Five Things Friday

  1. Travel. I am not traveling too far, but this weekend I am headed to Pittsburgh for a PT continuing education course. I am so excited for it. It’s a continuation course of the foundations that Julie Wiebe teaches about the piston system and pelvic+women’s health. Since I haven’t been practicing in several months it will be really nice to have my PT hat and brain fully on for two days. And anytime I can hear Julie talk and learn from her I will. 
  2. Nervousness. With the course this weekend I’m actually spending 4 days in Pittsburgh. Dustin is joining me on Saturday and we’re going to explore the city a bit after my course is over for a couple days. I’m not nervous about that, but I am nervous (but excited also) because I am dropping off my little guy at Dustin’s parents on Friday and this will be the longest I’ve been away from him since he was born almost 16 months ago. It will be very nice to have the time away to just relax and hang out with Dustin especially, but I already feel like I’m missing my little guy and he’s not even gone yet. It’s a constant swing of emotions for sure. 
  3. Trying something new. I have been experimenting with different lipstick colors this week and it’s been fun. It’s pretty amazing how adding a pop of color to your lips/face can change your whole mood. The colors I’ve been experimenting with are from Beautycounter’s holiday collection, the lip intense set. And let me tell you, they can definitely be intense (but in a good way)! I need to work better on coordination g that color not not with my other makeup but my outdoor bit either way it’s been fun. I love the way they feeel on my lips, super moisturizing and glide on so smoothly, and they’re longer lasting than the traditional lip sheers. Also a lot of makeup and lipstick have heavy metals/lead in them and Beautycounter does third party testing to verify that their formulations are heavy metal free and so I love getting the pop of color and not having to worry about what is in the lip stick that I may be ingesting while wearing it.  
  4. Little kicks. My little guy #2 is mover just like his brother. I love feeling the kicks (except when it’s to my bladder) all throughout my day. It really just is amazing. 
  5. Over-thinker. I posted this on my Instagram and it’s just so true. I overthink and analyze everything. Especially my interactions with others. I hate thinking that I can word awkward or weird or made someone feel an emotion I wouldn’t want to feel and then I fret about it. It’s something I try to work on knowing that I can’t please everyone and sometimes unfortunately things just don’t come out right, but I’m human and it’s pretty common, so there’s that too. It’s nice to know you’re not alone with how you function even though we’re all so different. But either way I saw this post today and I just love when simple and semi-comical memes explain how I feel so well.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! What are your favorite places to visit in Pittsburgh? If you have any recommendations for things to do, see or eat send them my way! 
<3- Brittany 

2nd Trimester and Self-Care

I just started my third trimester last week <<insert multiple shocked face emojis>>. I cannot believe it. I’m not sure where the time went! The second trimester is characteristically known as the period in your pregnancy when you feel the best. Morning sickness is normally gone, you’re not so big that you’re crazy uncomfortable, etc. This was definitely the case for me when I was pregnant with my first, this time around though, it hasn’t been near as comfortable.

I get some right low back/SI discomfort in general (but very infrequently) whether I’m pregnant or not. But, while pregnant, with all the hormones and body changes along with added weight and however my little guy decides to move/lay around one day versus the next I get it frequently and quite intense at times. This occurred in my first pregnancy also and would really limit my activity (mostly in the third trimester), but this time around it came on quicker, happen more often, and is more intense. Yay. This is quite a bummer especially when you have to chase around a toddler all day, but it’s made me be more intentional with my self-care and comfort measures.

Don’t get me wrong, I still do have a lot of really good days and I have still been able to workout pretty comfortably 1-2x/week and do lots of trips and such, it just is a noticeable difference from the first time around.

I decided to round up my favorite products, self-care practices, etc. for my second trimester. They have definitely helped me and maybe they can help you or a pregnant mama in your life!

