Christmas Blog Swap 2014 & Lunch with Lindsey

One of the best things about writing a blog is meeting friends. I consider myself very lucky to have made some great local friends from blogging. Lindsey at A Running Tale is one of those friends. ;) So when I got her in the Christmas Blog Swap, I was super excited because it was a perfect excuse to meet up for lunch and exchange our ornaments.

We met up at 50 West Bistro, a new-er Red Deer restaurant that I believe is locally owned? Regardless, they have delicious food. I ordered the Chili-Lime Chicken Caesar Wrap and the Mediterranean Potato Salad. I am usually VERY picky about my meat, and so I like to inspect it before I eat it to cut off any questionable pieces. This is tricky to do when the meat is wrapped up in a tortilla, but I didn’t have to worry about it because 50 West gave me gristle-free meat that was delish. And the Potato Salad? Well that was YUMMY. I love warm potato salad, and this one had diced tomatoes and onions and Parmesan cheese on top, and NO olives, which of course is a good thing.

Okay enough about lunch! On to the good stuff (the ornament and gift!). Lindsey outdid herself with the 2 ornaments she selected for my tree. She picked out a beautiful little angel with a pink dress (for little Daughter) and a “Silent Night” ornament with a snowflake. Silent Night – get it? Cause I won’t be having many more of those, and none when little Daughter arrives. Haha :) Love the choices! And I will enjoying telling the story to her one day when we are decorating the tree.

IMAG00271Lindsey also spoiled me with 2 of my favorite things – Dark Chocolate from Bernard Callebaut, and a Starbucks Gift Card! We actually ended up getting each other Starbucks Cards, haha we have similar tastes :) And to top it all off she gave little Daughter her first baby gift! Towels, Wash Clothes, Bath Toys, Live Clean Baby Soap and Diaper Cream! So awesome because these were all things I hadn’t even thought of getting yet! Little girl is a lucky one!! :D

So happy I was able to participate in the Blog Swap again this year! I love being introduced to new Canadian Bloggers and I love seeing all the ornaments that get selected each year.

Why I’m a Horrible Prenatal Yogi … And Why That’s Okay

I had grand intentions. I really did. I was going to keep up my Yogi lifestyle, breaking out my mat for daily asana and pranayama. I felt great with my sequencing and flow post Yandara. I was feelin’ that Yogi-High.

And then the first trimester sickness hit. And all that intention went to hell. I went to yoga once during my first trimester. And the only real reason I went was because I wanted to sign up for Prenatal classes before they filled up. I signed up for the Wednesday evening class, and then closer it got, the more I dreaded it because of how sick I was. Luckily, I started taking Diclectin the week before class started, and it worked! So I went to my first class, and at 13 weeks, surrounded by all the soon-to-be-mama’s who had beautiful round belly’s, I was suddenly really self conscious. I was just super bloated and fluffy looking. I could barely carry on any type of vinyasa because I got so out of breath, and chaturanga? Haha, think again.

Not to mention the absolute exhaustion I was still feeling. Add on a couple night shifts and teaching spin twice a week and the next week I knew I needed to take an evening of rest instead.

I could make up more excuses. We went to Germany, I had other things planned, I was really tired, I didn’t want to take the drive in to RD from Blackfalds. Yup, I thought of them all. But really, my heart just wasn’t in it.

I signed up for Back to Back sessions, and after only making it twice to the first 8 week session, I was READY to commit to the 7 week session. I set an alarm in my phone to encourage me to go, and when it went off I got dressed up in the only exercise clothes that still fit and I headed into RD on that -25 evening. Only to find out I had the wrong time. And I was 45 minutes late to an hour class.

That was 3 weeks ago and I haven’t attempted to go back.

Why? I mean, it IS easy enough to put on comfy clothes and drive the 20 minutes to the studio. I dutifully did it for months, almost every day, from January until May.

The only GOOD reasoning I have is that my body demanded (and is still demanding) rest. I teach spin classes twice a week, and I have to bring my A-game to those because I am the one leading the class. I can’t, and don’t slack off when I am there. I walk my dogs 4-5 times a week for up to an hour. They need the exercise, and I’d feel guilty if I withheld it from them. So prenatal yoga, and any yoga for that matter, fell to the wayside and dropped down on my list of priorities.

Remember my word of the Year? Flexibility. And while I am still working on all of these goals, the over arching theme is fluidity, being less strict with myself and honoring what my body and my mind truly need.

And that is why I am a currently a shitty Yogi in the Physical Sense, but a very much improved Yogi in the philosophical sense.

Because Yoga to me is to be present, focusing on my family and my dogs and hunkering down rather than being go-go-go, to breathe, even if that means huffing and puffing up 3 flights of stairs to get to the spin bikes, and to find inner peace and harmony, which right now looks like 2 Dark Chocolate Justin’s PB Cups and a Hot Bubble Bath.

