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    Pregnancy

    Baby Number Two

     


            Well, the secret is out… we’re having another baby! I still can’t believe it. I’ve been dying to spill the beans but we’ve been focusing on taking care of each other and also this baby. After my pregnancy with Calvin I knew that moving forward my pregnancies would be high risk. During my first pregnancy I was told that my cervix was short and therefore my chances of carrying a baby full term were low. It’s the very reason why Calvin was premature (born at 33 weeks) but I’m thankful it wasn’t earlier. After our experience with Calvin in the NICU and everything that came after that we had a lot of fears. Would this baby come early? What if we couldn’t bring him or her home? Leaving the hospital without Calvin was one of the hardest things we had to do but we’re believing that God is in control of this pregnancy and it will finish however He sees fit. I’m so ready to smell tiny toes and wake up to cooing noises in the middle of the night. Haven’t had that in a while, so I’m excited. 


    Pregnancy During Quarantine 

        It’s been bitter sweet, sweet because I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with Calvin and Ruben. We’ve had some really good times. Bitter because my anxiety has been all over the place. Being home has been hard mentally. I’ve been resting a lot and taking small walks in order to keep myself active. My energy has picked up during this 2nd trimester. The 1st trimester was the hardest. I was nauseous, tired, I barely ate anything and physically my body just felt hit. I was worried about telling people or even getting excited without knowing if things would go smoothly. Overall, I think this quarantine has been a blessing. I get to be home with Calvin and prepare him to be a big brother, I’m nesting like a mad woman and throwing everything out but mostly I get to spend time with Ruben. 

         Entering the 2nd trimester I’ve been more joyful and mentally I’m doing better. I’m much bigger than I was with during my first pregnancy but I heard that happens. I feel beautiful just like I did with Calvin and I’m mostly all stomach. I’ve been on progesterone injections which help strengthen my cervix so I don’t go into early labor and I’ve been getting sonograms every two weeks. The injections hurt like hell, but hubby is killing it at playing doctor ( He’s the one giving me the shots)  and despite having to go to the hospital so often, I’m pretty happy I get to see the baby grow. I’ve had some days of discouragement and sadness, I don’t have much control over my labor plan. At risk pregnancy have to labor in hospitals due to complications or any other emergency’s that may arrive during labor. I’m just hoping for a healthy baby and to have Ruben by my side, I’ll be one happy mama.

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    Big Brother Calvin

          I’m not sure that Calvin fully understands that he’s gonna be a big brother but he knows something’s up. He’s been really attached and his mood changes a lot. It’s been hard having him home while working also, he needs a lot of attention like most toddlers. He’s been asking to go for walks and being a bit aggressive, he has an arm I tell you. We’re excited to see him transition to being an only child to a brother. Calvin is a sweet and loving kid, I’m sure he will love his sibling more than anything. He says “he is strong and brave” all the time. It’s the cutest thing ever. He randomly kisses my stomach and points at his own stomach and says “baby”? We’ve been trying to prepare him by helping him grow independence. Potty training was first on our list and now transitioning him to a big boy bed. We want to make things easier for him and us as we balance caring for both kids. For the rest of the time we just want to soak in all our time with him. It’s the last time it will be just us three. 


    acs_0214I’ll be sharing more on our journey here on the blog, so stick around. In the meantime, here is our “The Office” theme announcement. We really love this show and couldn’t think of any better way than to tell everyone like this. Like how cute is Calvin dressed up as Dwight!


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    Pregnancy Fun Facts

    I’m officially 20 weeks

    Due date is September 30th ( Maybe Calvin and baby will share birthday months)

    Cravings: Mangu, Ice cream, Chips

    Baby is weighing bigger than expected… I’m not scared at all. Ha!

    I’ve been sleeping like a baby.

    Lots of nose bleeds, Any mama experience that?

    My sense of smell is on point, I can smell everything.

    Stomach is pretty tight and no stretch-marks.

    I bought a sling as a welcoming baby gift to myself.

    Baby registry got done back in February, it was a piece of cake this time around.

     

    Motherhood

    Potty Training a Two-year-old

    It’s been about a week since we started this journey, but we really started back in December. The idea of potty training sounded scary to me. The last thing I wanted was to find poop on my couch and have to clean up watery “accidents”. The first time around was hard because Calvin wasn’t able to really identify when he wanted to go, he didn’t want to wear any undies and would fight us to sit on the potty. Our busy schedules kept us from being consistent and then life hit us and pull up’s seemed easier at the time.  So here we are again, but this time we’re ready!! Here are a few things I found helpful for my 2-year-old.