1.Pregnancy pillow  Ι 2.Natural Calm Ι 3. Yeti water/drink Tumbler Ι 4. PLO Belly Blossom Serum + Beautycounter Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion Ι 5. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Ι 6. Hypnobirthing Tracks Ι 7. Spinning Babies website  Ι 8.Massage(s)
  1. Pregnancy pillow : This has been a life-saver for me from early on in my second trimester. Like I said my lowback/SI has giving me fits sooner and this is part of what keeps me okay when I start out every morning. It really helps to keep me comfortable no matter which way I turn, and the first time around it was hard to get rid of it post-partum because it’s so comfortable – but I had a baby to snuggle then, so it made it easier. The pillow I bought is Bumpnest brand (I got it when I was pregnant with my first), but it is no longer being made -which actually makes me really sad because I wanted to get a new cover for it. The snoogle is very similar to mine and gets great reviews.
  2. Natural Calm : I love using this supplement as a night-cap, it has magnesium which in general (blanket statement) we tend to be deficient or close to deficient on. Magnesium, which is what’s in epsom salts if you use those for relaxation or tired muscles during a bath, does just that, but I don’t have to try to get myself in my tiny tub for a bath and it helps me sleep. You just mix 1-2tsp with a couple ounces of hot water and then you can add more water or just drink the small amount (I do the latter). I personally like the unflavored version (there’s flavored versions, but they have a sweetner and I don’t like how that makes it taste). It can also help with regularity if ya know what I mean, so make sure to not over-do it too soon with how much you use. 
  3. Yeti water/drink tumbler : Water, water, water. If you’ve been pregnant before you know you need to drink alot of water, like a lot. I like my water chilled the best, so having this large 30oz tumbler that I can re-fill throughout the day is great. I aim to go through atleast 3 full tumbler’s a day.
  4. PLO Belly Blossom Serum + Beautycounter Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion : I’ve felt like I’ve “popped” a lot quicker and sooner with this little guy. I think that’s a common sentiment from second time moms. Stretch marks often have to do a lot with genetics, but if I can help to decrease the onset and severity of them, I mean why not!? The first time around I used just the belly blossom serum from maybe later in my second trimester till my little guy was born. This time around I’ve been using both the serum and Beautycounter’s body lotion for my not only my growing belly, but arms and legs too. I side on the side of very dry while pregnant and the extra moisture from both has been wonderful. I love the smell of them. I use both the serum and lotion before bed, concentrating the serum on the places most likely to get stretch marks and then use just Beautycounter’s lotion during the daytime. It has been wonderful when I’m feeling a little dry and itchy over my stomach in the middle of the day.
  5. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides : This one goes along with #4 and this is a supplement I use pregnant or not, I’ve just been intentional about upping my consumption while pregnant. Collagen has many benefits, but specifically for skin it can help restore the moisture and improve the elasticity, tone and vibrancy. It also is an added dose of protein. The powder mixes easily in to any liquid (hot or cold) has no flavor or change in the texture of the drink. I love adding it to my morning tea or coffee. I try to add it in daily, but probably get closer to 4-5x/week. There are bunches of brands out there that sell collagen but so far of the ones I’ve tried I like this one best.
  6. Spinning Babies website : I knew about this website back with my first pregnancy, but did not do the recommended movements to help with baby positioning and comfort very much/often. I have no idea if doing the movements would have changed anything about my labor, but I figure this time around mise-well do all I can to try and prevent another 36-hr, back-labor experience. And in general, keeping moving and doing stretches will only benefit me now especially with the discomfort I have been getting. They’ve greatly improved their website from when I was pregnant the first time around so that’s nice. It’s a good website to check out even if you don’t have too many aches and pains while pregnant, lots of good info on it about things you can do while in labor also. 
  7. Hypnobirthing tracks : Dustin and I took a hypnobirthing prep class last time around and while I wasn’t able to really get in to “hypnosis” and breath through the contractions (of back labor) like they show in so many of their birth videos, listening to the tracks was still helpful. What I’m using the tracks for right now is actually to help me sleep! That’s not really the point of the tracks, you are supposed to be awake during the whole track, just in a state of “hypnosis” and then come back out at the end, but starting them while I’m in bed has allowed me to turn my brain off from thinking about everything I did that day and need to do the next and relax in to sleep. I concentrate on the words of the tracks instead of my own thoughts and it has been a big help. I’m also planning to practice this at times when I don’t plan to fall asleep more often so that hopefully this time around I can use this method during labor and transition more effectively.
  8. Massage(s) : These have been essential for helping with my low back and SI soreness. I’ve only gotten one from an actual massage therapist, all the others have come from my wonderful hubby, but I will most likely get one or two more done professionally before #2 arrives. Some nights I feel like I won’t be able to walk the next day and movement of my legs sends a jolt through my pelvis and almost tears to my eyes, but a combination of applying the serum & lotion before bed, listening to the tracks, and a gentle massage helps to ease my discomfort and I am so so grateful.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

<3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

1. Slow mornings. I bought a new coffee creamer + collagen, gingerbread flavor (you may have seen it on my instagram). I combined 1 scoop of it + nutpods pumpkin spice creamer + a smidge of maple syrup in my decaf coffee. It’s divine. I’m enjoying the quiet and a nice warm drink before my little guy wakes up.

2. Little baby kicks. Baby boy #2 is growing and I can definitely tell. I feel him a lot now and his rolling and kicking (as long as it’s not my bladder) brings a smile to face every time.

3. Toddler adventures in teething. My little guy is teething and it’s been a rough week for him. All in all he’s done really well, but I tried to workout 2x and he was not having me being away from him. I was able to get in a workout yesterday but the mom guilt of knowing he was upset on/off while I was out in the gym was not great. I was glad to get it in and done and I know it helped my mood the rest of the day which in the long run is better for him, which I keep telling myself, but I still feel bad. Sometimes you can’t truly win.

4. The First Forty Days, The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. I have been really enjoying slowly going through this book. The author has a wonderful perspective on postpartum health and healing that brings in a lot of ideas from her background/heritage but also takes in to account the modern mama and what we’re up against with societal pressures. I plan to do a recap/review once I’ve worked my way through it all. For now I’ll leave you with a quote in the section about accepting and celebrating your postpartum body that I especially loved.
.

