Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's Time

I totally see why mom's get frumpy.  I've never been a real big "dress up" person anyway... I love me some good yoga pants and tshirt!  But now that I'm a mom of 3, I'm finding it harder to carve out time to put on makeup and do my hair.  I've been living in $6 sweatpants from Walmart and glasses... and you know what?  I'm fine with that!  Yep, this picture below is how I went to Costo the other day.

BUT I know I don't look good and I really do feel better about myself when I at least slap a little makeup on.  Especially right now while I'm trying to lose this baby weight.  And lets be honest, I'm not one of those people who lose it super quick.   
 With my first child it took me 6 months and with my second, it took me about a year and I was still about 5 pounds over my start weight.  This time around I gained about 45 pounds....AHHHHH I hate even writing it!  But I'm trying to remember to love this body that gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and be patient as I know it's going to take some work, and time, and not going to happen over night.
So with that in mind, I want to start eating better but it's HARD.  Especially when you've been so lax for the last 9 months.  BUT I know every morning when I go to try on my clothes and nothing fits... not even close, that it's time to get serious.  The exercising part is not hard for me... its the diet.
I'm writing this because I need some serious motivation!  I lost 10 lbs in the last 6 weeks by signing up for a boot camp and that really was such a great kick start to get me going.  Now its time to clean up the diet.  Im not exactly sure how I want to proceed though... My friend has had really great success with Weight Watchers so I'm thinking about trying that.  I'm already a member of Tone It Up, and I have their nutrition plan so I might start there.  BUT what I do know for sure is I need to start drinking more water.  So for this week my goal is to drink 70 oz of water a day.  Actually lets make it a month challenge.  Who's with me?

This months challenge:  
Drink 70 oz of water a day!

Starting April 1st and lasting all month, keep track of how much water you drink.  Dont drink it all at once, spread it out for the duration of the day.  To motivate myself, I'm not allowing myself to have a Diet Coke until I have reached my daily water intake.  And I love me some Diet Coke so this is totally motivating for me!

So here's a before and after picture of my last 6 weeks.  I'll be posting one of these babies every month to keep me motivated!
The before picture is from February and the after is in March.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Prenatal Yoga: Preparing for Labor

I remember going in for delivery when having my first baby and being so nervous... Now even after having my third, I still get nervous!
Although I was bigger with this baby than the previous two, I still continued to practice yoga and get a little cardio in.
During delivery, it's important to focus on your breath and stay as calm as possible.  I have to admit, I get an epidural but I try to wait as long as I can.  I think this is where yoga has helped me immensely. I know how to control my breath and find that inner peace when things start to get tough.  If I had any advice for a woman who is nervous about delivery, it would be to practice either meditation or the breathing part of yoga.  
The most important part of doing any type of exercise while pregnant is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  I've found that this last pregnancy has been a little more uncomfortable than the previous two.  I felt more pressure down my legs and realized I need to do more modifications with my practice.  One pose I've really noticed this with is tree.  I still had good balance but noticed that putting my foot up to my thigh made the pressure in my legs worse.  So I had to let go of my ego and just place my foot on my calf.  I've also noticed that I get light headed when I'm in down dog for too long, so I have modified to only holding this pose for a breath or two before moving on. 

disclaimer** I debated adding pictures to this post because I am certainly not in the shape I want to be.  (I guess just having a baby does that to ya.)  But I decided that this is my reality right now, but hopefully not for too long!  Also, a post without pictures is just boring.** 

One exercise that is very beneficial for mommas getting ready to deliver is kegel exercises.  The great thing about this exercise is you can do it anywhere without people knowing.  Kegels help tone the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle, which is what you use to stop the flow of urine.  Practicing these exercises can help prevent hemorrhoids (and those hurt almost worse than delivery itself), decrease your pushing time, and help with a fast recovery time.  So how do you do these exercises?  Oh I thought you'd never ask ;)  

  • act like your trying to stop the flow of urine to isolate these muscles.  Now I've heard to not actually do these when your trying to pee because it can cause a UTI, but I've never had one before and will occasionally try it while going to the bathroom just to make sure I'm doing it right.  
  • squeeze for 5 seconds then release for 5 seconds.  And repeat!  Try up to 10 times, 3 times a day!
** As I was writing this article, I found that there is a lot of controversy in whether to practice kegal exercise while pregnant.  So please make sure you consult your doctor before doing any type of work out.

