Monday, October 19, 2015

A Lesson Learned From Mud, Popped Balloons, and a Cracked Lollipop

Hot chocolate and my computer. It is time to write a blog. I have so much to write about, so much to say. It's been awhile since I've put my thoughts down. They usually just float around in my head at night when I am nursing or can't sleep even though I'm exhausted. Why tonight? A couple of reasons.

One: A friend said she missed my blog. Side note: What!? People read these!?
Two: My son turns 3 in a few weeks so I wanted to post pictures.
Three: While taking his pictures, I learned a lesson. More on the lesson in a second; be patient. Let me take a sip of my hot chocolate while it is still hot and I don't have a baby attached to me. Ok...ready?

Lesson learned: My life is not Pinterest. What!? MIND. BLOWN. But seriously, it is not. I am pretty much obsessed with Pinterest. Creating cute crafts, decor, organization help, recipes, holiday ideas, etc. It is amazing the creative bones people have. I love it ALL. But it is not my life and my life is not put together in perfect little boards. You may be confused as to where I am going with this. Let me create the scene of taking my son's pictures today which made me realize to take a step back.

My son is turning three. I take his pictures every year. I look on Pinterest for ideas, then in my head become a professional photographer. Reality check: I am not a professional photographer. And my son is a toddler. Two things that already have disaster written all over it. Anyway, I decide I am going to get balloons and a lollipop(his favorite) and go down to the Missouri River to take some pictures. He loves the river so I  thought it would be the perfect scenery. A memory to keep forever. I have the vision of the bridge in the background, his cute little smile, balloons floating softly in the air. The whole Pinteresty vibe going on here in my mind. What really happened? I had a cranky, hungry 4 month old in my Tula, my son just wanting to eat the lollipop and play in mud, me trying to carry a baby, blanket, huge balloons, and my purse in the wind. Probably the windiest day in Kansas we've had so far. Seriously? It was not fun. Two other kickers? I got 6 solid balloons, two popped as soon as we parked. And the huge round son dropped it at the last step and it shattered. Awesome. As I was trying to take a few pictures, the number 3 balloon was mostly trying to attack my son or just laying on the floor because of the wind. We've been to the river for 5 minutes and I'm already sweating and getting pissed.

That's when I stopped. I took a breath. Was I really getting all worked up over balloons and a lollipop? I needed to relax and be in the moment. I told my son to take off his "fancy" clothes and just go ahead and play in the mud. The look on his face. Pure joy. He was so excited I had freed him from my desire to take the perfect pictures. But his personality is not sitting on a blanket, staring off at a river. His personality is getting dirty, playing in mud, throwing rocks, and finding random objects to explore. That is my son and what I should be capturing. Him just being himself. The balloons still weren't really cooperating, but I managed to get more pictures that will actually remind me in 20 years how he acted in real life. Knee deep in mud with a huge smile. 

That was my lesson. So, thank you wind and cracked lollipop and popped balloons. Thank you for the reminder to not compare my life to Pinterest. Be us. Don't be afraid to play in the mud. Smile at the little things. Be flexible when things aren't going your way. It was such an eye-opening experience in what seemed like such a small moment in time. It was something I needed. Of course, I will still want the cute pictures and yes, I will still be getting ideas from Pinterest. I am just going to accept that I am enough. I am a good mom. I am enough. And so are you. You are doing awesome. Stop comparing and start realizing how much you really do for yourself and others. 
Here are a few of my favorites of my son...

Here are a few from his first birthday...

Here are his second birthday pictures...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why I Became a Beachbody Coach

Number ONE reason...for myself. I just had my second baby and I am not losing the weight as easily as I did with number one. I am not happy with my body. My husband likes it. My son could care less. But I am not. No matter how many times I hear, "You look great!" and "You just had a baby!" it goes in one ear and out the other.

 Don't get me wrong, thank you for telling me those compliments, I really do appreciate them. But until I look in the mirror and see the body I want and make choices I want, those compliments are empty. Sound rude? Maybe. But it's the truth. I don't think you are lying, but it's not where I want to be with myself.

