Hey guys! Wow can you believe it’s the middle of April already? Last month we were talking about spring cleaning while there was still some frost on the ground. Before you know it summer will be upon us! Our topic for this month is what makes ME happy. I’ll admit I wasn’t too keen on this topic. I had no clue what I’d write about that I haven’t already in our November posts. The truth of the matter for me is I suffer from depression. Not the having a bad day I need a good cry depression. The debilitating, psychiatrist prescribes meds kind of severe depression. It isn’t something I talk about, I simply cope and try to manage myself. Finding and talking about what makes me happy did not sound like a good idea, I must have been having a downward day.
As I write this post I am reveling in all of the warm weather we have been having. I hope you’ve been enjoying your spring thus far. The sunshine and warm weather always seem to perk me up. I find myself with more energy and enjoying life a bit more during spring time than the other seasons.
The warm weather and sunshine seem to shine a light on life a bit better. I find myself smiling more and in a better mood, for the most part. So what makes ME happy? Not my kids, not my blessings, but what do I enjoy for myself?.
I absolutely miss my sunny SoCal beaches but the forest where I live is filled with wonder. There are trails, rivers, mountains (ok hills for the Rocky Mountain natives), forests and majestic waterfalls all around. Hiking to a spot like this, while sweaty and sometimes exhausting, fills my happy cup every time. I look forward to more spring hikes before the tourists show up and crowd our lovely nature.
It took spending half the morning alone, outside of our house to realize I really am happy with him. It isn’t because he’s my husband and I am suppose to love him and always be happy (we are SO not always happy together). We were simply running some errands and spending time together, enjoying the beautiful weather and little town we live in. Being silly with AJ totally falls on my personal happy list.
I found this image here and how appropriate and true it is! In my car, at home, in my head… I LOVE music. Dancing, singing (not always the written lyrics), and creating music make me happy. I have always been involved in music since I was about 10 years old. I can play a handful of instruments and have been in a few choirs. I am by no means a professional but I don’t have to be in order for music to be on my happy list!
This right here says it all! It must tie into my love of music because Zumba is a blast! I’m sure part of it is also the amazing support of my gym Tribe but man it’s great! I may walk out sore and sweaty but I will have a smile on my face (or Jen might give us extra burpees next class).
I know this isn’t about my family, but part of my happiness is my family. When I am down and feel alone, forgotten and wonder what is the point. I try to remember what I have learned and become as a daughter of God. Our family has been sealed together for time and all eternity. The peace I find inside this knowledge and inside the temple helps lift my mood every time.
These are a few of my happy moments and places. For mental health it is vital to not only be grateful but to mark those things which make us happy. Find time to do something you enjoy, something which makes YOU happy. What are some things you do for yourself to find happiness in your day?
Next month we are doing a blogger interview. Would you like to be interviewed and featured in my blog? Would you like to interview a fellow blogger (doesn’t have to be me) and join us? I have questions all ready for you too! Let me know!
The world is full of advice and helpful hints, on and off line. The trouble is figuring out what is helpful and what is utter nonsense. In this mini series I have asked some fellow moms in virtual reality and some of my own close friends for their experiences and tips. Together we are talking about and helping you tackle parenthood and giving it to you straight up. Follow along for the Real Talk as we dish out to you here on my blog.
Settle in and let’s get started with part one… pregnancy. My first little tidbit applies to all of topics in this series and is this; EVERYONE has an opinion. <insert eye roll> Seriously! Complete strangers will stop you and give you advice ALL.THE.TIME. Learn the smile and nod method quickly, it will be used for many years to come.
Congratulations! You’ll hear this for the next 9-10 months. Yep, depending on how you count your pregnancy it will last from 9-10 months.
Let me break this down for you… There are 30 days in the average month, the rest have 30, except that one with 28. How many weeks are in a month? You don’t know? There’s no straight answer? When you are tracking your pregnancy it is by the week, 0-13 weeks is the first trimester, 14-26 weeks is the second trimester, and 27-40+ is your third trimester. Yes nine months and ten months become interchangeable in pregnancy. Save yourself the headache and start counting the pregnancy by weeks, much easier. If you must break it down into months, make each month 4 weeks long, hence the ten months. Let’s face it, when people ask how far along you are, the majority will not be calculating your pregnancy. You’ll know this because the next question is usually “When are you due?”
Around the middle of the 2nd trimester is when these questions begin because you have most likely begun to show your pregnancy. Yay! Baby bumps are cute and adorable, the miracle of life right there for all to see. Somehow this equates to your body suddenly becoming public property. There is something about the pregnant belly bump which says, “please rub me” in our culture… hmmm is that something to do with a Buddha belly? It is completely acceptable for you to say please don’t touch my belly. Become comfortable with speaking your mind, blame the rudeness on the hormones… it is really ok.
You will experience a plethora of emotions. I’m being serious here. I cried watching The Little Mermaid…. dead serious. I also was easily upset by the small things, like a single dish being left in the sink instead of put in the dishwasher. Yep, I admit it.