Childs Pose
This pose is great to help alleviate morning sickness, headaches, and promotes a restful sleep.  It is also said to aid in relieving hemorrhoids.  
  • Start on all 4s and slowly bring your hips back until they're resting on your heels.   Remember to allow your knees to spread out wider to make room for your growing belly.  You can keep your arms stretched out in front of you or bring them back by your heels.  your forehead can rest on the ground or be placed on a bolster.  Close your eyes and enjoy this pose for however long you like!

This pose has NEVER felt so good!  If I'm feeling any a little discomfort in my back, I make sure to do this pose a couple of times and feel so much better!
  • Start on all 4's.  Inhale as you take your gaze up to the ceiling, pointing your heart forward and your tailbone up.  Allow the belly to drop.
  • Exhale looking toward your belly button, separating the shoulder blades and point you tailbone toward the ground.  Think of a scared Halloween cat.  

Crescent lunge
This is a great pose to help strengthen your thighs and hip flexors.
  • Step your right foot back making sure to keep both hips pointing to the front of the room.  I like to start with my hand on my hips to make sure they didn't open up to the side.
  • Begin to lift arms up towards the ceiling and if it feels good to you, start taking your gaze up too.  Thinking of squeezing your hips together the whole time.

Down Dog
This pose helps to release the muscles around the uterus and abdomen.  It also helped to relieve some of the lower back and sciatic pain I had going on!
  • Start on all 4s and roll your toes underneath you.  Slowly lift your knees up off the ground, pressing your hips back.  Hold for as long as you want.  I found I started getting dizzy in this pose towards the end of my pregnancy so I could only hold for a couple of breaths.

Legs up the wall
This pose helps to relieve swelling of the feet and legs and also helps to prevent hemorrhoids.  It also helps to promote a restful nights sleep!

  • Take your time getting into this pose especially toward the end of your pregnancy.  Scoot close to a wall and place your hips as close to the wall as feels comfortable.  Then allow your legs to move up the wall as you take your arms out into a T position and just... RELAX

Sounds simple right?  But you would be surprised how many of us practice poor breathing techniques... Especially when we get nervous or anxious.  We start breathing through our mouth and feel like we can't get enough air.  
There are SO many benefits benefits of yogic breath.  Especially for labor.  Yogic breath can help you feel in control of your body and help manage pain.  It can also decrease fatigue and help you focus.
If you practice belly breathing BEFORE labor, it will be easier to remember and to think about it when the going gets tough.  Belly breathing can help calm you and help you tune in to that intense focus you might need.  
  • Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes so you can focus on your breath without letting outside influences distract you.  Inhale, breathing in through your nose, feeling the BELLY, not the chest expand.  Exhale, breathing out through your nose, feeling the belly pull in.  I like to count how long I'm inhaling and exhaling.  Start small, breathing in for 3 counts and exhaling for 3 counts.  See how long you can make your breaths.  Maybe 6,8, or even 10 seconds?  
After having your baby, make sure you give your body a chance to heal.  I know I feel ready to start working out at around 3 weeks but found with my first baby that this isn't smart to do for my body.  However, you can always practice breathing or meditating and a few small yoga moves until you get the okay from you doctor for a more vigorous workout.

What yoga moves do you feel has helped you during your pregnancy or delivery?   

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I"m giving one lucky winner they're choice of a beanie and a headband or 2 beanies from my shop!  Go to The Funky Monkey Blog for details!!

Here are a couple of beanie and headbands you can choose from!

Make sure to go to Ashes and Lace on Etsy to see all the other options!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

packing for the hospital for delivery

Even though this was my third child, I still scoured the internet to know exactly what I should be packing to take to the hospital.  My sister just had a baby 4 months ago so I made sure to call her for any good last minute tips.
(Sorry the quality of pictures aren't the best.  I was busy having a baby! lol)

Remember everyone is different and there are TONS of posts out there about what to pack, but this was the REALISTIC items for me.  I am not a very high maintenance person,  especially in the hospital so I didn't worry about bringing lots of clothes or personal items.

