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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites…

Here are my favorites from this year’s Nordstrom sale for early access cardholder members. As you can see it’s all activewear and athleisure since that is basically what I live in. I haven’t pulled the trigger on anything yet but I better before anything I really want is sold out..

The Patagonia coat I wanted to get for Logan already sold out but here are a few of my other kid favorites…

I included my favorite North Face bomber in my shopping favorite above. It’s included in the sale in black and a darker green color HERE.

 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

The First Month with Mason Hawke…

I seriously can’t believe it’s been over two months since Mason Hawke was born. The days have been long but the time sure has flown by. I decided to break this post into two. This first post documents our first month as a family of four. As I have mentioned before, I was lucky enough to have my parents here the first two weeks after Mason was born to watch over Logan as we adjusted to our new normal.

It’s been nothing short of a zoo around here as you can see from some of these photos. Logan practically ignored Mason for the first month and has just recently started to take more interest in him. The biggest challenge for me in this first month is making sure to get Logan’s energy out and trying to find time to plan and cook meals. I realize there are some things that just won’t get completed and I’m trying to do a better job of accepting this as the new normal. My biggest daily goal is to really try and be present. I want to make sure no matter what I don’t get completed, I enjoy the moment. I know I will never have this time back. It makes me almost cry to type this but they change so fast and won’t be my babies forever. I love my little family and life we are creating in Seattle.

No More Sleepless Nights with Owlet

Becoming a mom is tough physically and mentally. I remember coming home from the hospital after we had Logan exhausted, overwhelmed and clueless. The first night home I told Ryan I wasn’t going to sleep and was going to stay up and make sure Logan was okay. Ryan looked at me like I was crazy and was like “you’re going do what?” My plan was not to sleep so I could make sure Logan was breathing. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea or how I would operate without sleep. Don’t worry — I did go to sleep that night. Each time I would wake up for the next few months, I immediately ran over to make sure he was alive and breathing.

 

Fast forward to baby #2 and my worry levels have definitely decreased. I do still worry about something happening to Mason while he is sleeping. The Owlet Smart Sock is a product I really wish I had when Logan was born. I would have for sure slept better and could have avoided all those panicky moments making sure I could see his chest rising and just to have more peace of mind –which is something you definitely need as a mom!

The Owlet tracks the heart rate and oxygen of your baby and is designed to notify parents if your baby’s heart rate or oxygen fall outside preset zones. The app was easy to set-up and and we haven’t had any false alarms. The sock can be worn on either foot.

Overall, I have been happy with the Owlet and I would recommend it to any concerned new mom, especially fist time Moms. It is easy to use, has a sleek design, and it offers that nighttime peace of mind!

P.S. Did you notice his sock is blue? Owlet just came out with different colored socks. Each Owlet comes with the sea foam green, but you can add an extra set of pink and blue to your cart too. So cute! Maybe I need a third baby so I can invest in a the pink?!

The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is $299.99 and available to purchase at OwletCare.com.

Thanks to Owlet for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Cocktail and Mocktail Days

Today’s adventures with two under two involved Logan sticking a pea in his nostril during lunch. I saw him do it, freaked out and went running over to try and get it out. Instead, I knocked it further up his nose. I panicked a little and didn’t know what to do. I grabbed my phone and thought… do I call 911? Ryan? the doctor’s office? Logan didn’t seem distressed so I quickly dialed our doctors office. I spoke with a nurse who helped calm me down. She told me to lay him down, plug the non-blocked nostril and then blow air in his mouth kind of like CPR. I tried and this did not work. Logan was trying to bite me, laughing and did not have a clue what I was trying to do. It was like I was wrestling a mini gator. I gave up on that method. I remembered the infant snot sucker and grabbed that next. Logan willingly let me insert this into his nostril but no luck getting it out. The nurse said he was fine taking a nap and just to keep an eye on him. He woke up from his nap normal and happy. After dinner, he was running circles in the living room and then stopped to catch his breath. He came walking over to me and handed me a smashed up pea. I am pretty sure this was the one lodged in his nostril. Such a big sigh of relief. So time for a cocktail?

Life with two under two can make you start that daily countdown to cocktail hour early each day. However, times have changed. I would rather use a workout or stretching session to destress and enjoy a mocktail. Don’t get me wrong – I still like a glass of wine or cocktail some nights.

