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Health Life Lately

I Haven’t Written in a While (word vomit)

I had grand plans of writing at least once a week once quarantine began, but I haven’t. I think it would be good for my soul and all that if I did but for some reason, it’s easier to just not.

Today is day 41. Since then, I’ve left my house for some walks (which I have since traded in for scenic treadmill walks) and 2 doctor’s appointments. Groceries have been delivered, either by my gracious mother, my brother-in-law or the ever lovely Instacart.

I am grateful that we live in a comfortable home, that makes quarantine not so bad at all. I am grateful for a job that I can continue to do remotely (especially during the third trimester). I am grateful to be quarantined with someone I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with. I am grateful for my health, the health of my family, and the health of our baby.

While I am grateful for all these things, I am beginning to feel a bit cooped up. And that’s okay. I can be grateful and frustrated simultaneously. I wish I knew when it would be safe to go get breakfast with a friend or go for a walk in my neighborhood without anxiety. I wish I had no worries about what the world will look like when our baby decides to make her appearance. I wish I knew a lot of things.

In the meantime, I will take it day by day. I will follow the news (but not too closely). I will continue to connect with the people I care about through FaceTime and messages. I will soak in the extra time I get to spend with my husband, just the two of us. It’s a special treat almost, before our baby’s arrival. I will continue to reflect on all the goodness there is in life.

When this is over, I will try to remember how this period of time was and not take for granted being able to hug my dad or see my friends. While this period of time is rough for some, it’s also a blessing in disguise. It’s allowed me to slow down, to rest. We don’t get a lot of time for that, and when we do, we often feel guilt. I am loving being able to leisurely read a book in the morning, or chat with my husband. My daily naps have become a highlight of my day. Taking is slow is just so damn nice. I hope to continue some of this slowness when the world is back to “normal.”

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Life Lately Pregnancy Thoughts Uncategorized

Quarantine Day 1 Minute by Minute Updates of an Extraordinarily Busy Lady

I am extremely grateful that I live in a state that recognized that schools are a breeding ground for germs and closed us down for the next two weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be staying at home, except for walks outside (don’t worry – I live in an area where no one takes walks outside so social isolation is easy). I thought it would be amusing to do a play by play of how my first day of quarantine went. Read on ya’ll!

8:30am – Wake up startled that I’m late for my first period class. Calm the feck down and lay in bed for a while.

9:10am – Haul myself downstairs (hauling is not an understatement – I am 27 weeks pregnant). Greet darling husband, who happens to work from home. After a few minutes, he exclaims that “this is going to be a long two weeks.”

9:30am – Wrestle my duvet into the duvet cover. Have to take several breaks because my heart rate is too high. Have a thought that a duvet stuffing class would make an excellent cardio class. Will come back to this idea when the crisis is over.

9:40am – Realize I’d be a terrible housewife.

10:00am – Finish folding the laundry that I’ve been putting off folding for the last three weeks and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. (See thoughts from 9:40am).

10:30am – Eat some dope breakfast tacos (shout out to Siete for making those yummy grain-free tortillas) and finish reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb. I feel like a God damn scholar. Decide that after the quarantine, I will come out much more intelligent.

11:00am – Sit down to get some work done. Procrastinate by Googling “coronavirus.” Learn nothing new.

11:30am – Actually start working. At this point, I am convinced that I would not only be a terrible housewife, but also a terrible WFH employee.

11:35am – Get distracted from work and start writing this blog out.

11:45am – Get back to work.

12:30pm – After a solid 45 minutes of intense work, I take a break to watch the new Bert Kreischer special. Laugh a lot. You should go watch it.

1:30pm – Decide to go take a nap.

1:31pm – Decide that before I take said nap, I should eat a bowl of oatmeal so as to sleep better, like a baby.

1:35pm – Eat a bowl of oatmeal, with some bananas and a spoonful of peanut butter. Say “yum”! Whilst eating, the mail arrives, including a massive bag of maternity clothes. Realize I will not have to wear real clothing for at least several weeks.

2:00pm – Take my well deserved nap.

