December Wishes to Bring Back the LOVE!

Two months.  That's about how long it's been since I wrote a single post on this thing.  It makes me sad because I honestly LOVE to blog.  I love to write and reflect and make personal connections.  It keeps me inspired and excited about life.  And as the holiday season arrives, I too am reevaluating some of my priorities lately and am bound and determined to make it a point to get back to some of the things I love.  Like blogging.

So what has happened since October?  I blame work.  And while I would love to say that I can take an hour or so for myself at the end of the day, pumping, bottles, baths, and bedtime routines are pretty much a race every evening.  Sometimes dinner is made, sometimes it's not.  Often it's take out and well, that's a whole other rant for a whole other day.  The staying healthy thing... it's tough in this mom life.  Thank God for Shakeology to keep me from straying too far off the beaten path.    But let's go ahead and add that to the things I love... staying healthy.  And I'm ready to step up my game.  

Of course I'm hopefully that of all months, this is a good one to get some LOVE back into my life.  With all of the social activities scheduled, Christmas radio, and a house full of sparkle and shine, what's not to love?  Just get me through these next 3 weeks of school without poking my eyeballs out and life should get ship shape in no time!  

So what are your goals for December?  Here are mine... just for accountability's sake ;)  

  1. Spend more time writing.  It's good for psyche.
  2. Make health a priority.  Exercise when I can.  Drink water when I should.
  3. Take photos.  Times are passing by so quickly and I want to remember the present.
  4. Snuggle my babies.  Kiss my husband.  Remember what I'm working for.
  5. Go through the gosh darn "junk room".  It's been months for Christ sake and the pile is causing me anxiety.  Anyone else feel me?  

post signature

Before You Start Your Monday...

Before you start your Monday, I want to remind you that you're a great person.  I'm sure you have a few challenges facing you this week, or things you're not exactly looking forward to, but know you can get through it.  You always do. And the weekend will come again just like clockwork.  It always does.  

Remember to take any criticisms or negativity with a grain of salt.  Do the best you can, but don't let your job define you.  You are a child of God (or whatever you believe in) and you are not any less or any more than any of your colleagues, including bosses.  

Remember that no matter what tasks are on the table, showing kindness and compassion is the most important thing, and if you've done that, you cannot fail.  You are a good person.  Be your true authentic self and feel good about the things you are doing.  In the grand scheme of life, scores and data are not what matters.  It's not going to make the world a better place.  Spreading a message of positivity is what will make the world a better place.  Don't get distracted from that, okay?  

Remember how lucky you are.  Maybe you have the family of your dreams.  Maybe you have some great friends.  Maybe you have the cutest and most loyal pets on the planet.  I bet they're all counting on you.  They're counting on you in so many ways, but they too could care less if you make it to the top of the food chain.  They like you the way you are the best, because you're a good person.  And don't you forget it.

I myself, am not going to work today.  I'm taking my two baby girls to a doctor appointment in the city, because one of them needs to go and therefore we all must go.  It's easy because I'm caring for people I truly, deeply love.  I know that not all jobs, probably most, are not like that, and that once I go back to work I'll be doing the Sunday night sulk like you wouldn't believe.  So I'm writing this down now to remind myself, and you, that everything will be okay.  Have confidence in yourself and how amazing you are.  It's true!  And the more people who realize this, the more people who see it in others, the better this world is going to be.  Go get 'em Monday...

Bella And The City

post signature

New Month, New Goals... and a whole lot of Snuggles

Happy Friday and Welcome October!  It's a new month full of promise and possibilities and I'm excited for so many upcoming things!  I'm also beginning to experience the anxiousness that is the end of my maternity leave, but let's ignore that part for now... ;)

First off, the twins turned 3 months old.  THREE MONTHS!!! I can't believe it.  Time is going by so fast and they are growing like weeds.  Getting to spend my days with them has been beyond awesome and allowed me to get in touch with the things that truly matter to me.  Gosh I love them.  Now check out how photogenic we are... bahahahaha.

I also put out my fall decorations this week.  Once I started to take them out of the box, I realized they are more along the lines of Thanksgiving than Halloween, but whatever.  I'm putting them out anyway.


Birth announcements came today!  I ordered them from Simply to Impress because it was significantly cheaper than a lot of other sites and was pleasantly surprised.  They seem to be pretty high quality and came in this gorgeous box!  Not that the box matters.  But I do enjoy some quality packaging.

