Sunday, March 31, 2013


A Journey to Parenthood...I

When I started this blog I wanted to capture my personal journey to building my family.  When I was surprised with this current, spontaneous, pregnancy, I quickly realized how my journey has changed-not only on a personal level, but also in regards to being infertile.  Although my previous paths to pregnancies were relatively easy, they were still assisted.  

My biggest fear with this pregnancy, was that I would be discounted within the infertile community.  I'm one of those...

Which is when I realized- it doesn't matter how new life is brought about-it's not about the medication, or the number of shots or the number of failed cycles.  
It's about love and desire to create a family.  
We all have a story.

When I first thought of this series, I knew my first request would be to Erin of Hoping for our own Peanut.  She is one of the blogs I've been reading the longest.  I don't remember exactly when I started, but I read through her journey to Trevor, her struggles to make him a big brother, and I cannot wait to cheer along as she welcomes their newest additions this coming summer/fall.  

Thanks Erin!

Hoping for Our Own Peanut

************************************************************************************************************

Hello!! My name is Erin and I am excited to be the first person to share her story in Aaryn's new blog series! 

My journey began back in 2007. My husband and I were married about 8 months and we decided to start trying for a baby. Six months went by and somehow, I wasnt pregnant. I started to get nervous and went to my OB. She prescribed clomid and I officially started my research. That month I didnt get pregnant and knew it was time to get more attention with a RE. 

My first appointment with my RE was in April 2008. I was 20 years old. We had to have a lot of tests done..semen analysis, bloodwork, hsg, etc. Every test came back normal. We were officially diagnosed with unexplained infertility. 

We spent the next few months taking baby steps toward IVF. Our doctor had a 3 strikes rule. Try each treatment 3 times..and if there was no success, move onto the next step. We did clomid, moved to injectible IUIs and in January 2009 we started our first IVF cycle.

Our first IVF cycle went great. I responded well to the meds, they retrieved 12 eggs and we did a 5 day transfer of 2 embryos and froze 4 others! February 25th, for the first time in my entire life, I saw two pink lines. It will always be one of the best days of our life!

I had an amazing pregnancy and gave birth to our first son, Trevor Michael on November 11, 2009. He stole our hearts that day and we instantly wanted more. We never imagined the road to make him a big brother would be so difficult.

We started the cycle for our first FET on his 1st birthday. We were devastated when we found out it failed. We picked up the pieces and moved forward with a second FET, using our last 2 embryos. We were ecstatic to see two pink lines again! Unfortunately, our world came crashing down as my beta numbers were not rising correctly and I was told I would have a miscarriage. My betas fluctuated for weeks, which was beyond frustrating. I believe I had my blood drawn 8 times..each time telling me it was not a healthy pregnancy. 

When my beta went back to zero, we started a new IVF cycle. Again, my body responded beautifully and we got 13 eggs. We transferred 2 on day 5 and had 8 frozen! It was one of the best cycles my RE had ever seen! I was sure we would be pregnant days later! The cycle ended up being a chemical pregnancy. I had a positive test, but the numbers were so low, we know it would end soon.

There I sat, having endured a failed cycle, a miscarriage, and a chemical pregnancy..back to back to back. We were determined to keep fighting and make Trevor a big brother. In June 2011, we used our first 2 frozen embryos and were thrilled to be pregnant again. Perfect betas, perfect ultrasounds and a perfect pregnancy resulted in Gavin Thomas, born March 2, 2012.

We always wanted a big family and decided to start treatments a bit sooner this time around. It took so much time and effort to get Gavin, we were mentally preparing ourselves for a long road ahead. I prepped my body for a FET and transferred 2 embryos January 10, 2013. Four days later, I saw pregnant on a test. My earliest positive and highest betas yet. On February 4th, we saw two babies with two heartbeats! TWINS! On our first try! We are STILL shocked at this one..

Today, I am 12 weeks 5 days pregnant. I had my NT scan yesterday and the babies look great. Come September, I will have a 3 year old, an 18 month old and newborn twins. Take that, infertility!!

I have documented our journey on my blog terobertson.blogspot.com. I love sharing our story and giving hope to others. You can also contact me at TERobertson18@aol.com.

Thank you, Aaryn, for this opportunity!

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Thank YOU Erin.  I wish you a smooth and healthy pregnancy!  

Please consider being a participant in my monthly series, A Journey to Parenthood.  Comment or message me for details!


