Welcome July

Happy 1st of July! 

I am really excited to begin this new month.  It’s going to be the craziest and busiest month for us because we have so many friends and family members who are coming to meet our son, Cliff.  How blessed are we that many people love us enough to take time out of their schedules for us.  Thank goodness Cliff has been working on his selfie faces because I’m sure there will be plenty of picture taking and memory making!

June was an interesting month for us, and went out like a bang…literally.  Here are the highlights:

  • I spoke at my school’s graduation ceremony and watched my first group of students walk across the stage.
  • Dan wrapped up the school year and started his summer vacation.  It’s been great having all three of us home during the day.
  • I joined Bailey’s Gym to help get me closer to my pre-baby body.  I forgot how much I enjoyed working out in a legit gym.  The atmosphere inspires me to push myself more than when I’m at home.
  • Dan celebrated his first ever Father’s Day.  I wish I could have done more to express how much Cliff and I love him and what a phenomenal father he is.
  • I attended a week-long Advanced Placement Literature conference and got SOOOO inspired!  I have been developing my new courses and reading/rereading books like a curriculum planning-aholic.
  • Dan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by watching “Hail, Caesar!” and eating a delicious dinner at home.  #NewParents
  • Two wonderful young ladies that graduated a few years ago came over to visit, and it was nice catching up with them.
  • Cliff also had his 3-month appointment and got a solid bill of healthy from his pediatrician.  We are working on his sleeping at night because it has been fluctuating lately.  The doctor suggested that he may be having some digestive issues because she noticed a pattern between the pace and quantity of his eating habits and his poor sleeping sessions.  She suggested some Mylicon, and that has made a huge difference already!

NOT my baby =)

What’s In Store for July

July is going to be hectic but in a good way.  Just because we will be entertaining friends and family doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals to keep up with.

Books/Reading & Curriculum Planning:

I want to review the books that I have included in my curriculums for this upcoming school year.  I have read all of them before, but not necessarily used them for direct instruction.  Also, with teaching a section of Advanced Placement Literature, I will need to revamp my teaching strategies to support a new way to analyze and write about the texts they will be studying.

One of the strategies that I took away from my week-long conference was to give students a specific task for their reading that qualifies under a “Seek and List” title.  For example: Read the poem, “Groceries” by Cathy Smith Bowers, and create a list of similes and/or metaphors for things that are damaged.  Then, choose two and explain how and why the author used these devices to create tone.

Goal: Review the following books & create “Lists”

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Health and Wellness:

New moms have a difficult standard to live up to when they’re trying to lose the baby weight.  I don’t like the term “get back” your body because that assumes that there’s a loss, a void, a deficit when you don’t have the same physique after having a baby.  A woman’s body is put through total trauma to carry and deliver a new life, and it should be handled with tenderness and love.  As a culture, we are too violent with our expectations that women should “snap back” and quickly.  EVERY SINGLE aspect of your life changes once you become a parent or add another sibling to the pack, so why stress about having a different body?  That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape, or ever aspire to fit back into your old wardrobe; I am someone who has focused on that specific goal now that I’ve had my son.  The difference is that I don’t demand it to happen before it’s time, or set unrealistic expectations.  I work out every day, true, but I also did that before and during my pregnancy.  I slowly built my cardio and strength training routines back up, slowly and carefully.  I am not back to my fitness level, but I am not beating myself up about it.  Some women may achieve their goals sooner than me, some may take longer.  Just like all pregnancies, like all babies, each woman’s journey is specific to them and shouldn’t be compared to others’.  With that being said, I do have a goal for July to help me get closer to my ultimate goal.

July Goal: Workout daily & fit into my black and khaki capri pants.

Ultimate Goal: Workout daily & fit into my old wardrobe.

*Notice I don’t have a weight or pant size goal.  I just want to fit into the clothes that I used to wear.

Family:

Clearly, it is going to be a full month for the Ferrari family!  My ultimate goal is to enjoy each and every moment that we will get to spend with our out-of-town guests.

Pregnancy Update Week 37

How far along? Currently 37 Weeks!  We have reached the point in the pregnancy in which Baby Boy could arrive at any time.  You know what that means: every little movement, twinge, and sensation makes me think, “Is it happening???”  Not quite yet, but oh so soon.

According to “What to Expect” and their app, Baby Boy is the size of a winter melon, is around 19-22 inches and 6.5lbs.

Total weight gain:  Enough to cook a proper baby boy.

Bump Alert: FULL alert!

IMG_6599With an ever-growing baby, my body is going through some major changes as well.  Check out the difference:

IMG_6598

Maternity clothes? Exclusively maternity!  I have had trouble finding comfortable clothes lately, but refuse to spend another dime on  maternity clothing.  Baby will be here soon enough and then I’ll have my choice of SO many t-shirts and yoga pants during my postpartum days.

