’t wait for week 8 to roll around. However, as we got closer, I started to get more and more nervous. Would we hear the heartbeat? I literally had stomach pains and couldn’t eat the day of our appointment. I also had no idea what to expect so that was part of my nerves. My OB-GYN was so sweet though. She was friendly and talkative and Kendrick even recognized her (we still have to figure out from where). Finally the time had come…and I looked up at the screen and waited to hear her say something. “The baby looks great,” she said…and as soon as I heard that, I was instantly at ease. Then she said “I’m just trying to get a good picture for you.” Miraculously she pointed out the head, and the bottom, ¬†and the little arms and legs starting to form. I couldn’t believe how clearly it looked like a baby…even at 8 weeks! It is truly incredible. Then we heard a sound on the monitor…the baby’s heartbeat! Kendrick had been holding back tears, it was such a special moment. I couldn’t believe that we did it; we made this baby and he or she is growing inside me!

 

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Week 9-

  • Baby is the size of a green olive
  • Baby has ended embryonic stage and is now a fetus
  • Flew home to Pennsylvania for Mother’s Day to surprise my mom and told my parents that I’m pregnant! It was so special to be able to tell them in person and I had actually booked my flight home before even knowing that I was pregnant! It couldn’t have been better timing

How I told my parents:

The day after I flew in, my mom saw a box of flowers on the front porch so I brought them in and they had my name on it. I had a suspicion they were from Kendrick- so I started to get nervous that my mom was going to find out. I brought the box inside and she asked “Who are they from?” and I said I don’t know…probably Kendrick. She asked why Kendrick would be sending me flowers. I put the box on the table and opened the envelope with the note inside. Sure enough they were from Kendrick and the note said:

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I turned the note over and told my mom not to look at it. I told her to get my dad and I quick ran upstairs to get the onesie I had made for them. I told them to close their eyes and hold onto a sleeve of the onesie. My mom was so excited and on the verge of tears. They opened their eyes and she screamed…she started crying and then I got tears in my eyes. We all hugged and cried and just soaked up what this moment meant.

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Link for the onesie here.

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Dress is Urban Outfitters; Shoes are Toms.

Week 10-

  • Baby is the size of a prune
  • Baby’s stomach and kidneys are working, producing digestive juices and urine
  • Finally…the word is out! We told all our family and friends this past week
  • Eating eggs everyday, lots of meat and english muffins
  • Still having strange dreams

image1

 

Week 11-

  • Baby is the size of a lime
  • Baby’s hands and feet have individual fingers and toes
  • Kendrick and I celebrated our two year anniversary ūüôā
  • We signed a lease for a 2-bedroom apartment

image2

 

Week 12-

  • Baby is the size of a large plum
  • Baby has more than doubled in size during the past 3 weeks
  • Baby’s pituitary gland has started producing hormones that will enable him or her to make babies of their own…crazy!
  • Had my first trimester blood tests done
  • Kendrick and I moved to our new place!

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Can’t believe how fast the first trimester went! Thanks so much for reading and following along during our journey.

Much love ‚̧

Angie & Baby