5 Postpartum Nuggets

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even though this was my 3rd time giving birth, i left the hospital with a few share-worthy gems from the amazing, seasoned L & D nurses who assisted us during our stay.  WHAT a job.  i am impressed and inspired by the L & D nurses every single time i see them in action!  i can imagine that there is no typical day in their world; every shift brings a new adventure. 

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as i sat up in bed to prepare to receive my epidural, i felt another contraction coming on.  i distinctly remember my nurse instructing me to just hold her hands and breathe until it passed.  well i squeezed the crap out of her hands!!!  it was the last contraction i remember enduring before the meds kicked in and i appreciated her so much for sacrificingherbody helping me through it.  whether you are a 1st time mom or pro, i hope these nuggets of info help you out too:

the more the..not so merrier :(

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the more kids you have, the more intense your uterine contractions will be while nursing. HELLO!  oh my word.  i knew to expect them as i nursed Kosi in our postpartum hospital room but whoa.  hearing one of my nurses say this confirmed that i was notcrazy.  after about a week or so, thankfully the contractions went away completely though. 

but first,

we know that as baby sucks away (especially in the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth), it aids your uterus in returning back to its normal size and position. however, if you have a full bladder before baby starts going to town, it could cause your uterus to shift and unnaturally settle to the right or left of its original position as it contracts (because your bladder is obstructing its path).  this could potentially be a problem if you plan to have more children (e.g. tilted uterus).

fiber up

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most likely you are given stool softeners during your stay at the hospital post-birth. it is extremely important to keep that going once you get home. extremely.  chug plenty of water as hydration helps to keep things moving along too. upping the fiber in your diet while in the hospital (have/add in some dark, leafy greens with every meal) and once home is crucial to keeping your digestive system running as smooth as possible as your body heals. the less processed your diet, the better.  prunes are one of my go-to natural laxatives (thx, Dad!) and a handful of them per day is golden.  although i did not tear 'down there' this round, i did have some pretty disrespectful hemorrhoids.  #whatisTMI

ouch! #thatstings

when you get back home and take that first amazing, uplifting, incredible shower (they really do make you feel THAT good), don't forget to use scent-free, alcohol-free body wash.  keep that going until you heal completely.  i cracked open one of the Johnson & Johnson baby shower gel's Kosi received for a shower gift; it was perfect and didn't irritate my lady parts.  very important! if you did tear or received stitches, a soothing sitz bath helps you heal and keeps things from getting stiff down there.

one less thing to worry about

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HAIR.  so as most of you know my hair is 100% natural now and i'm loving the versatility that comes with it!  this is the healthiest my hair has ever been and i have not one regret about my decision to finally let go of the creamy crack.  micro braids are normally my protective style of choice, but i'm loving faux locs and i'm rocking them for a second time thanks to my girl, Ogechi!  i cannot stress enough the convenience a cute, protective style is for the 3rd tri and postpartum stages.  focus on everything else; surviving those last uncomfy weeks or months of pregnancy, your new babe once he/she arrives, and should you have a visitor or three at the hospital or home, you'll be (somewhat lol) picture ready already! now all i need to do is just get some microblading done and i'll really be set, haha

if you found this helpful, let me know below and please share!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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August 6th - happy birthday, Hubs!

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i posted to IG recently that our vacation was postponed cause of the zika virus outbreak running rampant in Florida and other tropical and domestic areas (be safe, mamas) at this time.13667990_10103274819861916_3136151782235714335_o getting a glimpse of this guy or gal helped me get out of my feelings rather quickly though!  we were just gonna roll Sonny's birthday festivities right on into our trip at that... so unfortunately i was very bummed for a few days after Hubs and i decided to call it off.  i had been looking forward to our very first family vaca all summer long.  it's just not worth the risk at 6 months preggo though.  plan b? #StayCation at one of our fave places in Houston to go!  besides, we've got 1 more year to get Dego into Disney for free before he turns 3 so it's all good, haha.  he will be more aware of what is even going on by then, and i'll also have time to save a bit more so we even can stay and play longer.  just looking for the positives, as usual.  


 saturday morning, august 6th: happy birthday, papa!!