Ocean Spray® has launched a new line of juice mocktails that are inspired by your favorite cocktails. The three flavors are Cranberry Peach Bellini, Cranberry Sangria, and Tropical Citrus Paradise. I have tried each of them and they are all delicious! What I love most is that they are made with real fruit juice and no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. They are the perfect drink for that pregnant mama that wants a cocktail or for the nursing mama limiting her alcohol. However, if you have a day like my “pea” day they make amazing mixers with some sparkling water, wine or liquor!

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Thanks to Ocean Spray® for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Find out more about Ocean Spray HERE.

Here are some photo out takes that might leave you spiking your mocktail at the end of day…

Mom Groups

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Having your first child is such a big life event. It’s an exciting, exhausting, and scary time. I remember coming home from the hospital not having a clue what to do when I had Logan almost two years ago. I quickly realized you need a network of support to help guide you through the unknown of caring for an infant and raising a child.

Some moms are fortunate enough to have that supportive network of friends and family that become new moms around the same time. When Logan arrived we were still new to Seattle and didn’t have that network. My doctor suggested I take some of the hospital prenatal classes they offered. We signed up for a childbirth class and breastfeeding class. It was during this class I realized there is so much support for new moms in Seattle. We even made some friends in the class!

My biggest piece of advice for new moms is to find a mom’s group. I know every city and community have different organizations and groups that provide this support.  I joined two groups. One was through my hospital that I started attending two week postpartum for eight weeks. I also joined a moms only PEPS group. I started attending my PEPS group a little later and we met for twelve weeks. With both groups, all our kids were within a few months of each other. It was the perfect resource for a new mom and you meet other amazing moms in the community.

My PEPS group makes an effort to get together once a month. This month we met up for a little backyard outdoor water fun. It is so much fun to see how all the kids have grown. I love taking Logan somewhere to expend all the energy too!

Even though I decided not to join any groups with Mason, I am beyond thankful for all the moms in both groups.

Thanks to KIND® snacks for providing some yummy snacks for all the mamas and kiddos! The kiddos especially loved the pressed by kind fruit bars!

Mason’s Birth Story

It’s so hard to believe that Mason is already a month old! I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been a tough adjustment but each day I feel a little better about juggling life with two.

I wanted to write this earlier when it was still fresh in mind but this is the first chance I have had to sit down at my computer and relive Mason’s arrival.

I’ll start out by saying it is no fun going past your due date. The waiting game plays with your mind and only made me more anxious each day! Logan was a few days past his due date so I thought I was mentally prepared for Mason to arrive later than his. His due date was April 25th and I thought he would be a few days late and make his big arrival on my birthday April 28th. That day passed and still no signs of Mason. When I had my cervix checked on my due date, I was only one centimeter dilated but no signs of labor. I had the inducing conversation with my doctor. While this wasn’t ideal, I knew how big Logan was and was worried Mason was only getting bigger by the day. Logan was 8 lbs 12 oz and I had a difficult recovery after his delivery. I was measuring smaller with Mason so I had my fingers crossed for a smaller baby this time!

We agreed to induce when I reached a week past my due date. The plan was to check into the hospital at 7am on that Tuesday morning. The weekend before, I was so confident I would go into labor. No, that did not happen. I did all I could to stay busy. Overall, I still felt good but decided on my due date to only continue with Pilates until the baby arrived. I did daily workouts on my exercise ball but really took it slow. You can see some clips of my workouts on my Instagram feed.  The pro about being late was I got to be a part of this photoshoot on Sunday with some other Seattle mamas!

We checked into the hospital at 7am and had to wait a little while since they were in the middle of a nurse shift change. By 8am, we were in our delivery room. I was anxious how my body would react to pitosin. At 9:30, they started me on the pitosin. Shortly after it was administered, I started having contractions. They were super irregular and not painful at all. Two hours in, the contractions were still fairly irregular and I was worried about my body’s response to the medication. The nurse assured me this was normal and I was right on track. By 12:30, the contractions were becoming more uncomfortable and regular. At 1:00, my doctor came in to check on me and broke my water. I was only a little over 3 cm dilated at this point. I knew things would happen fast now and I was determined to wait as long as possible to get my epidural. Looking back, I should have asked for the epidural a little sooner because the contractions escalated quickly. None of my contractions with Logan hurt this much. At 3:00, my epidural was administered and it took some time to kick in. A lot of the pain was in my back with these contractions. Once the epidural kicked in, I felt so much better! The next two hours with the epidural went by really fast and at little after 5:00pm, my nurse checked me and I was completed dilated and effaced! Things were really about to get real! My doctor was planning to come back at 5:30pm so we decided to let me rest before the pushing started. With Logan, I pushed for over two and half hours and wasn’t sure how much longer it would be. I was preparing myself for a few more hours…

At 5:20, my doctor arrived and we had a brief conversation about 5 being the lucky number for this birth. We joked about how this baby had to be born before 6. I started pushing at 5:30 and after just a few contractions, Mason was out! Such a different experience than our first! We immediately fell in love with this tiny human that came into the world at 5:35 in the 5th month in room 555!