3:00pm – Wake up from nap and go for a leisurely 2-mile walk with my husband. Get spooked by how quiet the neighborhood is.

4:00pm – Do a light workout with kettlebells. Before doing so, read the news that I obsessively refresh. 55 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, and the first death.

4:30pm – After exerting so much energy today, decide to make dinner. Tonight is super fancy – kale a la chicken nuggets. Leave my pregnant taste buds alone bruh.

5:00pm – Sit down to watch an episode of Sex Education, while eating my super fancy dinner.

6:00pm – Actually sit down to do some work for the first time all day. Get confused about how so much time has passed, and so little productivity has happened.

7:30pm – Get ready for bed. Yes, I start to get ready for bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm. I like sleep. A LOT.

And that, folks, is how my first day of quarantine went.

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Uncategorized

In My Feelings, a la Drake

I’ve always seen self care as a bougie massage, a fancy workout class or a face mask. I never thought there would be the day where self care was a nap and a shower, but I guess this is part of transforming into a mother. Today, with my husband’s guidance, I took an hour long nap and a hot shower, and I swear I feel like a new woman.

My feelings have been all over the place lately. I have great days, shit days and okay days. Last week, I had a series of shit days that made me question if I would ever see a great or okay day again. It hit me hard. I spent a lot of time crying and wallowing. I felt fat, useless and exhausted. I felt scared and anxious about the future. I feared that I would never be Jeanette again, that I would just be mom.

Thankfully, I have an incredible husband who has been patient as hell through the last six months of pregnancy. He listened to my every cry, reminded me that my body is working it’s ass off to grow this baby, and helped me to get myself out of that slump.

I know that that was probably not my last slump, but it feels good as hell to be out of it. I would describe it as that feeling when you can breathe again after having a stuffed nose for a week. It’s heavenly.

Becoming a mom is not how it looks on TV – a perfectly round tummy, a great self esteem and boundless energy. The truth is that pregnancy is a body that changes constantly. Pregnancy is having to catch your breath after going up a flight of stair. It’s questioning whether or not you have what it takes to be the mom of your dreams. It’s looking in a mirror and missing the “old” you.

While that is depressing AF, pregnancy is also the knowledge that your body has done something absolutely incredible in growing another human being. It’s the feeling of having your hand on your tummy and feeling your baby kick. It’s knowing that you, along with the person you love and value most in this world, have created life together.

This last week I’ve been focusing on taking care of myself, whether that be a hot shower and clean hair or a fun workout class. As frustrating as pregnancy can be, I’m amazed on a daily basis by what our bodies can do. I’m so grateful for a body that is able to move, support me and my baby.

Pregnancy and Eating Disorders

I’m anorexic. I may not look it anymore but anorexia doesn’t leave. It’s kind of like a leak in your house… at it’s peak, it was flooding my house. Now, it’s more of a moist stain. It has its ebbs and flows.

Thankfully, I have a much healthier relationship with food and my body image these days. Thankfully, despite the damage I did to my body as a teenager, I was able to get pregnant. That was one of my biggest fears as I got older. I don’t know how I would have been able to forgive myself if I had been the cause of my own infertility. I’m grateful I never had to deal with that.

I’m pregnant now, and in my fifth month. It’s been a rough ride for me, emotionally (physically too but that’s to be expected). It’s easier now that I’m visibly pregnant, but at the beginning, when it was just bloat, ideas of restriction flew through my mind. I had days where I cried about how I looked. Vain, I know. It was difficult to give up a workout I truly loved (CorePower – I’ll be back for you soon) and be pretty inactive my first trimester. It was hard to see my pants tighten, and my boobs get bigger.

What’s helped me cope? Obviously, knowing that I am growing and nourishing my baby helps. Being pregnant has made me think not just about how I look, but how I feel. If I eat well and exercise often, I know my baby will be better off. If I restrict and overexercise, I’ll be hurting not just me, but my lil babe.