PhotoGrid_1470768529886excitedly running to give Papa his gifts!  i barely captured them in time.20160806_091302-01the love they have for this guy...it's such an incredible thing to witness. 

we are a fit family, forreals!  Sonny and i could both receive workout shoes and gear for every single birthday and be completely fine with that.20160806_180215headed to birthday breakfast! we don't eat breakfast out much at all; only everything else.  always a treat.20160806_105412-01originally i planned on going to The Breakfast Klub, but changed it up while en route.  the food is fantastic and worth the wait, but that super long line with two hangry kiddos?  nah, son.   i made a game-time decision and headed to a place i knew would be a family hit,  Barnaby's Cafe! definitely one of our breakfast faves.

20160806_110105-01hot chocolate :)  we never skimp on the whipped cream round here. 20160806_112201-01steak, eggs, and pancakes for the birthday boy,20160806_112017-01Chiso requested red velvet pancakes outta nowhere! they were delish. lol20160806_112022-01i ordered the green eggs (egg whites with spinach and cheese, chicken apple sausage, home fries); i just can't order anything else. #iaintsorry20160806_112130-01after trying to get Dego to look once i just let him be. that baby was hungry and i understood.20160806_131502-01we usually need a nap after we eat breakfast out, so  it was the perfect time to check into our room at hotel Sorella.  the last time Sonny and i stayed there, we were celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in 2011.  i was pregnant with Chiso (5) and surprised Sonny with the news that weekend!  we're back again, 2.5 kiddos later. 20160806_130053-02admiring my huuuur! my sista-friend Ogechi keeps me fly and not looking a mess!20160806_125302-01when Sonny is on vaca, Sonny is on VACA.  all he wants to do is...nothing!  so i took the boys to the pool while Sonny enjoyed a quiet birthday nap. 20160806_145728-0120160806_145345-01afterwards, we went back upstairs to freshen up.  i sent Sonny over to the Lifetime Fitness (best gym evaaaaar ;) ) City Centre spa to get a needed back massage that he enjoyed.  it only made him sleepy again though but it worked out because Dego had just began his nap in my arms.  Sonny and Dego went to nap some more while Chiso and i headed to the gym for a pre-dinner workout.20160806_171724i actually got a fantastic workout in cause Chiso was fascinated with the cardio machines and had a blast all by himself lol.  i will post our workout vid and entire workout in my next post!!20160806_195812-01loved my relaxed, dinner fit that night! those jeans were always a lil' loose in the hips on me, but  they are now the perfect size for my 6 month belly. deets below!

look... between IG stories and Snap Chat i am so done with social media some days!!  every app is basically vying for our attention and i sometimes feel like i have to be active on every single thing... and that just isn't true.  

20160807_223347we walked right across the courtyard to Ruggles Green, another game-time decision made by the birthday boy in the family's best interest.  Texas de Brazil was my first option, but the boys kept asking for pizza so... 20160806_210327-01we found a great people-watching table on the RG patio while a live 1-man-band band played Sunny 99.1 type hits on his saxophone. he was amazing!  there were kids running, playing, and dancing everywhere and the boys couldn't wait to finish their food and join them. what a seriously perfect family night. 20160806_211239-01we skipped across the courtyard from RG to Red Mango for fro-yo! the boys wanted to make Sonny a homemade birthday cake, but we weren't able to whip it up the day before we left.  so, i planned to just buy a mini one or a cupcake from Sweet, which is what i did.20160806_212029-01we thank God that everything worked right on out. cheeeese!20160806_215841-01back to the room to sing happy birthday to Papa and his candle-less cupcake!  not even room service had one we could use :(20160806_215930-01Chiso picked out a yummy s'mores cupcake.20160806_220202-01we sang and split that thing 4 ways!  we then put our jammies on and watched tv 'til we all fell asleep.20160807_092311-01next morning, breakfast time again! we headed downstairs to enjoy Sorella's beautiful continental breakfast buffet. 20160807_092604-0120160807_093008-0120160807_105612-01afterwards, more pool time for my water babies. 20160807_111444-01 20160807_112358 20160807_110936-01 20160807_105853-01 i am so honored and grateful to share and celebrate yet another birthday with Sonny and our 1st family staycation was one to remember.  happiest of birthdays, Hubs!

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#OneBigHappy Play Day + 50.00 Gymboree GC GIVEAWAY!

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this is a sponsored post on behalf of Gymboree's #OneBigHappy campaign.  we received complimentary clothing in exchange for an honest review.  all opinions are my very own, always. 