I did put makeup on right before delivery because I knew we would be snapping pics and I didn't want to look like death!  hahhah!  But then I didn't worry about it again until I got home.  I even had to stay a couple of extra days so my friends and family got to see me all natural!

Here were the essentials that I packed and used:
  • a robe- I loved having my robe close by any time I had to get up, and especially when changing rooms.
  • my own pillow- Like I said earlier, I had to stay a couple of extra days and having my own pillow made it so much easier to sleep and be comfortable.
  • blanket- same a pillow... and I get cold easy!
  • boppy pillow- it made it nice to have this when I started nursing my baby
  • makeup
  • makeup remover/cleansing wipes
  • lip balm- I was so happy I had packed this because my lips got super chapped
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • snacks- Even though you can't eat before delivery, I got the munchies while I was there 
  • nursing tank- It was nice to have something under my gown and something that was easy to nurse in
  • nursing bra- again nice to have for a little more coverage
  • glasses- I usually wear contact all the time, but they got super dry in the hospital so my glasses felt SO good.
  • gift for sibling from baby- For my kids, this made them instantly warm up to our new addition.
  • Ipad/phone- TV is horrible in the hospital... at least it was in my room.  The picture was super fuzzy and there was nothing on that I was interested in at all.  I was so happy I had my iPad where I use Ibooks.  Between taking care of baby and in between visitors and sleeping, it was nice to have my book.
  • make sure you bring loose clothing for afterwards.  As much as I want to be THAT person that walks out in a cute tighter shirt in my pre pregnancy jeans... it aint happenin.  I actually still look pregnant 2 weeks later, which is super annoying! gah!
  • Take home outfit for baby.  
  • If its a girl, bring some bows.  I liked having some cute bows and hat for all the hospital pictures.
  • Nurses gift- This time I brought a little gift for some of my nurses and I'm so glad I did!  I had some AWESOME nurses and was glad that I had a little something to let them know how much we appreciated them!

Don't worry about bringing diapers and things like that.  The hospital provides that kind of thing.  Also, before you leave, take everything  you can get your hands on!  They expect you to take them so don't feel bad!  
The nose suckers the hospital are so much better than the ones you can buy at the store so make sure to take it!  And if you have a cool nurse, see if you can get an extra ;)
Remember, your not going to a nice luxurious hotel where your going to dress up and go out to dinner, so pack a bag or two and leave the rest!  Because what you pack, you just have to unpack when you get home :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What To Bring A New Mom

Can I just say I love my community and my church?  After bringing Marley home, I've realized what great people I am surrounded by.  The sisters in my church ward are all so willing to give service and help out and it's made me realize I need to be better.  Better at asking someone what they need, or following a prompting or an instinct to serve someone when the opportunity arises.

After coming home with the baby, we've had dinners delivered to us straight for the first week and then Dave's parents came to town so I've been very spoiled!

Now everyone is different but I wanted to share with you some things I really liked:

1-Maybe check to see if that meal has already been provided for them.

 I LOVED having a home cooked meal delivered!  The only thing I would suggest is to make sure to keep in contact with the family you are bringing it to.  I love chicken enchiladas but we did get it three times in a week...

2- Let the family know that you are bringing a meal and what time they can expect you.

There was a couple of times where it was getting kind of late and I knew someone was going to bring us a meal, but I didn't know who or what time they were going to come.  So make sure to contact the family early and let them know the game plan.

3- Adding a dessert is AWESOME!!

It doesn't have to be anything big (think store bought cookies)  but having something sweet was so nice!  Especially for the kids (wink wink)

4- Remember the baby is a newborn and shouldn't have much contact with people

Now everyone who brought me a meal was awesome about this but I was a little concerned people would want to stay, hang out and hold the baby.  This is where mama bear comes out and I felt a little over protective about so many people being in contact with my baby who was only days old.  It was really nice that people understood this and a lot of my friends said they would come back to hold her when she was a little older.  (Even the next week seemed a little safer to me.)

5- Take the other kids even for an hour or two.

I was very reluctant to let someone take my other two kiddos because I didn't want them to feel like the baby was more important than them or that I didn't want them around... but after a couple of days of being couped up in the house, they were ready to get out!  And mama was ready to let them get out! lol!