I am a mom and a wife. I take care of two tiny humans all day long. Wiping butts, cleaning snacks off the floor, cooking, laundry, hearing meltdowns...the list goes on and on. I get cuddles, I breastfeed, I read books and play legos, trains, much in one day. Not much time for myself. And I understand that. I signed up to be a wife and mom. I knew what I was getting myself into. Sharing myself with 3 other people is my life and I wouldn't change it for the world. But I can also be selfish and want to share myself with...myself.

I want to be healthy and workout. I like to try new recipes. I love to take pictures. I want to be able to set a good example for my kids by making good choices. I'm doing this for myself to be a better person. For myself. And those 3 other people I share a roof with. All four of us are my motivation.

I did not become a coach to bug people on facebook. Yes, I will post food recipes and me working out and me drinking Shakeology. But I did all of this before. This isn't something new. I post pictures and statuses all the time. I will still post pictures of my kids and of my "treats". And yes, I will have treats and cheat days. I will not be perfect.

Notice all the "I's" in my post? I'll just reiterate it's because I want to do it. I will not private message you about becoming a coach. I will post motivation memes and quotes. I will probably promote myself in some way. Even though I am on this journey for me, if it helps others...fantastic. If you want help, or recipes, or are interested in Beachbody, of course, I will help. just let me know. Come to me so I don't bother you. Sorry if the posts might get annoying. If you really hate it, unfriend or unfollow. Do what you need to do. I will understand completely.

With all that said, I am so excited to be on this journey. You can either hate it, like it, tolerate it, care less, whatever. It will not bother me one bit. Please understand my reasoning. It is a selfish one. I am still going to be the same Jennifer...maybe even a better version. Can't fault me for that, right?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's that time...

...time to get healthy, get in shape, and get back to pre-pregnancy body. 6 weeks postpartum has creeped on me! That's okay though, I am ready to like my body again. I had Jason take pictures for me so I can track the progress. Holy back fat! Thank goodness he took those because seeing that picture can me a lot of motivation.

Before I started anything I got new shoes. Because, new shoes.

My plan is a modified beachbody/shakeology with a little common sense and my own knowledge of health. Since I am breastfeeding Morgan I am hungry all the damn time. I will trade in my McDonald's and bad foods for healthy and fresh. Don't get me wrong, I will cheat and have treats from time to time. All in moderation, right?

My pre-pregnancy weight: 147
Weight at 39 weeks: 169
Weight at 6 weeks PP: 150

Here are the 6 weeks postpartum pictures. 

 Expected this ^^

 Expected this ^^

Where does back fat come from!? Eww! Do. Not. Like.

I did my first workout for the day today. It was hard. I will be sore tomorrow. Half way through my 4 sets, Morgan needed to nurse. Maybe she felt sorry for me because I was struggling? Maybe she is excited it is National Breastfeeding Week? Or she is just a chunker. 

Cheers to day 1!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Month One

It's been an entire month since we became a family of 4. And what a month it has been. We have gone from living in our house in Hawaii to hotel living in Hawaii to hotel living in Kansas and just two days away from moving into our house in Kansas. So. Much. Moving. So much moving with Nate and Morgan. And a long flight from Hawaii to Kansas. It has been exhausting. I wish I could say it has been fun, but this PCS has really taken it out of me.

I am a pessimist by nature. I think the worst is going to happen then if it goes better it is a bonus. If it goes by, I am prepared, ready, and expect it. Here are the bonus things that have happened during our crazy month...
1. Morgan came early.
2. We were able to spend and make some last minute memories with great friends in Hawaii.
3. The hotels we have been in have had 1-2 bedrooms so Nate can have more room and a place to sleep (or lack thereof).
4. The weather has been hot and sunny.
5. My car has arrived.
6. Friends have let us borrow things to make our lives way easier.
7. The Kansas hotel has free breakfast and a very good DFAC.
8. I've already been to a babywearing meeting.
9. Met a friend the first day and have friends from a past base here.
10. We found a really good BBQ place.

I've really had to stay focused on the positive because it has been extremely tiring and hard this past month. Sleep is non-existent. A total of 5 hours is a good night for me. The time change. Hotel losing our reservation then getting a pet-friendly room when we don't have pets(pet dander everywhere!). We have to pick up my car in St. Louis...4 hours away. We got the bottom of the barrel housing (slowly becoming a positive). Nate is acting up.