DSC_0824-02 3 words. christmas in july! they were crazy excited when i told them this bright orange box was filled with goodies just for them.  receiving mail with my name on it as a child always made me feel so special.  even if it was junk mail, haha. DSC_0830-01is summer vacation not the perfect time for a play day?!  my boys know how important getting out from in front of the TV and going outside is to me, and well, they show me daily that they’re listening.  they are constantly asking to go 'somewhere fun' and the park is usually their number one choice.  it's definitely one of their favorite past times.  i hope staying active continues to be something they enjoy doing throughout their lives. DSC_0836-01Gymboree's activewear collection, Gymgo, is made to keep up with active kids, so they basically need to live in these clothes!  by their request, i took them to one of their favorite parks to play and sport their gear.DSC_0858-01Chiso is such an accessories type of guy. the hat, the shades; he's gotta wear it all at once to complete his look. as hot as the texas summer heat is, i don't blame him!Processed with VSCOthe eye-catching, bold, bright colors stood out to me the most. matches their little rambunctious personalities perfectly!  the breathable, cool fabric is a plus as these guys sweat a ton when they play.  heck, we work up a sweat just getting in and out of the car down in texas.

Processed with VSCODego's,  "who's about to go run out there in this heat? not me." look. smart man.

PhotoGrid_1468266519001they kicked the soccer ball around for a while but then we took a much-needed water and snack break. ice cream cookie sandwiches on deck!  err, ice cream cookie soupwiches.

Processed with VSCOthat didn't stop them from sopping that ice cream up like biscuits and gravy though, LOL.Processed with VSCOdon't worry Dego, you won't be the youngest for too much longer, bud :) . alright, sugar rush kicking in! time to play some more.

PhotoGrid_1468266479204i could learn a thing or two from this kid when it comes to posing! i asked Chiso what he loved most about his Gymgo gear:  

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"i love how soft the fabric is and how cool the colors and patterns are.  i love blue so much!!"  he also loved the "Jump, Dunk, Score" tee (pictured at the very top) as basketball is one of his favorite sports to play with his Papa right now. 

meanwhile, Dego clearly came to play, not pose.

Processed with VSCO   PhotoGrid_1468266817430ok, ok, just two pics, mama, that's it! 

quality playwear that stands the test of playtime.

it's a pass from us.  with flying colors, of course ;)

-----> GIVEAWAY TIME!!! <-----

do your kiddos LOVE to play!? awesome, because you could win a 50.00 gift card to get them some of their own Gymgo Active clothing! back to school is waaay too close for comfort but this will help you prepare no doubt. one lucky reader will win, so make sure you're fully qualified to enter!  how? see the no-fuss criteria below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 you must give Gymboree a follow & Like via Instagram, and Facebook!  comment below and let me know you're done, then consider yourself qualified.  what are your favorite looks??  let me know below and good luck!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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Susan G. Komen Pink & Treat 5k #boohoo

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waaaaaaaaaah! i was looking SO forward to running in the Komen Pink and Treat 5k this past weekend but the rain and flooding in and around the houston area saturday morning said, 'HA. no.'  safety first, i know.

nevertheless,

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BOOM!

we made eeeeet! because of the selfless donations from my friends and family, we were able to reach our fundraising goal of 150.00 in just a few days!!! i am honored to be able to gift another woman with a mammogram so that she can stay abreast of what's going on in her body, pun intended!  i could not have done this without the help of these wonderful people:

Christina Lyons

Shanna

Carlena Harris

Michelle Atanu

Nathan Atanu

Ijeoma Ikechi

thank you, thank you, thank you.

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i was so ready, yall!!  had all my stuff out the night before like i usually do before a race.  Sonny found my Polar watch a few days ago (YAY) in a corner of our bedroom that Dego likes to play in. can't believe we didn't look over there sooner. it had been missing for like 2 months.

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16 month update: *waving* hellooooo separation anxiety! actually i'm waving goodbye cause it seems to be on its way out these days. hopefully.  he knows when i leave a room, enter a room, come home, etc, etc, and let's whomever is watch him know mommy is in the building. temper tantrums are beginning to come on out, and teething is on/off which makes him extremely clingy. when i take something from his little hand he isn't supposed to have, he drops to the floor and screams his little face off for a few minutes! hmph. Chiso prepped me real good for that though, so i've been expecting it.  we have awesome days, and we have those tough, draining, restless days but hey, it's all apart of this motherhood deal!

 '(24/7). once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer.'

                                             -Jody Picoult

 when i look over at him sleeping innocently in the most adorable pose in the universe....my heart immediately turns to complete mush. bananas. mashed potatoes. green peas. applesauce. mush. my spirit is renewed, my heart is softened, and my attitude is adjusted. thank God for His grace and new mercies every single day.