    Asking for Tips

    As a first-time mom and still learning how to navigate through it, I leaned on my Instagram mamas for some help. I got a lot of tips from different parents and it was very helpful.

    I also read different articles on potty training and looked up a few books. One book I came across was called Oh Crap! Potty Training,

    Many parents suggested it but reading a book was just not something I had time for, but if you love reading definitely check out this book.

    These are some of the articles I found helpful:

    1. Potty Training: How to get started
    2. Potty Training 101

    Methods? – This was on “Today’s Parents” 

    I had no idea there were different methods to potty training. Back in December we definitely were doing the “slow and steady” method. I wasn’t in a rush and I didn’t want to push him if he was still showing signs of not knowing when to go. This second round we definitely aimed for the “three-day method and “rewards.” Calvin showed all the signs of being ready and by day three he was fully going to the bathroom. This method also worked since we’re stuck at home during quarantine.

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    Is he or she ready? 

    Here are a few signs that told me Calvin’s was ready to be potty trained:

    • He started to take off his diaper and was uncomfortable being wet.
    • He would make fascial expressions when he had to pee or poop.
    • He could stay dry for at least two hours and his diapers during nap time were usually dry.
    • He enjoyed watching me sit on the toilet and flushing.
    • He could sometimes tell when he had to pee.

    Potty Training 101 
    Things we did to prepare ourselves for this process:
    •  Creating a habit takes time and sacrifice, we mentally prepared ourselves for adjusting our schedules at home and cleaning up “accidents”.
    • We bought tons of undies of his favorite characters. (This really helped motivate him)
    • The Potty Chart has been the game-changer in this process. You can create one or get one from Pinterest. Kids love stickers and rewards.
    • We were gifted a potty to have around the house but also got a potty seat for the toilet. I think having both is worth it because it can help you identify which one makes your child feel more comfortable. Calvin chooses the potty seat.
    • Setting a timer to remind Calvin every 20-30 mins to use the potty. We did this for the first two days. ( As the days go by, extend the reminder time) 
    • Since we’re not going anywhere, being home has helped train him. I would advise that you stay home three days while potty training your toddler.
    • Be patient and have a celebrating attitude. The accidents can be annoying, especially if they pee two minutes after you asked him or her if they needed to go. ha!
    • Every child is different, some kids can do it in three days and others take a week to be potty trained. Enjoy the process, this is a big milestone for your child.

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    Our Potty Training Day to Day 

    Day 1: Went 5 times to the potty, no poop, no accidents.

    • The day before we read a book on potty training with him. ( Disney Pull Up’s book)
    • Set up the bathroom area with wipes, undies, and hanged “Potty Chart” and stickers.
    • Took him to the bathroom once he got up and changed from Pull up’s to Undies.
    • Introduced him to the chart and wipes.
    • Taught him how to clean himself.
    • Let him choose which undies he wanted to wear throughout the day.
    • Asked him if he wanted to go potty every 30 minutes.
    • I paid attention to his facial and body movements in order to help him identify when he had to go.
    • Celebrated him loudly and many high fives. ( MUST DO!)
    • Got a sticker every time he went to the potty and when he hits the yellow spots he got a cookie. ( This is great for teaching positive reinforcement and also learning he can’t get something every time he does something well.)
    • He had no accidents.
    • Napped and went to bed in Pull up’s.

    Day 2:  Went 4 times to the potty, no poop, 1 accident.

    • Took him to the potty once he got up and changed into undies.
    • Reminded him every 1 hour, this increased the times he told us on his own.
    • He showed a lot more excitement to use the potty.
    • Continue celebrating him together in the bathroom.
    • Got a sticker for each time he went and a cookie on the yellow spot.
    • Napped and went to bed with Pull up’s.

    Day 3: Went 6 times, Pooped twice, and 2 accidents. 

    • Same morning routine
    • Officially says when he has to go pee and poop.
    • Pooped for the first time in the toilet.
    • I continued celebrating and giving stickers.
    • Napped and went to bed with Pull up’s.

    Day 4: Went 5 times, pooped, and no accidents. 

    • Same morning routine
    • No reminders, he stated when he had to go.
    • We continued celebrating and giving stickers.
    • Finished the first chart and earn a prize, a monster truck.
    • Napped and went to bed with Pull up’s.

    Day 5: Went 5 times, pooped, and no accidents. 