6- Come visit

The world kind of stands still for a new mom.  But at the end of the first or second week, I was getting ancy.  I felt a little left out! hahah!  I knew other people were going to the park or doing something else and I felt a little stuck.  It was very refreshing to have some of my close friends stop by and bring me a diet coke and hang out for a bit.

7- Don't feel like you have to bring a gift when you come and visit

I had a couple of friends who were feeling bad because they didn't bring a gift when they came over but let me tell you, I was just really glad to see them!  I could care less whether they brought a gift.  Their presence alone was a huge gift!

Hope you find this helpful next time someone has a baby!  Thanks for reading!

Linking up to:

The Wednesday Showcase

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

She's Here!

Marley Marie was born September 23rd and weighed 6 lbs and 15 oz.  We love her so much and really enjoying her sweet little spirit she brings into our home!  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What I learned Growing Up In A Small Community

The other day, my little girl asked me what a farm looked like.  It made me really sad to think I've gotten so far away from my roots that my child doesn't have a clue what it was like growing up in a teeny tiny farming community.

Okay when I say small, people don't quite understand how small I'm  talking about.  The population sign entering Mud Lake said 179!  Now that's small!  Granted most people live outside of the "city" limits so there were definitely more people than that, but you get the gist of what I'm saying.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on my up bringing at all.  In fact, I'm very proud of it!  I'm glad that I learned to work and didn't take things for granted.  I'm glad I had to drive an old beater car because I had a horse that I cared for.  I'm glad we had a huge garden that I had to pick weeds out of as part of my summer chores (man, I never thought I would hear myself say that!)  I'm glad I lived in a place where you left your keys in your car and never worried about locking your doors.

As I reflect on my childhood, I'm thankful for the life lessons I learned.  Here are a few:

1.  Volunteer work is a way of life
 Our small community wouldn't have worked if people expected to get paid for any little act of service that was performed.  My dad and my brother were volunteers for the fire department, and my mom was always doing some type of community volunteer work.

2. If you didn't make a plan, you go without
   The nearest Wal-Mart was about a 45 minute drive, and so when you made a trip into town, you had to prepare!  And if you forgot something on your list, you did without.  Yes we did have a little gas station and a little grocery store, but you didn't do all of your shopping there.  It was too expensive.

3. The animals needs come before your own
When your a farm girl, you learn there is no such thing as a 9-5 work day.  We sometimes had up to 30 horses at a time all in individual stalls that needed to be fed and watered at least twice a day.  That was my chore in the summer and I learned that before I even asked to go do something, the horses came first.  Now that I look back on it, I can say I loved being out there working on my tan and sometimes reading a book as I waited for each watering trough to fill up (my younger self would've never admitted that! lol)  I feel like this experience helped me as a mom because you realize your kids needs always come first.  It's never convenient and there's a lot of times I want to pass the responsibility on to someone else (don't we all wish sometimes?)  but there is nothing more gratifying than raising my kids.

Me at around 7 years old, feeding the baby calves

4. There is no such thing as a 9-5 work day.
Growing up on a farm, you realize that work needs to be done all the time.  There is no such thing as sleeping in until 8 and being done at 5.  Some days are shorter and some are longer.  When you are in the middle of harvest, days and nights will be long!  If a cow is ready to calve, you stay up at night to help her.  But even though the schedule is crazy, I appreciate that my family always made sure we sat down together at the table for a nice family dinner.  Every. night.  My mom is an amazing cook and even when the schedules got crazy when we got older, family dinner was always a priority.  Most nights there were usually a couple of extra people around the table as well.  I love that I grew up that way.

5. TV was limited
This was actually one I never thought about as a child because we only had 3 channels.  Most of the time they were all "grown up" shows so we didn't care about TV.  We did however look forward to Saturday morning cartoons.  Sometimes my sister and I would set our alarm for 6 am to try to catch the early cartoons!
Sometimes after school, if our chores and homework were done, we were able to pick out a movie we could watch.  And the funny thing is, I never felt like I was missing anything!  I have to admit, my kids watch a lot more TV now, but I do try to stay conscious of how much iPad and TV time we have a day.

I could go on and on about things I've learned but I don't want to bore those of you reading!  I'm sure there is different lessons learned growing up in a city that my kids will learn and I'm HOPING I teach them things that are important for them to become successful, responsible adults!