I started drinking Shakeology on the regular.  I've seen the stuff for years but for some reason was against any type of pre-made, over marketed shake programs.  OMG you guys.... it's REALLY delicious!!  I was truly expecting it to taste like a typical chocolate whey protein mix but no.  It tastes like actual chocolate.  I don't need to doctor it up with bananas and peanut butter (although I could) and other non-healthy deliciousness to mask the taste.  Now I understand why people rave about it.  Because you can actually drink it instead of holding your breath and chugging the whole dang thing to get it down (as I used to do with the regular whey).  So far I'd say it's worth it!  Have you tried it yet?  What did you think?

Finally, I had grand plans of getting much accomplished this Friday and have suddenly found 4:30 pm come upon me like it may as will be 10 am.  Perhaps it's the fact that the sun never came out, or the drop in temps that has left me feeling a little stiff and chilled, but loving on my peanuts has suddenly become the priority today, and I'm 100% ok with that.  Because if you're not doing it with the purpose of loving, then why the hell are you doing it?  You know what I mean? Every dish that is washed, every decoration put out, every dollar earned... I'm doing it because I want to create the best life that I can for myself and my family... and right now, snuggling is all they care to notice.  So that's that.  Snuggling it is.  

More like this on Five on Friday and Friday Favorites!

post signature

If You Hate at Eating Clean, Stop Trying.

"Eat clean!" they say.  "You'll feel great!" they say.  Then why am I constantly going through these clean eating phases only to be ended by vacations, illness, pregnancy, and tons of other excuses to say f it and whip out the Cheetos?  There is a simple reason... clean eating is hard!  Even though you know you are making good choices for your body, it doesn't turn off your salivating over the thought of bacon cheeseburgers and hot wings.  And though I'm sure many of you are able to keep up this kind of diet successfully (good for you), I'm not willing.  Personally, food brings me joy.  It's all a part of the experience of life, and I don't want to miss out on any of it.  There's something liberating about an ice cream sundae on a summer night, or fresh baked cookies on a snow day.  I know they're not good for my body, but trust me, they're good for my soul.  

It's no wonder most people fail miserably at clean eating in the long run.  It's a lot of work.  It's expensive.  It's just no fun.  So, I'm here to tell you to stop trying.  Stop putting pressure on yourself to eat healthy for every meal of the day, all the time, and inevitably feel guilty when you break down and eat an entire box of Kraft macaroni and cheese.... and ice cream.  

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about being healthy.  Let's talk about the realistic steps you can take that will endure through the long haul.  Instead of deciding you are only eating clean, ever, start with incorporating ONE clean meal in your day.  I find lunch is the easiest, especially if you're packing it for work.  Eat it, give yourself a pat on the back, and leave it at that.  Maybe you'll eat another clean meal, or maybe your friend will call you to meet her for margaritas.  Just go with it, and do what makes you happy.  You had a healthy lunch and you deserve it. 

Another thing that I do consistently is find a way to make our go to meals healthier.  Note:  healthier, not necessarily healthy.  For example, instead of ordering take out Santa Fe burgers with fries (yummmmmm), my husband and I have started grilling marinated chicken and putting it on a sandwich with avacado and onion.  I also have started baking french fries using red potatoes and little olive oil drizzle.  Are the fries healthy?  Not really, but they're baked, not fried, cutting down on a ton of calories and fat.  Is the bun healthy?  Hell no, but at least I've replaced my burger with grilled chicken and sliced onion instead of onion rings.  By making a few healthy switches without replacing the entire meal, I'm left 100% satisfied and feel as though I've made no sacrifice at all.

My husband's favorite dish is chicken parm, and I have to say, mine is pretty delish.  But you know what?  I don't feel guilty when we eat it.  I always BAKE my chicken, no frying here, and because I'm doing it at home I can control the amount of sauce and cheese that goes on top.  I serve it with whole grain pasta and sometimes some roasted zucchini on the side.  Carb haters may not approve, but I feel good about my switch to whole grain, as long as I'm not eating a pot full of it.  

So I may not be the cleanest eater on the block, but I've found a really good balance.  Something that I can maintain every single day for my entire life and not feel like I'm missing out on anything.  Think about what healthy switches YOU can make in your next meal.  A little bit goes a long way, and you should be proud of yourself no matter what that little bit is!

Need ideas?  Feel free to comment below or contact me!  I'd love to help you get healthier in a way that is realistic for YOU and support you on your own journey to wellness! 

Our Three Peas Women With Intention

post signature

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday you guys!  I'm still on maternity leave, and happy as a clam despite being  up since 2 am thanks to some demanding little munchkins!  We may not know our days from nights, but spending time with them is precious, so that makes Monday a-okay with me! 

