Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nesting...3 Months Late

Little man can always tell when you've got a camera on him. I told you, he's sneaky.

I don't know if I was just too busy before he came, but I never really got into a "nesting" phase. I did clean the grout in my shower with a toothbrush + bleach, but I think that's just what I do normally. haha

Anyway, last night, it hit me. HARD. haha I sent Tyler off to mutual with Ethan so I could clean the WHOLE house. A little ambitious, no? Well, it was. Tyler came home 30 mins later and I was all grumpy! "You're going to throw off my cleaning groove!!!" Instead of throwing it off, he helped :) Wasn't that nice of him?

So, we re-arranged everything. [At least, I felt like we did.] And we deep cleaned a bunch of stuff. I did a zillion loads of laundry, mopped {what?!}, and now we have a clean kitchen, dining room [which is now a multipurpose room, which it was anyway, but now it looks much better haha], and baby room. Our room, on the other hand, has blown up. Oh dear. That's next! And by clean, I mean organized. I studied infectious disease for too long to ever have a "dirty" house. [shudder]

And now, the reason why I'm in such a frenzy? I start back on my 7on/7off schedule next Tuesday - the 25th. I don't know how it will all work, but I'm going to try my best. Working 11.5 hr days, coming home and making dinner, plus looking after a baby will be tough, especially when Tyler works full time, and then teaches breakin' on Tues and Thurs nights and has mutual on Wednesdays. Luckily, we've enlisted the help of an awesome gal in our ward to watch Ethan in our home. She's rad and definitely an answer to prayer.  As of now, she's only going to be here until November. Back to the drawing board for that one....

Its been a challenge for me to decide to work - I believe strongly that the Lord has a plan for me and I intend to follow that plan. I also believe in having health care/insurance. Hence, the main motivator for going back to work - my insurance plan is stellar and we have saved lots of $$ and have been really blessed by having this job.

I tell Ethan every day how much I'm going to miss him, how much I love him, and I hope that he'll understand. It just breaks my heart. And this might sound rotten to say [and everyone says it anyway], but having that mental break at work will be a blessing - and the best part? Its only every other week for now - which means I get him all to myself every other week :)

I can't believe he'll be 3 months on Sunday. What a stud. And what a blessing. He's teaching me a lot about myself - and I needed it more then he'll ever know.

Stay tuned for our re-do of his room and the craft that I'm working on for him!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let's do the Twist!

Sneaky baby syndrome, part 2.

How does he turn himself all about while sleeping? I hear his little talking and go in to get him, and what do I find? A sideways baby, with a grin the size of the Mississippi - he is as pleased as punch with himself, as if he knows he's not supposed to be doing this.

Time to get a bumper. And a thick, padded one. Otherwise, he'll end up with the "breathable mesh" imprints all over his noggen, and not just the lines from the crib. It kind of looks like the red marks people get when they sleep in church by leaning their heads onto the pew in front of them.


But it might be Voodoo. See the sock monkey in the bottom of the picture? He was all turned sideways too.... Conspiracy? Hmm. You tell me. 

Sneaky baby.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

73* and Sunny!

Today has got to be the most beautiful day that Utah has ever produced. Sweet Mercy! We have the windows open, the breeze rolling through the house, and football is on. Oh, and did I mention that the munchkin is napping? Yes, we are happy over here!

 Each Wednesday, Ethan and I join our friends for a hike - this week we hiked a Willow Creek trail up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Oh my. I should have busted out my inhaler. I don't care if I've lived in Utah for 4 years, I grew up at 6' below sea level! This elevation kills my lungs! haha It was such a great hike and it was an awesome chance to push myself!

I wore my splint during the hike, and let me tell you - it really helped! I've really enjoyed wearing it - and I don't wear it all the time, which is probably why I still enjoy it. haha

Here are just a few phone snapshots from the hike - I love how Instagram boosts the colors in the last one!

 This picture is what the whole hike looked like - the blue skies were stunning! There were so many Aspen trees and they were so lovely - I can't wait to hike it again so I can take pictures of the sky peeking through their leaves.

