October 2013

Pregnancy Update and Baby Bump Bundle Review
October 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0

Grandpa and me comparing bumps

We’re at 22 weeks!

Time is flying by! I’m not sure if I’m really busy or if I’m really lazy and just don’t want to admit it, but free time seems to dwindle by the day! Since bullet points are so much easier than paragraphs, here’s an update: - I can’t believe the absolute baby fever and baby jealousy I have even though I have a perfect little baby growing inside of me. Patience! - I still haven’t had a single craving, just tons of random aversions. I can’t stand avocado and sriracha even though those used to be my favorite foods. - My doctor had a “talk” with me about my weight gain. I gained double the recommend amount in the first 19 weeks. Maybe my baby is just made of muscle? :) Since then I’m tracking what I eat in an effort to be more mindful. - Richard is mesmerized by this little girl and always has her on his mind, as evidenced by this reusable toy pad at a toy store we visited: - I used to think babies were cute and small, but lately newborns terrify me. All I can think about lately are those huge limbs and facial features clawing out my lady parts. - A hot mom I know told me “pushing a baby out is FUCKING AWESOME” and I have a whole new perspective on birthing this baby. I now I find myself really looking forward to earning that badass badge.

Post-12 miles at 21 weeks.

- I’ve been running longer distances and it feels a whole new level of amazing. I have a marathon in mind and as long as things keep going well, I’ll waddle that next month. (My doctor is in full support.)

- The bump feels great while running but I have to overcome little moments of worrying about the baby. But I can also worry about the baby when I wake up and realize I’ve rolled onto my back, when I don’t eat enough veggies and when I’m emotional. So if I feel good, it’s probably all good. - I’ve finally entered the honeymoon stage of the second trimester. I thought everyone was lying, but that sweet spot of having a cute bump, having energy and finally not having symptoms does exist. And I never want it to go away.

Baby Bump Bundle Review

I first found out about Baby Bump Bundle on Twitter and kind of freaked out.

Curated handpicked pregnancy products by trimester for expecting moms, gifts for baby, and nursing essentials for new moms.