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i had to cancel my postpartum clients, my preggo fitness class, and i couldn't even go do my own thing and run out side. rain, rain, RAIN. everywhere. sooo i did something i haven't done on saturday morning in years.  i got right back in the bed with my boys and we all slept till noon!  we were extra hoongry when we woke up though so i made pancakes.

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i carmelized some bananas on my griddle and served them with Carey's sugar-free syrup, So Delicious #dairyfree Coco Whip, and some roasted, unsalted walnuts.


on halloween night, we headed over to my sis-in-laws to let the kids play, hang out, and eat a ton of pizza! i waited so last-minute to make a dish so i needed something crazy quick. this was the first easy, pinterest recipe i could find- 'dirt cake' w/ worms!  this recipe is older than dirt but it was fun and just what i needed.

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i combined an Immaculate Baking Company Scratch Chocolate Cake + 1 can of pure pumpkin and baked it as normal.  cooking times vary so keep an eye on your cake(s)!  using the pumpkin instead of the oil and eggs cuts down on the fat & calories, and adds a ton of fiber and moisture.  also, you can totally use brownies instead! let it cool then crumble it all up. that part was so fun!

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portion out some single serving cups and spoon a heaping serving of cake crumbles in the bottom.  use your creativity here! some people add chocolate pudding, cream cheese, cool whip, etc... i melted some semi-sweet chocolate and mixed it with lite cool whip.  i spooned some over the cake and added mini chocolate chips and a sour gummy worm.

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i topped that with more cake crumbles and another gummy worm. that's it! so many options to play with here though!  PhotoGrid_1446342624068-1hope you had a fun, safe, halloween, fit friends!

Q: WHAT were you for halloween this year!?

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my most used kitchen appliance + healthy, quick, flavorful, FRESH brussels sprouts

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pancaaaaaakes! this recipe is older than Chiso but it's a quick, healthy, goodie. dump the following into your blender. everythang!

  • 1/2 cup oat bran or oatmeal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 Chiso (4 yrs) usually asks for homemade pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal for breakfast.  i have been throwing everything on my griddle usual! it's my staple appliance cause it's just so easy and convenient.  plus the price tag was SO worth it. our previous griddle seriously lasted like 10 + years, no lie.  that's using it at least 5 times per week too!  get you one.  30 bucks!

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last week was Red Ribbon Week and the kids got to wear different things on different days to preschool.  this guy could not WAIT for thursday cause it was pajama day!! he was the only one with pajama shorts as we walked up to school, lol. we sent this pic straight to Granny.

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immediately after school, it's lunch time. kids are just like adults; if they go a few hours without eating, attitudes and tantrums pop right on up. so once home, you guessed it, i whipped my grill right back out and threw some Applegate organic uncured turkey hotdogs on there with some Nature's Own whole wheat buns.   i add some shredded colby jack to Chiso's and he is good to go.

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i got in a workout while Chi was at school and i stopped by Sprouts Farmers Market before heading to pick him up.  fresh brussels sprouts are on sale this week so that prompted me to finally put some in my cart. i have never cooked fresh sprouts before yall, only frozen! i have definitely been missing out.....

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do you see that beautiful green!? gorgeous!  i washed the sprouts, halved them first, then chopped up one yellow onion and diced a handful of turkey pepperoni. next, i coated my pan in olive oil spray,  then threw everything into my cast iron skillet on medium high heat and let it sauté for about 12-15 minutes. didn't have turkey bacon but the pepperoni was the next best thing IMO. i added a squirt of coconut aminos, cracked black pepper, and BOOM. quick, healthy, and flavorful. 20151030_163808-1

 i'm stickin' with fresh from now on. #sold20151030_163816-1

apparently balsamic vinaigrette is the key ingredient to tasty brussels sprouts!  i got several facebook and IG comments about adding a bit to my  sauté next time. duly noted! can't wait to try!  also a bit of honey is an option as well.

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the sprouts paired perfectly with our wild chipotle paprika salmon, also on sale at Sprouts this week. i baked a 2 lb fillet for 14 minutes on 450 degrees, fyi.94251daea9bbf8edba6262d02c2b9909don't be all talk and no action!  get on your grind and handle your business. actions will always speak louder than words, fit friends.

Q: how do you cook your sprouts?  what else can i throw in my skillet with them that you've tried (and love)?

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this post contains affiliate links. you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. however, ordering via my link helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff!!! thank you in advance for your support.