Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ups and Downs - 25 weeks

Oopsie, I'm well into my 26th week and did not give a recap of my 25th! Well, here goes anyway...

UP - major, major up! I had a prenatal massage!!!!!!!!!! For like 3 hours post massage, it was like I wasn't pregnant - literally NO pain in my hips. It was awesome.

UP - my mom was here and helped me host Bunco, put finishing touches on the house, and finalize everything for the nursery. We are almost done - just need her to make the curtains and we need to order a couple more things, but we are 90% set!

DOWN - when my mom is here I want to be so productive that I push myself way too hard. My tiredness level is crazy...I'm good until probably lunchtime, then crash hardcore every hour until I go to bed!!! And of course physically that pushing makes me not just tired, but definitely manifests itself in right hip pain. BOOOOOO.

DOWN - It's cold. My winter coat doesn't fit. I hung on to a "fat" coat from a couple years ago, so I guess that's what I will use.

DOWN - Weighed in today at my appointment (26 weeks 2 days) and have gained 18 lbs total.  Whaaaaat?  I have done literally nothing different so how did I gain 6 lbs in a month?  This is crazy. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I play Bunco with the neighborhood ladies once a month, and November was my turn to host.

What does a full-time working pregnant lady doesn't have time or energy to do host and entertain properly do? OUTSOURCE!!!

I definitely had to call in reinforcements - my mom with the cooking and fluffing and preparation, and Jeff to sous chef, hang drapes, set up tables, trim bushes and blow leaves, and general fix-it stuff. Thanks to their help, everything went off perfectly!

We had 4 tables - 16 people (including mom and me), and a taco bar before the game started.

Here was the menu:
Softshell tacos, salad, or nachos
Shredded Crock Pot Taco Chicken (Jeff made this and people RAVED!)
All the Fixin's - lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, salsa
Crock Pot Queso
Crock Pot Black Beans
Cream Cheese Taco Dip - one with olives, one without
Veggie Tray and Dip - with carrots, celery, green and red peppers, and sugar snap peas
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Water, Wine, Coke / Coke Zero / Sprite

OOOEEE, it was so yummy!

I also had M&M's table snacks - did you know there are well over 4 kinds of M&M's now? We chose Plain, Peanut, Pretzel, and Peanut Butter.

After everyone had their fill, we started the game promptly at 7:30PM. We play 3 rounds of 6, and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes with 4 tables.

By 9PM, time for neighborhood announcements and the game was finished - just to award the prizes.

The loser's basket theme was anything BLUE or starting with a B...for BOY!!!!!!!!! The basket had a bunch of funny stuff in it (it always does) - like some blue plastic plates, a Butterfinger box of candy, some blue spa socks...sometimes getting the loser's basket is more fun than money! But I didn't win it this time. Bummer.

The big winner of the night was................MY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She got an unprecedented FIVE Bunco's - which I don't think has been done in the 20 year history of the group. It was amazing! So she walked away with $20 from the night - not bad payment for a day's worth of work.

I am so grateful for their help - no way would I have been able to pull this off without them - ummm - literally working all day on Tuesday.
We joked that if I was by myself (like I probably will be next time) it would be a hummus and pita chip, deviled egg, cold ham slider kind of party!

I feel so special and loved that my mom helped "teach" me her hostessing skills. Her holidays and gatherings are always perfect - and now I know why. I kept saying "its good enough" but then she would do those extra touches ...and it was better.  I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with her and learn all of her tricks of the trade - it's something those with moms nearby take for granted, but I definitely do not.

And I will be putting my new knowledge to good use soon when we host our first Christmas family holiday in December!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ups and Downs - 24 weeks

Yikes! I'm a little late with this weekly update...but things have been going really well so I can't wait to share! 

UP - I took my one-hour gestational diabetes test this week and PASSED with flying colors! I was at 105, and for pregnancy, anything under 130 is doing well. As a matter of fact 90-100 is good for NON pregnancy, so I was really pleased. We will probably re-test again at least once due to higher risk factors, but I have a great start! (Good to know the Halloween candy didn't affect it too much!)

