Tag: health


To a NICU Mama… Family

It’s been 6 months to the day since we were able to bring Maddie home from the NICU. She was there for 13 days. 13 days wondering if there was another tube in her or if she was hooked up to a different machine. 13 days hoping she would remember to breathe. 13 days wondering if she was going to ever come home.  Maddie’s NICU stay was easily the worst time in my entire life. There were times where I would sob and literally say,” She will never come home.” I lost out on a lot of things new mothers are supposed to experience. I grieved over those losses. There is nothing that hurts more than seeing your child struggle to live and not being able to help. In retrospect, 13 days isn’t very long. There are so many families that spend much more time there and my heart hurts for them. 

If you are a NICU mom, this is for you. If you are newly a NICU mom, I promise that it does get better. Right now, it’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry and it’s ok to scream. You are not alone in those actions and emotions. Eventually, this will be a memory and it will be ok.

I’ve been trying to write something about how it is to be a NICU mom for months  but I could never get out the words in the right way. I decided to abandon what was “right” and just write. Here’s what came out. 

Madalena at 1 day old.

Madalena at 1 day old.

nicu mama

You are strong.

You may have spent little to no time with your baby. If you were lucky enough to get a minute or two with her, you could tell she was struggling. If you were lucky, the first memory you have of him is his discomfort.

You spent your first night as a mother without your baby. If you were able to take him home from the hospital when you were discharged, you still wondered if he was healthy enough to be home with you. Just know that you are strong and you are enough.

You may have been one of the few who left the hospital a mother without their child. You are a warrior. You battled tears every drive you made to and from the hospital to see your child. You fought back screams every time the doctor said, “She’ll need a feeding tube” or “He’s not quite ready to come home yet.” You held your breath every time a monitor would beep. You prayed that it wasn’t your baby and that, if it was, it was a mistake.

You may have been one of the few who could have crawled into a dark corner and sobbed for hours. You may have done that. But you battled back and you made sure your daughters nursery was ready for her when she came home.

You may have been one that stayed in the hospital with her. Your days and nights were only different because of the light outside. You spent all day look at your baby, looking at her monitor, and looking back at her. You’d tell the nurses you’d sleep only to lie down and stare at the ceiling- fearing the next “ding” would mean your son needed help that you couldn’t provide.

You may have been one of the few whose “it’ll only be a couple of days” turned into “she’ll have to stay for at least one more week.”

Maybe for you that “one more week” turned into “maybe next month” or even “maybe her due date.”

Maybe “maybe her due date” turned into never at all.

Maybe you aren’t even a NICU mama yet – I pray that you never are.

No matter what kind of NICU mama you are, just remember:

You are strong. You are a fighter. And you have so many NICU mamas in your corner.

Madalena at 6 months old.

Madalena at 6 months old.


Feeling Good + Fish Tacos with Citrus Pico de Gallo and Spicy Cream Sauce Fitness / Life

This week has been a good week so far! I’ve had the chance to do my hair and makeup and spend some time out of the house which has made a world of difference in my confidence.

M had a scary episode last week where she spit up a little bit of blood. After a lot of crying (on my part) and a trip to the pediatrician, we found that she has bad reflux. I suspected reflux, but didn’t realize it was so bad that it was making her esophagus bleed! Poor baby. Monday we had a follow up appointment so I had an opportunity to get dressed and go out into the world! Moms of infants, you know how important and exciting this is! I’m still living in yoga pants, but I’ve come up with ways to dress them up to make them cuter.

me

I got the vest from Kroger- yes, the grocery store. There is a Kroger near us that is so insane! It has a clothing sections, shoes, and even a jewelry store! The shirt is from JC Penny and the yoga pants are from, of course, Target.

Yesterday was my friends birthday and I was able to get dressed up again! I didn’t get a picture of my whole outfit, but I did my makeup and I felt great! Bonus points: I did my makeup while holding a fussy baby. Mom win!