One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, my body will crave asana. One day, when I am no longer pregnant, it will be safe for me to practice headstand and handstand. One day, but not today.

Holiday Traditions

I love the Christmas Season and the Holiday Traditions it brings along with it. Matthias and I only have a few traditions so far, but I am sure we will expand the list when little Daughter comes along! I know it will be a few years still until she “gets” Christmas, but I still plan on bringing out #ALLTHEHOLIDAYSPIRIT next year!

Traditions We Already Do:

  • Exchange Stockings – In years past, Matthias and I have just made lists of big and expensive things we have wanted, which is silly because we would put a price range on our spending and then make sure we were even, when really, we could just buy the big things for ourselves. Last year we exchanged stockings only, and it was so fun! We bought each other lots of little things and only gave a few ideas, so our (read: his) creativity really shone through with the gift choices. We are exchanging stockings again this year, and I think we will continue with that being our primary mode of Christmas Gift Giving for each other in years to come.
  • Eggnog French Toast – This will be the third year that we have Overnight Eggnog French Toast on Christmas Morning. SO delish!
  • Christmas Lights – I am definitely the one that nags Matthias to put these up, but I love Christmas Lights! Ours haven’t worked out so great this year (we installed plastic clips in the summer and like half of them have broken off from the cold weather), so next summer I am REALLY going to nag him to fix it all up so that we can have a decent looking Christmas House next year. It doesn’t help that I am in secret competition with our neighbors over, well, everything (flowers in the summer and lights in the winter haha), but alas, they are winning this year.

Traditions I am Looking forward to adding:

  • Decorating the Tree with little Daughter – duh.
  • Santa pictures – I secretly hope she will be a screamer and hate every minute of it. Those pictures are SO priceless.
  • Christmas Cards!!

Have you heard of Minted.com? Minted offers cards, stationary, notebooks, invitations, fabric, interior decor, art, and literally, SO many more products. They call themselves a “Design Marketplace” which is a fancy term for including every day artists to be noticed and have their products sold. Everything they sell is backed by an awesome 100% satisfaction guarantee. Another cool feature? They send you a print of what your final product will look like (over email) that has been reviewed by an editor, for you to check one more time before the order goes through. There goes that pit-in-the-stomach feeling that MAYBE you made a mistake on your spelling before the order gets processed and shipped to you! What a relief.

So yes, I am so excited to dress little Daughter up, put reindeer horns on all three dogs, and attempt to get a good family picture with everyone looking at the camera next year to send out as a holiday card. Dreaming big? Maybe. But one can hope!

I am so excited about next-year-cards, that I have been searching the Minted.com site for cards this year that I love.

What I love so much about Minted.com is that EVERYTHING is customizable. The font, the colors, the shape of the cards, the paper they print it on, and the envelope inserts. Heck, if you know the addresses of where you’re sending the cards they will even print that on the envelopes for you!

   

I can’t wait to order Birth Announcements, Shower Invites & Thank You’s, and Next-Year-Christmas Cards from Minted.

**In exchange for my review of Minted.com Holiday Cards I was offered a credit for my own personal use. Whats funny, is that I had already started a shopping cart on the website before even being contacted! As always, all opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend a site that I didn’t think was high quality and super awesome.**

Four Survey

I saw this on a few blogs and after seeing it over on Becky’s Blog, I thought I would join in on the fun!

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  • Aim
  • Night Hawk
  • Brat
  • Love
2. Four jobs I have had:
  • Registered Nurse
  • Spin Instructor
  • Dance Teacher
  • Starbucks Barista

3. Four movies I have watched more than once:

  • Forks Over Knives
  • The Holiday (my favorite Christmas movie!)
  • Knotting Hill
  • Forty Year Old Virgin
4. Four Books I recommend:
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Brain on Fire
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough?
  • The China Study

5. Four places I have lived:

  • Toronto
  • Calgary
  • Dawson Creek
  • Grande Prairie
6. Four Places I have been:
  • Germany
  • London
  • Mexico
  • Las Vegas
7. Four places I would rather be right now:
  • Mexico (11 days!)
  • Las Vegas
  • A Spa (for a massage!)
  • Yandara
8. Four things I don’t eat:
  • Kale (right now, haha it doesn’t agree with my pregnancy)
  • Bacon
  • Steak
  • Most Seafood
9. Four of my favourite foods:
  • Banana’s
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Yogurt
10. Four TV Shows I watch:
  • The Knick
  • Downton Abbey
  • American Horror Story
  • Mad Men
11. Four things I am looking forward to next year:
  • Having a BABY
  • Mud Hero & Returning to Running!
  • A YEAR OF MATERNITY LEAVE
  • My 10 Year Anniversary with Matthias :)
12. Four things I am always saying:
  • BATTEEE (haha, what I call Matthias)
  • Love You
  • I’m Tired
  • The Baby is Awake
13. Tag 4 people

My (disoragnized) thoughts on Pregnancy.