Monday Munchies...Passover Edition II

Another traditional food is matzoh brie.  Basically, soak the matzoh in water, crumble it up, mix it with an egg batter and fry-you decide if you like it crispy or mushy- our house is mixed on that opinion), plain or with jelly or sugar-we're mixed on that too!  

It sounds gross, but it's an all time favorite...considering what we eat the rest of the time!

Matzoh Brie
1 box of matzoh
Water
4 eggs
Milk-eyeball it
Toppings of choice: sugar, jelly, fruit, chocolate chips, what ever you can think of!


Soak the box of matzoh in a bowl of water.  The bottom couple of inches should just be immersed, let it soak while you mix the eggs and milk a separate bowl.  The egg mixture should resemble scrambled eggs.




Break the matzoh into chunks-a little larger than bite size.  Mix the broken matzoh pieces in with the egg mixture.



Fry!  


Now it's up for you to decide if you like it mushy or crispy!  AND pick your toppings.  If you come up with anything creative, let me know-I prefer the 'ole sugar.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

cleansing/foundation



Snow White...

I've always been extremely fair skinned.  I hate the sun (mainly because of the heat) so I knew natural tanning  was out.  Nowadays, the only sun I get is from running outside.   The sole advice I was given from a dermatologist when I asked about anti-wrinkle-was to wear sunscreen, besides that fact that melanoma is a dangerous form of cancer that can easily go undetected.  I am extremely vigilant about getting my yearly skin check.  
Putting on list of things to do now...

I've always had problem skin.  Not so much oily, but acne prone.  It typically presented itself on my chin.  Since sixth grade I was a regular at the dermatologist.  Eventually, I asked about the possibility of my redness being due to rosacea.  

Rosacea is redness on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead and it can be accompanied by little bumps and pimples.  According to WebMD, rosacea is caused by an irritant, but it is not bacteria.  It typically affects those with lighter skin. For me, my rosacea is very mild, but the redness on my cheeks has gotten worse and I have begun having pimples/bumps on my cheeks.  

I don't remember how my skin was for the majority of both of my other pregnancies. I was used to acne, if it increased a little, I was used to it.  I've never had clear skin for more than a day at a time. 

But holy pregnancy acne!  I have pimples in places I never knew possible!  

So what do I do?  

I've done some research on the best products for sensitive/red skin.  And I have some mixed opinions.  I read that MAC and Bobbi Brown offer excellent foundation options.  Real Simple recommends Armani silk foundation- at $65 a bottle! But...it might be worth it.  

I know that skin care is tricky.  Too harsh of a cleanse increases oil production which then increases acne.  I found out last pregnancy that the trick to good skin is to be less harsh and moisturize more. It was then that I fell in love with the Clarins alcohol free toning lotion.

These are the products I currently use


cleansing/foundation




I alternate between the 3 cleansers- I typically use the calming cleanser in the morning and at night.  If I shower, I use the cetaphil.  One to two times a week I'll use the grapefruit wash.  It's a little harsher on the skin because it's an exfoliant.  

In the morning I will either use the Mary Kay purple moisturizer (shown is the pink intense moisturizer) or the Olay SPF 20 moisturizer.  I have found these two are comparable in the way they feel on my face.  I've used plenty of SPF moisturizers that are just too heavy and leave my skin oily.  The Mary Kay does not have SPF, so now that I think about it, I'll continue with the Olay.  It can be bought at Costco in a 2 pack and is relatively cheap.  At night I slather on Vaseline.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but for some reason-it really works.  I wake up with refreshed skin, my acne is less red, and the new pimples that appear the day before are on their way to being healed. Plus, I have a major problem-I can't keep my hands off my face, so I do a lot of pimple popping.  I know it's bad, but the ones that actually do come in that hurt-feel much better once their popped, but then it creates an open wound on the face, which vaseline helps it heal.

One thing I just remembered as I'm typing this:  I used Mederma scar treatment on my face in the past, and it definitely helped reduce the scars and redness!  

My current concealer is by smashbox.  I loved it at first, but I'm finding now that because I need a more intense coverage, it isn't up to snuff. It begins to look too dry and cakey if I really pile it on.  I use the Mary Kay minerals foundation-which I love.  It's easy to apply, fool proof, can provide little or intense coverage and does not look or feel dry and cakey.  However, I also wonder if it's good for me now-with my current pregnancy breakout.  

