Favorite Drink to Replace Sodas

It has been really hard starting a diet and trying to figure out what I am able to eat while still being healthy, especially since I love all kinds of soda. Pepsi is absolutely my favorite. So trying to find a zero calorie drink that still gives the illusion of a soda has been a little difficult.

But my favorite one I found so far is a Sparking Ice which is a Naturally Flavored Sparkling Water. It doesn’t taste exactly like a Pepsi would, but it gives that same fizzy feeling as if you were drinking a soda. And they are not too expensive as well (one bottle is $1.00).

Another benefit to the Sparkling Ice drink is that there are some vitamins and antioxidants already in it, so that can give me one less thing to worry about when thinking about what to have as a meal throughout the day.

My favorite flavors right now would have to be the Peach Nectarine and the Strawberry Watermelon. Let me know what your favorite flavors are or if you know of any zero calorie drinks that I may like during this dieting process! 🙂

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How Anxiety Affects My Relationship

Gian has been so great in supporting me and being my rock for the past 5 years. He works his best to try to understand me and make sure that I feel loved and secure every single day. It’s just very little things that affects him every day, but he handles them well.

Some examples would be making him check out in a grocery store because thinking about the idea of talking to somebody makes my heart race. It calls for some tight hugs and comforts when it gets to the point of a breakdown and assuring me that it’s okay. He reminds me that he loves me every single day and that one sentence can give me so much comfort. When he has to work at night, he lays with me until I fall asleep because knows that I start to get anxious. If I ask him if he wants to go somewhere, he knows that I’m silently begging him to come with me because I don’t want to go alone.

And sometimes my anxiety gives me dark thoughts. I start to imagine him wanting to leave me because it’s too much to handle. Maybe he’s said “I love you” one too many times that it’s become an annoyance instead of a reassurance and truth.  Maybe I asked him to stay with me too many times when he really had to go.

But the love of my life is still here, after 5 years. He’s still here. And in less than a year he’ll be my husband, and I know he’ll be here for me forever.

Why I Chose to Swaddle My Kids…

There were a few disagreements when I began to swaddle my babies after I had them, especially from my mom since that was not something she did when I was born. But there are a lot of good things that can come from swaddling your baby.

I liked to swaddle my kids because it kept them from startling themselves awake at night. After babies are born they have a natural startle reflex where they get scared in their sleep and their arms will fly up and scare them to the point where they wake up. As a new mom, you want to keep your baby asleep and not waking up every 5 minutes. Even when you just try to lay them down in their crib, it can cause them to startle themselves awake. Swaddling helps keep their arms close to their body so they don’t startle themselves.

There are many different kinds of swaddles out there as well. There is the blanket swaddle which includes a lot of twisting, tying, and wrapping. The blanket swaddle is nice because there are so many different colors and fabrics available to you and different positions you’re able to swaddle baby in.

There is also the sleep sack swaddle which only has a zipper going up the middle which requires no wrapping or twisting. I really liked the sleep sack swaddle because it allows the baby to move their arms and legs naturally as they would in the womb, but still doesn’t allow them to fully lift up their arms and startle themselves.

The velcro swaddle was my least favorite because my kids could always pull their arms out of them and it wasn’t tight enough to even hold their arms down since the velcro continued to come loose each time I used it (and it was also difficult to wash).

I think there are a lot of good benefits when it comes to swaddling babies. It calms them down and helps them stay asleep longer, it can keep them warm without having any loose blankets in the crib, and there are many different options for different parents and babies preferences.

Receptionist vs Anxiety

My anxiety stems from more of a social aspect and yet for some reason I became a receptionist at a pediatric clinic. I decided to go to school to become a Medical Administrative Assistant so that I could start working in billing and coding. Billing and coding doesn’t require a lot of face to face aspect with patients or possibly any at all. But in order to get into a billing/coding position, you have to have experience in the medical field. So I became a medical receptionist.

Some days are definitely harder than others when it comes to dealing with my anxiety at work. Sometimes I’ll have to take a 10 minute walk to try to calm my racing heart beat or other times I’ll just step away and try to drink some water. My anxiety doesn’t usually come from any necessary trigger though. Sometimes it’s just hard to be around people.

It can take a lot of courage sometimes for me to want to talk to people. I get nervous over what I’m going to say and honestly over think every little word or sentence before I say it. One of my giveaways that my anxiety is bothering me is that my leg will start shaking. That’s usually how people around me can tell when I’m feeling anxious.

After a year of working as a medical receptionist though, I feel like it has definitely helped me learn how to cope with my anxiety in situations where I have to confront somebody. You can’t always make everybody happy and I feel like that’s the hardest part of going to work. You know at least one person is going to be upset and I honestly always think they’re upset at me – even though I’m sure it’s not. But like I said, I like to over think unnecessary things. I’ve learned that there are people going through the same thing as well and that they’ll always support me when I need it and that’s definitely something I’ll never take for granted.