This weekend was mostly spent straightening up and continuing medication that we began in our hospital stay last week.  My daughter, Rosalia, has a hemangioma on her head that has begun to ulcerate, so we are trying an oral medication to help it to heal and go away. We spent 48 hours at Johns Hopkins so she could be monitored and a LOT of time snuggling.  She was definitely a little worried about her surroundings and was soooo glad to spend this weekend at home!  
Snuggling my babe during our 48 hour hospital stay.

Saturday we were up and at 'em for a 5K race at my husbands school that he had helped plan.  We missed the race.  Do you know how long it takes to get ready when you have to pump and feed 2 babies before you leave?  I didn't even shower and it still took us over 2 hours to get out the door.  Holy crap.  I'm in for some super early wake ups when I get back to work and that is something I can certainly wait for.  
Daddy pushing his girls at the 5K <3

The rest of the day was a whirlwind trying to run errands, nap, and getting everything ready for our neighborhood block party.  Every year we have it I begin the day stressed and unprepared, but end up having a blast by the time it's all said and done.  Everyone brings food and their own beverages.  We eat until the sun goes down and then it's time for songs around the fire.  Really.  I swear I don't live on Sesame Street, my neighbors are actually like that.  Just another reason why I love my home so much!

Oh yea, and before I go, I have an announcement to make.  I made a move this weekend that I'd been thinking about for a while and finally after years of recruitment, my friend Steph was finally able to reel me in.... I've decided to become a Beachbody coach!  Although I'm not much of a salesman, something about this company just feels right with my soul and aligns with everything that I value deep inside.  Excited to get going on this new adventure in wellness!  

post signature

The Twins' Birth Story.. From What I Can't Remember! ;)

It was a long couple of months, but with everyone home safe and sound, I am finally ready to discuss the birth of my peanuts.  I know the news of their arrival came as a shock to friends and family, and I've shared with a few people privately about how the whole thing came about, but am realizing I've left the rest of the world wondering... so here it goes.  

I went in on Monday, June 22nd for a prescheduled fetal echo.  There was nothing wrong.  My husband has a heart condition so it was purely for screening purposes, and both babies passed with flying colors.  Before I left they took my blood pressure, because when you go to the doctor they always take your blood pressure... It was high.  After sitting for 10 minutes and trying again, the doctor said he was going to admit me to labor and delivery just to monitor me for a couple of hours.  Weird.  But ok.  I felt perfectly fine.  They checked me in and gave me a hospital bracelet and I stupidly took photos of it and myself smiling in my hospital gown, thinking this was some sort of silly precaution that I could IG and blog about later that night.  

Well they monitored, and it didn't go down.  In fact, they made me pee in a cup and turns out I had gosh darn preeclampsia.  I really didn't even know what that was and still felt fine so I called to cancel my obgyn appointment for the afternoon, and said I would call back to reschedule the next day.  Well, a few hours turned into "we'll keep you until Wednesday" to "we might keep you until the babies are born" (my due date wasn't for another 2 months plus) and my smile quickly turned to an annoyed panic wondering what the heck kind of medical bills were in store for me.  I felt fine.  Can't I just go home??  

On top of this I was apparently having very regular contractions.  Strong ones that they couldn't believe I couldn't feel.  They kept checking me and checking me to see if I was dilating, but I wasn't at all.  Completely shut.  Ain't nobody coming out of there!  Phew!

My husband went home to pick up his computer so we could at least watch Netflix and my phone charger since we seemed to be in for the long haul.  We sat, and watched, and eventually tried to sleep.  Sleeping in the hospital was difficult since I had 3 heart rate monitors attached to my stomach (one for each of us) that seemed to move each time I would alter my position, and the nurse had to come in and adjust them every time.  

Finally I must have drifted off, at least for a little while when I awoke to a team of doctors and nurses standing around my bed talking about me, but not really to me, about what they needed to do next.  The next thing I knew the doctors were wheeling me out of the room and I turned to yell out for my husband who was asleep on the couch next to me.  I could tell he was starting to wake up when I lost sight of him, but at least I knew he would realize that they had taken me somewhere.  

The doctors told me the babies were going to come out now, and recognizing the urgency in their voices, I simply responded ok just in time to get a mask to the face and a deep deep sleep before finally waking up in excruciating pain.  They babies were out.  By then, they were already being cared for in the NICU and I assume my husband was there with them.  My in-laws and mother had come to the hospital and were in the room with me when I woke up shaking like a leaf and rating my pain as a 10!  A freaking 10!  Luckily my mother-in-law is a somewhat important person around those parts and made sure they pumped my meds up to a point I could stop shaking and basically fall back to sleep.  