I read an article on Real Simple, and they claim that some beauty products are worth the splurge:
foundation
 (they didn't mention concealor, but I think they're in the same ball park so I'll say yes to splurging) 
blush
eye shadow

So-this is what I'm thinking I'm going to try.  

I'm going to pull out the trusted Clarisonic and Cetephil. I want to add in the Clarins alcohol free toning lotion. I'll moisturize with Olay in the day and vaseline at night.

The question is: what do I do about makeup?   At the end of the day, I swear it looks like I have no makeup on!  
I read another article online that said the most important parts of a skin care regimen are the "foundations"  
I think I need to invest in a good primer. 
I'm going to switch up the concealor and foundation-just to see if I get better coverage. 
I'm going to get an eyelash curler and see if that helps with my eyelashes.  
I have long eyelashes, but I think they've gotten thinner and therefore, just applying mascara isn't enough.  
I'm going to get a new blush. 
 I'll see what they recommend, but I wonder what color I should be wearing when it seems that a pink blush just exasperates my already red cheeks.  

I have a Mary Kay micro dermabrasion  kit, which is great-so I think I'll aim to use that once a week.  

I'll let you know what new products I find!

Do you have any skin-care tips or advice?
What products do you love?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Radio Silence...

Things are well here.

Enjoying our trip in Florida. 

Too much food.

Not enough sleep.

Endless love and laughter.

19 weeks today!
*If it's still alive...

Family.



Happy Weekend...


Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Munchies...Passover Edition I

Tonight starts the Jewish holiday of Passover.  It is a holiday of freedom!  It's a very labor intensive holiday-not only during, but requires lots of prep and there are a lot of customs involved. 

One traditional food that we eat at the ceremonial seders (the festive meal that takes place during the first two nights) is called charoset.  It's placed on the seder plate and symbolizes the mortar that the slaves used to  make bricks in Egypt.  

We eat it with matzah during the seder, but it's also a great, healthy, tasty treat that can be eaten all throughout Passover.  

Traditional Charoset
6 apples chopped 
1 cup  chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 cup sweet wine 

Peel the apples, section, and chop in a food processor


Process the walnuts 


Add the chopped nuts and apples into a bowl with the wine and cinnamon 



What do you think you would enjoy charoset on?
18 weeks, onto the 5th month...

Pregnancy's said to be 9 months, but 40 weeks is really 10 months.  Do you count the month only when it's complete or when you begin it.  So 18-2=16 weeks, 16/4=4 months complete...that's the extent of my math abilities.  How do people calculate their gestational place in a pregnancy?


I'm wearing the Stella & Dot Bianca Tassel Necklace 
Hey, have to give a shout out!

Total weight gain/loss: I forgot to measure before I left, and I the main reason because I'm so picky.  I know it's bad people, so I won't weigh at night, and I won't want to weigh in the morning if I've had a lot of salt the day before.  I have my next OB appointment 4/4, but even Dr. Wonderful's scale is slightly off, plus I can't weigh in naked there. Well, I probably could, but I don't think that would be appreciated.

Maternity clothes? I haven't worn anything officially maternity, however I've retired the jean skirts and am only wearing my stretchy skirts.  My undershirts are also getting too short.  I finally pulled out the bin with my clothes, and I had anticipated using some of the clothes for our Florida trip, but I pulled out a lot of tunics and loose shirts that are non-maternity that I didn't need to make use of the maternity clothes yet.  However, because my weight gain is all over, even the loose tops aren't really fitting, they're too tight!

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good!  I'm better able to function on much less sleep, which unfortunately is what I need to do in order to complete my day-to-day activities.  I wish I could log 8-9 hours of sleep though.  I don't usually have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but if I do get woken up, I usually take advantage of already being awake.  

Best moment this month: Going to Florida is definitely on my list of exciting things this month!  We haven't been here in a year and is our only vacation.  Ever.  Besides that, last week my husband took me to his work and gave me a peace of mind ultrasound.  All looks well, but anatomy scan is 4/4.

Movement: I do feel movement, but maybe pregnancy brain is getting the best of me-but I swear I felt a lot more movement with the boys at this point.  You would think I'm a first time mom-I can't distinguish the movements from gas at this point-which is so weird and frustrating for me.  Consistent movement really helps keep my mind at ease.  I tossed around buying a doppler, but I really am hesitant, it's so easy to have a potential disaster and that's really the last thing I need.  I just need to realize that what will be, will be and have reassurance that I've made it this far.  Once I have the anatomy scan and have a confirmed healthy baby (if it is) then I will hopefully rest easier.  