Being active has helped tremendously. After my first trimester ended and I was feeling better, I was able to take daily walks or go to yoga classes. Going to pre-natal classes has allowed me to surround myself with women who are in the same boat. Moving has allowed me to truly connect with my changing body, and appreciate the craziness that is pregnancy. It’s mind blowing that my body is able to support not just me, but my little one.

Having a support system has been essential. My husband is my rock, and I am so grateful for him. I know it must be silly to see me cry because I’m getting more “pregnant” but he gets it. He reminds me often that my job right now is to grow our baby. My friends have been great too. If you don’t have a dope ass husband or amazing friends, I suggest you get some (easier said than done, obvi).

I have good days, and I have bad days. My anorexia will always be there, and I recognize that. In four months time, my daughter will be here and that is inspiring me to tackle my problems head on. I won’t deny that I have issues. They make me who I am. I will work every damn day to be a great example for my daughter though. I want her to grow up knowing that she is a strong, bad-ass woman. I want her to know that her worth is beyond the scale. In order for her to believe that, I have to believe that too.

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Six Things Saturday

Six Things Saturday #1

I used to do Five Things Friday, but I’m lazy so Fridays are pretty damn unproductive. So… here is Six Things Saturday!

#1. Chocti!

This stuff is GOLDEN! It’s made of ghee, dates and cacao and freaking delicious. I spread some on top of a paleo English muffin and it hit the damn spot.

#2. Cilka’s Journey!

This is the follow up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I am digging it. I’ve been reading it in the morning and have really enjoyed it so far. Holocaust books have been my thing lately, as morbid as it sounds.

#3. VapoShowers!

Being pregnant and sick is the absolute worst. I had a cold for about 11 days and was miserable. Vick’s came in and saved me (at least momentarily). You drop these into the shower and the hot water makes the air smell like Vick’s. 10 out of 10, would suggest.

#4. Ugly pictures, delicious tacos

I finally jumped on the trend train and tried Siete brand paleo tortillas and they have been a game changer. I’ve been loving them as breakfast tacos, with eggs, bacon and avocado! Crisp them on the stove for a few seconds and enjoy!

#5. Ugly picture, cute swaddles!

I’m starting to buy things for Baby M and one of the first things I bought was this set of swaddles (and burp clothes). I love nice things, but I love a great deal even more. I bought this set of Aden + Anais swaddles off of Facebook Marketplace for $10! What a steal – each of these blankets retail for $16. Excited to wrap Baby M in them!

#6. Nursery theme!

We also chose a nursery theme and I’m SO excited to get to work on it. So far, I have this pillow, a quilt and some sheets. Anyone know what the theme is based on this quote?!

My Favorite Thing About Pregnancy…

I’m 17 weeks pregnant now, and it’s pretty damn obvious. My favorite thing to do at the moment is have people (whom I don’t know) ask me when I’m due. When they ask, I tell them I’m not, with a straight face. Seeing their reactions is the absolute best and brings me more amusement than it should! Who said pregnant ladies can’t have any fun?

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Uncategorized

2019: A Year in Review

2019 – damn were you a year. Like everyone else on the planet, there were highs and lows and days that just felt fine. 2019 brought me lessons, laughter and my fair share of tears. 2019 brought me travel and adventure with the people I care about. So before 2019 melts into the other years, I want to reflect on what happened and what I learned.

Travel

If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably understand the role that travel plays in my life. It’s always been important to me, but it’s importance grew during my first two years of teaching. I wasn’t able to find much joy in my day to day life, so I escaped by planning trips. Maybe it’s my vice or my coping mechanism, but honestly, I’m okay with that. 2019 was a travel heavy year for me.

In January, my husband and I wrapped up our road trip through Texas, during which we learned that pick-up trucks take a LOT of gas and that creative pursuits are worth spending time on. This year also brought me to New Orleans with one of my best friends, where I saw my first Banksy piece and binge watched too much Yummy Mummies.

Studio Be in New Orleans
Obligatory beignets in New Orleans

I had two trips out to Denver to see another best friend of mine, one of which had me gambling for the first time (I lost a whole $10). The other trip brought me to New Mexico to see the hot air balloon festival, which absolutely blew my mind.