UP - I also had a 3rd anatomy scan to check Peanut's heart and spine (plus a few other things). At the second scan 3 weeks ago, they couldn't get clear pictures of either one, so this re-test was to check all the blood flow and make sure the spine went all the way down - both were great! And we got an AWESOME picture:

DOWN - The bit of downer news was the doctor estimated Peanut was a little small - 11th percentile. Anything "normal" is between 10th and 90th percentiles, so he just barely squeaked by at 1lb, 4oz. They want to keep an eye on his growth so we are going in for ANOTHER ultrasound to measure him next month. Hopefully everything is just fine. They did not seem too concerned as it's an estimate at this point.

UP - My mom is visiting us this weekend to help finish the nursery, and help me prepare and host Bunco on Tuesday. She is making her AWESOME pumpkin bars and I can't wait. (Her baking might be better than the decorating help!!!!!!!! Just kidding. Sort of.) We also found PERFECT coordinating fabric to our theme at Joann Fabrics, and she has committed to sewing (or having someone sew) custom curtains for the nursery. Hopefully she will be able to bring the completed curtains with her when she comes back at Christmas.

DOWN - This isn't REALLY pregnancy related but it's annoying to me, so I'm sharing...we ordered a new dining room set (for our kitchen, since our dining room is really our "fish tank viewing room"), a rug, and some new pillows from Bassett furniture. We worked with them before for a new sofa and it was a super great experience - all the furniture is customized, from colors and fabric to general structure and finish. So we were glad to go back and do the same with the dining room set. However, something got messed up with our order and the 30-day lead time for shipping has crept into 45-days and we still don't have a firm date...now it will not be here in time for Bunco!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOO. It's taken a lot of phone calls, time, and effort to get it cleared up and it's just annoying. Especially because it's probably the last "big" home purchase we will make for quite a few years. 

I'm not loving the selfie this week - I couldn't get any good ones. My belly is getting big! But mostly it still looks fat in most of my clothes which TOTALLY SUCKS. I am NOT one of those people that looks like they have a cute little basketball under their shirt. I think I will actually look "pregnant" maybe a week before birth. Sheesh.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Biggest Loser gets it wrong

I like The Biggest Loser. I like seeing the transformations, the personal journeys and stories, people fighting for their lives...

I also love the trainers. They have so much knowledge, empathy, and skill. I wish I could bottle them up and dose them to me daily!

And fact of the matter is, I lost weight. Not on a ranch or by putting my life on hiatus, but with Time, Weight Watchers, the gym, My Fitness Pal, working with my trainer (hi Carla!)...80 lbs is a lot of weight to lose but I did it.

I'm still heavy. I still have a long way to go. And I know it won't be any easier post-partum, with a new baby, and going back to my new job.

It truly inspires me to see someone my size KILLING IT in the gym. And going through the same struggles as me. And getting to a place physically (and sometimes mentally) where I haven't gotten yet...it's awesome.

But here's where The Biggest Loser gets is wrong for me:

1. The weigh ins. Seriously - why does it take 25 minutes of show to weigh in? I guess it makes for efficient Tivo-ing but it's a waste of airtime.

2. The challenges. These are stupid. I guess it is a "gameshow" so it's probably not going away, but when in real life do you have to open pumpkins and force yourself to eat candy in order to win something? Real temptation success is in the weeks leading up to Halloween where you avoid the candy displays at the grocery store and don't come home with candy in your cart.

3. The education. I wish-wish-wish they would focus more on the nutrition piece of what it takes to "eat right" to lose weight (I bet you the trainers don't follow Myplate.gov). And how do they track calories burned? How do they cycle workouts? How much do they burn per day versus consumption? What about water? Do they have rest and recovery periods? DO THEY USE SUPPLEMENTS????????????????????????

4. The drama. If the show were more transparent about what it takes to take someone who is morbidly obese and change their physicality, the drama of last week's 'cheating scandal' wouldn't have occurred. I have never ever heard of any "rules" on the show - so a "rules violation" to me was crazy. (And seemed like a ruse to bring Ruben back, although I love him too.) Add in nastiness that 'occasionally' occurs in the house, or the true competitiveness, and guess what...I'm Tivo-ing through all of the show again.

