Saturday, April 14, 2018

I don't know how to make time for myself

One of the hardest things about being a mother is being a creative mother. And not being able to be creative. I miss knitting. I miss writing. I miss coffee shops by myself with a good book. I miss wasting time. Hah.

I know it's a season. But these little people keep me on my toes 24/7. If I take time for myself right now it is usually to the detriment of another part of my life. Took time to knit? Probably didn't make dinner. Or clean. Took time to shower? Well, that time that Rebekah was asleep (for like 20 minutes) could have been spent playing with the toddler. Now she's awake and I have to hold her and play with a toddler. Yay.

There isn't even time to take to cry.

I know you may not believe me. 

Rebekah does not sleep. She just doesn't. Unless I am holding her. It's so hard guys. Maybe she will learn to nap later? I have no clue. She spent the first two weeks of her life sleeping and I was amazed, because Reuben also didn't sleep ever. I was like, I DID IT. I created a baby that sleeps!!

Until she quit. It's been almost three weeks without any daytime naps. She wakes up 3 times a night--and I know that's great. Reuben wakes up twice a night. So guess how many times I wake up a night?

At least we got Reuben's bedtime fixed. We snuggle him to sleep and it usually takes 20-30 minutes, but that beats the 2-3 hours it was taking. We learned we have to wait until it's dark, for one, and also do NO TALKING. So no stimulation. It's been a week of blessed toddler bedtime routine and I for one am thanking God.

I remember that things were easier with Reuben when he turned one. I wonder if it will be the same. Right now I feel like I live in a constant state of stress and unhappiness. I am trying to be joyful and rest in God, but all I want is a mimosa and a vacation from my priorities. This is hard. God is still good, but dang this is hard. I am working every moment of every day and still not getting everything done that needs to be done! It's crazy!

So glad we are not homeschooling yet. Two more years and I'll be adding that to my plate! Yes, I'm excited. But also, where in the world will I fit it in?! And we will honestly probably have 1-2 more kids by that point. Who knows. It's up to God.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tour My Makeup Bag

I used to not wear makeup. Now I do wear it sometimes! Here is a tour of my vegan makeup bag--a minimalist collection of makeup that I wear once or twice a month when I want to feel fancy or am going on a hot date. I wear mostly Gabriel makeup--it's vegan, but more importantly to me--gluten free. It's also pretty affordable, and to a girl that does not wear a ton of makeup a lot--that was a must!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Week 131

One Year Ago, Week 79
Two Years Ago, Week 27

The last vlog I ever made. For awhile now. Maybe I'll start up sometime again, but I expect to take at least a six month break. It got too hard to do with two kids under 3 and a husband and a full time house to run and meals to cook.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

My Crunchy Mama Postpartum Kit

It was guesswork when I bought stuff for Reuben's postpartum recovery. Now I know a little more about what to expect, although every birth is different. Here is what I bought (with links) in case you are interested!

So, what's in my Crunchy Mama Postpartum Kit?

Hemorrhoid Cream from How He's Raised

Seventh Generation Pads
Sitz Bath Spray
Stretch Mark Oil 
From Thrive Market

Breast pads
From Amazon

From my baby shower I got the bath herbs and the nipple cream from a dear friend. You can also hear me talk about why I got what I got in the video below!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Keto What I Eat in a Day

I went keto for my gestational diabetes, and as I was struggling through the diet I couldn't find many what I eat in a day videos from people that were pregnant or that had diabetes. I wanted to show my meals to help others who might be going through the same thing--even if I suck at making videos and filming food.

Here are two what I eat in a day videos from the keto diet (I do lazy keto, the only thing I track is carbs, I stay around 30 net carbs a day) showing what I ate when pregnant and with gestational diabetes. I filmed both of these in my third trimester! The keto diet was amazing for my gestational diabetes and really helped me control my numbers without resorting to meds or insulin. I am glad I was able to stick with it!

One thing to note-- in the first video I call what is clearly thai red curry "green curry". Oops.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Toddlers and Sleep

I wonder if there is a phase of parenthood that is called "the sleep pit of hell" that every parent goes through as they attempt to put a toddler to bed.

We are in that phase now.