Stretch marks? Still moisturizing and still luckily stretch mark-free!

Sleep: I am so relieved to tell you that it’s gotten so much better!  I still wake up once during the night, but I am able to get back to sound sleep.

Workouts: I reduced my daily steps goal to 10,000 steps instead of 15,000.  I still reach the higher number most days, but as long as I reach my goal, I am happy.  The strength training sessions have come to an end, but I’ve been doing a lot of stretches that have helped to keep me limber.

Best moment the week: Last week on Sunday, our wonderful friends and coworkers hosted a baby shower for us.  It was so incredibly sweet!

RCSA Shower 2

RCSA Shower 4

RCSA Shower 5

RCSA Shower 6

RCSA Shower 7

Food cravings: Normal eating patterns, but I have definitely joined the batch lunch making bandwagon.  I’ve always been a creature of habit when it came to my breakfasts and lunches, so it shouldn’t have taken me so long to start packing for all five days.  It makes the work week evenings so much less stressful.

I will say that I have increased my water, not just liquid, intake by about 30 ounces per day.  I cannot seem to get enough water.

Labour signs: A few more contractions here and there, but other than that everything is normal.  My OB gave me the run-down of what to look for before calling her.  It gave me a lot of peace of a mind, and also an increased anticipation.

Symptoms: I still have dry skin and at the end of the day, my feet get pretty swollen.  Thank goodness we live in FL and it’s usually sandals weather.

Belly button in or out? Still an innie despite the belly growth.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and tired

Mom Advice

From the “Sleeping Should be Easy” Blog – Newborn Tips and Tricks for New Moms You’ll be Glad You Read

Newborn tips and tricks:

#1: Onesies can also be pulled down.

Want to know the real reason onesies have those envelope flaps on the shoulders?

I thought it was to accommodate different or growing head shapes. That’s just one part of it. You can also pull the onesie down when your baby has an explosive poop. Rather than maneuvering a filthy onesie over the baby’s head, you can pull it down towards the bottom.

#2: Do the elbow-to-the-knee move to eliminate gas.

My babies had serious cases of gas. Drops weren’t cutting it. New bottles weren’t either. What did help was a neat body move that expelled the gas immediately.

Lie your baby down on his back. Then, move his right arm and left leg towards each other as if the right elbow and left knee were going to touch. Do the same with the opposite elbow and knee. Alternate a few times until your baby stops farting.

#3: Keep newborns awake no longer than an hour and a half.

Newborns sleep a lot. They may not sleep in long stretches, but over the course of the day, newborns will be mostly sleeping. Or, more importantly, newborn babies can’t stay awake for long periods of time. An hour and a half max.

I made this mistake with my eldest, toting him around family parties way longer than an hour and a half. He felt cranky, and we were miserable because of it. Now I know to put newborns to sleep if an hour and a half has passed.

#4: Track your baby’s feeding and diapers.

You’ll want to track how often your baby feeds and at what time. If he’s breastfed, track how many minutes he nurses and on which breast. If he’s bottle-fed, track how many ounces he drinks.

In addition to feeding, keep track of your baby’s diapers, noting whether they were wet from pee or dirty from poop. You’ll also want to record what kind of poop your baby had, such as color, texture, and how often they peed or pooped. I know, not exactly enticing, but necessary.

I created this feeding and diaper tracker that’s yours free when you sign up for my newsletter:

 

#5: Follow the eat/awake/sleep routine.

Do your nurse or feed your baby to sleep? I used to rely on nursing my eldest to sleep, especially for naps. But then he started to fall asleep only through nursing (or rocking). Nursing to sleep wasn’t the way to go.

The newborn stage is challenging enough as it is. Get a head start with these newborn tips and tricks to help you care for your new baby.Then I read Tracy Hogg’s E-A-S-Y technique (eat/awake/sleep/you).Feed your baby (eat) when she wakes up (awake) so she’ll have energy for her awake time. She won’t rely on milk to fall asleep. And she’ll have something to transition from sleep to awake.

After your baby has been awake for an hour and a half, then you put her sleep drowsy but awake (sleep). She can explore different ways to put herself to sleep, such as sucking on her thumb or rolling her head side to side.

And once she’s asleep, you can tend to yourself (you) and repeat the cycle.

Such a game changer for me! All this time I thought my only option was to nurse to sleep. But that only makes the baby rely on nursing or sucking to fall asleep.

#6: Find alternative ways to hold your baby.

Your baby’s preferred position? In your arms. The snuggling is good, but not sustainable. After all, you need your arms for other things, and it’s not always safe to fall asleep with the baby in your arms.

Use other techniques to hold the baby, such as these items I’ve used or recommended:

Try different ways to put your baby to sleep or to hold your baby using any of these methods. The more options you have, the less likely you have to convince your baby to sleep away from your arms.