Monday night I wanted to make a healthy dinner. We’ve started using MyFitnessPal to track our food again, so I wanted to make something low calorie and protein packed! My husband loves fish tacos so I decided to whip up my own pico for some yummy fish tacos!

fish tacos mango pineapple pico

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Pico de Gallo and Spicy Cream Sauce

Servings: 4
Amount per serving: 297 calories- 37g carbs- 8g fat- 26g protein

Ingredients

For Pineapple Mango Pico de Gallo

  • 1 1/2 c chopped tomato
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 2 tbs diced jalapeno
  • 1 c. diced pinapple
  • juice of 1 mango
  • 1 tbs lime juice

For Spicy Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 c light sour cream (you could also use plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tbs jalapenos
  • dash cayenne pepper

For Tacos

  • 4 tilapia filets
  • salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray

mango pineapple pico de gallo

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine all pico ingredients. Cover and refrigerate ideally for 4 hours or longer before serving.
  2. In a blender, combine sour cream, jalapenos, and cayenne. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a skillet over medium high heat, spray your skillet and add tilapia filets. add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste and let cook 3-4 minutes per side or until fish flakes when cut into.
  4. Put fish into tortillas, spoon some spicy cream sauce on the fish, then top with pico de gallo.

These were such a hit! I love love LOVE how the pico turned out as well. It may be winter, but summer flavors are still winners in my book!

Carrie Signature


What’s Your Excuse? Fitness

During the first half of my pregnancy, I worked out a decent amount. I would go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week for an hour or so. It paled in comparison to my usual 4 to 6 times a week but I was pregnant and exhausted so I let myself take an extra day or so off. I posted pictures and updates fairly often and I remember posting one tweet that said something having to do with feeling sick and being pregnant but still working out. I hashtagged “what’s your excuse?”

Over the past few months, I’ve come to learn that I HATE that phrase.

After being put on bedrest, I wanted to work out but I couldn’t. I physically was unable and forbidden to do more than walk to the bathroom. Seriously, I was told that if I wanted to use the bathroom and shower right after, I would need to sit in the shower. Otherwise, I was told to use the bathroom, go back to bed and lay down, THEN go take a shower. I would log in to Facebook and Instagram and see posts like “35 weeks pregnant and crushing my gym session! What’s your excuse?” or “This guy has one leg/is 90 years old/has been in a wheelchair for 2 years, what’s your excuse?” These posts really hurt my feelings and, frankly, they made me feel like shit. I had an excuse. A damn good one too. But, somehow, I felt like it wasn’t enough of an excuse to not be in the gym. I missed running so much- I still do! As someone who has spent the last 4 years consistently in the gym, it was crushing to not only be unable to exercise, but see others rub my inability to exercise in my face. It really sucked.

Now, I understand the sentiment behind the phrase. It’s supposed to be motivating. A kick in the ass to people who are just lazy, right? And, sure, maybe I was emotional and that led to my feelings being hurt by these posts, but the phrase itself is judgmental. It assumes that you’re just making excuses if you’re not out there beasting a workout every day and that’s not the case. Why not just, “Hey, if I can do it, so can you!” If someone had asked me in person what my excuse was, I wonder how they would react if I’d told them. Well, my blood pressure is so high that I could end up having a seizure which could kill me and my unborn child. Is that a good enough excuse for you? It’s ridiculous.

Moving forward, I’m going to eliminate those types of phrases from my vocabulary. Not everyone has the ability to do what I can do and I don’t have the ability to do what other people do. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s just the way things are and that’s ok!

 

 


Date Night // Weekly Recap Life

It’s been one of the weirdest/best/worst weeks. Seriously!

The good: 

First and foremost, we got to see our baby and we found out we are having a little girl!  Baby has a name, but we’re keeping it under wraps for now so I’ll just call her Baby MAC (her initials- NO, her name is not Mackenzie). It was so great to see her pretty face and to hear that she’s growing just as she should be.