There is "before Rebekah" and "after Rebekah". Before Rebekah I nursed Reuben to sleep. I had unrealistic expectations that sleep "after Rebekah" would be the same as sleep "before Rebekah". I was wrong. During my pregnancy my husband and I gently transitioned Reuben out of our bed and into a crib in our bedroom. It was not too hard. I nursed him to sleep and placed him in his crib instead of in bed with me. Sometimes he climbed out, but often he did not. He even started sleeping through the night, something he has never done before! And I slept (as blissfully as a pregnant woman can sleep) sans toddler for my third trimester--the first time in two years that I had not had one little person curled up next to me. As much as I loved bedsharing, I knew (or at least I thought, see next paragraph) that I would probably bedshare with Rebekah and thus needed to move Reuben to his own space. I also assumed I would still be able to nurse him to sleep after she was born, so we didn't change that part of our bedtime routine.

Cue the chaos of birth. I was away from my toddler for two days. This was the first time I had ever been away from him for that long. Even through he was with daddy he immediately sleep regressed when I arrived home. So, I had a newborn who didn't want to be separated from me and a toddler who missed me and also didn't want to be separated from me. Bed time has never been the same since.

First we tried daddy putting Reuben to bed. This resulted in him screaming for me for about half an hour before he fell asleep. It broke my heart but with a newborn there was nothing I could really do. I had to hold and nurse Rebekah. Nursing Reuben gives me nursing aversions (and if I had known this I would have weaned him before Rebekah came, but I didn't know this would happen) so I couldn't nurse him anymore. Those first two weeks Daddy held a boy who didn't want him and tried to get him to sleep. I kept thinking that if we just pushed forward and did the same thing every day he would eventually stop crying.

He didn't.

So then I decided to nurse him. I felt so bad for him. I would nurse Rebekah at the same time and it would really take all of the effort in my body not to cry from the nursing aversions. Afterwards when he did fall asleep I was angry, upset and grouchy. Although this worked for Reuben it did not work for me and was destroying my mental health. I only lasted about a week before I told my husband I couldn't do it anymore. Not to mention nursing him again made him ask to nurse 5043 times or whenever he saw Rebekah nursing, and cry when I told him no. That is not fun and also broke my heart.

I would also like to say that from the moment Rebekah was born Reuben stopped allowing us to put him in his crib (so he is wedged against my back all night, with Rebekah wedged against my front) and he also has stopped also sleeping through the night. He wakes up now 1-2 times a night. Every night. I feel like I would be insane--execpt for Rebekah only wakes up to nurse 1-2 times a night. She's an amazing sleeper. I'd actually get some good sleep if Reuben slept!! When Reuben was Rebekah's age he woke up every 1-2 hours to nurse. I am not making that up. So, I am really grateful that Rebekah's sleep habits are set to "default normal"...for now, at least.

Since week three of "after Rebekah" we have tried various sleep routines to get our toddler to fall asleep. I mean, he should be tired by 7pm! He does not nap anymore and wakes up from 6-7am.

We have tried watching TV until he falls asleep. Rocking him to sleep. Making him lay down in his crib while one of us tells him a story. Cuddling him to sleep. Reading him books. Laying with him and letting him watch something on our phones. One out of three times one of these things will work. Two out of three times he cries and screams "to go downstairs" or wants to roll around and play. If we let him stay up he is extremely cranky the next day and whines all day and is very overtired--so yes, we even tried just letting him stay up. Which we used to do "before Rebekah" when he'd have a sleep issue 1-2 times a week, but since this is EVERY DAY we can't really do that. He needs sleep. And we need to figure out how to put him to sleep.

This week we are trying an audiobook. We all lay down together (him wedged against me) and put on an audiobook and listen to that. It usually takes 45 minutes until he goes to sleep. Then daddy picks him up and puts him in his crib so I can have some space. Until he climbs out and crawls into bed with me again, anywhere from 15 minutes to hours later. It always happens.

I know it's just a season. But I really wish there was a magic sleep method that worked and did not raise my anxiety from all the crying. Oh, the crying. Hysterical crying. You would think I was torturing his favorite stuffed Pooh doll in fiery heinous ways from all the crying, flailing and wailing that goes on.

I feel so bad for him. I feel so bad for me.

I just want him to go to sleep because he needs sleep. And because I need toddler free time. I desperately need toddler free time. And time with my husband. And time with a book. And time to just relax and write blog posts.

Week 128

This week was really hard. Postpartum is definitely difficult and right now life is rough. But it is worth it and God is good. I need sleep. Also, learning lessons the hard way is...hard.