The hot air balloon festival in New Mexico

For spring break, my husband and I ventured to Italy, where we ate some delicious charcuterie boards, but were overall not that impressed. We did get some dope matching tracksuits and made some pasta from scratch though!

Vintage tracksuits, vintage building (!)
Pasta making classes

During the summer, we traveled to Singapore, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Of those places, New Zealand is the spot that truly took my breath away. As my husband says, cities are cities are cities. New Zealand, however, had nature that we don’t get to see very often.

The black sand beaches of New Zealand
Marina Sand Bay, Singapore
Kawaii photo in Japan

I rounded out the year with a trip to Spain with my mom. It was great to be able to spend quality time with her, especially as I grow older and life gets busier. While we did get on each others nerves, it was a trip that I will hold dear to my heart.

Mama y yo in Barcelona

Work

2019 was the year that I finished my first year of teaching outside of Teach for America. It was the first year I didn’t hate what I did. When I decided to teach for a third year, I was nervous. What if it wasn’t where I was teaching that I hated, but just teaching in general? Thankfully, I discovered that I love teaching. I love working with kids and seeing their excitement when things click for them. I finally can say that I love what I do. I am so grateful for that – how many people can claim the same for their jobs?

My first day of my fourth year

I was unsure if teaching was the right path for me, so I completed a fellowship on career choice this spring. While a lot of paths seem interesting to me, the fellowship reinforced my decision to stay in the classroom, at least for now. It was great for me to be able to have dedicated time and space to really think out my career plan. To be honest, I don’t have much of a “plan” at the moment. All I know is that I am happy teaching right now, so happy I will remain!

The fellowship I was so damn grateful for

2019 was also the year that I bit the bullet and got my real estate license. My husband had been encouraging me to get it for quite some time, and I finally sat down and did the damn thing. Working with real estate on the side allowed me to work skills that I don’t generally have to work while teaching – like talking to adults! While I didn’t do much with it this year, I look forward to what kind of endeavors it brings in the future.

Relationships

The older I get, the more important quality relationships mean to me. This year, my husband and I celebrate four years of marriage and five years of being together. I would say that this year brought us so much closer to one another, through the hard times and the good times. Leaving 2019, I feel more confident than ever in my relationship with my husband and excited to see what the future holds for us and our growing family.

My incredible husband

In terms of friendship, I invested in the relationships that mean the most to me and drew myself back from those that did not bring me joy. The older I get, the more I realize that one or two solid friendships is all I need. If I’m not truly thrilled for a person when good things happen to them, then I know that I can’t be a true friend to them. 2019 is a year that brought me a tight circle whom I truly trust and care about.

Self-Improvement

I worked on myself a lot this year. For the first time in a long time (maybe ever), I felt comfortable in my skin. I attribute a lot of that to hot yoga. One of my friends convinced me to give it another shot and I fell in love. The fact that in one hour, I can sweat, meditate and grow stronger absolutely amazes me. The funnest aspect of yoga is watching myself improve. To see my body move into positions that it previously couldn’t made me think about how incredible the human body truly is. While I’ve had to take a break from hot yoga during the pregnancy, I am excited to head back in 2020!

My happy place
My form isn’t perfect, but damn was I proud of my body

In 2019, I also invested in my health in other ways. I (very casually) took up meditation and mantras, and found peace and relief through acupuncture. My body and mind had gone through quite a lot this year, and I am grateful that I found coping mechanisms to help me rise above it. Listening to and making music helped put my soul at ease. Books helped me get lost when I needed to escape the most. Writing played a role in my self improvement as well. While few people may read this blog, every time I post, I feel relief. Writing makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I hope to do more of it in 2020.

Cupping therapy

Overall, 2019 has been wonderful to me. I had new experiences, both good and bad. I felt low so that I could feel really high. I surrounded myself with people I love. I became a better version of myself. 2020 has a lot of changes in store for me (cough motherhood cough) and I’m excited for it all. But for now, I pay respect to what 2019 brought me. Cheers to 2019, and to 2020 vision.