Secondly, it was a short week at work! I had half of Monday off and I took Tuesday off (the reasoning is on the bad side, but more on that later). The week went by relatively fast, which was great because this coming week is also a short week due to the holiday weekend! Hooray for a sort-of Summer vacation.

Third, we finished painting Baby MAC’s nursery! It took a few days, but I LOVE how it turned out! I’ll post photos of her nursery once I get some uploaded. It’ll be fun to see how the process progresses!

Lastly, I had a great date night with my husband on Friday night. More on that later!

The bad:

Well, I stayed home from work because our home was damaged after a bad storm Monday night. It thunderstorms nearly every day where we live, but I have never seen a storm this bad. Luckily the damage wasn’t significant, but it was bad enough that I had to stay home to ensure it was repaired. Not fun at all.

Also, I have had increasingly bad back pain. Baby MAC thinks my sciatic nerve is super comfy because she loves to lean against it ALL DAY LONG. I worked out 3x this week (yay!) but the last two times were cut a little short due to back pain (boo). I think I’m going to see a chiropractor soon.

Now, about date night!

Mike and I went to a local restaurant called Fire Street Foods and it was delicious! I loved the vibe of the restaurant. It had a really clean design and felt really open and modern.

fire street food

I had been craving potstickers for weeks, so we got some as an appetizer.

fire street food

 

For an entree, I got pad thai. I ate about 1/4 of it. It was a huge portion! Mike got green curry which was delicious! I’m going to get yellow curry next time.

I’m hoping to be able to keep up with working out 3 times a week. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, it’s still getting my heart rate up and keeping me active!

Carrie Signature

 


Bump Update // 19 Weeks Family

Well, friends, we are almost half way through pregnancy! 21 weeks to go! It has been a great week, overall! There have been some hiccups here and there, but I’m feeling good right now! Time for a bump update!

19 week update

How far along? 19 weeks!

Total weight gain: I actually didn’t weigh today, so I’m not sure. I’ll guest 14 pounds, +1 from last week. I could be wrong, though! I’ll make sure to weigh next week.

Maternity clothes? Yep! I’ll probably be in them post-partum too. They’re so comfy. I’ve mostly worn dresses and skirts but I recently got some really comfy linen shorts from Old Navy on sale. Love them!

Stretch marks? None yet, still!

Sleep? I’m sleep more through the night, which is good. The past couple of nights have been rough due to increasing sciatic nerve pain. It hurts to roll over.

Rings on or off? Original set, off. The replacement set is still on.

Best moment this week?  Monday! We found out that Baby C is a little GIRL!! We are so excited! She does have a name, but we’re keeping that a secret for now.

Cravings: None really. I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches though.

Symptoms: Still back pain. Heartburn has decreased but it’s still there every once in awhile.

Nutrition? Better! I’m working on making dinners more and we’ve done a good job! Things got a little out of hand during the weekend, but this week has been good!

Workouts? I went 3x last week and have gotten activity in 2x this week so far. I’ll probably go to the gym again tomorrow and maybe Saturday. I spent all day painting a wall in the nursery yesterday which is a workout for a pregnant lady.

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? This weekend!  Hopefully we can finish or make significant progress on the rest! I painted the hardest wall already (lots of corners/doors) so the rest of the walls shouldn’t take long with 2 people painting them.

Carrie Signature


18 Week Bump Update // Thoughts on Weight Gain Family

Happy hump day!

Across the internet, there’s a “thing” for pregnant women called “Hump Day Bump Day.” Wednesdays are the days pregnant ladies post their bump photos. Wednesday also happens to be the day that my weeks start over! Now that I’m almost halfway through pregnancy (what?!), I want to start participating in Hump Day Bump Day (HDBD) on the blog. I’ll also use it as a weekly update to let yall in on what’s been going on with me in general! Here’s this week’s bump update!