Post delivery was much smoother and I only had a tiny tear that needed a little stitch. We ordered some food before the cafeteria closed and ate in the delivery room as they had to go through all the hospital procedures before transferring us to our postpartum room. We were in our postpartum room by 9pm and so exhausted! I was finally getting some feeling back in my legs and was able to get up and walk to the bathroom by myself finally! We stayed Tuesday night in the hospital and by the next morning, we were so ready to break out. My doctor came by around 10am and I got my release to leave. Now, we were just waiting on Mason’s doctor and Labcorp to come by. We ended up having to wait until 4pm for the lab technician to come by for some testing on Mason. We were a little annoyed because we didn’t get out of the hospital until around 6pm. I have never been so happy to get home and be a family of 4!

Thanks to PinkBlush for the cutest robe. I wore it nine months pregnant and living in it these days at home.

From Baby Bump to Life with Two

 

It’s hard to believe we have been a family of four for over two weeks. These maternity photos at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival are extra special because I realize it might be the last time I’m rocking a baby bump. We are undecided if we want to have another child but I’m thinking two might be all I can handle. The past two days I have been solo watching the boys for the first time and holy struggles. I’m covered in spit up, haven’t brushed my teeth or hair today, ate lunch standing up over the sink while yelling “no Logan” about 1000 times as he threw half his lunch on the floor. Then I spent half of Logan’s nap time nursing Mason. Thank goodness my best friend from North Carolina is ordering us dinner to be delivered tonight because dinner prep would be an extra struggle today.

I really should be cleaning up that disaster kitchen, making my bed or doing laundry but I decided to devote a little time to writing on this space. Self care is so important and self care can mean something different to everyone. For me, it means taking time to write on my blog and create content because this is what makes me happy right now. It also includes eating healthy and soon it will include working out. Motherhood is tough and we are all just trying to do the best. It is important to remember to find what self care you need in your life and make sure you get at least thirty minutes of that a day or find a way to multitask it into something else you are already doing. I am not sure how fitness will fit into my new life when I’m cleared to work out again but I will find a way to prioritize it each day.

I don’t have as much free time with two to be as active on social media but I will still be updating this space as much as possible. I have a birth story coming soon to the blog! Follow along on my Instagram if you want more life updates!

Thanks to PinkBlush for this gorgeous maternity gown! 

Motherhood Thoughts

Mother’s Day will be extra special this year. Mason decided to join us ten days ago to make us a family of four. It’s been a crazy ten days but I’ve been blessed to have my parents in town to help with the transition of taking care of two kids. Reality is slowly sinking in as they prepare to leave on Monday.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a few thoughts on motherhood. I always knew I wanted kids but it was hard to imagine how much a child can really change and impact your life. I had no idea I was capable of loving like this and feel so blessed God has chosen me to be the Mother of these two boys.  I can’t wait to see these brothers grow up together and the bond I’m hoping they will have.

Motherhood has taught me so much in less than two years. It’s taught me patience, how to operate on little sleep and how to live in the moment. Being a mom is all about wearing multiple hats and multitasking.  Some days all I want is for the clock to strike bedtime as I try to cook, clean and keep a child entertained to avoid a meltdown. These are the days I need to remind myself the days go by quickly and I don’t need to wish them grown. Enjoy the days, even the crazy ones!

A few months ago, Ryan and I had a conversation about what we hoped our children would be like. Growing up in a world with social media, I plan to teach them the importance of connecting with friends and family in real life and not just over an iPhone or computer screen.  I grew up with my Mom cooking almost every night and eating dinner as a family. Family dinners together without devices will be important to me. As a blogger, I love social media and have made so many friends through it. However, it’s important to take time away from that world and remember to live in the real world and the moment. Ryan and I also talked about how we hoped our boys will also be kind and compassionate. We live in a world with too many people judging others. Speaking of being kind and as a KIND snacks ambassador, I wanted to share how you can help vote for the limited edition KIND bar through their Raise the Bar contest. Anyone can vote here and the winning flavor will be announced in June. 1000 people who vote for the winning flavor will get some bars sent their way. After 9 months without a cocktail, I’m pretty sure I will be casting my vote for Sangria!