Exercise:  Unfortunately,still non-existent.  I've been pouring all of my free time (which I used to use for exercise) into Stella & Dot responsibilities.  Let's just hope it all pays off.  I really need to start running, and at this point 2 miles is a good starting point, so it won't take long, but at nights doing the DVD that I bought.  I did bring it with me to Florida, so maybe I'll get around to testing it out.

Gender:  At my last OB appointment, the heartbeat was 154, so I changed my opinion to boy, based on the midwives tale that heartbeats that slow are boy and higher heartbeats are girl.  During the ultrasound last weekend, my husband was planning on doing it himself, just to check.  But the tech ended up coming in and wanted to scan herself. We told her we didn't want to know, but she looked for herself and left the shot on the screen.  So, we decided we will confirm at anatomy scan, but keep secret, as best as we can that is.  

Labor Signs: Nope! 

Belly Button in or out? In, but starting to stick out up top

What I miss:running and having self-control over my diet...must.get.better! I also would like to stop peeing my pants whenever I sneeze or cough.  But that won't go away any time soon.

What I am looking forward to:OB appointment 4/4!  My belly taking more of a hard belly shape as oppose to looking like a belly but flabby.  More consistent movement, feeling the baby from outside, but also actually interacting with the baby through my pokes and prods :)   Yes, I annoy all of my babies in utero.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Traveling Diaper Bag

What's in my travel diaper bag...
I've flown quite a bit with kids.  I flew a lot more when it was just Moshe, traveling home and to places to show him off when he was a wee one.  Once Dovy came along, I couldn't travel as much because of where I was in my schooling, and because Moshe would require his own ticket, and let's be honest-traveling with two on your own is a heck of a lot different than traveling with one!  I have done it, once, and I almost paid to have my mom fly to NY to meet me here and fly with me to our final destination.  I survived, but it's not pleasant...heck it's not pleasant even traveling with my husband there to help!  

Plane travel is hard, especially in an airport where customer service is a low priority.  Everywhere I've ever flown to has been great, leaving New York, not so much, not even the slightest.  

Let me just vent for a minute-how much sense does it make to require that a sleeping, non-walking baby be removed from his carseat, so the carseat can be scanned, but NO ONE HELPS FOLD/UNFOLD THE STROLLER?  WHILE HOLDING A BABY, I'M EXPECTED TO FOLD AND UNFOLD BY MYSELF?!?
ok rant over....

Anyway, we're heading off to Florida to visit my parents for Passover.  I can't wait to join them down there, and have my boys swim the days away in their pool, however I'm dreading getting down there.  

So this is what's going in my diaper bag-which is not this beauty by the way, I guess my Skip Hop Duo didn't make the cut because it can't be found on Polyvore. 


Traveling Diaper Bag




oldnavy.gap.com


Sun care
target.com


Bath body product
bathandbodyworks.com






Vans Authentic
piperlime.gap.com




Boon 'Swig' Sippy Cup
nordstrom.com



Triple Paste Medicated Ointment For Diaper Rash, 2 oz
walmart.com



Moshe is now potty trained-I'm still debating if I'm going to have him wear a pull up or just take him to the bathroom at his command.  We've only had one accident thus far, so I know he has great command over it, I'm just nervous with the plane.  Dovy, of course is still in diapers which means I need diapers, wipes, and Triple Paste (SWEAR by it ladies...) And of course I'll need some hand sanitizer and lotion.  It's best for both of these to be kid friendly options because when I use a product, the kids want to use it too.  My boys love nail polish and makeup!

Of course I need an extra outfit because of potential accidents-I'll probably pack a Florida appropriate summer outfit as oppose to a March WINTER New York outfit.  And how cute is that Carter's boys romper?!? Love toddler one-pieces.  Great leg pinching access.  

Of course I'll need two sippy cups that I'll fill with water once past security, as well as two snack containers-because G-d Forbid we share, and not grab!    

And I think the most important component of the diaper bag is the Cars coloring pages and crayons.  I also bought stickers that will hopefully keep them entertained throughout our travels (including a layover!!!)  

We contemplated purchasing on-flight WiFi, getting a portable DVD player, or loading our phones or laptops with downloaded favorites, but ultimately decided that not only would it be a hassle to deal with, it would probably only buy us minimal entertainment time on the plane.  

What things do you take in your diaper bag? 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY Fabric Bins...