 

How far along? 18 weeks!

Total weight gain: 13 pounds (I don’t even want to talk about it– but I will below)

Maternity clothes? Yep! Maternity pants are super comfy. I have mostly been wearing a lot of maxi skirts and dresses which haven’t been maternity, though.

Stretch marks? None yet!

Sleep? I’m functioning off less sleep than I was in the first trimester, which is great. Sleep is tough, though. Between sciatic nerve pain and needing to use the bathroom 2-4x a night, my sleep is interrupted.

Rings on or off? On, but it’s a replacement set. My hands are the only things on my body that swell right now. I’m pretty sure it’s the heat.

Best moment this week?  Yesterday! We heard the baby’s heartbeat again. It was strong and high due to a lot of movement. This baby is very active in the morning!

Cravings: None really. I’m glad my food aversions have gone away. I’m more the type to really want something that is mentioned rather than crave something random. Usually that feeling goes away after a little while!

Symptoms: Back pain is my biggest symptom right now. If I walk/stand for a long time my lower back starts to hurt and I get pretty nasty sciatic pain at the end of the day. I also have some pretty killer acid reflux. Hooray!

Nutrition? Definitely could be better! That’s something at the top of my list between now and my next appointment.

Workouts? I’m working out 2-3x per week. Mostly 2x a week but last week I hit 3x and it felt good so I’m thinking I’ll be able to continue with that. I mostly do cardio but I’ve also started to include some light weight training.

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? Next Monday! We found out if Baby C is a boy or a girl!

 

Now. The big weight gain talk.

Pregnancy is so different for every person. My OB says “Some girls eat like pigs and don’t gain anything while others eat like fleas and gain a lot.” I’m somewhere in the middle as far as eating goes, but I’ve gained 13 pounds in 18 weeks. At my last appointment, my doctor wasn’t overly concerned but it was something she mentioned to keep an eye on so I’m making that a priority for the next month or so. Weight gain up to about 35 pounds is healthy for a pregnancy but my weight can’t continue to increase at this rate.

It is really hard to see the scale go up after losing a lot of weight. When you are mentally used to see the scale decrease, any increase is hard, much less a pound a week. It has been a big adjustment, but I am focusing on the fact that our baby is healthy. As long as our baby is healthy, I’ll be ok seeing the scale go up.

 

 


The Best At Home Workouts! Fitness

affiliatelinkdisclaimer

Sometimes, it’s really hard to get to the gym. Maybe the hours aren’t ideal some days. Maybe you’re a stay at home parents and you’re not sure if you can stay at the gym for an hour. Or maybe the weather gets ridiculous (Northern Winters and Southern Summers, I’m looking at you) and working out outside is nearly impossible.

What do you do on those days? You could pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD or go on YouTube to find workout videos, but those get boring after watching the same video everyday.

Or, you could go to a website that is constantly updating their workouts, has workout challenges and programs, offers advice from trainers, and actually has some great workouts for less than $10 a month.

I’d go with option 2 and, luckily, that website exists! Cosmopolitan magazine has created CosmoBody. It’s like Netflix, but for workouts.

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Before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t endorse things I don’t love. I actually really dislike promoting workout/diet plans because I feel like a lot of them are scams to get you to consistently pay a good amount of money for something like a shake or workout DVD’s that end up sitting on a shelf somewhere. Some people have been very successful on those plans, but I am uncomfortable promoting them. This program, however, is so different. When CosmoBody first contacted me about promoting their website, I was a little hesistant because I didn’t know if it would be one of those “pay money and don’t get your money’s worth” things. I can honestly tell you that it’s not. To be honest, $10 a month is really cheap for the amount of resources they offer. There are a ton of different options for workouts on CosmoBody.

There are cardio videos like:

Cardio Dance (Hip Hop Dance 101 is a great video to get started!)
Kickboxing
Endurance workouts

even a workout that you do on a set of stairs!