One Year Ago, Week 76
Two Years Ago, Week 24

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Crochet Pineapple Hat Tutorial

If you have followed my blog for a long time, you know I love pineapples. I've made knit pineapple leggings for my baby and even knit pineapple gloves for myself! I love pineapples. Thus, the pineapple hat was born--and it's a mommy and me version! There is a 2-3t size perfect for a toddler and an adult size for mommy or daddy.

You can buy a copy of the pineapple hat PDF pattern for both sizes (adult and 2-3t) in my Ravelry store for only .99 cents. There is also a free video tutorial for the toddler size on my youtube channel in case you need a step by step tutorial or cannot afford the pattern. Good luck!

This pattern uses worsted weight yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook for the toddler size. Download the written PDF here and view the video tutorial (three parts) below.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week 126

The end of Rebekah's first week of life and the start of her second! She really is wonderful. I am sleep deprived and nursing a lot, eating a ton and trying to manage a household on top of taking care of myself and two tiny humans! Okay, one not so tiny. But still miniature! Oh, the forth trimester...

One Year Ago, Week 74
Two Years Ago, Week 22

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tour My Knitting Corner

I needed to revamp my knitting corner, especially with the new baby on the way! I wanted everything close at hand, but also semi-toddler/baby proof. I also was tired of my old way of storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks and wanted to simplify. I am very happy with the solution I found!

You can see what it used to look like here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rebekah is Six Weeks

Six weeks (and a few hours) ago I gave birth to my little girl. She's growing up so fast! I remember when I gave birth telling my husband I was never having sex with him again and never having another baby. You guys. I now have baby fever like crazy. I want all the babies. I am 100% certain in a year or two we will try for another one! I mean, we don't use contraceptives at all, so it could be sooner--but nursing usually helps prevent pregnancy for awhile. I know I want to stop growing our family when I turn 35, so I have 3 more years. I can fit two babies in there. Maybe?

She's holding her head up, pushing with her arms to look around, and she LOVES the sound of big brother's voice. She's waking up 2-3 times a night to nurse (yes, I am so lucky) and goes to bed with me around 10. She naps once a day for about 2 hours--usually I have to babywear, but she stays asleep. Sometimes I can lay her down. Since my first baby didn't sleep at all (poor Reuben) and he woke up 4-5-6 times a night to nurse at this age, I am counting my lucky stars and soaking up all the sleep I can. I know leaps are coming and her sleep may change, but right now I am very blessed.

Showering is hard because she does not like to be put down long. Cooking while babywearing is a bit difficult. Reuben is a big helper! I still feel like I get nothing done but I know I get a lot done. Doing laundry is hard too. By the end of the day I just want an hour to myself with no tiny human attached to me!

She looks a lot like Reuben when he was a baby. But a lot like herself too. Breastfeeding is going great, even if she has a tongue and lip tie. She does swallow a lot of air and gets very gassy, but is still gaining weight. She was 9 pounds at her last check up! Oh, I am so smitten with her tiny smiles...

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Week 125

Our last week as a family of three and the start of our first days as a family of four. As you can imagine, I didn't film too much after birth as life was crazy busy. But my heart is full. We are still trying to figure out bedtime, tandem nursing, feeding ourselves and coping with a new tiny human and a toddler. Sleep is hard to come by but the sweet snuggles are all worth it.

One Year Ago, Week 73
Two Years Ago, Week 21

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dairy Free Keto Meals

I filmed a what I eat in a day video while I was keto, breastfeeding Reuben (he's two) and 36 weeks pregnant. All dairy free keto except for my salad dressing!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week 124

No Rebekah yet! But we do all get sick...yuck!

One Year Ago, Week 72
Two Years Ago, Week 20

Thursday, February 22, 2018

four weeks postpartum

My Rebekah is four weeks old! I can't believe it! She's so alert, watching everything, grabbing my finger and also her own hair. She's wonderful to watch and hold, and I love that God has given me nine months of pregnancy and four weeks of cuddles with her. I hope for many more years to come!

She is breastfeeding like a champ--but having lots of gas, so I think she might be swallowing a lot of air. She was over 9 pounds at her four week check up! But, because of some latch issues, we have an appointment tomorrow to check for tongue and lip tie on her. I am nervous for sure; I don't want her to have to get something clipped--I can't stand to see her cry. However if it helps her air-ingesting issues and colic I know it's the best thing.