Wish me luck as my parents’ RV pulls out Monday morning!

Thanks so much to Jenna for capturing these special photos of my 41 week bump and Logan! Logan is not the easiest to capture on camera!!

Photography by Jenna Lynn Photog

Dress from Shop Rollick

Makeup by @makeupyoubeautiful

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has been on my Seattle bucket list since I saw photos last year. Fields of tulips for miles and miles and it is truly magical.  The festival is designed as a driving tour and the fields are scattered throughout the beautiful Skagit Valley just about an hour north of Seattle. Since I didn’t take maternity photos with Logan, I wanted to take some in the fields this year. I just needed this baby not to come early since tulip season is dependent on how long the cold weather hangs around and the blooming season is short lived. We had a colder winter so I knew the tulips were going to bloom later this year.  I am happy to say, I made it. Today is my due date and Mason is still keeping us in suspense.

There are two main display gardens: Tulip Town and Roozengarde. Both charge $7 for admission, have free parking and open at 9am. Per advice from Northwest Healthy Mama, we opted for Roozengarde. I would highly recommend it. They offer up-to-date bloom maps here. If you are able to go on a weekday, the fields are less crowded but can still have quite the crowd. We arrived when they opened right at 9am and were surprised by how many people were already there. The display gardens in the front were beautiful photo opps. If you want photos there, take them early because the crowds near the entrance make it impossible to get photos without others in them as time passes. Don’t forget to wear your rain boots! It hadn’t rained for several days before we went and the fields were still muddy. Be prepared to hike a little out to the fields but strollers are fine to take out. Just be prepared to deal with some mud cleanup.:)

We were able to use our credit card for admission but everything I read said to take cash. My advice is to have cash in case you need it. The tulip fields are kid friendly but be sure to bring an extra pair of clothes for muddy kids. While they had snacks for sale at Roozengarde, there is always the quaint waterfront town of LaConner close by with plenty of eating options.

I think this might be a new annual family tradition! I want to send an extra thanks to Molly for taking all these amazing photos, Ryan for being our boomerang go-to and my parents for bringing their RV for wardrobe changes and a lunch spot.

 

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Thanks to PinkBlush for the gorgeous fuchsia maternity gown!

 

 

 

 

All Things Fitness for Baby #2

Sweatshirt // Tank // Bra // Leggings // Shoes (similar)

MY PREGNANCY WORKOUTS

I am only a few days out from my due date and feel blessed I have been able to be active this entire pregnancy. I wanted to share a quick overview of how my workouts changed through this pregnancy. Remember, this is my personal experience. As a certified personal trainer, I advise you to listen to your own body and reach out to a fitness professional if you have any specific questions regarding prenatal fitness.

I started to modify my workouts at around 20 weeks. I remember my first pregnancy being so confused on what exercises I could and couldn’t do. I never wanted to push myself because I was scared it would impact the baby. This pregnancy I felt more confident in my fitness routine. I credit that to being more educated. Before pregnancy, most of my cardio was from running. Running is convenient cardio for a mama to complete with your kids in a stroller. I stopped running pretty early in my third trimester because it just didn’t feel good.

Barre and Pilates were my main workouts through this entire pregnancy. I attended Barre3 2-3 times a week and always felt amazing when I left. Barre3 offers childcare which meant I didn’t have to use nap time or get up extra early for my barre workouts. As a fitness professional, I am aware of how I needed to modify the core exercises but don’t be scared to ask the instructor. They will always have prenatal modifications for you. I practiced Pilates from home 3-4 times a week. My advice if you want to practice Pilates throughout pregnancy is to find a studio that offers a prenatal specific class or make sure the studio knows you are expecting before signing up for group Pilates classes. So many of the classical exercises do need to be modified for later in pregnancy and you want to make sure the instructor is aware.

Brooks Running:  Jacket // Bra // Tank // Leggings // Shoes

FAVORITE WORKOUT GEAR FOR PREGNANCY

I don’t like buying a lot of maternity clothes just for pregnancy. The good news is there is so much activewear you can wear for pregnancy and beyond. Sharing my favorites below:

Photography by Jenna Lynn Photog