I am so thrilled with my most recent craft!  For a few reasons- the most important one being that my impatience did not ruin the project!  I am easily frustrated and often times just rush when I get tired or annoyed, and my husband has to frequently remind me that haste makes waste.  If you ever encounter me during a project, you will probably hear me mutter under my breath a number of times
haste makes waste, haste makes waste, haste makes waste...

It has prevented me from breaking a number of household items.  

Anyway, I'm in the process of finishing up the boys' room.  It's been a long time, but I'm learning that purchasing things slowly, actually make a difference financially.  I know it seems silly but I used to look at finances like this:  I know the total number, so spend it now or later, what's the difference?  But the truth is $100 has a lot less sting than $1,000.  So, slow and steady wins the race.

Slow and steady wins the race, slow and steady wins the race...ok ok, moving on!

Moshe is pretty much potty trained, but we still frequently use pullups and Dovy will eventually make his way out of the nursery and into Moshe's room, which will be re-named: the boys' room.  I can't wait to reveal the final product, but it's still unfinished; hopefully before the baby-I'm in the home stretch (with the room that is, with the baby-not so much!)  I will reveal that the colors are orange, grey and teal.  It's a very popular color scheme now, but I wasn't sold on it 100% until I spotted a certain item at Ikea, and I knew this was the way we were going and I couldn't be happier.  

Back to diapers and potty training-the nursery/second bedroom bedding/baskets are green.  This is the first time we've lived in a bigger than 2 bedroom apartment, so before we really didn't have space for extras.    So Moshe's diapers and pullups were being stored in a green canvas bin-which obviously doesn't go with my new color scheme.  

I haven't come across a type of bin that would work for my purpose, but this was what my project was modeled after, the small gray chevron bin.

Gray Harper Canvas Storage 

I had some gray chevron fabric left over from a project over a year ago.  I remembered suddenly and was thrilled that I had all the necessary materials on hand!  Much cheaper ;) 

Because I had planned on accomplishing this project for awhile, I had been accumulating boxes for quite some time.  

Materials Needed
Fabric
Boxes
Spray adhesive 

Begin with your boxes


You can see that the two boxes were different heights, so I cut one down to match.


Because my fabric was white and gray, I was worried that the cardboard would be seen through the fabric, so I first covered the box with white cardstock.  


 This is the spray adhesive that I used-it's like spray rubber cement.  For those of you who have never been introduced to this amazing craft MUST, it can be bought at your regular store (I found mine at Target) and it can be found in the section where they sell tape. Again, thanks Honey We're Home!


You can see that I basically covered the box like I would wrap a present.   I had to play around a little bit with what technique would work best in regards to not having bunched up fabric on the inside corners.


And there is definitely bunched up fabric in the inside corners-Hey, I'm not a professional, by any means!  


Once the diapers were inside you can't tell anything about such bunched fabric!  

I can't wait to reveal how the rest of the room is coming along!  
Haste makes waste, haste makes waste, haste makes waste...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Munchies...Chex Mix

We recently had family friends come for a visit.  They drove from Ohio, so they came stocked with leftover goodies from their drive in.  One of the goodies she shared was homemade chex mix.  Boy did that bring back memories!  It was not a childhood staple by any means, but it's a super easy crowd pleaser with ingredients that are made from typically stocked ingredients or can be bought cheap.  


This week is going to be exhausting-besides work and the usual, I have one trunk show, plus cleaning and packing for Passover.  I knew this recipe needed to be quick.  And let me tell you, not only is the prep easy and quick, the cooking is quick-mine was done in about 20 minutes, and it's ready to eat!  



Chex Mix (adapted from the Original Chex Mix recipe)
3 cups corn chex
3 cups wheat chex
3 cups rice chex
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup cheerios 
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
11/2 teaspoons seasoned salt 
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon onion powder 

Combine cereal, cheerios and pretzels in a large bowl.  Melt butter and add in seasoning.  Pour over dry ingredients and pour on a cookie sheet. Bake


*Now, the original recipe says to just let it air dry, but I prefer to bake it.  I baked mine at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  I think my oven was a little too hot, so maybe do 325.  

Unfortunately I discovered, as my butter was melting, that I was out of Worcestershire sauce, although I swear I saw an open bottle recently...anyway, I substituted soy sauce and left out the seasoned salt. 

I have to be honest, I just eyeballed the pretzels, cheerios (because who doesn't love them?!?) and the spices.  I also increased the butter by 2 tablespoons because I ended up with more dry ingredients than originally called for.  