 Just a lot of little things. I have mom guilt. I can't give Nate as much attention and when I do he acts up which makes me mad and frustrated which makes me feel guilty for feeling that way. It's a vicious cycle. I have wife guilt. Jason and I are tag teaming the kids most of the day. All we have to talk about is moving stuff and getting settled. We used to have every night around 7-10 for us. To watch TV, a movie, talk, workout(rare), meal plan, etc. Now it is fighting with Nate to stay in bed, nursing Morgan, searching for a car for Jason, changing our address, getting cable set-up scheduled, stuffing diapers, or sleeping.

I am just ready for normalcy. I want my couch and bed. I want to sleep in the same bed as my husband. Just typing all this makes me feel more guilt and like I am being selfish. Maybe it's all the hormones? Maybe I am...selfish. But that is what I want. I know I will get it back, but everyday just seems like it is dragging.

It's ironic that time seems to be going slow, but Morgan is already a month old! What!? So everything else can go slow, but her growing up is going fast. Not fair. She is just too cute and getting big already. We don't have our scale, but I weighed myself without her then with her in the hotel workout room and she is approximately 10lbs. She is just starting to track and smile. She nurses around the clock. She loves when Nate sings her the ABC's or old MacDonald. She is not a fan of the car seat. She can still wear newborn clothes, but not for long. She has sensitive skin. Seems like she will have red hair and blue eyes.

Does this blog post even make sense? It is just a bunch of rambling. Sorry. Sleep deprivation will do this to a person. I hope this post doesn't make me seem ungrateful or unhappy. I truly have a wonderful family and I know all those frustrations listed above are just small little things. It's an adjustment for me, but I love my family. They are my world and I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't love them to the moon and back.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week One

It's officially been one week since Morgan was born. There are a lot of changes going on in our world. Not only are we transitioning from 1-2 kids, we are also in the middle of a PCS. Nate has become a big brother, and I am going through what some call the "4th trimester".

I want to celebrate Morgan's 1 week, celebrate Nate being a big brother, Jason being awesome, and me adjusting to postpartum life.

First...Morgan. She is the cutest little chunker. She eats and sleeps and poops. All. Day. Long. When she is nursing, she sounds like a Pterodactyl. She is in newborn clothes, but not for long. She loves to sleep on mommy and daddy's chest. Target was her outing at 5 days old and at 7 days old, she went to 808 Bounce to watch her big brother bounce. She had her first bath at 6 days old...didn't love it, didn't hate it. She doesn't have a sleep schedule yet, every night has been different.

Second...Big Brother Nathan. He is very loving towards her and asks where she is frequently. He will randomly kiss her on the cheek. He likes to give her his bear and blanket in the morning when he wakes up and she is still sleeping. He tries to share his toys with her, like a puzzle piece or a small car. Since he cut the umbilical cord, he asks if he can "cut it"(her stump is still attached). He really hasn't been rough with her. I think it is because we talked to him about her from the very beginning and he watched her being born. I have no doubt he will very protective over her.

Third...Myself. The 4th trimester is the first 3 months after baby is born. It's all the changes that happen to a woman's body after growing a human inside of you for almost 10 months. It's been a week and my body is changing. The first few days my uterus was still contracting. Super painful. Day 3 my milk fully came in and I was in SO much pain. I still get super engorged and pump at least twice a day to relieve some of the pain. In 7 days, just pumping twice a day for about 3 minutes, I've accumulated over 30oz of milk in my freezer. That's not counting all the milk Miss Morgan is getting. I am averaging about 3-5 hours of sleep at night and not all together. It seems like I am just taking small naps. Let's just say I'm tired, but still functioning well in my opinion. My stomach is slowly going down. I have lost about 10lbs. I still look pregnant. I still wear maternity clothes because I am in an in between size and they are more comfortable holding in that extra fat. I'm pretty pleased with how I look just 7 days after popping out a human though.

Fourth...Jason. The best daddy and husband. He celebrated his first Father's Day as a daddy of two. He was been on Nate duty so I can be on Morgan duty. He sleeps through the night so I can nap during the day. He tells me I'm sexy. He changes poopy diapers, both Nate's and Morgan's. He is handling all of our PCS arrangements from flights to hotels to rental cars to shipping and selling our cars and everything else we need to handle before we leave Hawaii. The guy never stops. Always doing something to help out. How did I get so lucky?