On Wednesday I visited with my doctor, and I only have a 2 finger gap with regards to my diastasis. This is such great news! I can hike (while wearing the splint), run a little, and walk, walk, walk. Pilates and a lot of yoga is out, but I just have to keep plugging away with what I'm currently doing and I'll keep seeing results. Today, I buttoned up a pair of pants that I've been wearing with the assistance of a hair tie - you know the style! Hooray me!

Then, yesterday, Marissa and Tyson met up with Ethan and I at Ikea. I had to get out and about and Ikea is just the place! Besides, we made some stellar purchases! I cannot tell you how great it is to spend time with my family :) Its the very best!

After Ikea, Marissa and Tyson came up to our house in Salt Lake, where we grilled the most amazing chicken! Our house smelled like charcoal all morning (well, more like we'd made bacon), and it was so nice - which sounds funny, but I love to grill. We also made delish potatoes, thanks to Mom for the recipe, and thanks to Tyson and Rissy for helping out with dinner!

We taught Marissa and Tyson how to play a game that my BIL, Paul, invented - its called "Good One!" and it is such a blast. Our first year of marriage, Tyler and I played it allllll day long on Christmas day. We played for hours last night and barely noticed the time passing!
 Marissa teaching Ethan how to use strategy!

 Ethan must be catching on - Rissy looks pleased!!!

This morning, Ethan slept for such a long time - it was heavenly! He always seems to know when its the weekend, the little stinker! He was extremely talkative this morning and we were dying of laughter. He is getting really loud and I cannot wait for more chatter to come our way!

 Tyler wanted to see if Ethan was ready to wear his hat....

Is he not the cutest thing in the world? haha  We are so happy to have him. And lucky, too.


By way of thanks, I just need to thank the wonderful people that have stepped in over the past few days to really keep my spirits up. I could not have made it through this challenging week without my grandmother's perfectly timed phone call (Thank you so much, Grandma!), my Johnsons, my good friends Nancy, Kate, and Chels, my SIL Wendi, my cousin Carlie, and my dear family. Everyone can say, "call me when you need something," but rarely do people step up and lift you when they know you need it. 

Thank you so much!!! We love you and are so lucky to have you in our lives.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Diastasis Splint

Just to follow up with the last post, I wanted to document which splint I purchased, to help bring the abdomen back together.

I purchased the "McDavid Waist Trimmer" by McDavid via Amazon - it'll get here on Tuesday of next week, so stay tuned for how it fits, etc. It was only $14.39 and I got free shipping - hooray! I'm sure I could have picked one up at the store, but its nice to read reviews and then to get it delivered, rather then try and get it while dragging Ethan along haha

Dealing with Diastasis

I didn't know if I would post about this issue or not, but I think I would have liked to know more about this before it happened. Not that there would have been anything to do to prevent it, but more to have a peace of mind. So, here goes - hopefully someone else can benefit from it too.

At my 2 week check up, there was so much going on in my life that I didn't really worry about the "diastasis recti" diagnosis given to me by my midwife/OB. I was so frazzled with the breastfeeding challenge I was having (maybe I'll post about that too) that I just pocketed the diastasis info in the back of my brain and moved on. At the 6 week checkup, I was cleared for exercise, but only gentle exercises like yoga and maybe a bit of pilates. Once again, I didn't think much about the diastasis.

What is diastasis? Well, 98% of women have it after pregnancy, and most of them don't even know they have it. There are moderate/mild forms and severe forms of diastasis. Its caused by the separation of the outermost abdominal muscles during pregnancy - this happens because your uterus is expanding all over the place! Unfortunately, as your uterus shrinks after pregnancy, your surrounding abdominal muscles are stretched and remain slack. A lot of complications can arise from not addressing your diastasis (especially if its severe), such as back pain and trouble with subsequent pregnancies. 

How can you tell if you have diastasis? Well, the best way is to have your physician tell you, when they do your postpartum checkup. Or, you can lie on your back and place your hands on your belly (3" above and below your bellybutton), and press your fingers down as you lift your head slowly into the gully between the midline of your body. You can have anything from a 2 finger to a 10 finger separation.

