Welcome Little Valerie

I decided to let my spot here sit for a little too long when life got hectic. Now, after classes, job changes, moving, pregnancy, and birth, I think I’m finally ready to pick back up and say…

Welcome to the world, my little Valerie!

Baby Valerie

At 41 weeks (exactly 1 week “late”) Valerie was born on March 23rd, 2016 at 7:23 PM after my true labor started around 2 AM. My healthy little girl weighed 7 lbs 12 ounces and was nearly 20 inches in length. My life is forever changed with my new found love as a mother, which truly is greater than I imagined!

Valerie at the hospital

How is baby now?
Valerie is 3 weeks old this Wednesday and is still a completely healthy girl with a healthy appetite. She wakes up every 2.5 to 3 hours a night on average to eat/get a diaper change and hates falling asleep unless she is laying right next to or on top of mom or dad.

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Sleepy Valerie

Valerie loves walks when she is worn in her Lille baby carrier (*review soon!) & is soothed by constant movement.

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Our first walk with the Lille Baby carrier <3

Valerie lets us know she’s gone to the bathroom with little smiles and smirks, but I’m confident we will have a real, non-bathroom related smile soon!!!

How is mom?

After birth, I had 3rd degree tearing, a hematoma, hemorrhoids, and postpartum SPD (symphysis-pubis-dysfunction). Today, my biggest struggle is with the pelvic pain from SPD. For almost two weeks, walking and sitting were not options due to the pain. Everything was swollen and hurting down there and inside. Laying on my side seemed to be the only position I could manage.

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16, 17 and 18 Week Updates!

Bump?:
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For the 16 week shot, I tried to set up my own photo on the way out the door… Bye-bye to my legs and top of my head.. 17 and 18 weeks, Jeremy and I accidentally left the flash on and I didn’t release how much it can expand my bump haha. I tried to go over the shadow in Photoshop and lighten it a bit, so that may look odd in the 17 & 18 week photos. Also… 18 weeks was technically taken 2 days before my 19 week mark… We are now going to set an alarm to remind us on photo day, for consistency. I’m honestly starting to notice the bump now! She’s growing!

Weight Gained: Still not sure, but likely up between 8-10 lbs at this point!
Workouts: Similar to before, Feeling great second trimester, still, outside of some tiredness from terrible sleep affecting some of my fitness level (energy-wise). Attempted some short runs, but don’t love the heavy feeling on my bladder, so I still do cardio 2-3x week on the elliptical.
Maternity clothes? Same as before. Bought some new leggings, which have been comfortable with the cooler weather! <3 Fall!
Stretch marks?: Nothing new!
Sleep: still an issue… Waking up constantly to go to the bathroom, or I get uncomfortable on one side and have to flip over constantly because my shoulder starts to bother me.
Miss anything?: Sleeping on my back and stomach; Extra caffeine!
Movement: Yes! She has progressively wiggled and squirmed more often, especially after dinner at night. I’ve noticed in class a few times too, and it can get distracting… but I don’t mind her reminding me she is there!
Food cravings: Hmmm..  Still  roasted chicken wings from Taco Maco Mac, which I satisfied the craving during week 18 on a random week night with Jeremy. ;); double dark chocolate gelato (Talenti and Whole foods both have delicious ones),
Gender: It’s a girl!!!
Symptoms: Worst symptoms were during week 16… I had the worst constipation towards the end of the week and was in pain/tears. Finally tried one dose of milk of magnesia per doctor’s advice after daily use of stool softeners doing nothing. This mostly did the trick, and I’ve felt better since – maintaining Metamucil+softeners most days to fix this…. Sorry if TMI!
Happy or moody most of the time: Still happy most of the time, but I’ve had a few minor breakdowns due to school stress/exams/and lack of sleep.
Looking forward to: My 20 week appointment next Thursday!
Purchases: Mostly my mom doing the purchasing here, finding some cute baby clothes, toys, etc
Thoughts/Feelings/Random Musings: Jeremy and I are finally settling on a girls name… (To be announced some day soon)

Will work on the photo quality for next time!