So that has been our last 7 days. With everything going on, I feel like we are adjusting as well as we can. Everything is falling into place and my stress levels have dropped tremendously. I can't wait to see how the next weeks go. My next goal is getting some family pictures of the four of us. We are in organized chaos. We are living our life and it is amazing. Crazy, but amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Morgan's Birth Story

Today was my due date. June 22nd, 2015. I would've been 40 weeks pregnant with little miss Morgan. She decided to come six days early. She is already on my good list because it's what I wanted for our PCS situation. So, instead of doing a 40 week bump brief, I am writing about how she entered the world.

Here is her birth story...

The day before: I never did a 39 week bump brief. That Monday, my 39 week mark, I decided to go to the zoo with Nate. I knew it would be the last time I could do it solo before Morgan arrived. A friend and I took our boys there and were there for 4-5 hours. I felt great. I wore Nate in his Tula, I was walking around perfectly fine, not a care in the world. We had a great time and we went home for nap. While Nate napped, my friend and I started planning for the night. We wanted to take our husbands out to Dave and Buster's as a Father's Day fun night, but then another friend's husband needed his appendix out. Jason and I took Nate over to her house to watch her three kids, plus Nate. I still felt normal. I wasn't tired. I was even saying how much energy I had that day and felt like she had at least another week to cook in my belly. We babysat from 4-10-ish so our friend could be with her husband. We went home, got ready for bed, and I was asleep by 11:30pm.

And it begins...
It's 1:00am. A typical time for me to wake up and pee. Nothing unusual. I'm not sure why I looked at the toilet paper, but I did and there was blood. My mucus plug. I didn't think much about it. You can lose your mucus plug and go weeks without anything happening. I went back to bed.

2:45am. I wake up again to go pee. More blood and mucus. Go lay back down. My back started to hurt when I got back in bed so I just laid there. Had to pee again 15 minutes later. More blood and mucus and a contraction.

3:00am. I start feeling more back pain and had that one contraction. I decided I should probably download a contraction timer app just in case this was the beginning or for future use. I really didn't think I was in labor at this point, just uncomfortable.

3:27am. I started timing contractions. I must have had a few painful ones to make me start timing them. I'm not really sure, I only know this exact time because I went back and checked the app.

Contractions started to get painful, mostly in my back. They were lasting 30-45 seconds and about 4 minutes apart on average. I decided to wake Jason up and just get the idea in his head that this might be baby time. All I said was i started timing contractions, they were about 5 minutes apart, I'm getting in the shower, and that he should get some rest.

It took him a minute to process, understandably, since it was 3:30 in the morning. He quietly said "OK" and rolled over. As I was getting ready to get in the shower, he walked in the bathroom. I guess he has a better sense than me because he got up and realized he shouldn't go back to sleep.

He asked me if he should pack up the car. We hadn't even installed the car seat yet! Nate was asleep and I definitely didn't want to wake him up since he was already woken up when we left our friend's house after babysitting. I told Jason to pack the car while I showered.

I was in the shower for about 20 minutes. The hot water helped ease the pain a little bit. I got out and started timing again. They were 2-3 minutes apart and as I stood naked in the bathroom, water started to trickle down my leg. Jason watched. I told him I don't know if I peed myself or if it was my water. It didn't feel like a lot. Jason decided it was time to go.

At this point it was 5am. Jason picked out some yoga pants and my Giants shirt to wear, he got Nate in the car, and we headed to the hospital. It took me about 15 minutes to get dressed and in the car.

Oh the car ride. I could hear Nate in the back seat. "Where are we going to? I awake from a nap?" And going over steel plates during a contraction sucks. Thanks, Hawaii, for your constant road construction.

We arrived at the hospital around 5:30, Jason dropped me off at the front so he could park and get Nate out. I had to walk down a hallway, up a flight of stairs(maybe 15 total), to an elevator, up 2 floors, and down another hallway. It felt like I was walking forever.

I finally made it to the triage desk. Jason and Nate had beat me there. No surprise. They had me go in the check-in room to get in a gown so they could check me and see how far dilated I was. I said I needed to pee and it took me awhile to go pee and get that gown on.