If watching sappy movies doesn’t make you cry morning sickness might. Such a deceptive name… MORNING sickness implies you will feel ill in the morning… lies! There is no defined time it will hit you… middle of the night while you’re sleeping, cleaning the house, walking around the store… it does not and can not tell time. From about the middle of my first trimester thru the rest of my pregnancy I had morning sickness. For all three of my pregnancies, especially my redheads. It didn’t matter what I did or did not eat, I was nauseous. Even taking a shower made me gag, acid reflux and stomach acid were no friend of mine.
Thankfully by the time I was pregnant with Little Man I had found a few tricks to help ease my stomach. If you find yourself having all day sickness try snacking throughout the day instead of having three big meals. Ginger, in all it’s forms, helped me immensely. Particularly ginger ale and candied ginger. You may not like the taste but it may help.
Even with morning sickness I had pregnancy cravings. They would vary pregnancy to pregnancy as well as day to day. Generally with Dawn I wanted chicken, especially fried chicken. With Little Red I craved pasta, and usually scampi or alfredo style. AJ still says I asked him to buy pickles and ice cream so I could eat them together but I don’t remember that. I did like my pickles during that pregnancy tho. This last time with Little Man it started off as sushi (I didn’t eat it, except a crunch roll here or there) and then faded away to Italian cold cut subs. With each craving I managed to sneak in healthy foods here and there like a salad or a fruit smoothie. Most importantly I drank a ton of water. Of course drinking that much water with a baby pressing on your organs means frequent trips to the bathroom…
Be prepared to lose control over your bladder. Sneezing… coughing… you’ll get a little bit of bladder leak. Kegel exercises will help strengthen those muscles, but let’s be real… buy some liners.
The last little bit of advice from me is you will lose your mind. I mean this literally. Once you are pregnant you slowly begin to lose your memory, it’s called mama brain. I misplaced an entire month one time, yep completely forgot all about March. You are your child’s life support, everything he/she gets is from you. It makes sense they will take part of your brain along with your blood and nutrients. It’s completely worth it!
Here’s a bit of advice from my gal pal Leslie, who had twins by the way!
I didn’t realize how swollen I could get! I had to wear flip flops in winter just to get through the last few months of pregnancy.
I also wasn’t expecting that I’d have my milk come in before delivery. It was just a bit of leaking, but I was very surprised.
Let’s talk Maxi dresses and skirts! Those were perfect for wearing throughout my entire pregnancy! I felt stylish, but oh so comfortable! Throw on a maxi dress and flip flops and you’re all set!
It was amazing to see the babies move in my tummy! It was an “alien” experience — but oh so wonderful! I remember worrying about the lack of movement toward the end, but that is normal as the baby (in my case, 2) run out of space.
I felt wonderful during pregnancy! My hair was more shiny, my skin was superb and I felt emotionally so very happy! Getting to the point of motherhood was a big hill to climb, so I think I was more forgiving of all the aches and pains.
Stretch marks…none of mine showed up until the 8th month. Then they just seemed to show up overnight. I was super careful about lotions — didn’t want any toxins; so just be aware.
Food! I ate whatever I wanted. I didn’t gain much weight, so I decided to just eat what felt right. Your body will have cravings, just balance them out with good food choices. I ate something raw with every meal and then ate that brownie if I wanted it!
I felt exponentially better when I stayed hydrated; very important.
My baby sister Elizabeth is the most recent first time mama I know and she has some great advice to share already!
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep
Forgive your husband because he just doesn’t get it. He does his best. Be patient with him. And really when he says something stupid…. just forgive him.
Save your money! Don’t buy expensive stretch mark cream. Use coconut oil ALLLLL over your belly every single day. I did and I didn’t get any stretch marks.
Enjoy every second. It goes by quick. You feel like you have been pregnant for years, but once it’s over, it feels like it just flew by.
Pregnancy advice quick view
full term pregnancy is 9-10 months, 40 weeks = 10 months, 4 weeks each
EVERYONE has an opinion
“How far along are you?” and “When are you due?” are interchangeable, sometimes used together, questions.
Your baby bump will somehow become “public property”.
Hormones will mess you up, emotionally and physically.
Stretch marks can be prevented
Drink lots of water
Find comfy clothes, maxi skirts and dresses are great
Take care of yourself
Cravings are normal and your body’s way of communicating
Pregnancy brain is real and will turn into mama brain.
Pregnancy is a life and body changing wonderful experience
Sleep is important
Trust your body
Your bladder will leak… no matter how often you use the bathroom
Love your significant other… and yourself!
I hope you’ve learned a few things, laughed a little (oops… hope you have a liner on), and found some helpful advice in our real talk. Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to add? Share with us. This is part 1 of the mini series. Part 2 will be about labor and delivery. If you’d like to contribute your tips for any part of this mini series, let’s talk!