15 Week Pregnancy Update

Good afternoon! I can’t believe I’m almost 16 weeks pregnant! In the first trimester, I felt very pregnant (bloated!) with plenty of unpleasant symptoms. Now, I barely feel pregnant at all, but I know the little one is still in there and progressing along so far! <3 I wake up with almost no bump, but feel like I have one by the end of most days.

Bump?: (Okay, I’m cheating – this is actually the end of 14 weeks but it will have to work! I need to get better with my “bump photos” but bear with me for now 😉

How far along? 15 weeks 6 days

Weight Gained: From pre-pregnancy weight (which I actually don’t know exactly so this is an estimate based on first appt), .. Around 5 lbs!
Workouts: Feeling great still. Strength and cardio are close to pre-pregnancy, with some modifications and avoiding most traditional “ab” work. I’ve dropped the weight a little bit, and upped my reps. Cardio-wise, I feel less comfortable with all-out sprints so I either lower the intensity and extend my time, or I do quick workouts with high energy spurts (but not all out sprints like I could do pre-pregnancy)
Maternity clothes? Some cute shirts my mom found that can pass as non-maternity clothes. Other than that, I mostly wear athletic clothes/capris and some leggings that fit comfortably in the waist area.
Stretch marks?: Not other than the ones I’ve had on my thighs since high school 😉
Sleep: This is probably the biggest struggle for me so far. Especially with some very rude neighbors who wake us up banging on walls in the middle of the night most nights of the past few weeks… Ugh. I’ve never been the best sleeper, so I’m not completely surprised that I overheat and have trouble staying comfortable. Waking up several times a night to go to the bathroom isn’t quite helping.
Miss anything?: Good beers… I love fall and winter beers, but I’ll just have to set some aside until March. haha.
Movement: I think I feel some squirming down near my pubic bone when I lay very still and very quietly! It’s subtle, but not like anything else (such as gas) that I’ve felt before
Food cravings: Hmmm…. Outside of roasted chicken wings from Taco Mac, nothing too strong. I’ve enjoyed a good bit of The Heat is On” spicy peanut butter by Peanut Butter & Co. (it’s super unique but so good!) on top of rice cakes and by itself the past few days.


Gender: It’s a girl!!!
Symptoms: Sleeping troubles, some bloating by end of night, slight breakouts, and constipation (why wasn’t I warned?)
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy most of the time, but I do get moody due to lack of sleep and school stresses. ::Deep breaths::
Looking forward to: Meeting my little one :); My appointment next week to check in on things!
Purchases: None this week, although my mom got herself a Pack ‘n Play. Haha.
Thoughts/Feelings/Random Musings: Jeremy and I are still struggling with deciding on a girl’s name, but we’re starting to narrow it down!

Also, it’s been fun seeing how excited family & friends are about our big news! We can’t wait to share more and meet our little girl in March!

Fall news already! A surprise…

Honestly, I love the fact that the weather is starting to have more cooling trends, even when followed by a quick heat wave again. And, I’m not going to lie,  I’ve been eyeing some new pairs of leggings for the Fall. The Fall is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons, even though I enjoyed the end of the summer this month –  In fact, September has had many great events such as:

zoatsJeremy’s birthday on the 7th!

My brother Ryan’s birthday coming up on the 27th!

My first time trying “zoats” with berries <3 (Pictured left)

My first Biochemistry exam! Oh wait. Yes. ::insert sarcasm here::

Oh yeah! and I may have I announced my pregnancy to family and friends last week.

But for those who have missed it – I am now 15 weeks pregnant and excited for my growingultrasound family. <3

Jeremy and I are happy to announce that we are expecting a little one in Mid-March, 2016! I wish we had cute announcement photos, but I figure that a cliche ultrasound photo of the little one kicking about will work for now.

We went in for what we thought was a 12 week ultrasound two weeks ago to find out that (likely a she!) was measuring at 13 weeks, 1 day instead!
I am currently 15 weeks and 1 day, and enjoying the beginning of the second semester while continuing Biochemistry and Genetics (how appropriate!) classes in school.

I was quiet for the second half of the summer because, aside from morning sickness and related 1st trimester symptoms, I had hardly anything else on my mind besides the baby and school. It was difficult to keep quiet, but I wanted to wait to announce until I knew for sure everything was going smoothly with my pregnancy. I’m planning on updating more often as I continue my journey, and I plan to continue my active lifestyle as well!

