Deciding To Go On a Diet…

I have never had to actually do any dieting even when I had Alianna and Gianni because I was lucky enough to lose all of my pregnancy weight very quickly and naturally. But now that I am getting married, I found my wedding dress in February and ordered a size 6 because it fit perfectly. Now after 4 months, I had to try on my wedding dress and realized it barely fit me.

I decided that I had to change something. I had two options.

Option 1: Go on a diet and exercise and try to be able to fit into my original dress I ordered.

Option 2: Exchange my dress for the same dress in a size 8, lose weight because I’m unhappy with my body now, and hope that the dress is not too big when it comes in (or possibly still too small).

I decided to try Option 1 to start and see if I make any progress over the next month.

Gian and I have been trying to go for walks whenever we are able to. We like to walk to the lake and it gives us some time alone to talk without any distractions. We talk about goals, stresses, wedding, and the babies.

Our new lease will be beginning in the middle of July and we’ll have access to a gym where I can get some more work outs done and truly focus on different parts of my body.

While exercising is a good start on trying to be healthy, I’ve also been trying to eat healthy. I love fast food so much that this will truly be the hardest part for me. I cut out Starbucks from my daily coffee (500+ calories), stray away from fast food unless absolutely given no other options, and keep my calories at about 1800 a day.

I’ve had to cut out soda, drink more water, and have been trying to eat oatmeal for breakfast every day and some fruit during lunch. It will definitely be an interesting journey since I will have to lose about 20 pounds to become successful with my goal.

If you have any advice about dieting or exercise, let me know!

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Keeping Your Relationship Alive with Two Kids

After having children, it can be very hard to make time for your significant other. Once you have a child, you can become very concerned with only making sure that they are okay and healthy and since it can be exhausting, it’s hard to make time for anything else. It’s very important to still continue to bond and make memories with your significant other though.

Gian and I definitely struggle with trying to make time for each other with our different work schedules and having two toddlers. Our favorite thing to do is after putting the kids to bed, we spend at least an hour together watching a show or playing video games. We also like to cook dinner together because it’s a good way to spend time together while also doing something as a family. It’s nice to have some family support so that we can do a date night at least once a month. When we go out to dinner together, Gian and I try to get into the habit of not talking about the kids which can be difficult since our life basically revolves around them now.

Some of our favorite shows to watch together are:

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Scandal
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • The Flash
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Designated Survivor

Some of our favorite video games to play together are:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Kirby
  • Fire Emblem
  • Yoshi
  • Mario Kart

It’s still nice to be able to act like young adults and have some fun together even with the simple things like video games. Be sure to make time for your significant other. It can be hard and frustrating and definitely an exhausting time with children, but it’s so important to stay true to what you two believe in as well and continue loving each other.

 

Tips to Make Your Pregnancy Just a Little Bit Easier…

Being pregnant can take a serious toll on any woman’s body. It takes a lot of hard work and changes to create a healthy little baby. There are some things that I did to try to make it just a littleĀ bit easier.

  1. Eat your cravings! Unless otherwise specified for your doctor for a reason that may actually harm your baby, enjoy it. Enjoy being able to eat what you really want without having anybody judging you. After you have your baby, you may have to change your diet and stay healthy if you plan on breastfeeding.
  2. Go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a huge hike up a mountain, but it will naturally help your baby move down throughout your pregnancy.
  3. If you are having a lot of back pain, I definitely recommend looking into getting a maternity band. A maternity band wraps around your waist and helps hold your stomach up to take some of pressure off of your back.
  4. Sleep with a lot of pillows. The best way I found for it to sleep while I was pregnant was to have at least 4 pillows. One pillow for my head, one for behind my back, one to help elevate my stomach, and one to go between my legs as I slept on my side every night. Maternity pillows have become a huge product recently, but I felt since I was having to spend money on a baby, I would rather not spend $70 on a giant pillow that will only be used for 6 months.
  5. Trouble Sleeping? My doctor recommended that I try using Unisom Liquid Gels to help me get to sleep. With any sleep medication, be sure to ask your doctor before using it.
  6. Leg cramps? It can be very painful getting cramps in your legs during pregnancy. I found that an easy way to get rid of the pain is to completely stretch out your leg, pointing your toes down and it will help stretch the nerve and release the pressure.