Back to me. Since I was relatively skinny when I got pregnant and in great shape, I wasn't too worried about losing the baby weight. I gained exactly what I was supposed to according to my physician, and I exercised as best I could during my pregnancy. (I don't know who can exercise until week 22 because I was sooooo sick! haha) I went swimming, did Zumba, walked all day at work, and did Wii fit until I couldn't bend over anymore! I was pretty healthy before and felt really positive about having the baby. My labor was fantastic, yet my pregnancy was really difficult. It wasn't one of those "Ooooo I love being pregnant" pregnancies. Pinched nerves (the sciatic was the easiest one to deal with - piece of cake compared to the rest) and such had me in physical therapy and that helped me to be even more motivated to continue to exercise during pregnancy. 

Imagine my surprise now that I'm 2 months out of delivery and I still haven't lost all of the weight! Didn't all those fools tell me, "Oh, within 2 weeks, you'll be back to your pre-pregnancy jeans, etc." Well, yes I recognize that I was skinny before, but what is this pooch still doing on me now? 

-Enter diastasis-

Diastasis causes you to still look pregnant, even though you're not. I am not talking about just leftover baby weight - I have this funny depression in my stomach when I lay flat on my back - and when I stand up, this tiny belly pops out, and its not embarrassing - its depressing. Its not that I'm dying to be a size 1 again or wear cute tops that aren't ponchos; its about wanting to not look 3 months pregnant anymore - and I don't think that's too vain to post about :]

Everyone will now say/comment - well, it took 9 months to make the baby, and it can take 9 months to get the weight off! Now, I would like to loose a few more pounds, no doubt. However, diastasis doesn't go away with breastfeeding, it gets worse when you do crunches, sit-ups, planks, and the downward dog. You can even have diastasis if you've never had a baby - and anyone can make it worse by doing incorrect exercises. 

-Enter panic here-

So, I've purchased a book called "Lose Your Mummy Tummy." Its better known as the Tupler Technique, and you can start these exercises during the first 2 postpartum weeks - or anytime after that. You can start it even if its been years since you've had a child or been diagnosed. My mom didn't know anything about diastasis until she visited a physical therapist about a heel problem! I have to order a splint to wear around my waist (it helps to pull your abs together, since they've spread during pregnancy) before I can do too many of the exercises, or you can use a stretchy scarf or sheet.
From everything I've read, if you stay committed to the recommended exercises, you can see results quickly - even sooner then the documented 6 weeks. The Tupler technique is great even for those who have had C-sections and multiples - and there are sections to address each type of pregnancy/delivery technique in the book. I like that she's an R.N., and not just some celebrity trainer. 

I wish I would have ordered the DVD that came with the book (I didn't even know there was one available until I purchased the book and started reading it). The exercises are really well explained and illustrated in the text, but most of us are visual learners these days, thanks to our overexposure to media :)

I know this may sound informative and light, yet I've really struggled with this. I've tried cutting out dairy and exercising all the time and let me tell you - none of the things I've tried have worked well. Instead, I found myself despondent - will I ever look attractive again? I didn't even want Tyler to see me without a tank top on, for fear that he would be as disgusted by the "mummy tummy" as I was. Postpartum life isn't the easiest, and while I haven't had intense depression, its easy to get down on yourself when you aren't getting lots of sleep, etc. (You can experience this without kids, so this isn't just a pity party for me being a postpartum mom.) 

How about getting dressed? Not a chance in Hades. No matter what you wear, nothing can disguise the pooch sticking out - even spanks. Let me tell you. They just smash your insides and you feel crappy the whole time you're wearing them. So, whine whine whine, cry cry cry. Yep. Its been challenging to say the least. So, there goes the feeling attractive part of life. And when I'm feeling down, I just think of this ecard, and it makes me laugh:

Ultimately, I have a healthy body that needs specialized exercise, I have a healthy baby (well, as soon as he gets over this cold haha), and a healthy marriage. The best thing I can say about my problems at the moment is that I'm trying to have a healthy outlook about it. I am not beating myself up, etc. I have in the past, and it hasn't been productive. Its not the end of the world, and I need to stop worrying about what other people think - isn't this the hardest part about being a girl? I worry about those people who pretend to be concerned for you and end up talking about you behind your back - why give them more fuel for their fire? What about those girls who really did lose all their baby weight in 10 seconds after delivery? What's wrong with me? haha oh man, the list of tormenting questions goes on and on. And at some point, you just have to stop thinking about the "What Ifs." [That makes me think of the Shel Siverstein poem - he was my favorite growing up.] 