I am happy to report that since getting the Nausea and Vomiting under control at 13 weeks I have not had another episode of throwing up! I do still get nauseous when I try to cut down the diclectin from 1 tab twice a day to 1 tab daily. So for now, I will keep taking it.

It took a few weeks, but my appetite for a variety of food is back and in full swing. I still don’t like the following things: Spinach, Kale, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Edamame. But everything else is a go! I can eat salads, soups, sandwiches, chocolate, you name it ;) I also am enjoying cooking again, which is a relief on both my bank account and the scale. I don’t weigh myself, and I know I have gained weight in my arms, thighs, butt, boobs, face, and belly (obvi), but I feel like since I have started eating back in my old semi-healthy ways that the weight gain has substantially slowed (which is good).

There is nothing like pregnancy to really make you aware of what your ingesting. I’ve found this baby loves tea, ham, and cheese. Weird. The first trimester was all about the “Three B’s” haha – Beefaroni, Bagels, and Blizzards. I’ve also found that no negative feelings have come up for my body, or my body image, or how I am eating. I am simply taking it as it comes, and realizing that it is not permanent and in the future if I wish to lose the weight I can and in a healthy way.

I see all these Mom’s on Instagram who are like OMG-I-NEED-TO-GET-TO-PRE-BABY-WEIGHT-RIGHT-NOW. It’s a bit disheartening to see them focusing on being so OMGHEALTHY. I don’t think I am going to be one of them, at least not at first. I know how important exercise and eating healthy is to my well-being, but I am not going to give up precious newborn time to make sure I am getting in crazy workouts every day and restricting my calories to the point where my breast milk dries up. #NotWorthIt

I’m undecided if I am going to go back to being a vegetarian post-pregnancy. Some days it sounds like a good idea and some days I just want to be more of a flexitarian and eat meat once in a while. Right now I am eating meat probably every 2 days. It’s usually chicken. I am still very picky about my meat though and I will spit it out or cut around the fat if I see/taste any.

My boobs are gigantic. Like woah. I had to buy a bra extender because I think my ribcage has expanded past the 36in DD’s I have. At least that’s what I am telling myself. Fun fact: I have colostrum! Every few weeks I would try to hand express some, not for very long, just a squeeze here and there, and last week I got some out! That makes me super happy. Although after I got it out I immediately thought I was going to send myself into pre-term labor and vowed to not do it again. Did you know nipple stimulation is one of the only proven natural ways to induce labor? I plan to start regularly hand expressing at 38 weeks and saving that gold until baby comes. Another fun fact: Your body will produce colostrum until after the placenta detaches, so you don’t need to worry about “running out” or having it turn into fore-milk and hind-milk.

I definitely look more chubby than pregnant at the moment, but when I feel my uterus it feels massive. Oh man, what am I going to say in another 4 months?!

I have done well with my exercise. Walking probably 4-5 times a week and then teaching spin twice a week. I’d like to add some light strength training in for my legs and arms so I am considering starting to do a Jillian Michaels DVD 3 times a week with light weights.

I will be honest…. I am sick of people telling me “You look great!” I know it is just people being polite because at this point, I know I don’t look great. I look okay, don’t get me wrong, and I 100% love my body for doing the coolest thing it’s ever done by building a baby, but this body doesn’t look great. It looks a bit tired and soft.

I resigned from my position in maternity. Nights were killing me. I was such a lazy piece when I would work them. And I never slept well during the day, usually 3.5-5 hours max. I would be thanking god if I got 6 hours and I have NEVER slept more than that. So I am going to do the casual thing until my maternity leave! Between psych, the remand, and maternity I will hopefully be able to get enough shifts to make the max for mat leave.

I always thought I would be the mom to go back to work when maternity leave was over, hence why I was so focused on getting a position. But after some realistic talks with Matthias about his job (he works out-of-town), and the lack of child care coverage for shift workers, I have decided to just be casual when I go back to work. I will hopefully work a few shifts when Matthias is on his days off, otherwise I will stay at home with little baby when he is working. It will be cheaper that way, and I don’t have a ton of family that can help out and watch the baby when I am doing crazy things like working nights!

I have another ultrasound tomorrow. Little baby was running a marathon in my belly last time and they couldn’t get a good view of everything! I consider myself lucky because little baby was also being a little shit and kept her foot right in the way of seeing her gender for 100% certainty. The tech did say it was 60% chance a girl… so we went with that and now she has a name and all that fun stuff. If I find out it’s actually a boy I will be SOOOOO shocked.

I wonder if my dogs know or get a sense of what is happening? I thought it would be more obvious, that they would somehow magically tell me they knew I was pregnant, but nope. They seem oblivious.

I live for baby kicks and movement. Feeling those is my favorite part of my day <3