5. A new lamp. The little things are helping each day. Right now we are living in transition in a small apartment and a lot of our belongings are still in boxes on various walls throughout. Our bedroom is actually very spacious but it only has one small-ish window and it’s not facing east or west (I think it’s facing north, but I am terrible with direction so don’t quote me on that). We have one tall lamp in the room, but had to move it closer to the window at the far side of the room because of where the outlet that’s connected to the light switch is and where boxes are stacked. I’m fine with it being a bit darker in the mornings and evenings when the sun is rising and setting, but during the day it was still quite dark and I need light. Sunlight is best, but if I can’t get that I crave at least some sort of light and brightness. Well, I was at Target and finally just bought a lamp to sit on my dresser in a different part of the room. It’s not big, it wasn’t expensive and I think it’s cute and that we will be able to repurpose to fit in somewhere whenever we do move, but either way, the extra light it provides makes my heart happy every time I turn it on.

Happy Friday 🙂

<3 – Brittany

Travel, family, & finding my flow

I’ve been trying to take advantage of this time being off work. I know that it won’t last forever, and while I honestly do not have plans to go back to work full-time, going back to work even a couple days a week is such a big difference. It’s a big difference in how you have to use time management, in communicating with your spouse, in play-time, in working on passion projects, in parenting, in self-care time, in everything. It’s amazing how much your perspective on the time you have each day and what you want to do/fit in changes when you know your some of your days will be completely taken up by a job versus when it’s just your time. And I mean I’m a mom, so it’s not completely “my time”, but I don’t have to do anything all day, and while I’m constantly plagued by the thoughts of things I should be doing to work on my passion projects, I’m trying to not let them overtake me and make me guilty. I work on them, but I also try to just sit (or run & play) and enjoy the moments with my little guy while it’s just me and him.

 

Park play-time
Another way I’ve been taking advantage of not working is trips back to Ohio to spend with family. My middle sister used to live on the East Coast (actually we lived together for just about a year and a half), but now she’s hopped over the pond and I miss her and getting to be around family even more. I’ve been balancing being here in MD taking in the moments as a family of three, but also spending longer weekends/weeks back in Ohio.

-Helping Grammie shop--Cousin play-time-
-Hanging out before bedtime checking out all his cousins fun new toys-

This past weekend we made the trek back to Ohio for a very short, but very fun weekend spending some time with Dustin’s family and then friends from college watching and celebrating an amazing Buckeyes win. Little guy got to spend they day with Dustin’s parents and we got some grownup time with old friends, win-win! We don’t get to get together often, but every time we do I just can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a great group of friends.

 

It was so funny being back on campus and seeing all the changes (but still some old haunts still there) and reminiscing with them, but also feeling so old compared to all the younger undergrads stumbling around. Also, trying to fit through a very crowded bar with an almost 7 months pregnant belly – not the easiest, I kept having to apologize for bumping in to people (mostly with my belly) because no matter which way I turned I couldn’t “get smaller” to squeeze between them. It was funny and semi-embarrassing all at the same time. We had talked about going home for the game several weeks ago, but it wasn’t decided until pretty much last week, so it was semi-impromptu, but I’m so glad we did. It was huge game, one where we were the team that got upset last year, so getting to watch it down in Columbus, even not being at the stadium was phenomenal. We got super lucky and were able to stake out and get the end section of World of Beer with couches and chairs to watch the game, so we had comfy seating, weren’t all squished together and getting bumped in to all day, food and beverages whenever we wanted them, and the atmosphere of Columbus. It was perfect (well Dustin would say it would have been better had we been at The Shoe, but for me, it was perfect).

Then to top it all off we came back in the 4th quarter and won by 1-point. Absolutely crazy and The. Best. Ever. Go Bucks! I also got to meet up quickly with two good friends from my sorority towards the end of the evening. Icing on the cake. It has been great to get to do these trips (this one shorter than some of my others since Dustin came also, but still so good) and I’m so glad I’ve been able to do this, but the travel is definitely wearing on me, and I’m so glad to have a weekend here in MD just doing nothing/whatever we want coming up.

With all this travel I’ve not found a good rhythm or flow for balancing all the other things I want to work on, this blog included. I gave myself a goal of blogging 2x/week and it’s happened a couple times, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped for. I’m not beating myself up over it, but I am trying to re-commit to it and figuring out how it fits in to my long-term goals. Part of blogging is figuring out what to blog about. It should be easy, but sometimes I feel like there’s so much I want to say that I don’t know where to start and so I just don’t. I want to write about what’s going on in my life, but also give information and education regarding women’s health/pelvic health because it’s a passion, but finding the balance and how to intersect them is a work in progress. I’m planning to start weaving in some pelvic health stuff with pregnancy info because it’s my life right now and I just love it all. I’m also getting more into Beautycounter and working on a program to build on and/or have as an adjunct to what I do in PT, so just a lot of moving parts and thoughts in my head.

What are your favorite ways to stay on track/organized? What would you like to see more of on here? I am definitely open to suggestions! Hope everyone’s week is going well so far!

 

<3 – Brittany