Weight workouts/body conditioning workouts like:

10-2-10 Workout: 12 minute workout that works your entire body and leaves you sweaty. It incorporates plyo and some dumbbell work for a full workout. This workout was really tough!

Multiple yoga videos, interval training, and (my favorite part) challenges!

The Challenges are workout programs like:

30 Day Summer Action Plan
21 Day Total Body Makeover
5 Day Maintain Don’t Gain program

 

The workouts range from 5 minutes to over 30 minutes so there is a workout for any situation. One of the best things is that the workouts require minimal equipment. If you dont have any equipment at home, don’t worry! There are plenty of body weight workouts. Only have dumbbells? No problem. You don’t need a full set of weights or any machines for CosmoBody workouts. It truly is the Holy Grail of workout websites.

I am really looking forward to using this post-partum!

CosmoBody is letting you try it for free for 10 days, after that, it’s only $9.95 per month! To me, $10 a month is worth being able to stream workouts wherever you are.

Click here to sign up!

If you do sign up, let me know what you think! I am loving it!

Carrie Signature

 


The Truth Behind a Fit Pregnancy Fitness

Some women have pregnancies that give them energy to workout often, eat healthy, sleep well, and gain minimal weight.

I am learning that I am not one of those women.

How many Pinterest Pins have been pinned about “staying active while pregnant” or “working out with baby?” Probably a zillion. I’ve looked through a lot of those and, honestly, I am having such a hard time dealing with any of them. I am learning that there is a truth behind having a “fit pregnancy” that is not often talked about.

truth behind a fit pregnancy

 

That truth? Having a fit pregnancy is hard. Really hard.

Physically, this pregnancy is really beating me up. My morning sickness went away, then I had some stomach issues, then I caught a cold, and now morning sickness is back. Sure, someone could say, “Carrie, you’re just making excuses.” If you have never been pregnant, you cannot fathom the exhaustion that pregnancy brings. If you felt well enough to exercise during your first trimester then good on you, but that is not my experience. I’ve gone to the gym about twice per week, but that’s about as much as I can muster.

Emotionally, I am tired. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of seeing articles and pins about these perfect, healthy, fit pregnancies because guess what? That’s not always possible!

I am frustrated and I am hungry and I am nauseous and I am tired. And you know what?

That’s ok.

I am growing a human being. I am already superwoman. I don’t need to workout 5 times a week and eat clean to have a fit pregnancy. As long as I am eating healthy when I can and exercising when I can, I am having a fit pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, don’t let social media or so-and-so that you know make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Be honest with yourself and make sure you are doing what is best for you and for your baby.

If you are not pregnant, the same advice applies. Do what works for you.

Carrie Signature


Protein Packed Berry Smoothie Fitness

I don’t know about where you live, but it is starting to warm up quickly here in Savannah! It’s consistently been 80 degrees or warmer which means summer is right around the corner!

It gets VERY hot here during the summer. 90+ degrees with 70%+ humidity. It rains almost every afternoon (rains is an understatement– it torrentially downpours) which increases the humidity even more. It sounds miserable, and it can be sometimes, but it can make for a lot of fun too!

We can drive the 30 minutes to the beach on the weekends or enjoy an evening outside with friends over a grill and a fire pit. Summer brings a lot of fun things with it!

One thing I notice in the summer is that I start drinking a lot more smoothies, especially for breakfast. It’s often too hot to make a hot breakfast or lunch, so it’s easier just to stick a bunch of stuff in a blender and call it a day.

Here’s one of my favorite protein packed smoothies- it has a whopping 19g of protein!

protein smoothie

Protein Packed Berry Smoothie
originally published on A Guiltless Glutton

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice– I used Dole Peach Mango juice
  • 1/2 cup spinach

Directions

  • Put everything into a blender
  • Blend.

 

That’s it! Super easy and really yummy!

What is your favorite smoothie recipe?



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