I don't think this will last for our upcoming trip, but I'm sure we'll enjoy it in the meantime! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weighty Issues...take 3


I did some research on Fit Pregnancy and I found an article about weight lifting.  Now I don't know about you, but I was always under the impression that lifting weights during pregnancy is dangerous.  Not so...

 http://www.fitpregnancy.com/workouts/prenatal-workouts/right-weight-routine-pregnancy#

This article gives weight machine exercises AND free weight exercises so not having access to a gym can't be an excuse!

Strength train at home
All you need are 2- to 5-pound dumbbells and a chair.  Do 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each exercise, choosing a weight that is comfortable or simply using your body weight.
> Triceps overhead extensions
> Biceps curls
> Lateral raises
> Squats

Easy enough...

Here's another article that has 8 exercises to whip you into shape in preparation for what's to come.

Super Mom Workout 
 http://www.fitpregnancy.com/workouts/prenatal-workouts/eight-great-pregnancy-exercises?page=7#

What's great about these exercises is all you need are weights, so again, no excuses!

If cardio isn't your thing, and you want exercise to really be a time-out, a peaceful part of your day, this is for you!  These exercises will still manage to work your core, but are not taxing-no weights involved!  I can speak from personal experience, strengthening that pelvic floor is really important.  Take it from me, incontinence is no fun, I would know.  

Belly Breathing 
 http://www.fitpregnancy.com/featured-galleries/ready-set-push-workout#

How is exercising going for you-pregnant or not?



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Speak to me...

Or if I may, since I'm from the midwest, talk to me.  

Anywho, have you ever come across a poem, a poster, a song, anything, that speaks to you?  

I recently came across this poem, and came across it again when I was cleaning my desk and thought I would share.

If 
By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all is about you
     Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
     But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
     Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
     And yet do't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-an not make dreams your master;
     If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
     And you can treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
     Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
     And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
     And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
     And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
     To serve your torn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
     Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with Kinds-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
      If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is Earth and everything that's in it,
      And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Weighty Issues, take 2...

So I'm still trying to continue to get myself back on the exercise bandwagon, but in the meantime-I'll continue to eat the seven (yes, seven) boxes of girl scout cookies I bought from a co-workers daughter.

So let's talk exercise...I still haven't made it out for a run.  On the days that it's nice out, I can't run because of commitments- Dr. appointments, important errands, Stella & Dot shows, you name it!  Unfortunately, these days I'll push off exercising because my dishes are overflowing and so is my laundry bin.  But then on the days I can go for a run, it decides to either be freezing, or raining.

I think part of how I ended up in this situation is that since I've picked up running, I've sworn off the gym.  It's stifling and expensive.  But then there were days that I couldn't exercise outside because of bad or cold weather-which has been going on for months now.  So that leads me to my (almost) 17th week of pregnancy and I think I can count on half of a hand how many times I've laced up.

So for starters, I ordered this DVD


Prenatal Conditioning with Teddi Bryant

Recommended by FIT PREGNANCY MAGAZINE
MAMA S GOT MUSCLE Fitness Level: 3
WHY WE LOVE IT Master trainer Teddi Bryant believes you shouldn't be afraid to break a sweat while expecting. To wit, this circuit-style workout features squats, push-ups, lunges and core conditioning. But, don t worry about exercising too hard: A thorough tutorial on proper form, as well as modifications, means each move is safe during pregnancy. --Fit Pregnancy Magazine

Hopefully I can get back into my exercise groove by the time the second half of this pregnancy rolls around.

So before getting started on an exercise routine, here are some myths debunked by Fit Pregnancy.


Myth: If you weren’t exercising before you got pregnant, now is not the time to start.
Reality: Pregnancy is the ideal time to get moving. “Nowhere in the medical literature does it say that moderate exercise such as walking is unsafe, even for previously sedentary women,” says Raul Artal, M.D., chairman of the OB-GYN department at Saint Louis University in Missouri and lead author of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ guidelines on prenatal exercise.
The real hazard is inactivity, which contributes to excess weight gain, high blood pressure, aches and pains, and a higher risk for Cesarean section and gestational diabetes. Some 70 percent to 80 percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type II diabetes later in life, research shows, and their babies are themselves more likely to become overweight and develop diabetes.
If you have no prenatal medical complications, Artal recommends walking 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day; you can break up the time into shorter sessions if you like. There’s no need to go gangbusters. “You can achieve all the benefits with a moderate pace,” Artal says.