    • Same morning routine
    • Created a second chart, this chart has less yellow spots. ( Teaching him to enjoy going to the potty, not for a treat)
    • No reminders, he stated when he had to go.
    • We continued celebrating and giving stickers.
    • Used undies during nap and woke up dry.
    • I took him to the bathroom right after nap time.
    • We went for a walk with undies for about 15 mins.
    • Went to bed with Pull up’ s

    Day 6: Went 5 times, pooped, and no accidents. 

    • Same morning routine
    • No reminders, he stated when he had to go.
    • We continued celebrating and giving stickers.
    • Used undies during nap time and woke up dry.
    • Took him to the potty right after nap time.
    • Went to bed with Pull up’ s

    Day 7: 

    • Same morning routine
    • No reminders, he stated when he had to go.
    • We continued celebrating and giving stickers.
    • Used undies during nap time and woke up dry.
    • Took him to the potty right after nap time.
    • Went to bed with Pull up’ s

    *As you can see, progress was made as the days went by. 

    *The latest update is that he’s been waking up at 4 am to use the bathroom, I heard this is a good sign to removing diapers at night. However, he still has a wet diaper.


    Potty Set Up

    Being consistent with your set up is also key in my opinion. It helps your toddler recognize his or her area and also gives them the independence to go when they want. If you’re using a portable potty, place it somewhere in the house that they can see it. Have some wipes and undies next to it, it might encourage them to go on their own. 

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    Our Set -up: Wipes, Potty seat (should always remain on the toilet), Stool for getting up, and “potty chart” hanging on the wall. 


    Potty Training Items 

    Here are some items I found to be essential for potty training our son. You may find them helpful too if you’re wondering what to get for your toddler during this milestone.

     

    1. Potty Book: We used another book but this book is pretty cute. Many parents recommended reading a “potty” book when starting this process. Also, Youtube has tons of videos. ( Here’s our favorite)
    2. Portable Potty: Many toddlers enjoy portable potty’s and parents find it easier to have around the house instead of running to the bathroom always.
    3. Potty Seat: While other toddlers enjoy the portable potty, some don’t. Calvin didn’t. So the potty seat was perfect for him and it’s way softer on his butt.
    4. Potty Chart: We created our and just filled it with Calvin’s face stickers. You can find on on Pinterest.
    5. Favorite Undies: Calvin is loving “Lighting McQueen” so we got him a few undies or McQueen and his other favorites of “Toy Story.”
    6. Stool: The stool is for helping them sit independently on the toilet. Some toilet potty’s come with steps already attached.
    7. Travel Potty Seat: These are definitely needed when traveling with a toddler elsewhere. If your boy toddler can pee standing up, no need but may need it to poop. Need a potty seat for a road trip? Here’s one.

    Out and about with a potty training toddler? 

    • Pack extra clothes and undies.
    • Bring your travel potty seat.
    • Use the potty as soon as you get to where you have to go.
    • Be patient with the accidents.

     

    Motherhood, Womanhood

    Feeling Unpretty

    Feeling Unpretty?

    During Mother’s Day weekend I wrestled with getting ready to go to my mother’s day brunch that my husband had planned for me. I spent two hours going back and forth between my room and closet, and two additional hours trying on clothes in front of the mirror and taking them right off. I could feel my mood beginning to change.

    What about my body was affecting the way I was feeling? Why was I letting some baby weight get in the way of a day meant to celebrate me? I was becoming easily irritated, emotionally overwhelmed and the more I changed the more sensitive I became. My husband kept coming into the room wondering what was taking me so long. I don’t remember if he said anything but every time he made a remark about my outfit I felt as though it was negative- and that was enough to set me off and cause me to change.

    On top of feeling insecure with my own thoughts, my mother came to visit and I nervously anticipated an insensitive remark from her about my body. She’d probably wonder if I’ve been wearing the underwear she gave me after I gave birth to keep my stomach from bloating or maybe I’ve lost myself in the transition to being a mother.

    What I was staring at in the mirror were extra layers around my body that didn’t disappear after giving birth. My face looked more tired than ever, and my breasts are not what they used to be. For some reason, I felt more comfortable in my pregnancy body because I could hide behind the baby belly.

    Like who would dare shame a pregnant woman? I could wear whatever I wanted and still feel beautiful. I could walk with confidence because life was growing in me and that ” glow ” that I had because “ I was having a boy” (according to “baby experts”) brought me more attention and compliments then the natural face I tend to wear. Of course, I would feel more beautiful in that skin then the one I’m in now!