#7: Swaddle your baby to sleep.

Master the art of swaddling:

  1. Place a square swaddle blanket (like these Aden+Anais ones I used) flat on a surface like a diamond.
  2. Fold the top corner down 5-10 inches towards the middle so that the diamond now looks like the top part got cut off.
  3. Place your baby on top of the swaddle with her neck aligned with the straight line you just folded.
  4. With your baby’s arms held straight down next to her body, fold the left corner of the swaddle over her body and tucking it under her back. Her left arm should still be free.
  5. Fold the bottom corner up and over her left shoulder, tucking it inside the swaddle.
  6. Holding her left arm down, fold the right corner over her arm and entire body, tucking into the swaddle.

Everything should be comfortable and tight. You want to mimic the snugness of being in your womb. The moro reflexes typical of the newborn stage also cause her to flail her arms. This wakes her up, either because of the motion or she hit herself on the face.

Look at this step-by-step illustration of how to swaddle a baby from the Mayo Clinic.

You can skip these steps using a velcro swaddle blanket or the Magic Merlin. Both keep your baby snug, helping her fall and stay asleep. I personally used the velcro swaddle blanket which helped so much! I didn’t have to worry about the swaddles coming undone. It comes especially helpful in the middle of the night—less steps to do!

#8: Use white noise so your baby doesn’t startle.

Your baby listened to the white noise of your womb. To go from that to a pitch-quiet room is a big change. Help your baby sleep longer with a white noise machine or a fan. There should be enough sound to keep her from jumping at the slightest sound.

#9: Hang darkening curtains.

Your baby has no sense of day or night when she was in the womb. Out in the real world, she’ll need help adjusting to the hours. Help her get into a routine by hanging darkening curtains, especially at night. Her body will adjust and she’ll know that nights and dark mean long stretches of sleep.

Conclusion

The newborn stage is tough enough as it is. You’re not getting any sleep. Forget about hobbies or leisure time. And your baby takes up nearly all the hours of the day.

With these newborn tips, you’ll have an easier time caring for your baby. You’ll know the best way to relieve your baby of gas and how to help her sleep longer. And you can finally enjoy the newborn months a little bit more

Weeks 29 and 30 Pregnancy Update

Wallpaper-HD-Merry-Christmas-and-a-Happy-new-year-2016

Happy New Year!  I hope you’re enjoying the newness of 2016.  I’ve managed to make it back to work without crying, cursing, or even devising an escape route home, so I would call that a successful transition from vacation to work mode.  In other New Year’s news, I decided to change up the way in which I made resolutions, focusing more on what I wanted to do more or less of as opposed to making grand statements that would most likely diminish before February.

In book news, I made a Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge goal of 30 books, and I’ve completed two books I started in 2015 (so I guess they count?) and 2 I started in 2016: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  The latest book that I started, literally this morning, is Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project: OR Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.  I started listening to Gretchen’s podcast, “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” about three weeks ago and really enjoyed it.  I think she and I are very similar, especially after reading the “Getting Started” section of her book.  I am excited to dig further into this book and share my thoughts with you!

 


How far along? Currently 30 weeks!  The baby is the size of a butternut squash and weighs approximately 3lbs!  The video that updates the baby’s progress on a weekly basis said to anticipate the baby having a half-pound weight increase each week moving forward.

Total weight gain:  Enough to cook a proper baby boy.

Bump Alert: FULL alert!

30 Weeks

Maternity clothes? With the exception of a few t-shirts and workout tops (thanks for the loan, Dan), I am wearing 100% maternity clothing.  This week has been much easier on the wardrobe front because Florida has finally gotten itself together and is having a proper winter.  TGFLS – Thank God for Long Sleeves!

Stretch marks? Still moisturizing and still luckily stretch mark-free!

Sleep: Over the break, I slept A LOT! as in 10+ hours a day through my nightly slumber and naps.  I really enjoyed being given the luxurious freedom to nap.  I have so much respect for women who are pregnant and cannot do this.

Workouts: I walk every day and still have a 15,000 step-a-day goal with my Fitbit, and I do two or three strength training sessions per week.  I have dropped all weights when I do low-body exercises (squats, static lunges, sumo squats, curtsey lunges, mat work) and do everything with just body weight.  It’s still a great workout.

Best moment the week: I really liked my naps.

Food cravings: Nothing out of the usual.  I’m still all about the salty foods.

Labour signs: No!

Symptoms: Slightly swollen feet and dry skin around my tummy.

Belly button in or out? Still an innie despite the belly growth.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Baby Stuff: My aunt gave me a gift certificate for Buy Buy Baby, so I ordered our changing mat and one cover, the mobile for over the crib, and the lamp from our registry.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and tired

Looking forward To: As much as I’m enjoying my students, I am looking forward to the weekend and sleep in!