Myth: Resistance (strength) training during pregnancy can cause joint injury.
Reality: It’s true that pregnancy floods your system with relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments to prepare your body for delivery. But a 2011 University of Georgia study found that a low-to-moderate-intensity strength program is safe, even for novices.
 

Myth: If you are very athletic, you need to greatly dial down your exercise intensity.
Reality: Though nobody recommends gut-busting sprints for pregnant women, you can maintain your program as long as your body and your doctor give you the OK. “If there are no complications, women can continue to exercise at a higher level, but we recommend closer medical supervision,” Artal says.
Early in pregnancy, elevating your core body temperature may be damaging to the fetus, so stay hydrated, don’t exercise outdoors in the heat of the day and avoid huffing and puffing so hard that you can’t talk.
Decades ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended a ceiling of 140 heartbeats per minute for pregnant women, but the guideline was later withdrawn because heart rate differs so much from one woman to the next. “I tell everyone to forget about heart rate,” says Artal. Just make sure you can talk comfortably. Be flexible. Back off on the days when you’re just not feeling energetic, Haley advises, “and take advantage of those days when you feel like a rock star.”
Myth: Running is unsafe during pregnancy.
Reality: You can’t “shake your baby loose”; she’s plenty safe swimming around in amniotic fluid while you jog at the park. “As long as there are no changes in your joints and ligaments, you can continue running,” Artal says.
Some runners are able to keep going many months into their pregnancies, but eventually even Olympic champions are forced by discomfort to switch to lower-impact activities such as walking, water workouts or the elliptical trainer. “It’s just a matter of nature,” Artal says.
Myth: You shouldn’t work your abs.
Reality: True, doing crunches (or other exercises) on your back is a no-no after the first trimester: Your growing uterus can compress the vena cava, the major vessel that returns blood to your heart, potentially reducing blood flow and making you feel dizzy or nauseated. Artal says only about 10 percent of women are susceptible to this dizziness, but why find out if you’re one of them when there plenty of ways to work your entire core while standing or kneeling?
O’Connor’s study included an ab exercise performed while standing: The women exhaled and then drew in their navel toward their spine “as if they were trying to button up pants that were too tight in the waist,” he says.
Haley performed the plank move, a very effective core exercise, until the day she gave birth to her son. “During those last two hours of pushing,” she says, “I was really grateful I had trained my core.”

What are your exercise (pregnant or not) dilemmas?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Munchies...too tired to cook?!?

I've had an exhausting few weeks!  The beginning of my new business with Stella & Dot has been awesome, and so rewarding on so many different levels, yet exhausting!  But I wouldn't change it!  If you're looking for something special for the upcoming holidays, or Mothers Day, or you just have a wedding, or a gift, or you deserve to treat yourself (c'mon, I always use that excuse, I'm not the only one right?!?) then check out the link to my personal trunk show going on now!

The link expires Sunday March 31st!  

On that note, if you're interested in hosting a show and you're in the NY/NJ area, please get in touch with me! And if you're not, we can host a virtual trunk show!  Just comment here!!!  

Now, onto Monday Munchies...

In theory, I love salad-and I do love salad, but I HATE preparing it.  It's such a pain to wash every vegetable, cut the vegetables, and of course, you don't want to do this every time you want a salad, so you prepare in bulk. But I hate that feeling of seeing the rotting salad in the back of the refrigerator.  So, then I vow that I need to stop with the salad for a bit.  But it's SUCH an important factor in a healthy diet!  

Here's a recipe for a great healthy(ish) salad alternative.  I say ish because it does have a marinade that is made with sugar and oil, but I don't think much of it is consumed, so I'm willing to risk it for the healthy veggies.  

Freeda's Cucumber Salad 
3 English Cucumbers , sliced
1-2 Onions, sliced 
Dressing: 
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Water
4 tsp. salt
Note: If  I cut down and use 2 cucumbers , I will halve the dressing , no problem.
What I love about this salad is that it lasts for some time-it's really not bad, just different, if the cucumbers are a little soggy.  Truth is, if you cut it into thicker slices, it will take longer to get soggy, as oppose to thinly slicing them.  You can also halve the dressing even with 3 cucumbers to give it less liquid  to sit in.  I actually drained the liquid the next day, because the cucumbers had great flavor, and I didn't want them getting soggy.  
This salad is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy!  It's delicious-I was snacking on it pre-dinner, and so were my boys!  The prep is also a cinch-just slice cucumbers and onions!  
Combine it all in a container, and voila, a delicious, tasty, perfect for summer, salad alternative!  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Everyone has a story...