So what is new? She's holding her head up a bit! Of course she's still wobbly, but she really is pushing up and looking around and trying to roll over (I think she'll roll over quicker than Reuben for sure, she naturally rocks side to side when we do tummy time).

Reuben is adjusting well. Tomorrow we are going to start on TV detox--I have been lax on our TV watching recently because of, well, postpartum. And lax on his food--he had Bojangles yesterday and Burger King for lunch today! Gasp. (haha)

Anyway, my postpartum period of rest is going well. I feel great--tired, yes, but no pelvic pain and my bleeding has stopped. I am able to do everything I need to do as a mom, if only I had time to do it. I am still going to wait until 6 weeks postpartum to exercise! Not that I have hours in the day to spare for that right now; with a curious toddler and an boob-loving infant that wish to be attached to me 24/7. Literally. 24/7. Have you seen my Instagram co-sleeping picture?

I am so blessed, tired, and yes stressed at times. I have the best friends, the greatest crochet ideas, and no time to spend on any of them. May God give me grace for myself.

proof I do feed him healthy things (bread by Maison d'Orion Catering)

What's in my Hospital Bag for Baby #2

What I packed in my hopeful-to-be-medication free hospital birth bag for the birth of my second child. Less than the first time! Everything fit in one bag (for Reuben's birth I brought two bags and barely used anything) and there is still some room to spare as well.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 123

The week right before I hit full term with Rebekah! By the time this posts, she is here--but right now I don't know when she will get here! Ahh! This was also my husband's first full week back to work after our Christmas vacation, and the week of my birthday "weekend". We celebrated a bit early with some child-free alone time and a trip to my favorite restaurant!

One Year Ago, Week 71
Two Years Ago, Week 19

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Update

So my book that I wrote during NaNoWriMo2016 took a HUGE back burner setting to my pregnancy in 2017. I had planned to publish it last year (2017) but morning sickness kicked my butt. I'm sorry. I feel really unprofessional about it, as well as guilty--but it is what it is. I am about 50 pages from finishing up my second draft after my good personal friend edited it. That is only one edit. I will need 2-3 more before publishing it, and hope to get those done this year. I really really want to! I still have the e-mail addresses of those who wanted to edit it for me, so I will still email you.

A year later. It is what it is, guys.

It's been my lifelong dream to publish a book, so I really feel a lot of anxiety and also excitement about it.

Please be patient with me as I figure this out!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rebekah Wears Things I Made Her

I knit and crochet a lot of things for Rebekah before she was born, and seeing her wear them all has been so special for me! I posted most of these on Instagram already but also wanted to share here...

I can't wait to make her (and Reuben) more things!

The blue coat above was actually made by Wool and Wheel for my son when he was born. It's nice to see Rebekah wear it!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crochet Baby Blanket Tutorial

I made up a pretty baby blanket for Rebekah. It has purple and pink stripes and is super soft! If you want to make one, I made a easy crochet baby blanket pattern on my YouTube. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 House Tour

It's time for my annual house tour! It's changed SO MUCH this year. I watched last years video and thought to myself that just a year ago I was living in clutter! We have downsized a lot!

Next year my video will have a little girl in it...

You can see all my house tours here.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

week three

Three weeks already? Three precious exhausting weeks with Rebekah, Brian and Reuben. I am tired beyond belief yet my heart is so full. I cry almost every day from either something beautiful or from something hard. I can't stop listening to my labor playlist.

I decided this week to stop keto because I was having cravings, and it just sounded so much easier to eat gluten free. And my diabetes is supposed to be gone with the exit of Rebekah's placenta, right? Wrong. Three days after trying that I have jumped right back on keto because it was horrible. I won't go into it, but my body seems to like being keto right now and I'm going to listen to my body even if it is more time consuming. And less fun. But also being a functioning human is important. So. Keto. For now. Also, husband is losing weight and feeling great too and does not want to quit. I want to support him and myself. But I also crave donuts and chips and fruit. I need time to think about this. Deciding anything on a whim isn't good. Why is everything hard.