So NBC, hear me out - please consider toning down the rhetoric for TV ratings, and increase the focus on weight loss and how it's happening.

You might just be able take your enormous success and change lives.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Magic of Foam Rolling

I was first introduced to foam rolling in the spring by my trainer (hi Carla!) after I started Personal Training for the FitTrip challenge. After our hour long sessions, I was in TOUGH SHAPE for a couple days (DOMS).

I mentioned it to her after the first few sessions, and we marched right over to the long ignored mats where there were a variety of bands, balls, rings, and tube things.

Little did I know the tube things would change everything!  I swore by foam rolling after tough workouts or on light cardio days following a workout to get lots of soreness relief.

And now, even though I'm not 'killing it' at the gym, I still needed some relief for my low back, sciatica, and hip pain.  I can't afford to get a zillion prenatal massages, and going to the chiro once a week is plenty.  My trainer has recently modified some of the rolling techniques (but not by much) and it has helped so, so, so much.

You can get ones that look like this for smaller and more sensitive areas

Or you can get a big ol cheap one (like I did) for BIG areas (did I mention it's my butt that hurts?).

Basically, what you do is - whatever freaking hurts, lay on it and roll.  Or have someone roll it on for you.  It's called self myofascial release and it's the bomb.  Ok, it REALLY hurts while you're doing it, so you have to be gentle at first and then put more of your body weight on it as you progress through the session.  But I'm telling you - it works.

For example, my sciatica is doing much better but my hips are starting to really hurt - especially my right one, right where my leg connects and pivots in the joint.  Jeff rolled it out for me last night (I laid on my left side in bed, he stood over me and used the roller like he was rolling out cookie dough on my hip) and it felt soooo much better this morning.  Not to mention I had to pee like 7 times during the night - because it took the inflammation and swelling down so much.  I semi-sprang out of bed this morning, best in like a week.

If you have specific issues just google "foam rolling" and "hips" (or whatever hurts) and watch like a minute or two of Youtube videos for some techniques to work it out.

I've prepared some examples here:

This one is basically what I do for my low back and hip pain

Other hip and sciatica exercises and stretches

Look for others for the glutes and hips - you won't regret it!

Happy Rolling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ups and Downs - 23 weeks

It's been a pretty quiet week. I had a lot of late nights at work so it was just a work-sleep-maintain kind of week. But Peanut is not letting me forget about him, oh no!  More and more thumps every day. 

UP - Our crib and nursing glider & ottoman arrived this week. This means the nursery is ALMOST complete!!!!!!!! We have all the pieces, and have rearranged the furniture, but are still struggling with what to put on the twin bed in terms of sheets / comforter / etc.

UP - We went hiking again :). Only probably 2 miles or so, and we went really slowly, but it was great to get out and hear the creek, see the leaves, and enjoy the fall weather.

DOWN - I'm swollen. My legs, ankles, and feet are quite poofy by the end of the day. Exercise and excessive water intake seem to help, as do elevating and footrubs when I get home.

DOWN - My belly is getting big. I've been eating well and exercising, but I continue to worry about weight gain.  I FEEL like I've gained a lot.  I have my next monthly appointment this week, so we will see where I weigh in and what the doctor says. Between the bit of extra weight and general swelling, I don't feel like I'm getting around very well (plus my right hip is a killer). It's too early to do the waddle!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm dreaming of gear

No, not baby gear. I'm obsessed...with fitness, camping, and hiking gear! (Um, hello, there's a reason we got - ahem - $80 back from our 2012 purchases at REI!).

Enter For Two Fitness!!!  Maternity workout clothes that are cute, and of course, sassy.

I'm uber bummed it does not appear they have plus or extended-chest sizes...but in any case here are some of my favorites on my wish list.  (Maybe next time around, HAHAHAHA!)

I would TOTALLY wear this during my personal training days!

Peanut loves to Zumba in my belly as much as I love to Zumba at Maria's class!!!  (Which I am delinquent in attendance recently but whatever.  I'm still a Zumba-er at heart.)