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Life Lately

Life, Lately – Winter Break Edition

One of my goals for 2020 is to write more. I think I hesitate to write because I want it to be “pretty” – if I don’t have a cute photo to use as the headline, whats the point?! I want to get away from that. I feel better when I write (and ramble). Right now, I just want to do all the things that make me feel better.

As a teacher, we get two weeks off every winter which is glorious and something I count down to from the first day of school. Unfortunately, we go back a few days early this year to make up some of the days that we missed while striking. While I didn’t get my full 16 days off, I did get a nice 12 day break.

Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I had booked a trip to Sweden and Ukraine. I had to cancel that and was disappointed AF. I live to travel. I thought this break would be terribly boring without a trip. To be honest though, it has been exactly what I needed. A period of time to step back and relax. To sleep. To (unfortunately) get sick. To spend time with my family. To watch too much TV.

As I transition into this new role of motherhood that will be arriving in the next five months, I think about how my life will change. I’m sure that after baby is here, 12 days of peace, quiet and no responsibilities will feel like the best damn vacation in the world. So here I am, reflecting on the last two weeks (in picture form of course).

During break, I took care of myself. I had massage appointments (my body has been feeling rough the last few weeks), acupuncture sessions and a few yoga classes. I took walks outside to enjoy this incredible weather we’ve had the last few weeks. I let my body feel something other than pregnancy.

During break, I rediscovered this incredible food combo. I used to buy cut up fruit with chili powder outside of my college dorm often and this brought me back to that period of time. Thankfully, Trader Joes carries a chili lime seasoning that doesn’t have chemicals!

During break, I bravely ventured to Home Depot to buy a few items for my husband. I did not do so well but ya’ll, I tried! On the bright side, I did discover that Goof Off works wonders on your car when it comes to removing paint!

AND I bought this cute Carhartt hat on sale! Who knew Home Depot was so trendy?!

During break, I popped over to Lush and bought a few things. I got some shower melts which I enjoyed and the therapy massage bars that I had read about on pregnancy forums. Not a huge fan of the shower melts, but the therapy bars are incredible! I’ll be continuing to use them throughout this pregnancy!

During break, hubby and I bought a couch! We had held off on purchasing one for years, and had tried other seating arrangements instead (such as a Japanese tatami mat and 2 recliners). We bought this beauty at Costco and are pleased by our decision to follow the mainstream crowd! Movie nights are much comfier now!

During break, I got sick. Being sick while pregnant equals misery, as you aren’t allowed any of the good medicine. What would typically be a 2 day cold turned into a 5 day death bed visit. I ate my weight in pho and binge watched season one of You (which was insanely good, albeit creepy)! While being sick royally sucks, it’s also a good time to slow down, binge on media and take it easy.

While this break wasn’t what I had thought it would be, it was exactly what I needed. I spent quality time with my husband, watched a bunch of movies, relaxed and took time for myself. (Side note: I also think I felt the baby kick for the first time, which was mind blowing). That is my life, lately.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is meant to be one of the happiest periods of your life. There’s nothing like that feeling of growing a whole new human in your womb. It overpowers the nausea, sleepless nights and body pains that come with the magic.

I am happy about this pregnancy. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and I wouldn’t wish it away. But… I feel sad. There’s no reason to feel sad, but I just am. It’s that deep sadness, the kind that’s stuck in your throat and makes it hard to swallow. It’s the sadness that comes to haunt me from November until March of every year. My seasonal sadness.

I’m used to this sadness. My usual bandaid is to book a trip to a far away place with sunshine and delicious food. Unfortunately, I can’t utilize this bandaid now. My pregnancy hasn’t been easy and I would never forgive myself if something happened if I were to travel.

So I’m forced to deal with it.

It’s hard guys. I don’t know how to deal with this. I feel immense guilt for being sad while I’m pregnant. I feel guilty that I feel jealous when I see friends traveling and going to hot yoga (my two favorite things that I cannot partake in at the moment). I feel terrible when the thoughts “I hate pregnancy” cross my mind.