 

Tips For an Easy Labor & Delivery

It can be really scary and nerve wracking when you find out that it’s most likely time for your baby to come. There are so many things rushing through your head that you are trying to not worry about, but unfortunately it’s possible to not worry. You are bringing a new life into the world and it’s a scary feeling.

Here are some tips for having a smooth delivery:

  1. Try to have a birth plan or ideas in mind, but don’t expect it to go as planned. Think of your birth plan as your most wanted things to happen during the birth experience, but know that it can be impossible for it to go exactly as planned. Think about if you want to go all natural or receive an epidural. Prepare yourself that your doctor could possibly not be the one delivering your baby. Mentally prepare yourself that baby will most likely not be born on their due date.
  2. When your water breaks, it will feel different for each individual. Personally for me, it felt like I kept accidentally peeing my pants every 5 minutes. Some people have a huge gush of water. It’s usually a clear fluid and smells… different. But if you think your water broke, then it probably did and you should call your doctor.
  3. If you get an epidural, do not move. No matter how scared you are or how much it moves, really try to not move when that needle is near your spine. When I got my epidural it felt like a burning sensation about the size of a fist on my back where the needle was. Then I felt a shock go down one of my whole legs and it made my leg jump up. Then over the process of having the epidural I felt very cold and kept shaking even though I couldn’t feel anything below my waist. If you decide to get an epidural, they will have to also put in a catheter, so be aware of that!
  4. Try to walk around if you can. It may sound pretty cliche, but walking around will actually help the baby move down and help move your labor along so you begin to dilate.
  5. When it comes to pushing, one of my best forms of advice that I tell people is to not scream. Screaming or yelling will use up your energy that you should be using to focus on pushing. Even though it will hurt a lot and you will want to scream, try not to.
  6. Finally, when you are at the point where it’s time to start pushing, curl up into your stomach with every push as if you were trying to do crunches. If you curl up into your stomach, it’ll help naturally push baby down because you’re not allowing them to stay up if they’re sitting up high near your rib cage.

I hope these can help you make your labor and delivery at least just a little bit easier. Let me know if any of them work for you!

Cross Country Moving?

It can be a very big decision to move across the country, especially when you basically spent your whole life in one place. I have lived in Seattle, WA since I was 5 years old, but now that I have two young kids and became a mom very young, it’s really difficult to afford to live here. Right now Seattle is on its path to become the most expensive city in the United States to live in (even more expensive than California). Houses are averaging at about at least $550,000. Some of these houses were even built in the 1970’s. Any of the newer houses are averaging at $800,000 – $1,000,000 right now. This is something that unfortunately is really difficult for us to afford and Gian has some family in Georgia and a house available for us to move into.

The differences in prices between Seattle and Georgia is definitely a huge difference. House prices are around $250,000 – $350,000 in Georgia. Gas in Seattle is $2.85 and in Georgia it’s at $2.11. The schools have better ratings in Georgia and even the prices of food are cheaper.

We have lived in Georgia before for about 6 months at a time for each of my pregnancies and it was really difficult for me to be away from my home and as much as I wish I could make it work to live in Seattle, it’s just not becoming a reality. I need to do what is best for my children and there are many benefits to my family for moving to Georgia.

We would have a house ready for us to live in, I would only have to work part time if even, Gian’s income stays the same no matter which state we live in, and I could focus more of my time giving my children the childhood that they deserve. It will be a huge transition and it’s not happening anytime in the near future, but it is definitely a serious thought crossing our minds.

If you have any advice on how to cope with moving away from your family, let me know!

Choosing Your Wedding Dress

It can be a tough decision trying to decide on your wedding dress, especially with all of the different styles to choose from. Here are some tips from my experience when choosing my wedding dress.

  1. People will always have a different opinion. It’s good to listen to people’s advice, but you can’t make everybody happy when choosing a dress. Make sure to choose what you like as well.
  2. Look at pictures and choose a style, but don’t be afraid to try on every style. A picture of a dress can look a lot different than it would on you, so don’t be afraid to explore.
  3. Don’t feel pressured. Even if everyone around you loves the dress on you, at the end of the day you need to love it too.
  4. Have some wiggle room in your budget. When you plan together your budget for your dress, keep a standard number in mind that you want to stay at, but also allow some wiggle room if your dream dress has a price just a little bit higher.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say no. It is your dress after all, so if you don’t like something, speak up. You don’t want to be caught trying to make other people happy and ending up hating the dress you bought.
  6. You don’t have to pick your dress the first time you go in to try some on. If you’re not sure, take the night to think about it and then come back on a different day with a clear head.

I feel as though a wedding dress can be a very important part of your wedding, so don’t be in a rush to make a decision. Try to be focused and have a clear mind and think about the overall picture of what you want your wedding day to be. Your day deserves to be perfect no matter what.