So… Surprise! Now you know! I’m super glad to get the news out, and I can’t wait to share more details about my pregnancy so far in the upcoming weeks! 

 

Week in Workouts #1

My first week in workouts post, more for me to keep track of what  I do than anything else, but feel free to read through if you want to !

Sunday – Mile walk to gym followed by leg day. Warmup then front squats, 10×95, 10×105, 8×115, 5×135, 5×135, 4×145, 4×135, 10×95 and deadlift 5 reps every minute on the minnute at 135 for 5 minutes. Walk home. Yoga/stretching in evening.

Monday – Morning – 30 minutes cardio on lateral elliptical, moderate workload, no sprints. Afternoon – kicking soccer ball around Piedmont Park, followed by a walk in the pop-up rain showers.

Tuesday – Les Mills Grit Strength #08 followed by Energizing Morning Yoga video by SarahBethYoga.

Wednesday – 30 minutes cardio (early evening), Pre-bed yoga 30 minutes

Thursday – warmup row, then Deadlift 10×95, 10×135, 8×145, 6×165, 3×185 followed by bodyweight trx routine

Friday – 10 minute elliptical warmup followed by Bodypump

Saturday – 20 minutes lateral elliptical+sprints, then circuit with KB swings, dumbbell side lunges, goblet squats, and pull ups.
Walked 2 miles to and from gym.

Leg day+eats, Stargate Atlantis, + Another Survey!

Oh hi! What’s up? I know I keep disappearing, but I promise it’s all for good reason(s)!

So today was productive! I had a great breakfast of eggs, toast, and avocado for fuel.
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I was off work (from the gym) and managed to fit in a great squat workout: after a walk to gym, I warmed up for front squats with Kettlebell swings, followed by lighter sets. Then 95×10,105×10,115×10,115×10,105×10
135×3, 135×3, 135×3
I also managed a few TRX and bodyweight exercises to round it off.

I got stuck in a lovely thunderstorm on the way home, which delayed my lunch. By the time I got in, I fit in a Lara bar, and a chickfila Cobb salad I picked up on the way home. After a nap, Jeremy came home and we built my new Ikea dresser that Jeremy and I picked up last weekend… along with some fun Swedish gummies. 😉
Tonight I am introducing Jeremy to Stargate Atlantis, an old favorite of mine, over a dinner of grilled cheese (with swiss cheese+cream cheese! Delicious!) and spicy noodle soup with chicken/rice stir fry leftovers.

I leave you with a survey!

A to Z Survey

A – Age: 27

B – Biggest Fear: Roaches. Irrational, I know. A real fear? Losing someone I love.

C – Current Time: 8:35 PM

D – Drink You Had Last: Water with lime & Cranberry Juice.
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E – Easiest Person to Talk to: my husband, and Shelley 🙂

F – Favorite Song: No favorite right now, but been listening to a Seven Lions Pandora station quite a bit.

G – Grossest Memory: Busting my head open on a stone fireplace. I was 4? or 5?.. But I remember the blood… everywhere.

H – Hometown: Atlanta, GA.

I – In Love With: Jeremy

J – Jealous Of: My parents, who just returned from a cruise on a cruise, visiting Europe.

K – Kindest Person You Know: My father and mother, and mother-in-law. I’m very blessed.

L – Longest Relationship: With my husband, Jeremy 🙂

M – Middle Name: Ann

N – Number of Siblings: 3 (2 younger brothers+1 younger sister). and 2 sisters in law (or 3 in-laws, counting Heather’s husband)

O – One Wish: amongst many (currently secret) wishes… to swim with wild humpback whales, spinner dolphins or killer whales one day… or all three!

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: my mom

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: what I do for my workouts

R – Reason To Smile: I’ve got a secret… 😉

S – Song You Last Sang: shut up & dance, maybe?! I sing along to songs absent-mindedly often.

T – Time You Woke Up: 9 AM. I slept in, no early work today.

U – Underwear Color: black

V – Vacation Destination: Seattle… I want to go back!

W – Worst Habit: Anxiety for no reason. Picking at my thumb cuticles. (The former makes me do the latter)

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: where to start? hand, back, arm, wrist, foot… I’ve had a few breaks, mostly soccer injuries.