If you have any questions or need some more advice on how to get through your pregnancy, please feel free to leave a comment or message me! šŸ™‚

Finding the Right Childcare

It can be really difficult trying to find the right daycare/nanny to take care of your children. There are so many scary news stories out there about children being injured or mistreated while in the care of somebody else. It can also be really expensive.

In my situation, full time childcare is about $1,000 a month per child. And unfortunately I am $40 over the income limit to receive any help from the state when trying to get care for my children. I work a full time job, 40 hours a week, and a second job on Saturdays to try to keep up with the needs of trying to live in Seattle, WA. It would basically add up to my whole paycheck of trying to put both my children into childcare which would defeat the purpose of going to work.

At first I tried to find a nanny through Care.com which I found someone who was very great and understanding at first of my schedule. Over time, my kids were begging for me to not have her come over and she was taking over children about 30 miles away every day for a “play date.” It didn’t last very long and we ended up having find care from someone else.

We found an in home daycare licensed through the state that was about 5 minutes from our home and seemed like they were taking good care of our kids. She understood our needs for care, our schedules, and that we couldn’t afford much (about $800/week). It was going great for about 3 months and then when I messaged about bringing our kids in at a different time at the beginning of March, the lady stated that she raised her prices and also gave away my children’s spots in her daycare. It was really upsetting that it happened without notice when my kids had been there the week beforehand and she could’ve easily mentioned it to us.

Then someone referred us to a nanny share situation and she has been really great. We pay her $25/day per child and she sends us picture, video, and text updates on the children throughout the day to let us know how they’re doing. They get fed really good meals, have many different activities to do, and they go on a daily walk outside to the park to interact with other children and get some fresh air.

It took a really long time to find someone that you can honestly trust with your child. It is a learning experience and you want to find someone who is affordable, understanding, and truly cares about your child. The most important thing to me is that the person will take care of your child, no matter what. I just want someone who will treat them like their own. They are my babies and they deserve the best. Keep an open mind, keep trying to find someone if you have to, and always trust your gut when it comes to child care.

Eczema in Toddlers

Alianna and Gianni both have eczema on their arms and legs. It started out when they were infants and appeared as a red, harsh, bumpy rash on their cheeks. It slowly became spots of eczema on their elbows, under their knees, and on their thighs. I had to try to figure out what I could use to help soothe their itchy, irritated skin.

The first step to try help soothe their skin was to stop giving them a daily bath, which meant changing their bedtime routine. The kids now get a bath every 2 – 3 days because the water can dry out their skin and instead make the eczema worse.

Next, I had to try and find a sensitive soap to use for their skin that would moisturize and clean them. I had to stop using Johnson & Johnson Nighttime Baby Wash with lavender and started to use Aveeno eczema body wash which has soothing oats in it and is a little bit thicker than normal body wash, but not as thick. I liked that for a while until I found The Honest Company baby shampoo and body wash at Costco for $14.99 for two big bottles. This soap smells so amazing and is very gentle on my baby’s skin.

For after bath time, I found a lotion from Aveeno that is used specifically for eczema and when it gets rubbed into the child’s skin, it leaves it very soft and moisturized and immediately calms down the harsh redness.

The last thing that I have to use a lot on my kid’s skin is sunscreen since summer has started and the sun has been shining down on everybody. The brand of sunscreen I use for them is also the Aveeno children’s sunscreen for sensitive skin.

Aveeno is a really great brand for children with sensitive skin in my opinion, but as for shampoo and body wash I believe that The Honest Company brand is the best out of the two. It can be really hard and a huge waste of money trying to find something that will help your children’s skin instead of making it worse and these were the best options for my little family.

Back to School?

When is a good time to go back to school after having a baby?

Unfortunately there is never a good time for really anything after having a baby. There are many questions you need to ask yourself before deciding to go back to school.