I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few weeks crying. Yesterday, I cried in the middle of brushing my teeth. Today, I cried at least 8 times. It’s fracking hard.

I know I’m not the first woman to deal with sadness while pregnant. I know I’m not the first to feel guilt. I’m hoping I can turn this around and figure out a new way to deal.

Today, I went out and bought a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. Clearly, I am desperate. I just needed to get that off my chest. Because maybe someone else out there is sad too, and they needed to hear that it’s okay. Because it is okay. You can be thrilled and sad at the same time. The human body is a crazy thing.

My First Post… On Pregnancy

Tah-dah! I’m pregnant. Knocked up. Bun is in THE oven (I don’t even like bread though – we’ll pretend it’s a cassava flour challah or something).

At the moment, I’m 11 weeks pregnant. I am so close to being out of the first trimester and into the safety of the second. Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot. I feel like at the end of this, the hospital should award me another Master’s degree or something. So here are my musings so far on the whole process…

  • I am exhausted.

Like exhausted beyond belief. I thought I knew what tired was. I was wrong. At the beginning, there were days where I would take 4 (FOUR!) naps! The exhaustion has gotten better, but I’m still drained. I feel like I do the bare minimum to get through the day and only look forward to sleep. As Drake said… “I only love my bed (and my mama), I’m sorry”! I’ve also found it difficult to get back to sleep after peeing in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time. I used to look at my phone to see the time, but that was a guaranteed way to get even less sleep. I still haven’t hacked this one yet, but I’ll keep you informed!

  • Food has become a foe.

I love food. Like LOVE food. Food and I have an interesting relationship that is decades old but we’ve been at peace with one another for the last year or so. Until now. I’ll make a meal, and get excited to eat it. First bite? Bleh. I can’t. My diet has been a lot of pickles, “healthy” chicken nuggets (don’t judge me), kombucha, half a cup of decaf coffee a day and whatever odds and ends I can manage.

I did find one hack though! I’ve been trying to up my collagen intake in part to help the baby grow strong, and in part to reduce stretch marks. I was trying to force collagen down via green juice (my only form of vegetables sometimes) but I was having a hard time with it. I read the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols and she had a recipe for collagen gummies. I TOTALLY FORGOT THAT GELATIN IS WHAT MAKES THOSE DELICIOUS GUMMY BEARS! So… I made a batch. 1.5 cups of 100% cherry juice mixed with 4 tablespoons of collagen over low heat, then placed into a container and in the fridge for an hour. BAM. Collagen gummies… that I can tolerate! The cherry juice is great before bed because of the natural melatonin and the sour taste helps with stomach upset so it’s a win-win-win in my book!

  • I cry. A lot.

I’ve always been pretty sensitive. I cry when I read sad books and watch a heartbreaking scene in a movie. My sensitivity has peaked though. I think I cried 8 times yesterday. None of the reasons I cried were cry worthy. Once, I cried because a restaurant was out of some food I wanted. I also cried in the fitting room when I could no longer fit into my pre-pregnancy size. It’s ridiculous and I have no clue how my husband will survive this terrible symptom.

  • My anxiety has never been this high.

Going along with being a naturally sensitive person, I am also a naturally anxious person. Anxiety for me is a double edged sword. I get what I need to get done, but I often feel shitty while doing it. I worry about the baby often. After a doctor’s appointment, I feel relief after hearing the heartbeat, but soon after, I start to worry again. Is the womb cozy enough? Does he need more blankets? Hows the temp?

Mantras have really helped. “Today, I am pregnant.” “My body is capable.” Lame stuff like that, while breathing in for a count of four, and out for a count of four have done wonders for me. Keeping my mind busy has helped too. I’ve been reading more than usual (there’s SO much information about babies out there!) I hope this anxiety settles at the next ultrasound and when we are safely out of the first trimester.

  • I am flipping excited.

Yo, I am a baby making machine. My body is changing every day and I’m noticing (so are the students in my class, however they just think I’m getting phat). I cannot wait until baby M is here! I know there will be a lot of adjustment and learning, but I am ready! Bring it on, mama nature!