    The skin I’m in today is unfamiliar, unwanted, and unpretty. The clothes that once fit me feel strange to my body,- did they ever really fit? I can’t remember, I have forgotten what it feels like to wear anything that is fit for me.

    As I wrestled with these thoughts, I was reminded of a few words I shared before about my postpartum body. “Nothing about my body is the same and it’s even more beautiful,” these are the words I’ve been lacking in speaking over my thoughts and heart every time I lose it in front of a mirror. Those are my words, the ones that remind me of the changes my life has experienced, and the beauty I hold before me, not only in my son but in the new me. The mother in me.

    Has someone told you that you look beautiful lately? If they haven’t, I want to remind you that yes, nothing about your Postpartum body is familiar to you- and it’s even more beautiful now than ever before. Whether you’ve gained weight or lost weight, we’re so inclined to pay attention to the parts of us that we long to have again that we lose sight of the beauty before us. God says you are beautiful before his sight, no matter what sight you see before you. I hope that on days that we feel like crap; when our pants can’t seem to fit, and we feel unattractive that we would remember that we have not lost ourselves by being mothers. We’ve gained so much more than just weight, we’ve gained LIFE.

    Thanks, @true&co for reminding me of my own words and building a community for women to embrace their bodies. This company has wonderful undergarments that I own like three of their bras. 

    Motherhood

    MommyCon

    Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of the coolest mom events ever- @mommycon. I was invited to attend the event as part of the media team (bloggers and influencers) and I was super excited to be there. This is the second event I was invited to, I guess blogging has a few cool perks right? I’m always grateful for opportunities like these, and I was excited to share this event with a few other mamas. I brought a friend of mine with me since she recently became a mom and I figured she could use some time away from the house. Two other mommy friends tagged along and I even got to meet two of my beautiful mommy friends from IG. Instagram has connected me with so many moms and I’m excited to continue meeting more mamas through it.

    The event was filled with sorts of vendors educational sessions for moms. The location was great, and it had been a while since I took the train to Grand Central. Calvin and I took our first ride on the MetroNorth, which was definitely more comfortable than riding with the MTA.

    Mommycon catered so well to parents attending this event. They had a snack table, a changing room, and even a quiet nursing room. Each room was filled with baby gear, even the conference rooms had toys in the back so the babies could play while the parents listened to the speakers! That’s something that any mama can appreciate. I wish I could have attended all the sessions taking place throughout the day. At some point, I started jumping between sessions since a few of my faves were happening during the same time slot. I also spent a large amount of time chasing Calvin around the hotel- it was hilarious.

    Sessions I attended:

    • 7 Strategies for Raising a Healthy Eater, presented by Happy Family Organics
    • Why Wait to Communicate?! Baby Fingers: A Musical Journey through Language and Learning
    • Sleep Consultation: 12-24 months months
    • Hey Superwoman, You Need Self-Care Too 

    Each session was filled with so many resources. I was most excited for the session on ” Raising a Healthy Eater”. I’m a very picky eater and veggies have never been something I put on my plate. When I started giving Calvin solids I only gave him veggies, but ask me if I tasted any of them… nope. However, now he’s a toddler and he loves to eat anything on my plate. Which means that I need to end my picky eating ways and start adding some veggies to my meals. I really loved that the speaker emphasized that we not give or kids labels like “picky eaters”. If your toddler is having a hard time trying different foods, try to present it to them in different ways. But stay away from forcing.  It’s also okay if they choose to stick to eating the same foods. The speaker also taught me that there is no such thing as ” Bad foods” for example, you packed cookies and mangos and your kid chooses the cookies over the fruit, no big deal. it’s food. I’m glad she said that because very often I stay away from foods that I may think are not ” good” like pizza. So learning this helps me understand I don’t have to fight against what he’s choosing.

    Another fun part about this event was being introduced to so many new and familiar brands. As a new mom learning about new brands is always so exciting. There are so many baby companies that have created amazing products, and I’m always looking to see if any of them work for our family. They had baby wear, feeding products, toys, body products, you name it- they had it!. A few of my favorite companies were Re-play, Hamiltonbabies, Happy family organics, Serenitykids baby food, Lulla doll, and Motherlove Herbal Company.  You definitely want to check out these brands on Instagram.

    If you are a mama and want to connect with other moms in your city, be introduced to some great baby brands, and attend some amazing workshops, Mommycon is the event for you. I’m excited to come back next year and see them continue to grow. Thanks, @mommycon for inviting me!

    Here are a few pictures of the event: 

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