Y – Your Favorite Food: This changes a lot… Panko breaded cod. Plantain chips. Sashimi and good sushi rolls.

Z – Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Back from Hiatus.

I’m back! Between moving  (still in Atlanta), working, finishing classes + an internship this summer, and some exciting life changes coming up for Jeremy & I, I had to take a brief summer hiatus.
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Don’t worry, I’ve kept up with my workouts 😉

I was craving pizza last night, so we decided to go out and watch the USA vs Jamaica Gold Cup game last night at Mellow Mushroom. We wanted to buy tickets because the game was downtown at the Georgia Dome! But saving money was more important this time. Unfortunately, we lost and I don’t think the goals from Jamaica were deserved. Regardless of the disappointment, we enjoyed our Kosmic Karma pizza & the walk home in a brief summer storm.
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To wake up this morning (& work off pizza + beer 😉 ) I did a 20 minute lateral elliptical cardio session followed by 15 minutes of bodyweight intervals (mountain climbers, pushups, squats, burpees!) before finishing my last class final for the summer. Woohoo!

Sorry it’s been a brief update but I can’t wait to catch up with everyone later! <3

A wonderful Wednesday!

Happy birthday to my beautiful and amazing mom! We’ve had our fair share of fights but she is one of the strongest women I know 🙂 with an amazing husband/my father by her side!
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  • Now, I have to brag… I got a PR on bench press (I know.. I cheated on humpday!!) – 130#! Full range of motion, 15# over my body weight! Doesn’t sound like much, but with the metal plate in my right hand, this has been my slowest lift for increasing my one rep max (1RM). Super excited! 135#, here I come!
  • Finally, I’m so thankful for the cooler temperatures and thunderstorms this week! Enjoying it before the 90 degree temps come back in.

What has been wonderful in your life? 🙂

Move-It Monday Workout + Currently

Happy Monday! For me, it was another day of work and learning – but I still managed to get in a great workout! I had a break from work around 2:30 this afternoon and had to get a workout in to wake up my brain post-afternoon slump. Because the weather in Atlanta today (& yesterday) was much more pleasant than the 90+ degree temperatures, I had to get the following workout on outside.

Try this Swing & Thrust Kettlebell Workout after a proper warm-up (I rowed 1000 meters on an indoor rower + a quick body weight warm-up consisting of squats and pushups). For the single arm KB swings, it doesn’t matter which arm you start with – just switch after completing the reps in the round before continuing to 2-arm KB swings. For example, I did 5 right arm swings, 5 left arm swings, followed by 5 dumbbell thrusters with a 20 lb dumbbell in each hand. The next round, I repeated in the same order with 6 reps of each, etc. Use a weight that you are comfortable with for all movements.

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Let me know if you try the workout!

Here’s a quick “Currently” survey before bed, with a focus on my current favorite find from my last Vitacost haul:

Currently Drinking: Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage, which contains a blend of chicory root, barley, rye, dandelion, and beet root extracts. I am in disbelief at how delicious Dandy Blend is, and it mixes instantly in hot and cold water! I see how it can be used as a “coffee alternative” – if you compare it to coffee, it’s a little bit milder tasting. I’ve been enjoying it as a drink with a dash of vanilla extract, sweetener, and milk (or coconut milk, cashew milk… You can even mix it into yogurt or recipes for a coffee-like flavor! I love that Dandelion has detox benefits for your liver and has even been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells (in vitro). You can read more about dandelion research here on Examine.com.  I got my 14.1 oz bag from Vitacost for around $17 but they have smaller 7 oz bags for around $10, too!062915dandyblend Continue reading

Krush Bars – Natural Protein Bar Review

062515_krush01Krush Bars (previously known as Krave bars) have been popping up all over social media for a while now!  When I worked at a nutrition store, I even had a couple of people ask me about these – I wish our store had carried them then so I could’ve tried sooner and not feel so behind! Now that I work part time in a gym, I have people ask me for protein bar recommendations all of the time, so I felt it was time to give these a try! After eyeing the unique flavored bars for a while, I finally decided to give in and buy a variety pack so I could try all of the flavors side by side. I definitely don’t regret giving them a try!

Take a look at the nutrition label for my favorite Krush Bar flavor, Birthday Cake. Continue reading