These photos were taken by the doctors and given to us so we could see what they looked like.

Because of the preeclampsia, I was on this magnesium drip for the next 24 hours or so which basically caused me to lose a day of my life.  Meaning, I can account for about 20 minutes of Tuesday, and other than that I am completely clueless.  It wasn't until about mid morning Wednesday that I'd say I could carry out a conversation with any logical thought.  And on Wednesday afternoon I met the girls.

When I say I met the girls, I mean I sat in my wheelchair and looked at them through the plastic isolate.  They were small.  Really small.  They had lots of tubes and cords attached to them and big oxygen masks over their faces.  I could sort of see the side of their arms, and that was about it.  I'll be honest it was a really bizarre feeling and not at all like I had thought meeting your baby for the first time would be.  Like, I hardly felt they were mine and was honestly more interested in laying back in my hospital bed than looking at these creatures any longer.  I still had no idea what they looked like and was being asked numerous times for their names, so I finally just told my husband to make the executive decision, and he did.  

Babies at first sight!

We stayed for a few more days and continued this routine throughout the week of daily trips the NICU (trip, as in down the hall) and looking for a few minutes.  Once they let me change Reilly's diaper which was probably comical because she was so small I was terrified of breaking her or handling her in any way whatsoever.

Saturday I was discharged from the hospital.  We made one last trip to the NICU before we left, and suddenly today was the day.  Today they asked me if I would like to take Rosie out of her isolate and hold her!  I was petrified.  Like literally praying to God that her heart would keep beating and her lungs would keep breathing if I took her into my arms, but I held her.  I was smiling ear to ear.  She was the cutest thing I'd ever seen in my entire life.  The next day was Reilly's turn and I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire time.  
First Rosie hold!
First Reilly hold!

Long story short, you know that everyone is now home and healthy, but that journey is way beyond a birth story! Stay tuned or look back for details about the twins NICU days! 

Our Three Peas Women With Intention

post signature

You Don't Need a Priest. You Need a Friend.

Today I want to talk about your soul.  I want to talk about the person you are inside, about feeling fulfilled and like the life you're living is a good life.  We spend so much of our lives filling the world with positive messages.  Go get 'em!  You can do it!  I'm so freaking happy!  And this blog is no exception... But let's be real.  Your inner voice is not always saying these things.  Your inner voice may start the day like this and slowly morph into this project is so fuc*ing stupid and I can't believe I am wasting most of my day on this.  That girl is so damn annoying I want to stick a fork in my eyeball every time she's around.  I may have felt skinny yesterday but today I'm a fat piece of sh*t and should probably just starve myself to death.  All of these are things I've said to myself this week, and when I do it leaves me feeling like I must be a horrible person.  You feel me?  

This is where my best friend comes in, and I have more than one.  I'll admit that when I had my twins I worried about whether or not I'd be able to keep this one friend.  I mean, I wouldn't really be able to go out on the town anymore or do any of the things we typically liked to do together, which is drink, at least not on a regular basis.  This weekend my mom watched the girls for a few hours while I went out and grabbed dinner (and drinks) with this one in our typical hometown spot.  Suddenly I realized that none of this going out crap is really what made us friends in the first place.  

For the entire few hours that we spent together, we bi*ched.  We talked about every person, thing, and event that had our blood secretly boiling.  Those things you don't ever say out loud?  We said them.  We were honest.  We were downright mean girls.  And you know what?  It felt sooooo good! 

Don't worry I didn't insult anyone to their faces.  I didn't start rumors or stir anyone else's pot.  I just confessed all of the evil thoughts marinating inside of me and upon realizing I am not the only one that thinks these things, I was liberated.  I felt like I had just gone to confession and the priest had absolved me of my sins.  Except it was just my friend, not a servant of God.  Because of this I am thoroughly convinced that everyone needs at least one person in their life like this.  Luckily I have one devoted to about every circle of friends.  Places where I can freely let go of all all of the word vomit associated with my life.  Work vomit.  Family vomit.  Cheerleader vomit.  I'm pretty sure each of these people would know exactly who they are upon reading this, and if you are, I thank you.  Without you, I would never be able to hold it all together.  I'd go on thinking I was going to hell in a hand basket.  And I certainly wouldn't have the courage to be as honest as I am on this blog.  Now go thank your best friend, and if you don't have one, find one. Spill one piece of word vomit and see how it goes.  If they love it, they're a keeper!  Those that bi*ch together, stay together.  