And of course I could always use some workout capris...even though my "chubbier" workout pants are still working ok :)

Love it!  Wish I could wear them NOW!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Perfect Fall Weekend

Fort Mountain State Park. Located at the top of Fort Mountain just outside Chatsworth, GA - it's probably my most serene and favorite place to visit in the North Georgia Mountains.
I convinced Jeff I felt well enough (at 22, almost 23 weeks pregnant) to take me Fall camping.  I'm so, so glad we did!!!!
Cool Springs Overlook / Gahuti Trail - Fort Mountain State Park

The weather was perfect - hi 65 lo 42, the leaves were at peak beauty, we had smores and campfires and RELAXED, we walked and hiked every day..............I couldn't ask for a better time.

We arrived just after lunch on Friday, and found a great spot.  We were on the lake loop, with a bit of seclusion provided by the hillside.

After setting up, we took a really long walk around the 2 campgrounds, met our neighbors who were avid college football fans, and relaxed by starting a campfire.  After a quick taco dinner, we had smores and went to bed by 9:30 (hey, I AM pregnant after all!).

On Saturday, we awoke to chilly temperatures.  After breakfast, we put on our hiking gear and did a bit of exploring.

Our exploring also included driving to the top of an overlook - not just for the beauty of it, but also for ordering some nursery furniture while it was still on sale (oopsie, I procrastinated that one a bit too long).  We needed cell phone signal and this overlook was the only place we had reception.  Not a bad place to do business!

Later Saturday evening, a storm felt like it was blowing in, so we made dinner early on our little charcoal grill, had an early campfire, and escaped the swirling smoke by 9-ish and hit the sack early again :)

Sunday was a leisurely day with a brisk temperatured walk, tearing down, and heading home.

It was such a beautiful, peaceful weekend.  Jeff and I really had a chance to reconnect, put a lot of the recent worry away, and just BE with each other.  I feel so lucky that I have a built-in best friend.  And I feel even luckier that I think we're better together today than 9 years ago when we got married.

It's been a joy to grow individually, and to grow together at the same time.  And I can't wait to grow even more as our little family of 2 welcomes our baby in a few months.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ups and Downs - 22 weeks

Wow this week went so fast!  This whole thing we call LIFE is starting to feel a bit more 'routine' (which is ok after weeks and months of craziness) - but if we've learned ANYTHING, that means it's all about to change!  So we will see what this week brings...

Ok, so here's the pregnancy ups and downs this week

UP - HUGE, HUGE, HUGE - we went CAMPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I even got to hike at my favorite state park, Fort Mountain...a short, non strenuous lake loop but still...it was hiking!!!

We decided anything to hilly, rocky, or slippery was out, so we had this beautiful leaf covered loop that we did instead :).  It still felt great - although my daypack hip strap is NOT fitting quite right LOL...I'll report more on our camping trip tomorrow.

UP - also HUGE HUGE HUGE...my sciatica pain is about 90% better.  I think a combination of the baby moving around more, icing, heating, FOAM ROLLING, stretching, walking, working out.......................who knows what worked, but I'm gonna keep it all up.  I really really hope it doesn't come back.

DOWN - I keep putting pants away.  It sucks.  Finding plus sized maternity wear suitable for work also sucks.  I have purchased 3 pairs of dress pants and 2 pairs of jeans now (which are seriously not that cute) - and which were all about $40-$50 each - plus now I need to get them shortened.  UGH.  (Another) unexpected expense.

DOWN - At my appointment, I weighed in (of course), and at 22 weeks I have gained 8 lbs since my first appointment / pre pregnancy.  Which I thought was really quite good, as I've been trying hard to stay a little active and eat pretty well.  But my doctor said "No More" weight gain...how am I gonna do that???  Yikes.

I've been tracking my food again (MyFitnessPal), aiming to stay at 1600 calories per day, but ending up more at 1900 calories most days.  I'm eating pretty good 'whole foods' - eggs, protein, veggies, fruits, a few snacks (popcorn, yes please).  I'm getting quite worried about the gain, because I want to be as healthy as possible this whole time, and keep all my progress somewhat in check.  But who knows.  I think what will happen will happen and I can just hope for the best.  So please send out some little thoughts of encouragement to me on that front please!

That's it for this week.  Hartmans out!