  1. Can you afford to go back to school andĀ take care of a baby?
  2. Do you have the resources and finances in place to set up childcare while you’re attending school?
  3. Do you have the transportation to get to and from school?
  4. Can you allow time to study after school with a baby?
  5. Will you be able to keep yourself and the baby healthy? (Ex: getting enough sleep)

All of these questions are not made to scare anybody away from going to school. They are just important to think about before finally making the big decision.

I decided to go back to school when I was 7 months pregnant with Gianni. I was signed up and ready to go when he was only 3 weeks old. I realized that with Alianna and Gianni there was never going to be a good time, but if I did it earlier then that would mean that I would be closer to making money to help support them and they wouldn’t necessarily remember the nights I had to be away from them. I was so lucky to find a program through Pima Medical Institute that was only 9 months long, 4 days a week, and 4 1/2 hours a day.

But those 9 months were not easy.

There were nights I cried thinking about wanting to give up because I was so tired. Days where I was sitting at the dining room table, textbooks spread everywhere, trying to feed myself, while also breastfeeding Gianni. There were debates in my head about whether I should take a nap with the kids or take the opportunity to study. One day the power went out right before I left the kids with the nanny. I pulled out some candles, told them where the food was, prayed the power would come back on, and walked out the door to head school.

Through all of these exhausting nights and long days, I achieved my goals of having perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA. The day of my graduation ceremony, I made sure that both of my kids were there to witness that it is possible, you can do it, and that being a teen mom does notĀ mean the end of your life. You can still continue achieving your dreams and becoming the best person for yourself.

It will be hard, but I promise it is possible.

The Proposal

In December 2016, Gian, the kiddos, and myself all flew out to Georgia to spend Christmas with his family. We were having such a great time as a family and Gian’s parents offered to watch Alianna and Gianni so we could have some time to ourselves after a very long time.

The first thing we did was drive down to Atlanta and have an amazing lunch at a Brazilian Steakhouse called Fogo de Chao. I had never been to place like this before and let me tell you, I could not get enough of their mashed potatoes. They just continued bringing out all different cuts of meats – steak variations, chicken, lamb, pork, etc. It was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had.

After we enjoyed our lunch, we checked in to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Atlanta, GA. We had such a beautiful room that was overlooking the city. Gian and I relaxed for a little while, talking about what we should do for the rest of the night without the kids. At around 7:00 p.m., he grabbed my hand and pulled me outside onto the balcony. We were talking as he had his arms wrapped around me watching everything below us.

Then I saw him get down onto one knee.

He grabbed my left hand and began to reach for the promise ring that he had given me the first year we started dating in 2012, but I hadn’t put it on yet. He looked at me and asked where it was and I was so nervous and my heart was racing and I just said “I haven’t put it on yet.” I am pretty sure it caught him off guard, but then he started talking to me.

“With this ring, that you left inside, I promised that I would always be with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I couldn’t imagine spending it with anybody else. You make me so happy and I want to continue making so many memories with you. I love you so much. Kaitlyn, will you marry me?”

I started saying “Yes!” over and over again with tears in my eyes as he slid the ring onto my shaking hand, stood up and took me into his arms, and we just kissed. It was such a blissful moment with all of the lights surrounding us, the love I felt as he held me in his arms.

We went inside to the hotel room after a few minutes and someone had sneaked their way inside and set up an iced bottle of champagne and little petite chocolates for us to enjoy. Gian told me we would have to enjoy it later as he had another surprise for me.

It was about a fifteen minute drive before we arrived outside of The Sundial restaurant in Atlanta. A beautiful restaurant on the top of the Westin that slowly spun around to give diners a breathtaking view of the whole city. I had a delicious meal consisting of clam chowder as an appetizer, then steak with a tempura lobster tail, green beans, and potatoes.

 

After we finished our dinner we decided we would end our night with seeing Star Wars – Rogue One in theaters since we are huge Star Wars fans. It was honestly such an amazing and unforgettable day.

And on December 22nd, 2016, I became engaged to the love of my life.