post signature

Confessions of a New Mom

A couple of months into this mom thing (actually less if you take out the NICU stay), I'll admit I'm not entirely as together as I thought I would be.  I'm loving it and I'm doing my absolute best, but I've definitely acquired a few odd behaviors that quite possibly may not be socially acceptable.  Things that people may shake their head at or gag in their mouths a little bit.  Things that might make you think twice about my supermom status.  Actually, I probably should just abandon this post... but I won't.  Chances are if I'm doing it, someone else is doing it too.  And if you're not, well, then I'm a weirdo.  And that's perfectly fine with me ;)  

I confess that getting ready for the day often consists of changing my shirt and throwing my hair in a ponytail.  Often the shirt may be the same shirt I wore yesterday, and on days when I try to put on real pants, I often abandon the mission just hours later.  Like right now, I'm not wearing any pants.  I have 2 babies strategically snuggled next to me (yes, it took a while to find a position I could type in) and pants are absolutely not worth the effort.  

I confess that I've tasted my own breast milk and that I like it.  Don't worry I'm not crazy enough to save myself a glass, but if I get a few drops on my hands or whatnot, I admit to licking them and thinking to myself what a delicious treat my girls are getting.  It's way better than I thought it would be, better than regular milk even.  It's like milk infused with Rumchata, minus the alcohol, and no I haven't been drinking that either.  

I confess to loving the smell of my kids' breath.  Spit up, formula burps, and all, they are the only humans I can readily breathe in and out nose to nose with and not feel a compulsive need to turn my head away for fresh air.  I say humans because somehow I do feel this same way about my cat, which is way stranger and should probably be a confession all on its own.  

I confess that I've been a little disappointed in myself for letting my fitness go by the wayside.  A few weeks ago I was doing well and honestly got to a point of amazement with my own progress, and just as quickly let it all slip away.  Yes we've had other things going on, but it's still no excuse.  My fitness was important to me and I need to make it a priority again.  Happy mom = happy babies, right?

I confess that I am LOVING staying home with my kids.  People may think that being home with them all day might be boring, or overwhelming, but I've found neither to be true.  All day we are busy doing things, we work hard, we are tired, and every day I think to myself this is the BEST JOB EVER!  I know I could never afford it, but the SAHM life is definitely for me.  Time to start playing the lottery.  

More like this on Five on Friday and Friday Favorites!

post signature

Weekends Lately

Life with babies is like the movie Groundhog's Day.  It's the same routines again, and again, and again.  Feed, pump, clean something, feed, pump, exercise, feed, pump, cook dinner, feed, pump, and so it continues... Don't get me wrong, I'm loving every minute of being a mommy, but I definitely can remember the days of "Hey, let's go to happy hour!" and it's strange to think that they are long gone.  Instead, we sip our drinks sparingly between diaper changes, bottles, and soothing our little ones' cries.  

Another thing that's drastically changed around here is my getting up and at 'em so early in the morning.  I used to be that girl who got to the gym and the grocery store all before my husband even got out of bed.  Not anymore.  Now our weekend mornings include a lot of snuggling and laying around, and I can't say I hate it either.  This week we watched Winnie the Pooh and Robin Hood, I mean, the girls watched Winnie the Pooh and Robin Hood, while we stayed wrapped together in blankets and drank an entire pot of coffee before starting our day.  
Excuse our my bed head.  We really just woke up!  

Also, newborn babies mean you're going to have a lot of visitors, and because of that I was able to float in my pool for hours undisturbed while the rest of my family doted on the babes.  I'm sorry to say this is the FIRST time I have done that this season, but between my recovery and just trying to keep them out of the heat and sun, it wasn't exactly a good summer for me and my tan.  

All of the fam who came to visit from the Burgh!  

Me time.  Yesssssss.

Our first family photo!  Yea I know it's almost 3 months late!

So here it's Monday and I'm doing the usual laundry loads and picking things up in between babies' care times, this time in preparation for my husband's softball tournament and our "vacation" at Grandma's house.  He'll be in Florida from Wednesday to Sunday so us girls are going to spend some time with Granny, and meet their first cat!  I can't believe I am calling this vacation, but it's the closest I am getting to one this year and I can hardly wait!  

Let it Shine
Mingle MondayWeekendingMonday MadnessWeekend Recap

post signature