Its easy to think, "I just want to get back to being me" when in reality, this is me. And this is my journey. I will just have to see where I can take myself - I have to choose; I'm not going to let it take me anywhere I don't want to be. I'm going back to see my doctor next week, so we'll see what I'm cleared to do and how bad it all really is or isn't. 

And Labor Day shopping? A blessing from on-high. I'm so thankful that tunics are in this fall - and that I found 3 pairs of jeans that fit! Life is looking up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Well, well, well. Life has gotten the best of me, once again! I wanted to keep this blog a little better updated and such, but then such is life - it just keeps happening!

Over the past few weeks, Ethan got shots, picked up my cold, and has been congested ever since. He suffered through repeated trips to the doctor's to get suctioned out (they flush saline down his nose and then place an NG tube down it to suck out the mucous - poor kid - he takes it like a champ most days) and we have been fortunate that it didn't get so bad that he needed to be hospitalized.

 So, we decided to teach Ethan to play ball this week - he was so funny trying not to hit himself with this little ball! And don't worry - they're very soft!

 Our stake changes time with the new school year, so we went from 11 to 1 pm church this past week. All of the little kids felt like this - pouty face and all!

 Labor Day shopping - more on this later!

 Labor Day games at the in-laws! Ethan slept through the lawn care people driving around on their toys in the back yard - he is such a sound sleeper!

 This week, my good friend Nancy [pictured here with her 1 yr old son James] invited us to go on a hike with some other friends! We hiked Donut Hole Falls, up the Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was a great hike and Ethan and I loved it. He enjoyed looking around, and getting the sun in his eyes - luckily Nancy provided an extra hat :) Ethan was such a great trooper - slept half way up and half way down.

 Here we are!!!

 Chels + Asher, Kate + baby (she has 8 weeks to go!), Cara + Eva [i hope i spelled that right], Nancy + James
 Ethan baby - just sleeping before we ate lunch!

 Nancy decided to give James a go with the barette - he has the most darling curls! haha Needless to say, his daddy did not approve of this picture! haha
 Ethan, loving his new, clean diaper at the end of the hike!

 Kate and Nancy!

 Wendi, Tyler's sister, is in town from Australia, and we've been hanging out with her as much as possible. We went out for sushi, and the thought process about what to choose was intense.

 Ethan decided that his fist was yummier than sushi.

 Then, at the end of dinner, we had our first blowout! haha Luckily, I had that hospital blanket behind him, so it didn't get anywhere! Although, he did manage to spit up on my newly washed pants and on the floor. We are awesome customers. haha

 Tyler changing his first blowout - I took over in the end :)

Tonight, we had another big accomplishment! I put Ethan down on the blanket for tummy time and he started scooting himself across the blanket, just using his legs! I started laughing and he started cooing - I keep putting his hands back under his head so he could stop smooshing his face in the blanket. haha When I finally picked him up, one side of his face was allllll red! So darling. We are loving his new found *tiny bit* of mobility! Good job baby!!!!

And, we are happy to report that we are taking Ethan out to visit Nana, Papa, Uncle Devin and Aunt Melanie in December!!!! Flights were soooo stinkin' cheap on Southwest over the last 48 hours, so we coordinated with my parents and are happy to go home to DE soon! So, wish us luck!

Any advice on taking a 5 mo. old on a plane trip? I am super excited, but also very anxious. I know people hate flying with babies, and I am always one of those people haha I knew one day the tides would turn, and thanks to a post from The Rockstar Diaries, I have a few tricks I will rely on.

September has been a good month so far - and its only the 6th!