It's true, we all have our own story to tell.  To some, the story may be obvious, and maybe that's true.  To others, they're oblivious.  You, maybe you want to hide the truth.  Maybe people just assume that things look too good to be any other way.  Or maybe, you want to share.
We all have a story.  But I'll admit something I'm not proud to say aloud-I've judged people.  I've actually uttered the words, "oh well, I had to do IVF."  As if to imply that anything short of that, wasn't really infertile.  

My story drastically changed with this spontaneous pregnancy.  I questioned how I would be received by the infertility community.  See, I want to be the face of infertility.  But how can I be, when my journey just seems to get easier?  And easier...

Someone recently got in touch with me-admitting to reading my blog.  My blog information is included in my e-mail's signature.  She said that when she found out I was pregnant, she was jealous-but after reading my blog, she had perspective.  On the outside, I look like a fertile myrtle-3 kids 4 and under, a kid every two years...no way I'm infertile!  She herself struggles, but never assumed that I did too...

Sometimes I wish I could just wear a sign that says Infertile...I want to share my story.  

My story may be different.  It's not the same.  It's not worse.  It's not better.  It still had it's moments of heartbreak, and worry, and fear.  I've had cancelled cycles, I've had money woes, I've had sleepless nights, I've gotten angry.  

This is my story.  

I want this to be a place where no matter your struggles, your story, your fears, or your dreams-you are welcome here.  

I'm proposing an Infertility Platform-where anyone and everyone is encouraged to share their story-with their real information, or anonymously if they so desire.  The first Tuesday of every month I would like to share a fellow infertilw'a story.  Until I get an e-mail account open for the blog, please comment below if you would like to participate!  

Let's show the world the many different faces of infertility! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thank Heaven for Little Girls & Boys...

I'm at the age where most of my friend are all coming to those life cycle events-weddings have mostly passed, and now we're doing a lot of multiplying!  
I love giving gifts with a personal touch!  

Here's my pinspiration

How cute?!?

Luckily we've had close friends have babies recently, so for the first time-I got to shop for cute girl onesies!!! And boy onesies!!!  And cute socks!!! And even better-I got to shop around for ways to embellish the cupcake box!  Love...

But know what I love more?  That this gift was affordable, and seriously took me maybe 15 minutes to put together, and it looks totally awesome!  Mine didn't look as cupcakeesque, but still adorbs nonetheless...


Fold the onesie in half, lengthwise, twice.  Fold the base of the sock over, and place so the toe is sticking out over the onesie.  Just roll the onesie around the sock.  Try to roll at a downward angle so you have a cupcake effect.  Tape to hold.  I used 3-6 months onesies, so they ended up being bigger.  Potentially smaller onesies would have looked better.  Also, these cupcakes ended up being too big for standard size cupcake holders, so thankfully I had picked up bigger ones from Michaels, but those were a little too big...oh well, beggars can't be choosers, and anyway-once it's shoved into the box-you couldn't really tell anyway.  

Here's the finished product


I'm in love...I will definitely be adding this to my standard baby gifts!

I just shipped out my first one this week, so I'm awaiting the response!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013



Monday Munchies...

I mentioned last week that I made Red Lentil Soup.  
Stick around long enough and you'll learn at this about me: I love soup.  Not only do I love it, but it's my secret (well, not now) weight loss tip.  It's so tasty and filling, and especially warming now that we're in the cold winter months!  Who doesn't appreciate a nice, warm, hearty soup!

Red Lentil Soup
Onions
Carrots
Red Lentils
Crushed Tomatoes (Large can)
Tomato Paste (Small can)
Leeks 

 
 
 
I made a large pot of this, and in order to do so, I doubled the recipe.  I will give you the regular recipe, and just know that if you want a full large pot, as oppose to a half large pot, double it.

1.  Sautee onions
2.  Pour in 1 large can of the crushed tomatoes, and 1 small can of the tomato paste.  
3.  Add in cut up leeks, carrots (I do baby carrots-just eliminates some work for me), and 2 cups red lentils.  
4.  I've found that it's better to eye the water, as oppose to give an exact measurement.  Fill the pot with water until the ingredients are almost covered with water.  
5.  Boil, then simmer for at least an hour, but the longer it goes (don't forget to stir!) the softer the lentils will be. 
6.  Add salt at the end-of just let people add individually to their bowl.  

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