Once I got myself together and on the bed, they called in a midwife to check me out. She looked really quick, told me she wasn't going to check me because she saw hair. WTF!? So..I have no idea how far along I was. I am assuming 9cm? The nurse put in my IV to take blood. She wrote 5:50am on the tape.

Contractions freaking hurt at this point. I could hear Jason tell me to slow down my breathing or to actually breath. He was doing this while holding Nate. The plan was to have a friend take him, but it was middle of the night and she didn't get my messages. Understandable.

I think they were trying to find a labor room for me? I really don't know. I told the nurse I felt the need to push so she called the midwife back in. Sure enough, it was time. All of a sudden, around 6 people ran in, bringing in supplies to deliver her. She told me next contraction to go ahead and push. 4 pushes and Morgan was born. Just like that. Didn't even make it to a delivery room. Nate and Jason watched the whole thing. The original plan was to have Jason catch her, but he couldn't because the room was so small and he was holding Nate.

They placed her on me, we waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, then Jason and Nate, together, cut the cord. It was really amazing. Although Jason couldn't catch her, having them both cut the cord is a once in a lifetime experience. A nurse said he would take pictures of them cutting it, but them came out horrible. We don't have any other labor pictures because, again, Jason was holding Nate and it all happened so fast!

Morgan Emily Kappes. Officially a family member. Born at 6:02am, 8lbs 4.5oz, 19 1/2in. She was perfect just like her brother. Chunky little thing.

The first pictures...

Then we waited. I was taken to a recovery area until they have a room for us in the Mother/Baby unit. My friend arrived to take Nate to her house. She brought me a glazed donut and a Dr. Pepper. She knows me so well.

We finally got a room and got settled in our new home for the next at least 24 hours.

Morgan took to breastfeeding well, her brother is so excited, and we are just thrilled to have her in our family. We got discharged after about 30 hours or so and headed home to start our life as a family of four. We are complete.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bump Brief #30

Bump Brief #30: 38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks, baby is the size of a bowling ball. 
Total weight gain/loss: 168 last Monday, not sure of my weight today since the movers packed our scale. 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep:  Not going well. I am pretty exhausted by the end of the day and ca fall asleep fairly easy, but wake up multiple times during the night to pee, take tums, or to stretch my hips. 
Best moment this week: Going bowling and hiking Diamond Head! Bowling was strange, but it was so fun. Nate and his best friend had a blast. I knew I would struggle doing Diamond Head, but I am so glad I did it. It will most likely be my last hike and I wanted to push myself...and possibly this little girl out. My feet hurt a lot after. Jason was so sweet and gave me a foot massage after Nate went to bed. My hips hurt today, but hopefully it's because she is working her way down!
Preggo Problems: 1. Sleeping. If it's not one thing it's another. And the movers took our good bed. 2. Waiting. I know I still have 2 weeks and a lot can or can not happen in 2 weeks. But knowing she can come at any time really is exciting and making me anxious at the same time, especially when I am with Nate by myself. 3. Swollen feet. 
Movement: Oh yes, and she gets hiccups a lot. Movements by her don't hurt as much as Braxton hicks do. 
Food cravings: Cheeto puffs and Dr. Pepper. 
Interesting facts about baby (according to pregnancy app): 
1. She will definitely have hair, but we won't know the color until birth and it might change as she gets older.
2. Slowing shedding vernix caseosa, but some will still be present at birth.
3. 14 days until EDD! 2 more weeks!! 
Gender: Girl!! And her name is.....

Labor Signs: Still just a lot of Braxton hicks. There was a night this week I got a little scared and excited because I was woken up by 3 painful contractions, about 1 an hour. Then nothing. And nothing painful since then. So....we wait. Patiently and impatiently.  
Belly Button in or out? Out. Way out. 
Wedding rings on or off? Off. Just a fake one.
Mood: I go back and forth from being super excited to have two kids and seeing them both interact to being absolutely terrified. It changes all day everyday. I'm mostly excited. I can't to see what she looks like, even though I know she will look creepy just like Nate did. Of course I will think she is perfect, but let's be honest, newborns are kind of creepy looking. 

We are ready for her to arrive!