Rebekah is perfect. I love her! She's a wonderful baby: you know, the kind that does not want to be put down? Also, for some reason she throws a fit every night right when I want to go to bed when she's been well-behaved all day. But she's perfect and I love her. We've been bedsharing, I've moved from sleeping with her in the recliner to sleeping with her in my arms in bed. I do plan on trying out the dockatot for night sleeping sometime...probably around 2-4 months? Reuben has quit napping because we quit nursing (more tears) but HAS BEEN GOING TO BED AT 7PM almost every night. This has been so restful for Brian and I--we get an hour or two to ourselves (well, while I nurse Rebekah, but that's not near as demanding as dividing my attention between Rebekah and a toddler). We've been watching this show called "Psych" and eating snacks. And holding hands. It's like we are newlyweds again. But sleep deprived newlyweds. Instead of doe-eyed ones.

Reuben is coping a lot better. We are still watching a bit much TV and I am still struggling with giving him a good amount of attention. But he is adjusting.

Also, I tried to go out to the park with them both this week for my first non-appointment related venture. It was SO HARD. Getting everything together, putting Rebekah down, (she cried) trying to find my toddlers shoes--my shoes--ugh. By the time we made it to the car I was a frustrated bundle of nerves. But the car ride was smooth--no one cried, and we made it one piece. I even (maybe) started to relax! However managing two kids at the park--even if one can't walk yet--was not for the faint of heart. We were at the park for 20 minutes and I nursed almost the whole time while Reuben took off his shoes and ran around in the muddy puddles. (I told him not to take his shoes off. He would not listen). And after that I was DONE with life, so we went to Panera (the drive through) and mama treated herself to a salad and the toddler to mac and cheese. Then we went home and watched TV. Again.

But we did survive our first outing with only mama with minimal yelling (the shoes, the shoes, leave your shoes on toddler!) and Panera, so I really shouldn't complain.

How are you guys doing? Next week is week four. I want my husband to stay home and make me lunch. I am tired. When do babies sleep more? If she's anything like my son--I have a few years to go.

Week 122

The week my husband went back to work from our wonderful Christmas vacation. Our first week in 2018! It was a good week, but hard to get back into the swing of things and our routine. I am more and more aware that every day could be Reuben's and my last day together. Before Rebekah! Oh Rebekah, when will you arrive?

One Year Ago, Week 70
Two Years Ago, Week 18

Friday, February 9, 2018

Gestational Diabetes, my story

I was shocked when my midwife said I failed my gestational diabetes test. I am paleo, have been for three years, and I thought this was healthy enough and low carb enough that I wouldn't develop gestational diabetes. I also didn't have it with my pregnancy with Reuben, so I didn't even consider the possibly this time around! Little did I know that gestational diabetes is majorly hormone related and not diet-centered!

I have an extreme fear of needles. Not only that, but I suffer from pregnancy depression and anxiety (as in, this only happens when I am pregnant). Needless to say it was not a good week for me. At all.

But this is my story. I went keto to manage my gestational diabetes because I want to avoid medicating myself if at all possible. And I developed some good coping mechanisms to help me with my testing fears. I hope these two videos will help with others with their own gestational diabetes diagnosis, or at least shed some light into what my journey looked like!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Week of Keto Dinners

I eat a lot of different things on the keto diet but these are a few of my favorite easy keto dinners that I keep coming back to! Some are made by me and some are from others--I'll link where I can!

This is a really easy dinner. I take half an onion, and a pound or half a pound of ground beef or sausage and cook it. I add a bag of butternut squash risotto from the frozen section of our local store, and half a bag of kale or spinach, a dash or two of milk or butter, and some spices. Cooks up fast and is super yummy!

Something more "traditional" looking. Baked chicken tenders breaded in almond flour and nutritional yeast (I do a 1:1 mixture) and cauliflower mashed with salt, pepper and butter. Two low carb dipping sides. 

This is the keto egg roll in a bowl recipe from ketogasm. It's really good!

Green curry. Basically just green curry paste, veggies, chicken and coconut milk! Super simple and very filling. Sometimes we add cauliflower rice.

Taco salad. Taco meat in taco seasoning on top of salad, with everything you'd put on a taco. I use chipotle low carb dressing--so yum and spicy! My husband actually cooked this, so I am not quite sure of the process, but it was very very good.

A very simple keto meal of roasted (or pan-fried) broccoli and mushrooms with fish.

Keto ramen! So amazingly delicious and only took around 15 minutes to make, I'm serious! This is actually a whole 30 recipe but it's keto too. I found it on instagram.

What are you guys eating for dinner lately?
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