Essentially, they offer modern day gift baskets for new moms and moms-to-be. Treats during pregnancy are the best things ever; a little pampering goes a long way. I have never been so excited to check my mail. Finally, this well-packed, exciting little box made its way to my doorstep. Inside were amazing little gifts all wrapped in tissue paper and a little sticker.Here’s what was in my bundle: - Expecting More DVD with 6 workouts from Sara Haley- haven’t tried yet but it looks good! - Fitbook mama2be Fitness Journal- really cool idea, though I’m more of an app/laptop tracker than a pen and paper. Would be a great gift for someone at the beginning of their pregnancy. - Vapur collapsible water bottle- super convenient. Really enjoyed on our recent road trip. - Sweaty Band headband- love these!!! Such a treat and great for working out in. - Two Two Degrees snack bars- delicious. Easy, healthy nutrition. My Review: The Baby Bump Bundle is awesome. The products were all things I’d buy on my own in colors and flavors I like. It was an exciting surprise to open the box and I really appreciate the focus on health. The would be a great gift for a mom-to-be or new mom, or for a mama to herself! Bundles start at $30 so it’s pretty reasonable. What is your favorite treat product? What would you want in your box, mom or not?
Raising a Beautiful Daughter
October 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Growing up I wasted a lot of time, confidence and opportunities thinking I wasn’t pretty enough. I remember the first time I thought I was fat. It was first grade and everyone was sitting with their legs extended out and I decided my legs were bigger than the girls’ next to me. I decided my legs were fat. Growing up my dad talked a lot about how if I’d only (run, not eat carbs, etc), I could look really good and would criticized women’s bodies out loud. My mom would grab parts of her body and criticize them in the mirror. Thanks to genetics, I learned I have those same “problem areas” too. When I was 16 some bad things happened in my life and I needed to feel in control. So I adopted an eating disorder. I didn’t have my period for 18 months and got pleasure from counting how many bones pushed through my skin. I found some balance when I started running. I started appreciating my body for what it could do more than just what it looked like. Still, I clung to numbers on the scale and would emotional eat to cope with my feelings. In a moment I could write you a list of what is “wrong” with my body or the things I want to change. I could tell you the number I wish saw on the scale and at exactly what weight I start to hate my body. Because of my imperfect body, I’ve starved myself. I’ve over-exercised myself. I’ve said horrible things to myself in the mirror. I’ve cried over the scale. I’ve said no to sex with my husband. I’ve taken weeks off swimming because I didn’t want to get in a swimsuit. I’ve compared myself to my friends and I’ve put myself down in front of others. I’d like to say it stopped when I started CrossFit. It definitely got better. The entire CrossFit culture favors strength over looks, though vanity and judgment still sneak in. Then I got pregnant. I went through quite a love/hate journey adapting to my changing body. At first I covered myself up from Richard and dealt with a lot of fat talk. Now I’ve grown to be so proud of what my body is doing, even if my body is even farther from the perfect ideal I’ve wanted it to look like for so long. Now I know my body is strong and beautiful and capable. I’ve wasted a whole lot of time thinking I wasn’t beautiful. And, funny enough, chasing a certain ideal of beauty kept me from discovering what my own beauty was. It kept me from being strong. I absolutely cringe thinking of my daughter ever having some of the thoughts I’ve had, ever thinking she’s not good enough because a part of her body isn’t how she thinks it should be. I want my little girl to get lost in books, to run free, to laugh, to dream, to ask questions, to share, to love and to strive to make the world a better place. And I know fat talk will never get her there. Instead of comparing herself to other girls, I want her to befriend them. Instead of hating her legs, I want her to see what they can do for her. Instead of thinking she should weigh a certain number, I want her to be thankful she is alive. I know I’m not perfect and I will mess up. I may struggle with my post-baby body and I may even talk down about myself in front of her. But I want her to know that before I even meet her I think she is the most beautiful girl. I want her to know that she was made from love and that she is enough, without ever doing anything. I want her to know she will always be beautiful and that we will love discovering who she is and who she grows to become. I want her to know that she was perfect and beautiful before she was even born and nothing she does in her life will ever change that.
How to Name a Baby
October 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0
The scenario of most of my life: craft big plan, write big plan down, scratch entire plan and go a different way entirely. Naming this baby inside of me was no exception and brings me to tears every time I talk about it. I didn’t pretend to be connected to my baby for the first half of my pregnancy. I cared for the baby, but I thought of it more as a pain in my ribs and something that was still far off in the distance rather than my child. And then we had our first ultrasound and gender reveal. I’ll save the really sappy details for my private journal, but it was the best day of my life. Hands down. Every single thing inside me changed and every “mom feeling” turned on. I was in love and started to count ten little fingers and ten little toes like they were the only things in the world. Then we moved to a different angle to see the gender… it’s a girl! She is such a beautiful girl. In most of her photos she was smiling and she has the sweetest little smile. And that little nose! We even got the best view of the bottoms of her feet. One thing I realized in the ultrasound was how precious and feminine she was. She was very delicate (and not just because she is so little). She kept her hands up by her face and even had one knee tucked in, which is how I sleep every night! We’ve had a running list of names for years now and all of our girl names were a touch masculine (Carson, Parker). I immediately knew none of our names suited this girly little girl and we wiped the slate clean. It wasn’t any big moment but after the appointment we flipped through a book of baby names and I spotted a name I had heard a million times but had never caught my eye until now: Clara. It never made it onto my names list and it’s not in my top ten, but I couldn’t shake it. Playing around with it I matched it with the middle name June, which has some significance since we were married in June. I couldn’t shake the name. We did our research on other names and regardless of how much we liked other names, they weren’t for our little girl.

The day we hit 20 weeks and decided on a name.

Friday we were dreaming about our baby in the sweetest baby section of a store in downtown Savannah and Richard told me, “I think Clara June is her name. Let’s do it.” And I cried. And cried some more. So, that’s how to name a baby. Let it name itself. Because I have no idea how Clara June even ended up as an option, but that is undeniably, perfectly our little girl’s name.

Clara June Stephens.